Did you know that the term ‘herbal tea’ is sometimes considered to be a misnomer?
Technically, these herbal beverages should be called tisanes. Only beverages made from an actual tea plant should be called tea. So instead of hibiscus tea, you are supposed to say ‘hibiscus tisane’.
But ‘herbal teas’ has already become the common term. Tisane, a French word, is out dated.
The most notable thing about herbal tea is not what different people think it should be called; rather, it’s the positive effects it has on the body. For centuries, herbal teas were a staple of many culture’s medicinal practices.
While today we know better than to drink herbal tea to treat a serious illness instead of going to the doctor, there are still plenty of ways you can benefit from drinking them.
They can help manage symptoms of diseases like pain and fatigue. A lot of herbal teas are relaxing, which is great for lowering stress levels and improving sleep quality. Others can help lower blood pressure while other can treat minor problems like headaches, colds, stomach upsets and acne.
Table of Contents
- 1 My best herbal tea selection
- 1.1 Best tea for a cold: ACORUS Natural Herbal Tea
- 1.2 Best tea for sore throat: Yogi Tea Throat Comfort
- 1.3 Best tea for digestion or bloating: Twinings Benefit Digestive 20 Teabags
- 1.4 Best tea for sleep: Yogi Tea Bedtime
- 1.5 Best tea for anxiety: teapigs Chamomile Flowers
- 1.6 Best tea for pregnancy: Pukka Organic Motherkind Pregnancy Teabags
- 1.7 Best tea for cough: BRONCHOS FORTE – Natural Herbal Tea for Coughs and Respiratory Tract System
- 1.8 Best tea for acne: Heath & Heather Nettle Teabags
- 1.9 Best tea for constipation: Potters Herbals Cleansing Herbs Tea
- 1.10 Best tea for hangover: Redbush Tea Loose Leaf (“The Hangover Tea”)
- 2 How to make the perfect cup of herbal tea
My best herbal tea selection
Ready to brew your own cup?
Here is my collection of 10 great herbal teas and their benefits.
Best tea for a cold: ACORUS Natural Herbal TeaLacking caffeine and sugar, this 100% natural herbal tea blend is perfect for preventing or treating colds especially when the flu season strikes.
If you have a cold, it clears up the airways and soothes your throat.
It contains several natural herbs including elder flower, thyme, rosehip fruit and wild strawberry leaf. It comes packaged in 20 teabags.
Each teabag is good for one 200-250ml cup of hot water. Leave it to steep for at least 10 minutes (15 minutes is ideal) and then enjoy the sweet refreshing taste.
You can safely drink up to 4 cups a day.
Best tea for sore throat: Yogi Tea Throat ComfortIf you are a teacher, a receptionist or a musician, you know how awful a sore throat can be. More talking or singing makes it worse and more painful. And even among the healthiest of us, it can ruin your whole day.
Yogi tea uses a blend of cinnamon, liquorice, citrus and turmeric among other ingredients to soothe your throat.
The tea comes in 6 packs, each containing 17 teabags. That’s 102 teabags in total; plenty to get you through the cold season.
Use one teabag for each cup and allow it to infuse for 6-7 minutes.
Best tea for digestion or bloating: Twinings Benefit Digestive 20 TeabagsIf your stomach feels queasy or gassy after a meal, try a cup of this tea. It’s especially helpful for those times you overindulge on a particularly tasty feast.
All its ingredients are 100% natural. They include dandelion root, peppermint, fennel seeds, spearmint and liquorice.
They soothe the stomach and help restore balance.
It comes in a pack of 4, each with 20 teabags. Let the teabag infuse for 2-3 minutes or longer if you want a stronger flavour. Do not add milk.
Best tea for sleep: Yogi Tea BedtimeThe key to good sleep is relaxation. Calming your mind and relaxing your body will help you fall asleep faster and sleep better.
Yogi Tea for bedtime contains calming ingredients like chamomile, lavender and lemongrass. Other ingredients include cardamom, valerian root, nutmeg and fennel. It doesn’t have any caffeine.
This tea is not just good for its calming effects. It produces an aromatic fragrance that is relaxing on its own.
There are a total of 102 teabags packaged in 6 packs, 17 bags in each. To get the most out of each bag, pour boiling water on it in a cup and steep for 5-7 minutes.
Best tea for anxiety: teapigs Chamomile FlowersChamomile is the go-to herb for anxiety and stress. It has powerful calming effects, helping lower stress levels, improve you sleep and boost your productivity.
This teapigs pack comes with 50 teabags of chamomile flowers. You can also get a pack of 2 (100 bags) or a pack of 4 (200 bags).
Only pure chamomile flowers are used to make the teabags. No caffeine and no alcohol.
To enjoy a cup of chamomile tea, add boiling water and let it brew for 3 minutes. You can also enjoy iced chamomile tea. Add boiling water to a 1/3 cupful, steep for 5 minutes and then top with ice and cold water.
Best tea for pregnancy: Pukka Organic Motherkind Pregnancy TeabagsA lot of women are understandably wary about taking herbal teas when pregnant. These Pukka teabags are 100% organic and safe for consumption during pregnancy.
Ingredients include raspberry leaf, chamomile, peppermint, fennel and orange peel.
This is a pack of 4, each containing 20 teabags. Prepare it as you would any other herbal teabag: add boiling water and brew for around 5 minutes.
Best tea for cough: BRONCHOS FORTE – Natural Herbal Tea for Coughs and Respiratory Tract SystemIf you have an unusual kind of cough, first check with your doctor. For other run-of-the-mill coughs, try a cup of Bronchos Forte. It’s perfect for soothing coughs and treating a troublesome respiratory system (colds, flus and sore throat).
There is no caffeine or sugar in the tea. Neither are there any artificial colours or flavours. It is 100% natural.
Do not prepare this herbal tea for children under the age of 14 years.
Best tea for acne: Heath & Heather Nettle TeabagsThis tea consists of nettle leaves blended with natural fruits and herbs. Nettle leaves have numerous benefits for the skin. One of the most notable is its ability to treat acne without leaving any scarring. It also helps in other conditions like eczema, chicken pox and insect bites.
This tea nourishes and treats your skin from the inside. It comes as a pack of six each with 50 teabags. So you get 300 bags in total.
It is caffeine and alcohol free.
Best tea for constipation: Potters Herbals Cleansing Herbs TeaThis tea provides short term relief from constipation. You should only use it for minor constipation which does not require medical treatment. If constipation persists or is severe, see a doctor.
The tea contains natural laxatives including Senna leaves and Frangula bark. It also contains fennel seed, mate and elder flower.
Only use this tea at home, preferably at night.
Best tea for hangover: Redbush Tea Loose Leaf (“The Hangover Tea”)If you’ve tried all the unusual hangover treatments and none has worked, try this tea. It will give you a quick boost after a night of indulgence.
Ingredients include green Rooibos, blackberry leaves, blackcurrant, yellow marigold, verbena leaves and passionflower.
Add boiling water to a cup, steep for 5 minutes and it’s good to go.
How to make the perfect cup of herbal tea
First, a few important facts about herbal teas.
- As I mentioned, they are not technically teas. But any beverage made by steeping leaves or herbs is generally called a tea. So herbal teas they are.
- Herbal teas are not a recognized medical treatment. If you think you are ill, see a doctor first. It’s also a good idea to consult your doctor before taking any herbal tea if you have an existing health condition.
- Most herbal teas don’t contain caffeine.
- Most herbal teas sold in stores are safe for consumption. However, avoid drinking too much at a go as there could be some adverse side effects. Also be cautious if you are taking medication. Ask your doctor if there will be any negative interactions.
- Keep teabags or loose leaf tea in an airtight container. They can absorb moisture and lose their potency.
- Certain herbal teas are safe for children and pregnant women. Before buying any herbal tea, check the package for usage warnings and advice. If you have any particular safety concerns, always talk to your doctor.
- Always check the ingredients list for anything you are allergic or sensitive to.
All you need to make herbal tea is the tea itself in form of teabags, fresh herbs or dried leaves and hot water. If you want cold herbal tea, you still have to use hot water first to steep the tea and then cool it.
Do not put the tea in the water as it boils. Rather, pour hot water over the tea in a cup or container.
You then need to give the tea time to steep. This will depend on what kind of tea you are making. The general steeping time is 3-15 minutes. The longer you leave the tea in the water, the more flavourful it gets. But beyond a certain point it begins to turn bitter.
You can also do some trial and error. Try different steeping times until you find the one that produces the perfect cup of tea. You can also vary the temperature of the water a bit and see the results. Use a digital or smart kettle to boil water to a specific temperature.
Make sure you cover the tea as it steeps to avoid losing any flavours.
There is a lot of debate about whether teabags or loose leaf produces the best tea. It doesn’t matter. Each form has its signature style. Use whichever is most convenient for you or the one you prefer most. The resulting herbal beverage will just be as beneficial for your health.
A lot of people enjoy their herbal tea unsweetened but there is absolutely nothing wrong with adding a sweetener; just a little. You can use good old sugar or add some honey.