Herbal tea is any tea other than that from the actual tea bush. Herbal tea can be tisane or ptisan, both an herbal infusion originating in China and the middle east. The actual word tisane was originated from a greek word which meant to be made with pearl barley. Since herbal tea is not made from the actual tea bush, it is somewhat misleading, as it is not real tea. Herbal teas are actually created from the infusion of herbs, shrubs, bushes, roots and flowers.
There is a major difference between flavored tea and herbal tea. Flavored teas, while sometimes made from the same flower or plant as an herbal tea, is where the tea leaves from the tea plant are flavored with the flowers. The flowers are laid on top to the tea leaves which absorb flavor. Herbal teas on the other hand are the plant parts themselves, not derriving from the tea bush. To make herbal tea, you simply pour boiling water over them and steep. Once the steeping is done to taste, you strain and add sugar, honey and milk, if desired. The herbal tea that you find in stores in teabags are the same concept, broken parts of the herbal plant, placed in bags for at home infusion.
There are literally a boat load of different varieties of herbal teas. Since international trade has become so easy, we can access flowers, plants and bushes from around the world. There are literally thoudands of edible varities. With that said, there are a plethora of those that have become quite popular. Some of the popular herbal teas that can more than likely be found in your local superstore include anise, chamomile, ginseng, mate, raspberry and mint.
Herbal teas have been used for centuries to aid with a wide range of ailments. This form of medicinal use is commonly referred to as herbalism. The main three effects that people look for are the stimulant, relaxant and sedative traits. Since the actual health benefits have limited research and are controversial, herbal tea manufacturers are prevented from making health claims about their products in some countries. Additionally, herbal tea remedies are rarely recognized in western medicine. Some herbal teas actually have allergenics or toxins. Examples would be the alkalinity of Comfrey which is reported as healthy is small doses. Comfrey can however cause permanent liver damage if used chronically. Lobelia contains toxins that are along the same lines as that found in nicotine. Lastly, as with any plant, there can be alleric reations in those who are allergy prone. This should be a careful consideration. Most herbal tea companies that manufacture a product that contains a known allergan posts a warning on the box stating the ingredients and potential effects. Almost all developed countried require any herbal teas to be safe for human consumption.
Since herbal teas are becoming more popular, many individuals are researching China's theory of herbal tea remedies more in depth. China has been using herbs for healing for milinea's. There is formulated remedies for almost any health concern and also for increasing the quality and expectancy of life. Chinese look at the health benefits of several herbal teas, and then combine accordingly for treatment.
Herbal teas can be soothing, delicious, offer health benefits, aid in sleeping and even relieve tension. With so many available options, a little research may be needed to determine which herbal teas you want to try and then taste them to find your favorite. Keep in mind that there are literally thousands, and the best place to find most of the teas you will want to indulge in may be at specialty shops. Perhaps a sampler may be the most recommended route if you are a beginner.
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