[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
We hear more frequently about Tea rather than Herbal Teas/Infusions and yet the latter, the idea of which is a little “old-fashioned” and linked to the belief that we can only consume it in the evening in front of a good film (plaid obligatory), offer a wide choice of tastes, health and beauty benefits while having a wide choice of aromas… There is something for everyone!
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
The virtues of infusions and herbal teas are indisputable, they have an effect on your skin (radiant complexion), your nails, your hair and also improve your health: cleansing, detoxifying, improves transit, sleep or stress.
What are the differences between teas and infusions?
First of all, know that we talk about herbal teas/infusions and teas to refer to aromatic drinks obtained from plants. So far, it’s the same!
The difference between these drinks lies in the fact that herbal teas and infusions are obtained from plant extracts (chamomile, orange tree, licorice, verbena, lime blossom, etc.). There would therefore be as many possible herbal teas as there are plants. While tea is made from the leaves of a single tree: the tea tree (Camellia sinensis). For information, the latter is originally from China.
Unlike tea, the infusion does not contain theine (a stimulant as powerful as coffee) and can therefore be drunk at any time of the day. Tea should be taken away from meals (3 hours before and after your meals) because it prevents the proper absorption of iron from our foods.
A little history ?
For millennia, humans (like animals) have drawn from nature to meet their food needs or to treat certain illnesses. It would be the Mediterranean and Near Eastern civilizations, 4000 years before our era, which would have established the foundations of what we today call phytotherapy: alternative medicine which treats only with plants. It seems that this is the starting point for preparing herbal teas.
In ancient times, herbalists, druids and doctors listed thousands of plants with therapeutic properties throughout the West. Through herbal teas or poultices, the Romans and Greeks used the virtues of these plants to heal themselves.
In the Middle Ages, herbal teas were the main pharmaceutical resources. Then, appreciated by the Chinese, herbal teas were exchanged for tea.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, herbal teas were consumed in the belief that they could increase fertility, longevity or even achieve immortality… Long live the King!
Nowadays, we use infusions and the power of plants to help us sleep better, digest more easily, reduce our stress, detoxify our body, etc. For a better lifestyle, a “healthy life”.
Plants with multiple virtues – the choice is yours!
Eliminate stress and anxiety
Chamomile: for a liter of water, all you need is a small handful of its yellow and white flowers to benefit from the virtues that this plant has to offer us. Soothing and relaxing, it can be an ally during stressful times.
Lemon balm : recognized for its virtues in cases of stress.
The tulsi: Also known as holy basil, tulsi is a medicinal plant native to India. It is a plant which in the Ayurvedic tradition helps to resist stress and psychological exhaustion. Its leaves are used as a relaxing infusion.
The poppy: with its delicate bright red flowers that bloom in spring, cousins of the poppy, dried poppy flowers used in infusion regulate emotions and soothe states of stress.
Ginseng: used in Chinese tradition to improve states of stress thanks to its calming action on the body and its adaptogenic properties.
Hawthorn: rich in active ingredients with soothing and calming benefits. As an infusion, it is used in cases of stress. It is also a natural sedative known to reduce palpitations.
Better digestion for me!
Cardamom : queen spice of Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Properties on small transient digestive discomforts such as sour stomach.
Licorice : known for its restorative and protective properties on the lining of the stomach and esophagus. It soothes irritations and supports the formation of mucus, which protects the stomach wall from gastric acidity.
Peppermint: stimulate sluggish digestion and boost the secretion of bile, essential for digesting fats. Essential plant for heavy meals. It has been used since Antiquity for its digestive properties.
Fennel : known for centuries to stimulate digestion and for its anti-bloating properties.
The melisse : promotes digestive well-being. It has benefits for stomach cramps or intestinal and digestive spasms due to stress. In herbal tea, lemon balm flowers (aerial part) promote the secretion of bile and soothe bloating. They promote the evacuation of gases which slow down transit.
L’artichoke : traditionally known to stimulate the production of bile and facilitate its evacuation. Watch out for the bitter taste!
Rosemary : hepatoprotective (concers the liver) and digestive benefits.
Want to sleep like a baby?
Rooibos : bush very popular in South Africa, does not contain theine. When infused, rooibos has a gently spicy flavor. When combined with slightly sedative plants such as hops and hawthorn flowers as well as stress-relieving bitter orange flowers, you obtain a perfect infusion for a good restorative sleep!
Linden, chamomile or lemon balm: known for centuries for their relaxing virtues and their beneficial effects on sleep. Consume them as an infusion, in the evening at bedtime, alone or combined. In case of temporary insomnia, you can also opt for valerian herbal tea with stress-relieving properties.
Mallow, passion flower, bitter orange blossom: relaxing plants from Asia.
You will have understood, there are so many plants that have benefits to offer us! Impossible to list them all… My question is: why deprive yourself of them? Let’s take advantage of what the earth offers us.