Fancy a Cuppa

Fancy a Cuppa?

By Angie Tandon

Crawling out of bed, stumbling down the stairs, searching for the kettle, hugging it and hoping for the caffeine rush that follows the first sip of strong coffee seems to be a thing of the past as we are becoming a more health conscious, and possibly even image conscious nation.

Herbal teas have become a statement to suggest ‘I look after myself’; they are the new bottled water! But the truth is, herbal teas and infusions have been used for centuries due to their therapeutic and possible medicinal purposes.

There seems to be a tea for every ailment nowadays, and it is even possible to get a natural pick me up from your elevenses. Most herbal infusions are free from caffeine and teas are either caffeine free or reduced enough to make a difference. Herbal teas are now replacing coffee and black tea in everyday life.

However, to get the best out of your green teas, herbal tea, infusions, speciality tea, organic teas, and Ayurvedic teas it’s good to know when to drink them and what benefits you will achieve.

Liquorice tea is a great reliever of coughs and colds, and it will also improve the digestive system and ease menstrual cramps. This cuppa is perfect first thing in the morning if you’re having one of those ‘I can’t afford to have a cold and/or PMS’ days.

Other benefits include a lessening of seasonal allergies and congestion whilst also increasing libido. However, if liquorice isn’t to your taste, cinnamon tea is also perfect for those wintry mornings. It relieves an upset stomach, improves your circulation, eases flu symptoms and regulates blood sugar.

For that extra pick me up on those low days, try a cup of St. John’s Wort tea. Its benefits include it reducing apprehension and irritability whilst perking up the mood.

Mint tea is a great afternoon tea; it helps alleviate headaches so it is definitely recommended throughout the day. On a tea or lunch break, it’s perfect, especially on those stressful days as it has relaxing properties and aids an upset tummy. Peppermint tea is also great after meals as it eases digestive problems as well.

There are many different teas that relax you and aid a restful slumber, the most popular being Camomile, as it is a calming herb.

Valerian tea is also a relaxant and promotes sleep whilst easing nerves too. Kava Kava tea has the same effects, and it is a diuretic as well.

Green, Jasmine and Oolong teas are all beneficial throughout the day. Although they can contain a small amount of caffeine as the de-caffeinating process is thought to lessen the benefits of the tea itself, it is a small amount compared to traditional black tea and coffee. These Chinese teas are very high in antioxidants.

Studies suggest they have medicinal purposes such as preventing arthritis, cancer, protecting the liver and heart whilst controlling high blood pressure.

Brewing the perfect cuppa is definitely exclusive to the drinker; there is no right or wrong way however bottled, filtered or mineral water is preferred. For a stronger taste and to invoke more flavour if using tea bags, it is recommended to ‘dunk’ the bag several times in the water.

Brewing times and water temperature are again specific to the drinker’s taste. The suggested brewing time is between 3-5 minutes. Teas can also be enjoyed with honey to sweeten or a slice of lemon.

Experiment with your tea habits, the perfect cuppa is only a teaspoon away.

Did you know?

Drink your way to the top…
80% of office workers now claim they find out more about what’s going on at work over a cup of tea than in any other way.

Big in India…
Apart from tourism, tea is the biggest industrial activity in India.

A long time ago…
Tea was created more than 5000 years ago in China.

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