I’ve written before about the benefits of drinking warm or hot water throughout the day, especially during winter months. Warm water softens the intestinal tract, making it more porous and receptive to taking in water and rehydrating cells. Sipping hot water is also a very effective lymph-moving technique, as it dilates the lymphatic channels, allowing the lymph to flow unobstructed. This is key for cleansing the body of waste.
Herbal teas are a wonderful way to make staying hydrated healing and delicious. There are endless herbal and medical tea varieties on the market these days so feel free to experiment with any that sound appealing to you, but consult with a doctor before incorporating them into your routine if you have a serious illness or take prescription medication.
Teas with Fat Burning Potential
Matcha Green Tea – Matcha is the concentrated powder form of green tea. It contains about half the amount of caffeine as an espresso coffee. The caffeine in combination with calming amino acid, L-theanine, will help with mental alertness and concentration without the jitters and anxiety that sometimes come with a cup of joe. It’s very high in antioxidant compounds called catechins which have been shown to boost metabolism and help the body burn fat. For the cleanest matcha, look for organic matcha powder sourced from Japan–try The Republic of Tea’s Double Green Matcha Tea or Lean Green Tea.
DAVIDsTEA Cocoa Boost – Organic pu’erh tea is combined with chicory root and cocoa to make a metabolism-revving tea that will also satisfying your sweet tooth.
Tea for Stress
Organic India Tulsi Red Chai Masala – Tulsi, aka Holy Basil, is an adaptogenic herb which enhances the body’s natural response to physical and emotional stress. Drinking tulsi tea can be an effective way to prevent and combat the damaging effects of everyday stressors. I love the brand Organic India for their range of tulsi teas. My personal favorite is caffeine-free Red Chai Masala.
Teas for Gas and Bloating
CCF Tea – CCF tea is made with cumin seeds, coriander seeds and fennel seeds which is an Ayurvedic formula for beating bloat. These three spices work together to boost digestion, reduce bloating and dispell gas from the intestinal tract. To make, add ½ tsp each of the three seeds to 4-5 cups of boiling water. Steep for 5-10 minutes then strain the seeds and sip the tea throughout the day. Otherwise, if you have a Swell bottle or other thermos, you can simply add the seeds to the bottom, pour boiling water over the top and let steep all day, sipping as it steeps.
Pukka After Dinner Tea – This is a great tea to have–you guessed it!–after dinner if you tend to feel more bloated in the evening. Not only will it take care of your sweet tooth with its subtly sweet flavor, but the blend of herbs and spices will also soothe your intestinal tract after a meal.
Teas for Constipation
Warm water with lemon – So simple, but very effective! I personally have a mug of hot water with the juice of ½ lemon every morning. The warm water acts as a natural lubricant, softening the stool and encouraging movement of the bowels. The addition of fresh lemon stimulates peristalsis and kick-starts liver detoxification. Feel free to use lime if you prefer.
Slippery Elm Prebiotic Tea – Slippery elm is a mucilaginous herb which basically slimes up the GI tract. In this formula, it is combined with marshmallow root and licorice to create a slightly sweet tea that is effective for stimulating bowel movements and nourishing an irritated intestinal tract.
Natural Calm Magnesium Citrate – For many people, a good dose of mineral magnesium before bed will get things moving the next morning! Magnesium relaxes the bowels and pulls water into the colon, softening the stool and making it easier to pass. I recommend a dose of approximately 400 mg which you can take in powder or capsule form.
Tea for Heartburn
Ginger Tea with a Splash of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar – Sipping a cup of ginger tea (either tea bags or brewed with the fresh root), along with a splash of ACV, about 20 minutes before a meal can help stimulate digestion and act as an acid buffer to prevent heartburn. You can also have some after a meal if you’re uncomfortable or in pain.
Teas for Liver Detox
Traditional Medicinals Roasted Dandelion Root Tea – Dandelion root is great for supporting digestion and liver detoxification. It is also a natural diuretic which helps to purify the bladder and kidneys. I prefer to drink my roasted dandy tea with a splash of coconut milk, a dash of cinnamon and a few drops of stevia. Tastes a bit like a latte!
The Republic of Tea Get Clean Tea – With a base of rooibos, this detox tea actually tastes good unlike many of the bark-like cleanse teas out there! It incorporates milk thistle, an herb high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that is great for liver detox. Get Clean also includes dandelion for detoxing the liver and burdock root for cleansing the blood and lymphatic system.
Tea for Pain and Inflammation
Gaia Herbs Golden Milk – A creamy and delicious way to enjoy the pain-reducing and inflammation-fighting properties of turmeric is to make ‘golden milk.’ You can, of course, make it yourself at home using turmeric powder, or simply add 1 teaspoon of Gaia’s Golden Milk blend to your mug of warm non-dairy milk and away you go.
Teas for Sugar Cravings
Blue Lotus Rooibos Masala Chai – Rooibos is a naturally caffeine-free red tea that is bursting with antioxidants and minerals. Rooibos, along with warming spices like ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, helps balance blood sugar and prevents cravings for sweets. I love having a cup of the Blue Lotus chai after dinner with a splash of coconut milk and a few drops of stevia.
Many teas taste like dessert, without the calories. Try DAVIDsTea Spiced Apple or Mint Matcha, The Republic of Tea’s Ginger Chocolate Truffle, Tazo Sweet Cinnamon Spice, or Numi Organic Chocolate Pu-erh.
Teas for Insomnia
Yogi Bedtime Tea – This yummy tea combines the calming benefits of lavender and chamomile with the natural sedative powers of valerian and passionflower to make an effective sleep aid. Valerian is often used to treat sleeping difficulties due to it’s sedative effect, but it’s also helpful for reducing anxiety as it helps sustain levels of the calming neurotransmitter GABA in the brain. Passionflower calms and supports the nervous system, making it beneficial for restlessness and nervous tension. Both of these herbs are great for insomnia because they help you fall asleep easily without making you feel groggy the next morning.
DAVIDsTEA Calming Chamomile – If all you need is a gentle nudge to sleep, try a simple chamomile tea like this one. Blend it with warm milk to make a relaxing bedtime latte.
Tea for Sore Throat
Fresh Ginger Root Tea with Honey and Lemon – Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory that reduces pain and helps kill bad bacteria. To prepare fresh ginger tea, take two inches of ginger root, grate it, and add the pieces to two cups of boiling water. Steep for approximately 10-15 minutes and drink throughout the day. Feel free to add some raw local honey for its anti-microbial properties plus a squeeze of fresh lemon for a vitamin C boost.
Tea for Immunity and Cold + Flu Fighting
Pukka Elderberry & Echinacea – Echinacea is a traditional herbal remedy that is used as a powerful immune stimulator to help prevent and treat the common cold. Elderberry is a super antioxidant and immune system booster which has been shown to reduce the symptoms and duration of colds and flus. Drink this tea at the first sign of the sniffles!
Tea for PMS
Traditional Medicinals Cinnamon PMS Tea – This is a delicious tea to be drinking daily during the premenstrual period. It combines skullcap, lemon balm and cinnamon to support mood and ease irritability and discomfort. Skullcap and lemon balm reduce tension, relax the digestive system and help with PMS-related anxiety and insomnia. Cinnamon is anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory which aids in providing relief from menstrual cramps. It is also effective at balancing blood sugar levels for those women who experience carb and sugar cravings in the week leading up to their period.
Tea for Pregnancy
Traditional Medicinals Pregnancy Tea – Pregnancy tea combines raspberry leaf, nettle leaf and alfalfa for tea with a very high vitamin and mineral content. Both raspberry leaf and nettle leaf act as a uterine tonic. Nettle contains lots of chlorophyll and is nourishing to the adrenals and kidneys, while alfalfa boasts various enzymes to support digestion.
Tea for Breastfeeding
Traditional Medicinals Mother’s Milk – The herbs in this tea—fennel, anise, coriander, fenugreek and blessed thistle—are galactagogues, which comes from the Greek word “galactos,” meaning “milk” and “agogue,” which means “bringer of.” Women have been successfully using these herbs for centuries to help stimulate breast milk production.7