Guide to Herbal Teas

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Table On Herbal Teas

Herbal Teas (Alternative Names) Quantity/ per cup or person Temperature Length of Infusion Health Benefits Caution
Aniseed (Anise) 1 heaped teaspoons (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 6 - 8 minutes Eases symptoms of ingestion, nausea, flatulence and colic
Catnip 2 heaped teaspoons (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Eases symptoms of flu and colds; calms nervousness and nervous headaches; helps a restless child to sleep; eases discomfort of stomach pains - colic, flatulence and acidity Not to be taken during pregnancy
Camomile 2 heaped teaspoons (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Calming and moderately sedative; eases indigestion, diarrhoea and flatulence; relieves aches and pains of colds and mild flu
Cinnamon 1 heaped teaspoons (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 6 - 8 minutes Stimulates circulation; eases digestive problems - nausea and diarrhoea and strengthens digestion; antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-fungal Not to be taken during pregnancy
Damiana 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Diuretic and provides mild antiseptic for urinary system; tonic for lethargy and mild depression; improves impotence in men and strengthens ovaries and menstrual-related headaches Do not taken continuously as reduces iron absorption
Dandelion - leaves 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Diuretic; provides potassium; cleanses the blood; stimulates liver and gall-bladder activity
Ephedra 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Stimulates metabolism; diuretic Not to be taken by those with thyroid disorders, glaucoma, diabetes, enlarged prostate, high blood pressure, heart disease. Ephedra can cause insomnia and anxiety.
Ginger 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) 100oC (212oF) (simmer) 5 - 10 minutes Relieves indigestion, cramps, vomiting, flatulence and nausea; increases circulation and warms; relieves symptoms of coughs, colds and flu; reduces hangover's symptoms
Ginkgo 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Reduces anxiety and tension headaches; increases blood flow to brain so eases senility and memory loss; aids bloods vessels ability to deliver oxygen and reduces platelet activity factor and clotting of blood Do not take continuously because can cause headaches or skin problems.
Goldenrod 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Soothes sore throats, reduces fever; eases symptoms of urinary infections; helps flush kidney and bladder stones; acts against candida
Gotu kola 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Stimulates nervous system, anti-inflammatory properties; eases urinary tract infections via a mild diuretic action; tones and strengthens reproduction function
Hibiscus 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Replaces electrolytes and aides recovery after sport; eases symptoms of colds, coughs and mild flu Only use Hibiscus sabdariffa not ornamental hibiscus
Honeybush 1 teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 6 - 8 minutes Eases symptoms of flu and colds; antioxidant; eases symptoms of menopause
Hops 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Relaxes the nerves and soothes the mind; addresses nervous irritability and argumentative nature; stimulates appetite and relives nervous-related digestive disorders Hops' pollen can cause dermatitis. Hops not recommended for those with depression.
Lavender 2 heaped teaspoons (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Relieves flatulence, nausea and stomach-aches; soothes, calms and strenghtens the nerves, acting as a good relaxant; eases muscle spasms; stimulates blood flow; relieves headaches, migraines and fainting Only use non sprayed lavender.
Lemongrass 1 - 2 level teaspoons (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Relaxes stomach muscles, relieving stomach cramp and flatulence; reduces fever
Lemon Verbena (Verveine) 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Tones and relaxes the whole nervous system; lifts the spirits; aids digestion and reduces cramps and nausea Do not use long term because can cause stomach irritation.
Linden (Lime Blossom) 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Reduces tension and stress; relieves symptoms of colds and flu, easing congestion; calms the mind and helps sleep Linden contains high levels of tannin so drinking a lot can make your mouth and throat very dry.
Licorice 1 level teaspoon (2½ g) 100oC (212oF) (simmer) 8 - 10 minutes Relieves coughs, sore throats and congestion; soothes digestive tracts; supports adrenal function; strenghtens and balances the female reproductive system Not to be taken during pregnancy, or those with edema, high blood pressure or heart problems. Women with estrogenic breast cancer should avoid licorice. Too much licorice can cause headaches.
Yerba Maté 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Stimulates brain function and concentration; increases energy and endurance; reduces blood pressure, cholesterol; strengthens the immune system[1] Contains caffeine
Melissa (Lemon Balm, Balm) 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Helps fight colds and flu; relaxes nerves and relieves nervous headaches / migraines; dispels melancholy and lifts flagging spirits; relieves digestive disorders relating to nervousness and overanxiety
Nettle 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Purifies and nourishes the blood; builds adrenal and kidney function; strenghtens pregnant women and aides milk supply for nursing mums; helps with moderate hayfever
Oatstraw 2 heaped teaspoons (2½ g) 100oC (212oF) (simmer) 15 - 30 minutes Calms and strengthens the nervous system; nourishes bones, teeth, hair and cartilage; increases stamina and raises energy levels
Raspberry Leaf 2 heaped teaspoons (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Tones and strengthens uterine and pelvic muscle to encourage easier labor; eases diarhea
Red Clover 1 teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 6 - 8 minutes Nourishes and purifies the blood; relieves symptoms of coughs and colds; supports nerves by relaxing and nutrient-rich tonic
Rooibos 1 teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 6 - 8 minutes Eases stress and nervous conditions; provides antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory, antiviral and good for circulatory health[2]
Rosehip/ Gratte-Cul 2 heaped teaspoons (3 g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Strengthen heart and brain; nourish blood and reproductive system; soothe sore throats and wards off colds
Rosemary 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Stimulates circulation and brain function; eases headaches; aides digestion especially indigestion and nausea after eating fatty foods[3]
Skullcap 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Tones and strengthens nerves, reducing anxiety; soothes nervous headaches and nerve-related muscle cramps; strengthens and stimulates digestion especially for nervous stomachs[4] Do not take too much in any 24 hour period as can cause giddiness, stupor, confusion and irregular pulse.
St John's Wort 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Strengthens and tones the nerves; lifts the spirits; aides repair of nerve damage[5][6] May conflict with antidepressants and drugs taken for breast cancer.[7]
Valerian 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Relieves anxiety and both encourages and deepens sleep; reduces anxiety and nervous excitability Not to be taken during pregnancy. Valerian can cause headaches and palpitations as side effects.
Yarrow 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) 95oC (200oF) 8 - 10 minutes Relieves onset symptoms of colds and hay fever; stimulates weak digestion; eases menstrual cramps; helps lower blood pressure and tones varicose veins Do not take large amounts during pregnancy, because it is too strong and bitter.

References

  1. Gaucho Gourmet (undated) Why is yerba mate is so good for you?, accessed 19 June 2016 [1]
  2. Organic Facts (undated) Health Benefits of Red Rooibos Tea, accessed 19 June 2016 [2]
  3. Organic Facts (undated) Health Benefits of Rosemary Oil, accessed 19 June 2016 [3]
  4. Organic Facts (undated) Health Benefits of Skullcap, accessed 19 June 2016 [4]
  5. Baseline of Health Foundation (undated) St. John's Wort - Nature's Remedy for Depression, accessed 19 June 2016 [5]
  6. WebMD (undated) St. John's Wort, accessed 19 June 2016 [6]
  7. WebMD (undated) St. John's Wort - side effects and safety, accessed 19 June 2016 [7]

Further Reading

  • Brown, K. (1999) Herbal Teas, North Adams, MA, USA, Storey Books. ISBN 1580170994.