I was enjoying a freshly brewed cup of peppermint herbal tea on a Friday night after a long day at work. The heavenly aroma of the tea and the delicious flavor was just what was required to relax and unwind after the tiring week and I was looking forward to having the same routine over the much awaited weekend. Since I was almost running out of my tea stock, I decided to order my favorite one online. I just happened to click on the reviews for the one I was ordering when I came across one that didn’t sit too well with me:

“Amazing quality. Everyone should definitely give it a try. But can we all please agree to not call it peppermint herbal ‘tea’ because we all know that herbal tea is not really ‘tea’.”

That comment left me feeling more than just a little surprised; it’s herbal tea so how could it be anything else? I was confused. I searched up a little more and was met with similar results. This got me into detective mode, searching and questioning all weekend, and I didn’t rest until I got to the bottom of my herbal tea’s cup.

So what is herbal tea?

‘Herbal tea’, less commonly known as tisane is made by infusing herbs, dried fruits, spices and other plant material in hot water. On the other hand, ‘real tea’, like black tea, green tea, white tea and oolong tea, is prepared using leaves from a plant called Camellia sinensis, or more commonly as tea plant.

Many people often ask the question: ‘does herbal tea have caffeine?’ and the answer is ‘No, it doesn’t’ which is another difference between herbal tea and the other kinds of teas. Another point to note is that herbal tea is not decaffeinated tea, in which the caffeine has been removed because herbal teas don’t have caffeine to begin with.

Herbal tea comes in many different tastes and flavors and are a tempting alternative to sugary beverages or water. Not only is the tea delicious, but benefits of herbal tea, supported by scientific evidence are also many. And why wouldn’t they be when herbal teas have been used as natural remedies for a variety of ailments for hundreds of years. Some types of herbal teas and their benefits are as follows:

  • Dandelion tea is a diuretic and laxative and helps flush out toxins from the body.
  • Ginger tea is one of the best herbal tea for constipation.
  • Chamomile tea is a commonly used herbal tea for sleep. It balances neurotransmitter levels and aids in bringing about sleep.
  • Chamomile tea is also a great herbal tea for anxiety and depression.
  • Herbal teas like peppermint, ginger, turmeric and eucalyptus teas are great for inflammatory problems.
  • Thyme tea is a commonly used herbal tea for colds. It is known to break fevers and relieve headaches. It also boosts immune responses.
  • Nettle tea and peppermint tea are high in antioxidants and help eliminate free radicals from the body, lowering the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.

These reasons are enough to get someone to give herbal tea a try. Even if you are a loyal black tea or green tea drinker, you can’t deny that the amount of caffeine that you consume as a result can be unhealthy. Substituting a cup or two of that with your choice of herbal tea, might be a step towards a more healthy living.

To sum it all up I’m quite happy to have had the chance to look deeper into the whole mystery of herbal tea, not really being a tea. Not only did it help me uncover the truth about the difference between herbal and regular tea, the many benefits of the former have tempted me to stock up on the various delicious types. I’m particularly enthusiastic about giving chamomile tea a try, because who doesn’t enjoy a good night’s sleep and all this detective work has left me feeling quite tired. So until next time, toodles!