April 14, 2011

Herbal Tea - An Introduction

Simply, herbal tea is made from a combination of boiling water added with flowers, dried fruits, or herbs. Historically herbal tea has been consumed since ancient times.  Some Documents have been found dating back to beginner of Ancient Egypt as well as Ancient China that talk about the uses and enjoyment of herbal tea. In Chinese herbal tea is popular as liong cha (Cantonese) or liang cha (Mandarin).

Herbal teas are able to be brewed with fresh or dried  leaves, flowers, seeds or roots and usually by pouring boiling water over the plant parts as well as letting them steep for some minutes. Seeds and roots are also able to be boiled on a stove. After that The tisane is strained, sweetened as desired, and then served.

Herbal teas are mostly imbibed for physical or medicinal impacts, especially for relaxant, stimulant, or sedative properties. The medicinal impacts of certain herbs are talked in herbalism. The medicinal benefits of specific herbs often become anecdotal or controversial, and in certain countries (including the United States) herbal tea producers are prohibited to make unsubstantiated claims about the medicinal impacts of their products.

While most herbal teas are safe to consume regularly, some other herbs have toxic or allergenic impacts. Among the greatest causes of concern are:
  • Comfrey, that has alkaloids content that is able to cause permanent damage of live with chronic use.
  • Lobelia, that has toxins content which is same impact to nicotine.
Herbal teas have different effects too from person to person and this becomes complicated by the problem of potential mistake in identification. For example the deadly foxglove can be mistaken for the much more benign (but still relatively hepatotoxic) comfrey.

The herbal teas anti oxidants properties from temperate plants of mainly Lamiaceae have been well-studied while tropical herbal teas are less well-studied.  In recent time, a comparative study indicated that tropical herbal teas were more various in types and more variable in AOP values than herbal teas of temperate.

Usually herbal teas have lower values of antioxidant than teas of Camellia sinensis except guava, lemon myrtle, as well as oregano teas with AOP comparable to black teas. Mint and peppermint teas have stronger ferrous ion chelating ability than teas of Camelia sinensis

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