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Using Herbal Tea to Improve Inflammation

Updated: Oct 25, 2022


When I first started to learn about herbal medicine, I was fascinated by tea and the vast array of herbs you could infuse. Drinking tea became a meditative process for me and one of my favourite methods to practice self care. Tea is one of the best methods for using herbal medicine as it is relaxing, hydrating and helps to sweat out fevers and toxins. Therefore, I wanted to share this information with you today to help you use tea to heal your body, mind and spirit.


Origin of tea

  • Tea has a long history of use of 3000 years in China and India

  • Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages second only to water

  • According to legend, in 2737 BC, the Chinese emperor Shen Nung was sitting beneath a tree while his servant boiled drinking water, when some leaves from the tree blew into the water. Shen Nung, a renowned herbalist, decided to try the infusion that his servant had accidentally created.


Constituents in plants

  • Plants commonly secrete compounds to protect against pests and diseases in the wild

  • These constituents are beneficial in the human body and have many positive actions in the human body.

  • Phytochemicals aid the function of the immune system. Protect cells and DNA from damage that may lead to cancer. Reduce inflammation. Slow the growth rate of some cancer cells.

  • These include Alkaloids, Amino Acids, Anthraquinones, Cardio-Glycosides, Coumarins, Flavonoids, Glycosides, Minerals, Mucilage, Saponins, Tannins, Vitamins and Volatile oils.

How to Steep Tea

  • Infusions can be made with fresh or dried herbs

  • Can be made with hot or cold water

  • Hot water breaks down and dissolves plant matter more readily than cold

  • Slice or coarsely grind herb.

  • Boil water and prewarm

  • Add boiled water to herb in a teapot and stir

  • Cover to keep warm and infuse for 10-30 minutes

Decoctions

  • Are used when stems, roots and barks are present in teas

  • A decoction is made by simmering or decocting the herb in water for some time.

  • To make coarsely grind herb

  • Put the ground herbs in a saucepan and add cold water (to make a stronger brew you can pre-soak in cold water)

  • Bring slowly to the boil

  • Simmer for 15 minutes on low heat until desired volume

Excellent herbs and spices for inflammation include: ginger, chamomile, burdock, rosehip, green tea, rooibos, holy basil, turmeric, and fennel. Below is one of my favourite recipes for inflammation and warming on cold days: add turmeric for an extra anti-inflammatory boost!


Recipe for Chai Tea










Ingredients:

  • 3 tsp fresh grated ginger

  • 6 cardamom pods crushed

  • 2 sticks cinnamon bark (or 1 tsp of powder)

  • 6 cloves

  • 500ml of water

Method:

  1. Put herbs and water in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid

  2. Bring slowly to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes

  3. Strain and add honey and milk of choice to taste

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