Lesser Know alternatives to Camellia Sinesis (the tea plant): I have a severe intolerance to caffeine, so caffeinated tea is no longer an option for me. Decaffeinated tea is good, but as many of you may know, Decaffeinated tea goes through a process that causes the tea to lose many of the health benefits it originally had. Since I could no longer drink caffeinated tea, I began to look for alternatives. The three herbal teas listed below are naturally caffeine free, are loaded with different health benefits, and in my opinion even taste better than true tea. If you are a tea or coffee drinker give these a try as an alternative.
Rooibos Tea - Red Tea:
With its many positive attributes, Rooibos tea is a great choice of drink for health conscious people.
Rooibos tea contains no colors, additives or preservatives, making it a natural beverage. It contains no caffeine. According to studies conducted in South Africa and Japan Rooibos has been shown to aid in health problems such as insomnia, irritability, headaches, nervous tension, and hypertension.
Studies also show that this tea contains anti - spasmodic agents, which can relieve stomach cramping and colic in infants.
In South Africa Rooibos has been used to treat allergies such as hay fever, asthma and eczema very effectively .
It is also used to treat irritated skin. Rooibos is brewed and placed directly on infected areas. Rooibos contains anti - oxidants which can help slow the aging process and boost the immune system.
Rooibos is a great thirst quencher and is an excellent beverage for active people, including children. Most kids will drink Rooibos without added sugar or sweeteners.
This tea contains almost no oxalic acid, making it a good beverage for people prone to kidney stones. Rooibos contains the following minerals: copper, iron and potassium, calcium, fluoride, zinc, manganese, alpha- hydroxy ( for healthy skin ) and magnesium (for the nervous system) are also components of this tea. In South Africa pregnant women and nursing mothers drink Rooibos because it contains no caffeine.
Honeybush tea is commonly found in South Africa. It grows in the Coastal districts of West and East Cape Provinces stretching from Darling to Port Elizabeth. The tea has different names including Bushtea, Bergtee, and Bossietee among others. The shrub is grows mostly in mountain peaks, perennial streams, marshy areas, shalebands and wet southern slopes.
Honeybush tea is normally consumed with milk and sugar but to appreciate the taste and flavour, no milk or sugar should be added. Adding a small bit of honey brings out honey like flavour. Descriptions of the flavour vary from that of hot apricot jam, floral and honey-like. The tea is mildly sweet and can be used as iced tea when cold. It also blends well with fruit juices. Honeybush tea is prepared by boiling approximately 2-3 tablespoonfuls per every litre of water for 20 minutes.
Health Benefits of Honeybush Tea:
Studies have shown that honeybush tea:
-Is an inexpensive method of losing weight as it staves off hunger pangs and reduces water retention.
-Is caffeine free and has a soothing effect on the central nervous system.
-Has been traditionally used to treat cough as it contains piniton, a modified sugar that is used to make cough syrups. Piniton also lowers blood sugar levels and is currently being developed by pharmaceuticals as a prescription drug for diabetics.
-It can also be applied to the skin to soothe skin irritations.
-Contains anti-oxidants that help lower blood lipids (fatty substances).
-Contains elements that are known to prevent breast cancer, prostate cancer and uterine cancer.
-It keeps high cholesterol levels in the blood under control.
-Consists of elements that are used in the treatment of menopausal symptoms.
-It is rich in minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and sodium.
One of the nation’s best-selling herbs. It’s a very popular tea, by itself or in blends. Its apple scent is the fragrance in many herbal skin-care products. In addition, it has been used in shampoos since the days of the Vikings because it adds luster to blond hair. Contemporary herbalists recommend chamomile externally to spur wound healing and treat inflammation, and internally for fever, digestive upsets, anxiety, and insomnia.
In Germany, one pharmaceutical company markets a popular chamomile product which Germans use externally to treat wounds and inflammations, and internally for indigestion and ulcers. Chamomile is so popular in Germany that many people there calls it the herb that is capable of anything. Below is a list of the many healing benefits of chamomile.
1. Digestive Aid: Dozens of studies have supported chamomile’s traditional use as a digestive aid. Several chemicals in chamomile oil appear to have relaxing action on the smooth muscle lining of the digestive tract (making it an anti-spasmodic). In fact, one study shows chamomile relaxes the digestive tract as well as the opium-based drug papaverine.
2. Ulcers: Chamomile helps prevent stomach ulcers and speed their healing. In one experiment, two groups of animals were fed a chemical known to cause ulcers. The group that was given chamomile developed significantly fewer ulcers. The animals who developed ulcers were divided into two groups. Those that were fed chamomile recovered more quickly.
3. Women’s Health: Antispasmodics relax not only the digestive tract but other smooth muscles, such as the uterus, as well. Chamomile’s antispasmodic properties support its age-old use to soothe menstrual cramps and to lessen the possibility of premature labor.
Oddly enough, chamomile was also used to stimulate menstruation. The apparent contradiction remains unresolved, but European researchers have isolated a substance in chamomile that stimulates uterine contractions. Women should feel free to try chamomile both to soothe menstrual cramps and to promote the onset of menstruation, but pregnant women should steer clear of medicinal amounts.
4. Tranquilizer: Chamomile’s long history as a tranquilizer also has a scientific basis, according to researchers who showed that the herb depresses the central nervous system. Try an infusion when you feel anxious, or add a handful of chamomile flowers to a hot bath.
5. Arthritis: In animal studies, the herb successfully relieves arthritic joint inflammation. Animal findings don’t necessarily apply to people, but chamomile has been used traditionally to treat arthritis.
6. Infection Prevention: The Eclectic physicians of America use chamomile compresses to prevent wound infections. Some studies show chamomile oil applied to the skin reduces the time it takes burns to heal. Other studies show the herb kills the yeast fungi that cause vaginal infections, as well as certain other bacteria. Chamomile also impairs the replication of polio virus. For cuts, scrapes, or burns, brew a strong infusion, cool it, and apply in compresses.
7. Immune Stimulant: British researchers discovered that the herb stimulated the immune system’s infection-fighting white blood cells. Make sure to have a drink or two of this herb when you have a cold or the flu.
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