While I know that I'm made up of roughly 60 percent water and consuming it on a daily basis is one of the best things for my system, I'll be the first one to say that I'm not the biggest water fan on the planet. To me, drinking "wet air" isn't exactly my idea of a good time). At the same time, something that I will happily consume is tea. I don't just mean syrupy sweet southern sweet tea either. I mean warm herbal tea that only has a bit of honey in it. I think that, more than anything, it's psychological because, anyone who is a tea fan knows that herbal tea isn't too far off from straight-up water (especially if you don't put a lot of "stuff" in it). Still, because I know a lot of the health benefits that come with different varieties of tea, I feel like whenever I drink some, I'm doing a lot for my overall health and well-being.
So today, I'm going to share some teas that I think everyone could benefit from, whether you are a tea connoisseur or you just wanna try something new. I call them "uncommon" because, while they don't get the same kind of attention as say, green tea or rooibos does, they can still hook you and your system up in ways that will make you wonder why you haven't been drinking them all along.
Tastes Like: lemon/lime mint
If you like tea that has a bit of a citrusy taste to it, then you'll really enjoy lemongrass. Because it's got anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial (which means it either kills or significantly slows down the growth of bacteria and viruses) properties, it's the kind of tea that can help to reduce the risk of heart disease while also helping to prevent oral decay. Lemongrass tea is also really good for you because it helps to promote healthy digestion, regulate your cholesterol levels and, can even make PMS symptoms (like cramping and bloating) so much easier to bear.
Tastes Like: sweet/sour/floral
Remember that we're touching on new teas to add to your collection; ones that you quite possibly have never even heard of before. That said, I'd be semi-floored if you're familiar with Pu-erh. It's a caffeinated and fermented tea that is derived from China. Its caffeine helps to give you a bit of an energy boost while its fermentation helps to promote a healthy gut.
Some other benefits of this tea include the fact that it improves the health of your liver, can aid in inhibiting the production of cancer cells, is a great detoxifier, promotes bone health, and, because it's high in Vitamin C and antioxidants, Pu-erh a wonderful tea if you're looking for a way to strengthen your immune system.
Just make sure to keep in mind that, due to its semi-high caffeine content, too much of it could make it hard to sleep or give you dizzy spells (similar to when you consume too much coffee), if you're not careful. A cup a day is more than enough.
3. Sweet Violet
Tastes Like: grass (kinda)
I'll be honest with you, if there is a name for a tea that definitely sounds sweeter than it tastes, it's sweet violet. The best way to describe it is it tastes similar to grass or spinach. Yeah, that's not super-appealing, I know but if you add some lemon and honey to it, you won't even notice. Anyway, this tea makes the list because sweet violet is an herb that contains some absolute bomb medicinal properties. Some people drink it in order to soothe abdominal discomfort or heartburn. Others drink it because they are looking for relief from menopause-related symptoms. And still, other folks appreciate this particular tea because it relieves minor joint discomfort. Sweet violet tea can even help to treat headaches and, it even makes cold and flu symptoms less annoying. So yeah, I bet you can why sipping a tea that has a bit of a grassy taste could still prove to be pretty worth your while, huh?
Tastes Like: sweet thyme
If you enjoy tea that has a bit of an orange and woodsy taste to it, marjoram has totally got you. Aside from drinking it in tea form, marjoram is an herb that's pretty popular when it comes to Mediterranean dishes; in fact, it's oftentimes compared to oregano. It's also a tea that's loaded with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help to reduce bodily inflammation, treat fungal infections, help to heal stomach ulcers, bring balance to your hormones and even help to regulate your period. Something else that's great about marjoram tea is it can increase blood circulation throughout your system too, and that's always a good thing.
5. Juniper Berry
Tastes Like: sweet 'n sour wood
Another tea that has a bit of a woodsy taste is juniper berry; only this time, the "wood" has its own naturally sweet 'n sour taste. Just like its name suggestions, juniper berry tea is made from juniper berries, and since those berries are high in Vitamin C and plant compounds (like camphor and beta-pinene), drinking this tea can help to reduce cellular damage and strengthen your heart. Also, because juniper berries are full of antibacterial and antifungal properties, it's an ideal tea to add to your diet if you happen to have a yeast sensitivity (you tend to get yeast infections often).
Some people also hail this tea's ability to keep kidney stones at bay while naturally helping to clear up urinary tract infections (UTIs) too.
Tastes Like: sweet/light/delicate
White tea is rich in tannins, fluoride and catechins (plant-based molecules that are a kind of antioxidant). If you drink the tea, a couple of times a week, it will help to reduce your risk of heart disease, decrease the bacteria that can lead to oral decay, lower insulin resistance, fight aging signs, make your hair stronger, increase energy levels, improve liver health, reproductive health and even one's memory. Out of all of the teas on this list, this is perhaps that one that you should invest in first.
Tastes Like: Earthy bitterness
If you decide to do any research on yarrow tea, you'll be hard-pressed to find an article that doesn't refer to it as a "medicinal tea". And medicine doesn't always taste the best (hence the "earthly bitterness" reference). Still, it's got to go on this list of must-haves because yarrow tea is a tea that will help to increase the production of connective tissue (so any minor wounds that you might have are able to heal faster). Not only that but the flavonoids and plant-based alkaloids in this particular drink can reduce stress and anxiety, assist in relieving depression-related symptoms and increase brainpower as well. Some folks also like it because they say that it helps to make hay fever issues less of one if seasonal allergies are something that you happen to struggle with.
8. Osmanthus Flower
Tastes like: Fruity/floral/peach
This tea right here has manganese, selenium, and beta-carotene in it. The reason why you might wanna pick some up is that the Osmanthus flower is able to fight off free radicals, reduce oxidative stress, promote both skin and eye health, detox your system, decrease the amount of phlegm that your body produces, prevent bad breath and soothe lungs that may be inflamed due to allergies. All sounds pretty darn good to me.
Tastes Like: muddy/chalky water
I already know. You probably looked at this and was like, who wants to drink anything that tastes like dirt? Even still, I just had to add it because the health benefits are pretty amazing. As a plant that comes from the Pacific Islands, kava tea contains stress-fighting compounds called kavalactones that are able to help to treat insomnia, relieve anxiety-related symptoms, relax your muscles, reduce minor pain discomfort, and put you in an overall better mood. In fact, the sedative effects are so potent that it's best to not mix the tea with alcohol because it could possibly result in liver damage (yep, it's just that strong!). And what can you do to make the taste more tolerable? Pouring some juice or puree into it should do the trick. Again, it's not really a tea that is a favorite because of its taste, so much as what it can do for your overall health and well-being.
10. Bug-Bitten Oolong Tea
Tastes Like: floral/fruity/slightly "grassy"
If you just read the name of this tea and wondered if it was literal, it actually is. Bug-bitten tea is a tea where an insect known as a leafhopper has been feeding on the leaves of the plant, to the point where the leaves' plant chemistry totally changes. As a result, the enzymatic effects of the leaves mean that they become sweeter and more palatable. As far as oolong tea goes, it's a fermented and semi-oxidized tea that is really high in Vitamin C. Some of the health benefits that come with it include that oolong is able to ramp up your metabolism, lower your cholesterol levels, improve the health and quality of your skin and hair, stabilize your blood sugar levels and keep your bones nice and strong. If you want to give this particular kind of tea a shot, I found a loose tea form of it on Etsy for a pretty good price. You can check it out here.
As you can see, there is a world of teas out here that can do real wonders for your health. So, consider treating yourself to a new one over the next couple of weeks. I'm telling you, it's a pretty good alternative to drinking wet air (if wet air ain't your thing).
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