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10 "Uncommon" Teas You Should Add To Your Stash (& Why)

Teas you may have never heard of before that are really, really good for you.

Wellness

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.

1. Lemongrass

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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, it can even make PMS symptoms (like cramping and bloating) so much easier to bear.

2. Pu-Erh

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 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

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Tastes Like: grass (kinda)

I'll be honest with you, if there is a name of 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?

4. Marjoram

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

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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.

6. White

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.

7. Yarrow

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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 that 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 because 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.

9. Kava

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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 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 on 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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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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