Why You Should Drink More Tea in 2013*

surely those tiny arms are a hindrance when pouring?

surely those tiny arms are a hindrance when pouring?

*I really wanted it to be 2003, so that headline would rhyme.

Among the many, wonderful presents my industrious mother-in-law stuffed into my Christmas stocking was this:

I admit to being jealous of its stylish red knit

and now I want a knitted red sweater too

Yep, that’s a tiny teapot wearing a tea cosy.

And, if that weren’t genius enough, there’s a tiny teacup attached to the tiny bottom of the tiny teapot for enhanced convenience and cuteness.

#2984 on the List of Reasons Why I Married Hubs – his mother is awesome.

so very awesome

so very awesome

What dearest MiL knows is that I’m a prolific tea-drinker (unfortunately that also makes me a prolific pee-er, but we’ll not get into that here). It’s tasty, it’s warm, there are many flavours and it’s good for you – what’s not to like?

I’m going to skip over the well-known health benefits of green and black tea, and introduce you to some favourites of mine and how they could help treat a whole load of icky complaints – from PMS and bloating to constipation and inflammation.

Raspberry Leaf

yes, sometimes my system needs support

not quite as tasty as actual raspberries sadly

I’ve said it on facebook and I’ll say it again – if you are a tea distributor, please don’t put “supports the female system” in large type on the front of your box of raspberry tea.

Anyone who looks in my cupboards or sees me making tea is immediately encouraged to think about my lady parts. Not cool.

That minor quibble aside, I’m addicted to raspberry tea and yes, I have noticed a difference in my ‘female system’.

Raspberry leaf tea has been used as a tonic for womanly troubles for centuries. It strengthens the uterus and, if you’re pregnant, can help with morning sickness, delivery, post-partum bleeding and even getting your milk in for breastfeeding.

If you don’t have a bun in the oven, it’s helpful for cramps and bloating. I drink it because I’m an endo girl and find that it really helps with the bloating and icky digestive stuff. Of course, this is all anecdotal but give it a try – you might be surprised!

And, if you are not female (or have a perfectly functioning female system) you can still drink it and get the benefits of a load of magnesium, potassium, iron, B vitamins and vitamin C.

Ginger

you can also make this yourself with boiling water and a few slices of the fresh root

you can also make this yourself with boiling water and a few slices of the fresh root

Ginger is a powerful digestive tonic and natural anti-inflammatory. This guy will help soothe symptoms of IBS, constipation and could even help shrink cancer cells.

The side effects of drinking too much ginger tea include stomach problems, cramps and heartburn.  Be warned that it can also interfere with some medications such as blood thinners and beta blockers.

I don’t drink ginger tea as much as my 3-cups-a-day raspberry habit but it’s the one I reach for after a heavy meal or if I’ve eaten too much rich food (see also peppermint tea which is great for the post-binge heaviness). I suspect that unless you’re drinking a gallon of it a day, you’re not going to see side effects but it’s helpful to be aware of them.

Camomile

better for a cold (and your body) than tylenol

better for a cold (and your body) than tylenol

I got into camomile tea about a year ago when I was looking for answers to some terrible hormonal bloating.

Swelling up like a binge-eating manatee three weeks out of every month was turning me into a crabby, uncomfortable witch (poor hubs), and I was desperate.

Enter camomile tea. It made a huge difference. Seriously. When I went digging for answers, it made sense – camomile isn’t just used as a sleep aid. It’s also a powerful muscle relaxant (so great for cramps) and it boosts the immune system so protects against colds and flu.

All that from one cuppa? The science is pretty mind-blowing.

Teabags or Loose?

So those are the big hitters. I also mix it up with some peppermint, jasmine and green every once in a while (yep, I’m wild).

this is just the tip of my tea drinking iceberg

this is just the tip of my tea drinking iceberg

Of course the teabags you buy from the store are never going to be as nutritionally packed as fresh herbs. If you’re interested in buying the herbs yourself, I’d strongly recommend Mountain Rose.

Sadly though we don’t live in a world where that’s always possible. If, like me, you’re stuck with generic teabags, don’t despair – there’s still a lot of health benefits to be found in the humble teabag.

Just make sure you’re buying organic, high-quality tea where possible and check the ingredients – some blends sneak in the ol’ ‘natural flavours’ which gives them license to dump any old rubbish in there.

Weigh in: what’s your favourite cuppa? is tea part of your medicine cabinet? do you agree that “supports the female system” should be banned?

This post also appeared at Fight Back Friday.

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18 thoughts on “Why You Should Drink More Tea in 2013*

  1. i’m a tea-lover, too, but i’ve gone right off it since i became pregnant 😦
    i’m looking forward to enjoying my tea cupboard again! i know you’re not in canada, but just for kicks, you might want to check out davidstea.com – they carry a great selection of amazing loose teas. i’m addicted to (well, was addicted to) their toasted walnut green tea. yum!

  2. Reblogged this on THE RESPONSIBLE CONSUMER and commented:
    Tea party in a post – and it’s not political – but it is a nice herbal round-up brought to us from “Things My Belly Likes.” I’m all for herbal teas with one caviat: if you are on any meds at all, be sure to check with your doc or pharmacist first. Some obvious rules: if the tea does the same job as your med, you’re doubbling up and that could mean danger. If the tea does the opposite of your meds, you may be canceling out. More danger. There are potentially other issues as well, so proceed with caution please. Also, be sure to read the ingredients and check for gluten or soy if these are a problem for you. A suprising number on noncaffinate herbal teas have soy isolate in them. My fave herbals: Traditional Medicinal. Thanks, Cat, for a fab post. Yours for a tea-riffic day. Jamie

  3. I go through phases. I like green tea in the morning, I take mint tea after a heavy meal and I like ginger and lemon tea when I have a cold. When it’s cold I like Indian tea, a mixture of spicy herbs like cardamom and cinnamon. Friends know I love tea so I got a lovely selection box at Christmas.

  4. Rooibos tea is a good caffeine free alternative to black or green tea hot or iced. Oolong is another fave. My new addiction is Kombucha tea. I am going to give the raspberry leaf tea a try though

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