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Herbal Teas Tasty Or Toxic

Have you visited the tea section of your local grocery store lately? If so, you’ve seen the dizzying array of herbal tea blends, brands and flavors. There’s no doubt that herbal teas are a huge commercial success, and they’ve been enjoyed for centuries. Many tea lovers buy them for their smell and taste. Others expect herbal teas to be a healthier alternative for other caffeine-containing beverages. Some buy them strictly for the medicinal benefits or effects on the packages.

These claimed medical effects can include calming, soothing, and relaxing. On the other hand, other high-caffeine tea blends may promise increased energy and concentration. Green tea remains a top-seller for its legendary health effects. Is there a dark side to the booming herbal tea business?

Reading The Tea Leaves

In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the responsibility to evaluate foodstuffs and medications sold to the public. Herbal teas receive very little regulation. Generally, herbal teas fall into a gray area between foods and drugs. Traditionally, the FDA has considered herbal teas taken only for taste and aroma to be classified as foods. Another FDA “rule of thumb” has been that any herb that is safe for consumption in food is therefore assumed to be safe when taken as a tea. However, the FDA has been taking a closer look at herbal teas and their effects.

Are Herbal Teas Toxic?

That’s a difficult question to answer, as the FDA is learning. The large majority of commercial herbal tea blends contain multiple ingredients in relatively small concentrations. These teas are quite safe to drink when used according to the product instructions. Problems arise, however, when people prepare their own herbal teas, deliberately concentrate commercial blends, have an allergic reaction to the tea ingredients, or the tea is incompatible with prescription medications.

What’s The Problem?

The problem is one of consumer awareness. Many plants and herbs used in teas have specific and measurable medical properties. Caffeine is one of the best examples. It is a naturally occurring ingredient in both tea and coffee plants. Problems are possible when uninformed persons attempt to medicate themselves with teas.

Some Examples

* Chamomile is reported by some to be both a relaxant and a digestive aid. The chamomile plant is a member of the same plant family as ragweed, asters and chrysanthemums. People allergic to those plants should be cautious of chamomile tea.

* Comfrey tea has been associated with two reported cases of liver disease in the U.S. In one case, the patient abused the herb by drinking nearly a dozen cups of comfrey tea daily as well as consuming many comfrey pills. This extreme herbal dosage continued for over a year, resulting in the liver ailment.

* Lobelia tea can cause vomiting, breathing problems, convulsions, and lead to coma and death when used in large amounts.

* Aromatic sassafras tea in large amounts has caused cancer in lab rats. Oil of sassafras and safrole are the major chemical components of the sassafras oil. These components were banned from root beer decades ago. Although sassafras bark is banned from all food use, extract that contains no safrole is allowed.

Should You Be Scared?

Commercial herbal tea vendors would never willingly endanger you, their customer. Commercially available herbal tea blends are expected to be very safe to drink when prepared according to their directions. Similar to drugs, problems with herbs arise when they are abused or taken in extreme concentrations.

These herbs, even those in commercial herbal teas, can have medicinal effects. Therefore you should always talk to your doctor before using herbal preparations, especially if you use prescription medication. Even if you are not on medication, stop any herb use immediately if you experience unusual symptoms. The symptoms may be an allergy to the herb, or something totally unrelated to the herb. Only your doctor can tell you for sure

The Popularity Of Loose Leaf Tea And Whole Leaf Tea

Herbal tea has been a popular beverage in many cultures for thousands of years. The Ancient Asian peoples harvested loose leaf tea and whole leaf tea from many of the native plants found on that continent, as they continue to do today. The popularity of loose leaf tea and whole leaf tea has been adopted by modern cultures throughout the world.

The plants that have traditionally been used for loose leaf tea and whole leaf tea still come from China, Japan, India, Pakistan, and other parts of Asia. Yet there are other countries that are able to produce a substantial supply of these kinds of tea, due mainly to a similarity in climate and soil. Many parts of Indonesia and South America have climates that are equally conducive to the production of high quality herbal teas.

The yerba plant of Brazil in particular is very adaptable to loose leaf tea and whole leaf tea. The tea produced from brewing the leaves of this plant is often referred to as the �beverage of the gods�, which reflects the reverence that the Asian cultures have for their tea plants. The beneficial qualities of teas used by these different cultures are associated with the natural forces that are so often personified as deities and other entities in mythology and folklore.

The modern interest in loose leaf tea and whole leaf tea may be more practical in nature. The increased awareness of the healthy attributes of botanicals in general has included an understanding of the benefits of beverages derived from plants and herbs as part of a daily dietary regimen. The presence of high levels of polyphenols, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in herbal teas of all kinds has led to a larger consumption of leaf tea by the general public in all parts of the world.

The hibiscus plant, for instance, has been found to have a positive effect on the reduction of cholesterol, and its ability to help regulate blood pressure has been well-documented. Green teas of all kinds – such as oolong, long jing, and the so-called �gunpowder� varieties – contain high levels of antioxidants and vitamins that have been verified to be highly beneficial to the regeneration of cells and tissue in the human body, as well as in preventing disease in general.

There are also other ways to manufacture loose leaf tea and whole leaf tea for consumption. One very popular type is based on a method used for centuries in east India and Pakistan, known as Ayurveda. This process combines several botanical elements to produce a very beneficial brew that achieves many health benefits at the same time. Rose leaves, licorice root, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and coriander are some of the ingredients in a typical Ayurvedica blend, and the way in which they are combined results in flavorful, aromatic tea that contains a great deal of vitamins, minerals, and other elements that are very supportive of optimal health.

These are but a few of the loose leaf tea and whole leaf tea varieties that are available in today’s herbal tea marketplace

Natural Herbal Teas And Their Many Health Benefits

Herbal tea is a common terminology given for tea made from various herbs other than the common tea plant (Camellia sinensis). Herbal tea is also termed as “tisane,” which denotes that the herbal tea is not prepared from the common tea leaves. Almost all available herbs are used in the preparation of herbal tea. The plant parts used to prepare herbal teas are fresh or dried leaves, flowers, roots and seeds. Some herbs are wholly used with all parts.

Popular herbs that are commonly used in the preparation of herbal tea are Anise Hyssop, Arabian Jasmine, Common Sage, False Roselle, German Chamomile, Jamaican Tea Hibiscus, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Mints, and Roman Chamomile. Each herbal tea has different properties and it is specifically used for different ailments.

Blackberry tea is prepared from the blackberry bushes (Rubus from the family Rosaceae). This tea is used for various health benefits, especially to get rid of diarrhea.

Blueberry tea is made from the dried leaves of the blueberry plant (Vaccinium from the family Ericaceae). This tea is consumed to get rid of kidney inflammation and to ameliorate the flow of urine.

Dandelion tea is prepared from the leaves of the dandelion herb (Taraxacum from the family Asteraceae). The tea is believed to be very effective for improving the functions of the liver, getting rid of gallstones and in improving skin ailments.

Essiac tea is made from four important herbs which are Burdock (Arctium from the family Asteraceae), Indian Rhubarb (Darmera peltata from the family Saxifragaceae), Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra from the family Ulmaceae) and Sorrel (Rumex acetosa from the family Polygonaceae). The tea is renowned as an herbal cancer treatment. It is believed that the tea prevents the growth of new carcinogenic cells.

Ginseng tea is prepared from the aromatic tuberous roots of the ginseng plant (Panax from the family Araliaceae). It is believed that the tea greatly improves the resistance power of our body against stress.

Kombucha is a sweetened tea prepared from a group of microorganisms, known as kombucha colony, by using a fermentation process. The kombucha colony microbes consist of bacteria and yeasts; they are Acetobacter, Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Torulaspora delbrueckii, Candida stellata, and Zygosaccharomyces bailii. A chemical compound present in this tea seems to help the liver for detoxifying the body.

Persimmon tea is prepared from the dried and crushed leaves of the tree (Diospyros from the family Ebenaceae). The tea is believed to be rich in Vitamin C, and it seems to prevent scurvy.

As you can see there are many Natural Herbal remedies available to keep your body in optimal health without the side effects. This is just a small sample of herbal teas. There are literally thousands of varieties available. Don’t be afraid to sample different kinds. You just might find that special taste and wonderful aroma that you just can’t live without.

Healing Benefits Of Drinking Herbal Tea Remedies

With using different types of tea leaves for brewing, herbal tea remedies can come in different taste and blend. Then, there are also organic tea leaves; supposedly one grade higher than the rest and commanding a premium price. Some prepackaged teas also have a combination of more than one herb. You would find that you are spoilt for choice.

The most important thing to remember about drinking herbal tea is that you can use its healing properties to improve your health. Although herbs have been around for many thousands of years already, it is only recently that they become more popular especially with those who have been used to consuming a diet of coffee and taking drugs for instant reliefs. Herbal tea remedies are considered generally safer and with fewer side effects.

In the United Kingdom, for instance, many have started to drink more teas. The increase in popularity is a natural occurrence since the British already drink a lot of black tea. The idea that tea can help to soothe a medical problem adds to the heightened interest. In fact, most people drink 1,000 cups of tea each year.

As previously mentioned, each type of tea has different benefits. For instance, Chamomile tea is a mild sedative. Other herbal tea remedies can help to improve your digestive system, detoxify your body and improve your circulation. Of course, all of these things can also help to improve your mood, thus making you feel a lot happier and relaxed.

With increased popularity, you can buy herbal teas from your local supermarket. Many supermarkets and stores also have their own herbal tea brands available. Specialty stores selling tea may even go so far as to explain what the different benefits of each tea are.

Even then, it is important to remember that you still need to thread with caution. In large quantities or for certain types of herbs, there can be some negative effects from herbal remedies. There are 2 different reasons for this:
1.Some of the herbal tea’s ingredients look very similar to other plants that can actually be harmful to your body. For this reason, you should never pick your own herbs unless you are 100% sure of what you are doing.
2.If your doctor has prescribed you some medications for a medical condition, consuming certain types of herbal tea may have a negative effect on your body.

Be prepared to be amazed by the different taste sensations of herbal tea remedies. A true connoisseur will tell you that no two cups taste exactly the same! If you have read about the dangers of becoming addicted to caffeine, then consider herbal teas as an alternative. Many herbal tea remedies do not contain caffeine. Instead of coffee, think about switching to a cup of tea today

The Elegance Of A Glass Tea Set Or A Chinese Tea Set

The tea-drinking experience has been enhanced in so many ways in recent years. The days of one or two brands of pre-made tea bags or loose tea have been replaced by a plethora of tastes, aromas, and colors that have been the cornerstone of the herbal tea phenomenon. The variety of choices that are now available in types of herbal teas, and the ingredients that are used in them, has expanded the horizon of many a tea drinker.

The added bonus of having a beverage that is actually very healthy has created an even larger worldwide demand for herbal teas of all kinds. People are finding that drinking herbal teas and fruit infusions not only satisfies their taste buds, but also supports their physical and mental well-being and continued good health.

This increase in herbal tea consumption has created another market altogether. The way in which tea is served has been updated in a tremendous way, with an equal approach of modernity and tradition. Many people are finding that their tea time can be greatly enhanced by the addition of a glass tea set or a Chinese tea set. The use of glass is especially complementary to herbal teas, since many of them create as much color as they do flavor, fragrance, and nutrition.

The list of different types of herbal teas is too long for any one overview. Green teas alone account for scores of varieties. The traditional �Japanese� green tea, which itself is a derivation of the Chinese standard, can be had in many different ways, depending on the botanical ingredients contained within. Black teas, fruit infusions, and other herb and plant combinations will often result in a colorful and visually stimulating brew that should be seen to be fully appreciated.

A glass tea set or a Chinese tea set can properly display the many-hued brews that are possible with herbal teas. The rich yellows of oolong and chamomile, the bright reds of hibiscus buds, and the vast spectrum of browns that are part and parcel of herbal teas and fruit infusions come alive in a glass tea set or a Chinese tea set. The process of changing colors can also be appreciated as the herbal blends begin to brew in the water, whether in a glass teapot or in an individual glass tea cup.

The popularity of blooming teas, or flowering teas, is another part of the herbal tea experience that is best enjoyed with a glass tea set or a Chinese tea set. Asian artisans, skilled in the selection and joining together of botanicals, are able to create fantastic works of art that come alive in a brew. Jasmine buds, globe amaranths, and chrysanthemums literally grow into an organic design in a glass tea set or a Chinese tea set. The amazing visual show of flowering teas cannot be fully appreciated any other way.

The traditional designs of a Chinese tea set or the innovative creations that are being offered in many a glass tea set can truly enhance the already satisfying experience of herbal teas.