Herbal Teas Perfect Introduction to World of Natural Medicine

| by Kate Wharmby Seldman

Are you curious about natural medicine but worried that you don’t know enough? Maybe you’d like to start using natural remedies, but you’re not quite ready to enter the world of homeopathy. Drinking herbal tea is a good way to ease into treating ailments naturally. You probably have some herbal tea in your pantry already.

Chamomile is one of the most common herbal teas people drink. It has a mild sedative effect, so it’s perfect to use as a sleep aid. It also soothes stomach pains and acts as a gentle laxative. It helps alleviate menstrual cramps: research indicates that chamomile raises levels of glycine, a substance that calms muscle spasms.

Some people can have serious allergic reactions to chamomile – if you’re allergic to plants in the same family, such as ragweed, daisy, and marigold, it’s very important to consult a doctor before drinking this tea. Also, if you’re pregnant, don’t drink chamomile tea: it can stimulate uterine contractions. Chamomile has a blood-thinning effect, so if you’re already taking blood thinners, don’t drink this tea.

Lots of people have peppermint tea in their pantries. It’s good to treat an upset stomach, especially when it’s combined with chamomile. Recent studies have indicated, however, that peppermint tea might lower testosterone. For the women taking part in this study – who were suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome – this was good news, since less testosterone meant fewer symptoms for them. However, for males, this effect needs to be studied further, as it could affect fertility.

Red raspberry leaf tea is good for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive. It’s said to reduce labor pains. It tones the uterus and pelvic muscles, but does not stimulate contractions, so it won’t induce labor or miscarriage. Still, it’s not recommended to drink it in the first trimester of pregnancy, especially in large quantities. Don’t drink red raspberry leaf tea two hours before or after taking vitamins; the tannins in the tea could affect the absorption of vitamins into the body.

Basil tea is excellent if you’ve overindulged – it combats bloating, nausea and indigestion. Ginger tea is also good for nausea of any kind, from morning sickness to motion sickness and anything in between. Try Red Clover if you’re suffering from the hot flashes and mood swings of menopause, and add nettle and dandelion to a peppermint-red raspberry leaf tea if you want to up your milk production while breastfeeding.

As with any herbal remedy, check with your doctor before drinking herbal tea, just to make sure what you’re drinking doesn’t conflict with medications you’re on or health conditions you have.

Originally published at GrannyMed