Herbal Teas: Unpacking the truth behind herbal blends

11 Jun 2019

Category: Educational

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Do Herbal Teas Fulfil All Their Promises?

If you use social media, you’ve probably seen an advert for skinny tea, or a detox tea or some kind. It’s hard to avoid herbal teas. They vary from invigorating morning blends to night time sleepy fusions, but how much science is behind these teas. And, more importantly, do they actually work, or keep you healthy?

Weightloss Teas

Designed to help you stay trim, or at least prevent you from gaining weight, weight loss teas are usually a blend of herbal teas. Combining tea extracts such as green tea, which can increase metabolism, with ingredients such as fennel which can aid digestion and prevent bloating. Weight loss tea is a huge industry that quite often faces backlash.

Beyond the false claims and potentially harmful ingredients, ‘teatoxes’, as they’ve been cleverly dubbed by influencers look healthy on the surface. Primarily containing essence of dandelion, peppermint, green tea, and liquorice you’d be fair to think the teas are beneficial to consumers health. Well, unfortunately, according to dietitian and body positivity advocate Lyndi Cohen, author of The Nude Nutritionist, you’d be wrong. “These teatoxes are purely just a laxative tea that makes you feel unwell so that you don’t feel like eating much”.

So, from the mouth of a nutritionist, it’s best to give these novelty teas a miss. Remember that just because an influencer is promoting a product, it doesn’t mean it’s good for you – even if it looks like a healthy herbal tea.

Morning Herbal Teas

Morning teas are often marketed as zesty, punchy herbal tea blends that will invigorate you on an early morning and give you energy for the day. But, how much truth is behind these herbal teas?

Usually, if you’re on the search for a morning tea, you’ll come across ingredients such as ginseng, ginger, lemon, matcha, turmeric. All with the aim of energising and uplifting. Ginseng is believed to increase energy. Ginger, however, is great for digestion and also has a spicy, invigorating flavour. The two blended can certainly help wake you up on sleepy mornings.

Unlike weight loss teas, morning teas are simply a blend of energising essences. As such, they will not make you feel unwell, and you shouldn’t experience any adverse side effects! In fact, ginger even helps settle stomach upsets.

According to tea connoisseurs Pukka, “to jump-start your day, reach no further than Ginseng Matcha Green, the perfect blend of organic energising herbs and whole leaf green tea to kick-start your morning. Red ginseng is well known for its uplifting properties and as an adaptogenic herb for the adrenal glands. Matcha also contains various compounds that are associated with improving health, reducing stress and increasing alertness.”

They continue – ‘interestingly, both matcha and green tea contain L-theanine. This helps balance caffeine, providing a sustained energy release compared with both coffee and black tea. It’s the perfect brew for our over-stimulated busy world. Ideal if you’re looking for that morning boost of energy without the crash.” Have you tried this tea? If so, let us know!

Evening Herbal Teas

Blends that are aimed towards consumption before bed are often advertised as ‘sleepy teas’, or night time teas. Containing a fusion of sleep-inducing herbs and plant extracts, they usually feature chamomile and other natural ingredients such as lavender and liquorice.

Chamomile is a go-to for helping induce sleep, calm feelings of anxiety or nerves and help reduce insomnia. That’s why it’s so often found in sleepy bedtime teas.

Another ingredient that is traditionally found in bedtime herbal teas is valerian root. This is one of the most popular herbal sleep aids in Europe. Studies also suggest it decreases the amount of time taken to fall asleep and reduces nighttime wakings. Read this post to learn more about other traditional sleep-inducing teas.