By William I. Lengeman III
In the last decade or so a great deal of ink has been spilled to let the general public know about the potential health benefits of tea. Some of these claims are rather lofty, some may even be deceptive, but there seems to be little doubt that tea does actually confer some benefits to those who consume it.
What we don’t hear as much about are the health benefits of tisanes and other beverages that are usually lumped into the category of herbal teas. Read on for more on this topic.
But first a word about “real” tea. Is it possible that you can drink too much of it? Serious tea drinkers would surely insist that there’s no way. A British newspaper examined this issue and concluded that tea, even in quantities of as much as eight cups a day, is not likely to be harmful, but the caffeine content might be of some concern to certain people.
Rooibos, otherwise known as redbush, is not technically a tea but is an herbal beverage that’s grown in one particular region of South Africa and nowhere else. Its increasing popularity in recent years may have spurred a study that discovered that it might confer some benefits on cardiovascular health. This was the first-ever human clinical trial conducted on rooibos.
Yerba mate is another herbal beverage that tends to be lumped in with tea. Over the past few years it has become increasingly popular outside South America, where it’s long been a staple beverage that rivals or exceeds coffee in popularity. The results of a study by University of Illinois researchers were published in 2007. They indicate that yerba mate might aid in increasing HDL (good) cholesterol and lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Chamomile is another tisane that is much loved for its delicate flavor and the feeling of relaxation it’s thought to impart to drinkers. A study conducted by researchers in Japan and the United Kingdom found that chamomile helps prevent complications due to diabetes, including loss of vision, nerve damage, and kidney damage.
William’s blog, Tea Guy Speaks, is a great place to learn more about tea!