I will admit. I did not grow up drinking tea and I didn’t understand the people that chose tea over coffee. I always found that sweet tea was far too sweet, and green tea tasted like freshly cut grass steeped in water. I only recently discovered my love for the stuff after I was diagnosed with cancer back in 2016. I did a lot of research on the benefits of tea, and actively chose to make it a part of my lifestyle based on what I’d discovered. These days, long walks down the tea isle are seriously my jam. …..Er cup of tea.
Since I’ve acquired a taste for tea I now know how great it is as a substitution for other not-so-healthy drinks. Drinking tea instead of soda, juice, or sports drinks is a great way to remain hydrated while avoiding sugar and other additives. Tea has no sodium, fat, sugar, or calories- just leafy goodness.
Chemical Components of Tea
Each type of tea contains different chemical properties and vary depending on how it’s processed and brewed. One of the unique chemical components (that coffee doesn’t contain) is L-theanine, an amino acid and natural nootropic. These are substances that improve cognitive function and have a calming, relaxing effect on the brain. Tea also contains around 5-120mg of caffeine per serving. It’s a pretty big variance because there are tons of ways of blending, preparing, and cultivating tea. It’s still less than coffee which is around 80-200mg of caffeine per serving.
When the caffeine in the leaves and the naturally-occurring L-theanine are combined, they produce a sense of heightened awareness, focus, and clarity. It’s no wonder why the monks and power brokers of Japan’s past would meditate with green tea and matcha.
Matcha Vs. Green Tea
The main similarities between matcha and green tea are that they both have a very earthy and grassy taste profile, but that’s pretty much it. Green tea tends to be fresh, light, and delicate while matcha is more rich and intense in flavor. Although matcha and green tea are derived from the same plant, they are cultivated and processed differently. Most green teas come from China while matcha is cultivated in Japan. Both teas are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, but matcha contains anywhere from three to ten times the quantity of antioxidants contained in standard green tea. It is also packed with catechin or EGCg, one of the most powerful types of antioxidants. I use Yogi green tea and I’m really loving Pique Tea Sun Goddess Matcha right now.
nettle leaf tea
Sometimes referred to as “stinging nettle,” the nettle plant has a bright green color and tapered heart-shaped leaves. Not to be confused with its cousin, “burning nettle” or like most southerners call it, “burning grass” which is found in almost every field in Louisiana, and the memory of its sting has been reminding me to wear shoes outside since I was 5 years old.
Although touching nettle plants with bare skin can cause a painful sting, there are some really powerful compounds found in stinging nettle. It’s been used for hundreds of years throughout parts of Europe to help with muscle aches, skin conditions, urinary tract health, arthritis, allergies, and female reproductive health. Studies show that consuming nettle leaf supports milk production, eases bloating and menstrual cramps, and can even strengthen the immune system. I use this Traditional Medicinals tea during my menstrual cycle, and it has a very gentle, earthy taste.
Raspberry leaf tea
If I could recommend a single tea to all the baby mamas out there, it would be this one. Red raspberry tea contains the alkaloid, fragrine, which helps tone the uterus as it prepares for childbirth. One study that was taken on a group of pregnant women found that it helped shorten labor and resulted in fewer medical interventions, including cesarean.
Now, I do have to inform you, it unfortunately tastes nothing like raspberries. It has more of a black tea taste which isn’t a bad thing, but the name can be deceiving if you’re expecting a berry-tasting tea. Raspberry tea is also really great for menstrual cramps, improving reproductive health, and can help prevent miscarriage by strengthening and toning the uterine wall. It’s also rich in vitamins C, E, A, and contains trace minerals such as zinc, chromium, and manganese. I usually find this tea at Target or Whole Foods, but Amazon carries it too.
Dandelion root tea
Saved the best for last you ask? Yes, yes I did. This little flower that you once wished upon and blew off its feather-like leaves is chock-full of benefits. It’s part of the daisy family and is rich in vitamins A, E, C, and K. Dandelion root is amazing for improving liver function as it contains beta-carotene that has been shown to have protective effects on the liver. Plus, there’s also a carbohydrate found in dandelion root that protects the liver from cellular damage. Amazing right? You may notice these “weeds” popping up during the springtime which is no coincidence. Spring is a time for renewing and cleansing. So essentially God is reminding us to support/clean out our precious livers. Back when I had cancer my liver was sick and enlarged, and I was encouraged by my holistic doctors to ingest dandelion root every day until I was healed. I still use it to this day and I just love steeping roasted dandelion root tea, and sipping it while I dive into a good book.
I hope ya’ll enjoyed my spill..