News from CRIS: Herbal Tea

April 4, 2023

What is herbal tea?

Herbal teas, sometimes known as herbal infusions or tisanes, are beverages made by steeping dried herbs, flowers, fruits, and/or spices in hot water for consumption. 
People often add accompaniments like milk, plant-based milk, sweeteners, and other ingredients. 

How is herbal tea different from other teas?

We make traditional teas like green or black tea from tea plant leaves called Camellia sinensis. Herbal teas do not contain traditional tea plant leaves. 

Are herbal teas caffeinated? 

Most herbal teas are naturally caffeine-free. However, some herbs like yerba mate and guayusa contain caffeine, and manufacturers may add these caffeine-containing herbs to herbal tea blends. 
If you want to avoid caffeine, check the labels for ingredients to ensure caffeine-containing herbs are not included.

Do herbal teas have bioactive properties? 

Herbal teas may contain bioactive compounds that potentially provide health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. 
However, the strength and effectiveness of these compounds may vary depending on the purity, potency, dose, preparation method, and more. 
It's important to note that herbal teas are not a substitute for medical treatment or advice and should not be relied upon to cure or treat any medical conditions. 

What are common ingredients used in herbal tea blends?

Below are common ingredients used in herbal teas and their purported properties.

Please note that herbal teas are NOT pharmaceutical medications, meaning while they may possess specific properties in a research setting, they may perform very differently in a home brewed herbal tea. 

  • Astragalus: known to potentially enhance immune function and may have potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects
  • Chamomile: known for calming and soothing properties, it may be useful to help improve ailments, including anxiety, insomnia, and digestive disorders
  • Echinacea: known for its potential ability to enhance immune function and reduce the severity and duration of upper respiratory tract infections
  • Elderflower: may be useful to help improve respiratory infections and may have potential anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects
  • Ginger: known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, it may be useful for relieving symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and other digestive ailments
  • Hibiscus: known for potential cardiovascular benefits, including reductions in blood pressure and improvements in lipid profiles
  • Lavender: known for its relaxing and calming properties, and it may be useful in alleviating symptoms of anxiety and improving sleep quality
  • Lemon balm: known for its calming and relaxing effects, it may be helpful in alleviating symptoms of anxiety and improving sleep quality 
  • Peppermint: known for its potential ability to relieve symptoms of digestive disorders, it may be helpful in aiding digestion
  • Rose hips: rich in vitamin C and may have anti-inflammatory effects, as well as potential benefits for skin health and wound healing
  • Rooibos: known for containing high levels of antioxidants, which may help to protect against a range of diseases
  • Yerba mate: known for stimulating properties and may help to improve cognitive function, boost energy levels, and improve mood

Are herbal teas safe to consume? 

Herbal tea ingredients are generally recognized as safe, and most people can safely consume herbal tea in moderation. 
However, you should avoid teas if you have specific allergies or take medication that may have interactions. Additionally, some people may experience side effects like an upset stomach. 
It's best to consult with your healthcare provider before consuming herbal teas regularly, particularly if you have any health issues or are nursing or pregnant.


To continue reading the entire blog post, visit: