Tea is a soothing cold-weather drink, and it can have pretty miraculous healing properties. Did you know the teabag you choose can give you a unique result? Whether your goal is calming down, perking up, or recovering, there's a tea for that.
We asked tea expert Kristina Richens — a director at The Republic of Tea, certified tea specialist from Front Range Herbal Institute, and speaker from the SF International Tea Festival — to share what she's learned from her travels to China, India, Japan, and South Africa. She spoke about which teas you should brew up for each time of the day, as well as which ones help with certain physical goals (even if your goal is just to fall asleep!).
- Supercharge Your Morning: Black or Green Tea. The caffeine content with L-theanine (present in these teas) will give you a calm state of alertness.
- Get Through an Afternoon Slump: Green Tea With Ginkgo Biloba. Kristina told us that green tea can enhance performance, while ginkgo biloba can keep your memory sharp.
- Recover After a Workout: Black Tea. A cup of black tea has 88 milligrams of potassium, which contributes to muscular recovery.
- Reduce Stress and Anxiety: Green Tea, Lavender, or Chamomile. Time to unwind. "Chamomile and lavender are known as nerve-soothers and calming herbs," she said. Lavender and lavender oil are great ingredients to look for when relieving anxiety, and green tea and matcha also promote relaxation.
- Snooze Soundly: Chamomile or Valerian. Soothing and mellowing chamomile and valerian root will help you slip into a peaceful slumber. Valerian root, referred to as nature's Valium, is a common ingredient in sleep supplements thanks to its relaxing properties. "Valerian is also great for drinking before bed as it won't interfere with REM sleep," Kristina said.
- Slim Down: Dandelion or Peppermint. Dandelion has been said to help eliminate excess water weight, as well as aid in digestion — a key component in weight loss. "Dandelion's use traces back to the 10th century when Arabian physicians revered the root for its cleansing properties and as a natural aid for digestion," she said. Peppermint tea can help curb your appetite and support digestion as well. In herbal blends, Kristina says to look for ingredients like "gymnema leaves, which are known as the 'destroyer of sugar' in Ayurvedic medicine," and "cordyceps, a Chinese medicinal herb, [which] may boost energy and endurance, and can help rev up your internal engine and increase metabolism."
- Clear Skin: Rooibos or Green Tea. Antioxidant-packed rooibos and green tea can both help alleviate acne, pimples, sunburns, and uneven skin.
- Soothe an Upset Stomach: Dandelion or Ginger. The dandelion root is a natural aid for digestion and has cleansing properties, while ginger root is known to settle a stomach in all its forms.