Healthy & local: the effect of peppermint and other herbal teas
The health-promoting effects of tea have been felt for centuries. Even if not all effects have been scientifically proven, many of our native plants are ideal as home remedies because, in comparison to conventional medicine, their side effects are low.
Types of tea and their effects
The types of tea are diverse - and so are their effects on the human body. Even our great-grandmothers knew exactly which herb to infuse to achieve relief from which ailment. A brief overview of the most important types of tea.
Peppermint for a strong stomach
Because it strengthens the stomach, is energising and kills germs, peppermint tea has always been a classic among home remedies. It’s used to treat gastrointestinal complaints, cramps, flatulence, diarrhoea and nausea.
Peppermint oil is refreshing
Peppermint is also effective as an oil: it provides pain relief and has expectorant and cramp-relieving properties. Benefit from the cooling and refreshing effect either from a smelling stick or by applying the oil to your forehead.
Rosehip boosts the immune system
The tea is made from the dried husks of the rosehip and not only tastes pleasantly sour, but is also rich in vitamin C. Rosehip tea is widely used to combat colds and spring fatigue, and also to strengthen the immune system. In addition, rosehip tea can be soothing for stomach and intestinal complaints.
Stinging nettle: dehydrating effect
Most people remember stinging nettle as a painful nuisance from their childhood. However, the supposed weed contains a variety of valuable substances, including minerals and vitamins. In traditional herbal medicine, the stinging nettle is a true jack of all trades. For example: nettle tea is used to treat congested respiratory tracts, joint and muscle pain as well as gall and liver complaints. Its diuretic and dehydrating effect is pharmacologically proven.
Relieve flatulence with fennel
In the Middle Ages, people chewed fennel seeds to suppress bodily noises during the church sermon. Even today, every mother knows the calming effect of fennel on a baby with wind. In addition, fennel tea can soothe coughs and has expectorant properties to relieve sore throats and colds.
Anti-inflammatory substances in chamomile
The flower heads of chamomile contain antibacterial essential oils as well as calming and anti-inflammatory substances. For this reason, chamomile tea is often drunk for inflammatory stomach and intestinal disorders as well as flatulence. Liver and gall bladder diseases, colds, coughs and fever are further areas of application.
Verbena for coughs
Modern conventional medicine doesn't consider the effects of verbena to be proven, but practitioners of traditional herbal medicine still like to administer it. Its main use is for coughs and digestive problems. The plant is said to have stimulating, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
St. John's wort is a natural mood enhancer
The mood-lifting effect of St. John's wort has been relatively well documented in a summary of 42 studies. St. John's wort is used for mild or moderate depression. It’s also said to improve wound healing and have an anti-inflammatory effect.
The effect of green tea
Although green tea isn't a native tea, it’s wholly recommendable as a home remedy. With about a hundred studies on the effects of green tea alone, green tea is one of the most studied foods in recent years. The catechins, flavonoids and polyphenols it contains – and vitamins too – are said to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties. These serve to stimulate the metabolism, lower blood sugar and strengthen the immune system.
The high content of secondary plant compounds can have a beneficial effect on:
- high blood pressure
- Alzheimer's disease
- Parkinson's disease
- oral hygiene
Origin in China
Initially, the term “tea” referred only to the leaves of the tea tree, which originated in China. Today, however, the term is used for numerous plants (or plant parts) that – either dried, ground, chopped or even fresh – are infused with hot water and served.
One plant – many kinds of tea
Strictly speaking, tea is made from only one tea plant, the Camellia sisensis, which is mainly grown in China and India. Green, black or white tea, yellow tea, Pu Erh, etc. differ in the way they are processed. Fruit and herbal teas are therefore not technically teas, but infusions.
The Swiss aren't big on tea
At an average of 104 litres per year per capita, the Swiss drink little tea. By way of comparison: the Turks drink an average of 283 litres of tea per year. However, we’re European champions when it comes to iced tea. The average Swiss drinks 28 litres of iced tea per year.