Drinking tea and herbal tea is a great way to benefit from phytotherapy (plants that can help your health). Indeed, they are rich in beneficial nutrients: antioxydants, vitamins, minerals and phytnonytrients in plants infuse in hot water and end up in our body when we drink tea. Those substances are overall protective: anti-inflammatory, antioxydant, immune-boosting, soothing digestion, helping certain pathways, relaxing and energizing… each herb has its own properties!
In order to benefit from them the most, and minimise ingestion of contaminants, toxins and pesticides, you need to think before buying your tea. My advice would be to go for organic (and also ethical if you can). My favourite brand is Pukka, an English brand who creates 100% organic, ethical, fair-trade, recyclable and ayurvedic herbal blends and teabags. The fact that their teabags are also organic (and made responsibly!) is very important, as their components also pass into the hot water.
Some of you might think that drinking hot beverages in the summer time is crazy. But if you just wait for your tea to be lukewarm or if you choose to make iced tea, problem solved! Not to mention teas and herbal teas are especially beneficial during summer:
- They only contain water and phytonutrients, which makes them rich in beneficial substances, and devoid of saturated fats, cholesterol and calories. So they are perfect for summer, especially compared to some juices, cocktails, fizzy drinks and sodas that often contain a lot of sugar.
- They are very hydrating and ideal when it’s hot! Especially after a few alcoholic drinks. Indeed, alcohol dehydrates our body (it inhibits the anti-diuretic hormone that keeps water inside the body when needed). Teas are again preferable to sugary drinks which only give the illusion of hydration.
- Some herbs are particularly refreshing. Katie Pande, Pukka’s naturopath, recommends peppermint, chamomile, apiaceae, fennel and rose to balance our internal temperature (you can find more advice from her for summer well-being here).
- When we sweat, we not only lose water and toxins, but minerals as well (called electrolytes) like sodium and potassium. To get those minerals back in the body and rehydrate, it is important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, and drinking tea and herbal tea can help as well! And just so you know, the more you let your tea brew, the more minerals you’ll get.
- Some herbal teas can be great after heavy meals or barbecues: mint, ginger and fennel-based herbal teas are my favourite ones to help with digestion. I particularly recommend « Three Mint » and « Detox » by Pukka.
- Unfortunlaty, it is possible to get sick in summer (we’ve all been bed-ridden on our holiday week at least once…). It would be a pity not to benefit from the anti-microbial, energizing and antioxydant properties of a lot of teas, like « Elderberry and Echinacea ».
- After a long day, herbal tea with lime, chamomile, lavender or tulsi like « Night Time Tea » are your best friends : they will help you relax and prepare you for sleep so that you feel refreshed in the morning!
One last tip before I go: don’t hesitate to take a few teabags with you on holidays. They don’t weigh a thing and they sure can help out 😉
Written in partnership with Pukka. If you would like to know more about their teas and herbal teas, you can go to their website.