Most of us know that tea is dried herbs steeped in water. But what we often forget is that being infused from these dried herbs adds not only flavours but adds medicinal properties as well.
Generally these medicinal properties arrived at through your tea are subtle (not always) however their effects should not be underestimated.
Tea makes me happy because after I drink it I generally feel hydrated and calmer. This is because I’m choosing teas that are helping to soothe or balance my nervous system. This gives me more sustained energy and also help with digestion.
Optimal hormonal health depends on being frequently in your parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is known for ruling over “resting and digesting” which in a nut shell enables health. Tea does this by facilitating rest, repair, memory and sleep.
I bring this up because often people reach for stimulants all day long, resulting in dysregulated stress adaptation and poor energy. It also spins the cycle of trying to get a little bit more energy with a little bit more caffeine / stimulant. This results in a short term increase but ultimately a net loss of energy that is frequently characterized by a mid afternoon energy crash and often a late night second wind that disturbs your sleep. I am a fan of coffee but not of its abuse and resulting effect.
So while starting your day with coffee or some form of organically derived stimulant might be ok and well tolerated in a healthy individual, try infusing some tea throughout your day. Especially choose those that which nourish your nervous system and you might find, well, that it makes you happy too. Here are some of my favourites:
Peppermint Mentha peperita – carminative (soothes the gastro intestinal tract), reduces anxiety, sedates
Chamomile (German) Matricaria recutita – good for nervous irritability, relax smooth muscles (good for the gastrointestinal tract), stimulates immune system
Lemon Balm Melissa officianalis – carminative (soothes the gastro intestinal tract), soothes spams, sedative for the limbic system (area of the brain dealing with instinct and mood)
Passion flower, Passiflora incarnata – calms nerves, sedative, sedative
Let me know some of yours. If you aren’t a herbal teal drinker or didn’t know we stock lots of tea, stop by the store at Naturmend and we’ll help you pick some good ones!
Godfrey, A., Saunders, P.R. et all. Principles & Practice of Naturopathic Botanical Medicine Volume 1: Botanical Medicine Monographs. CCNM Press 2010.
Dr. Sarah Kent is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor specializing in your health. She blends traditional knowledge with current scientific understanding to generate wellness within her patients. She has received specialized training in naturopathic sports medicine, applying the principles and tools of naturopathic care in treating athletes.