Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea

health benefits of chamomile

Chamomile has been prized for its medicinal qualities since the days of the Roman Empire, and in ancient Egypt and Greece. It was used to treat a variety of external and internal conditions. To this day, it holds a special place in the herbalist’s pantry to soothe and to heal. Here are some well-known health benefits of chamomile:

Soothes the Digestive System

Chamomile contains a wide variety of beneficial compounds for the digestive tract. Bisabolol, for example, has anti-inflammatory properties and relaxes the smooth muscle lining of the digestive tract. Chamomile has an antispasmodic effect on the digestive system.

Promotes Relaxation and Sleep

Chamomile tea is often used as a natural sleep aid. One of the compounds present in the chamomile is called apigenin, which is thought to promote mild sedation. Chamomile helps in reducing nervous activity in the evenings, allowing you to fall asleep with more ease.

Anti-Inflammatory

Chamomile inhibits inflammation in a similar manner to anti-inflammatory drugs known as COX inhibitors, but without harmful side effects. Papaverine, a compound in chamomile, relieves muscle spasms in the intestinal tract and in blood vessels.

Soothes the Skin

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, a topical application of chamomile can help relieve itching, swelling, and redness. Chamomile is used to treat dermatitis, eczema, burns and other minor forms of skin irritation. Try applying chamomile tea to your skin with a clean spray bottle. Just be sure to test a patch a skin first for a reaction. Even people who drink chamomile just fine can have a skin reaction.

Menstrual Cramps

Preliminary studies indicate that drinking chamomile results in higher levels of an amino acid called glycine in the urine. Glycine has been shown to be effective in reducing muscle spasms, which may explain how it helps to relieve menstrual cramps in women.

Does it Help with the Immune System?

Preliminary studies indicate that drinking chamomile causes you to bulk up on beneficial compounds with antibacterial properties. Also, breathing the steam of chamomile tea may help relieve cold symptoms.

Does it Help with Diabetes?

Preliminary animal studies have shown that chamomile consumption results in a decrease in blood glucose levels. It also inhibited two enzymes, both of which have a role in the development of diabetic complications such as diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage), cataracts, retinopathy (retinal damage of the eye), and nephropathy (kidney damage).

Warnings:

Chamomile is a flower in the Asteraceae, or daisy, family. People who are allergic to ragweed, aster, or chrysanthemums may also have a reaction to chamomile. This is a rare occurrence, but anyone taking chamomile should be aware of this possibility.

Check out our premium organic chamomile tea, available in bulk.

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Health Benefits of Chai

health benefits of chai

A good spicy chai invokes warm feelings. The intoxicating cinnamon spice aroma feels good inhale. The full bodied concoction is best savored in the taste buds, and feels warm and spicy going down. It’s a great seasonal tea with numerous health benefits, making it one of those rare pleasures that are both good and good for you.

Surprisingly, chai was originally developed as a form of Ayurvedic medicine. Traditional chai spices were chosen for their health benefits. According to Ayurvedic medicine, these spices are considered to be “sattvic,” or calming, vitalizing and mentally clarifying.

Looking at the ingredients, chai has numerous digestive, anti-inflammatory, and immune boosting health benefits:

Digestive Health:

Ginger is a well-known digestive aid that relaxes and soothes the digestive tract. Cardamom and cinnamon help sooth stomach cramps and relieve digestive related issues such as indigestion, flatulence, and nausea.

Anti-Inflammatory

Clove is high in eugenol, an anti-inflammatory substance. Clove also contains a variety of flavonoids, including kaempferol and rhamnetin, which also contribute to clove’s anti-inflammatory (and antioxidant) properties. Black pepper and ginger have compounds that inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds.

Immunity

Tea is full of anti-viral and anti-bacterial compounds. In addition, most chai spices possess complimentary immune system benefits. Black pepper, cinnamon, and clove contain different oils and substances that have been shown to effectively eliminate antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Other Health Benefits

Cinnamon has been found to lower LDL cholesterol, and have a regulatory effect on blood sugar. Cinnamon has also been found to improve cognitive function and memory.

Find out the health benefits of black tea

Browse our selection of premium organic chai

Can Hot Tea Cool You Down?

Hot Tea
Image courtesy of Olga Filonenko, Flickr

Perhaps you’ve heard of people from India or Bedouin tribes drinking hot tea to cool down. It sounds like one of those counterintuitive ideas that must be true because it’s so crazy. So is there truth behind the claim?

According to a study published by University of Ottawa’s School of Human Kinetics, hot fluids can cool you down under the right conditions. In this study, participants were given water at different temperatures. They found that those who drank hot water produced more sweat. If the sweat was able to evaporate fast enough, it more than made up for minor heat gain of drinking hot liquid. On the flip side, those who drank cold water actually sweat less, resulting in greater heat gain.

Now the big caveat is that the sweat has to evaporate. If you’re wearing too many clothes, or if you’re exercising too hard, or it’s too humid out, that sweat is going to stay on your skin and you’re actually not losing the heat gained from drinking a hot liquid. In these conditions, it’s better to drink cold fluids.

Another interesting point, it’s not necessarily the gain in body temperature of drinking warm fluids that causes you to sweat. It’s actually temperature sensors along your mouth, esophagus, and stomach that trigger sweating. So if you want to sweat less, try drinking iced tea.

Finally, you may have read other studies that claim the opposite. Ollie Jay, a researcher at University of Ottawa’s School of Human Kinetics found that previous studies were flawed in their method of recording core temperature. In these studies, a rectal thermometer was used (ouch). However, in the Ottawa study, subjects were monitored with 8 thermometers throughout the body, including one in the rectum and even down the esophagus! They found that cold water pooling in the stomach cooled the rectal thermometer, but not the rest of the body.

Just remember, if the sweat isn’t pooling on your body, try drinking hot tea, it might cool you down more! Otherwise, stick to a nice iced tea for that soothing feeling.

Related Articles:

Top Ten Iced Teas

Sources:

A hot drink cools you faster than a cold one – myth or reality? The Globe and Mail

Body heat storage during physical activity is lower with hot fluid ingestion under conditions that permit full evaporation. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2012 Oct;206(2):98-108. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.2012.02452.x. Epub 2012 Jun 9.

How To Make Iced Tea with Loose Leaf Tea

Why use loose leaf tea for iced tea

There are a few reasons why you should consider switching to loose leaf tea for making iced tea:

  1. It tastes better: Loose leaf tea is higher quality than most tea bags. Tea bags use fannings and dust, the leftover bits of tea once the good stuff is used.
  2. More Variety: When you buy tea bags, you’re limited to a few selections. With loose leaf tea, you have a wider selection. Plus you can blend teas yourself to make you own specialty
  3. More affordable: Given the same quality ingredients, loose leaf tea is more affordable than its bagged counterpart.

How to brew loose leaf tea for iced tea:

Here are two methods for brewing iced tea. The first method is to use an iced tea pitcher design for loose leaf tea. The advantage of this is ease of use, plus you can serve tea right out of the pitcher—no need for additional tea ware. The other method uses existing tea ware to brew a double strength batch.

Method 1: Using an Iced Tea Pitcher

Our Mist Iced Tea Pitcher is the best way to go for brewing iced tea. All you have to do is add your loose leaf tea directly inside the pitcher. Then add water! The filter at the top of the pitcher will keep tea leaves from reaching your glass. With the Mist Iced Tea Pitcher, there are is a cold brew and a hot brew method.

Cold Brew Method

  1. Add 7-10 tsp loose leaf tea to the 50oz pitcher
  2. Gently pour 2 cups hot water first, then 4 cups cold water
  3. Place pitcher in fridge. Steep 2 -6 hours.
  4. Pour to serve!

Hot Brew Method

  1. Add 7-10 tsp loose leaf tea to the 50oz pitcher
  2. Gently pour 3 cups hot water first, steep 2-5 minutes
  3. Add 2-3 cups ice cold water with ice cubes
  4. Pour to serve!

Method 2: Using traditional tea ware

We have a handy guide for brewing loose leaf tea here. The only difference for brewing iced tea is that you double the amount of loose leaf tea you use per cup of water. For example, Instead of using 1 tsp per cup, use 2 tsp. This is because once you’re done steeping the tea, you are going to add ice. Adding ice dilutes it.

Simply follow the directions in the guide. When you are ready to serve, pour over a glass of ice. Tip: let the tea cool a little while so you don’t need a lot of ice

Top Ten Iced Teas: Divinitea

Teas for summer

Looking for a fantastic iced tea this summer? Browse our organic iced tea category for the right tea for you. If you’re still having trouble, or would just like to know what our best selling iced teas are, check out our top ten iced teas:

1. Organic Moroccan Mint (Green Tea)

Our most popular iced tea, Moroccan mint is a cool and refreshing organic Chinese green tea with organic spearmint. Great for cleaning the palate and for digestion. This tea has a wonderful crisp and cool feeling that satisfies on a hot day!

2. Organic Nilgiri Black Tea

For those looking for a “plain” black tea, this is it. Our Organic Nilgiri is dark and aromatic, with a crisp, clean flavor. It makes a fantastic iced tea that never clouds.

4. Organic Summer Thyme (Black Tea)

All the flavors of a warm summer day. Sweet fruits enhanced with the complexity of lemon thyme. Very Aromatic!

4. Organic Tropical Greens (Green Tea)

An organic green tea with pineapple, passion fruit, and mango. The tropical fruit really comes out in this tea. Very refreshing.

5. Organic Raspberry Lemon Mint (Herbal)

A satisfying organic herbal blend with flavors of red raspberry, piquant notes of lemon, and a cooling taste of mint. Organic rooibos and red raspberry leaf give a pleasantly smooth and sweet body. Naturally caffeine free. Full of antioxidants.

6. Organic Tiki Tea (Black Tea)

An enticing organic black tea blend of coconut, lime, and lemongrass. Smooth and mildly tart. Makes an excellent iced tea.

7. Organic Hibiscus Lime Cooler (Herbal)

A smooth and sweet organic rooibos blend with tart flavors of lime and hibiscus. Naturally caffeine free. Full of antioxidants. Tart and sweet with a lingering smoothness.

8. Organic Pomegranate White (White Tea)

A smooth and delicate organic white tea with luscious flavors of pomegranate. This is a light bodied iced tea with a lingering spring freshness.

9. Organic Black Currant Tea (Black Tea)

A bright and fruity cup, with flavors of fresh-picked black currants. An organic loose leaf black tea accentuated with organic black currant leaf.

10. Organic Raspberry Apple(Herbal)

A deliciously fruity and tart organic herbal infusion, with rich flavors of raspberry, apple, tart notes of hibiscus, and balanced with flavors of rose hips and blackberry leaf. Naturally caffeine free, rich in antioxidants.

Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green Tea Health Benefits

Did you know that drinking green tea can help fight cancer and heart disease, lower cholesterol, burn fat, help prevent diabetes and stroke, improve memory, minimize the effects of Alzheimer’s, and help reduce inflammation? It’s hard to imagine one beverage can be attributed to so many health benefits, but the science is there. So grab yourself a nice cup of green tea and read about the health benefits:

Fight Cancer with Green Tea

According to a wide range of studies (the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Columbia University Medical Center, University of California Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine, etc..), regular consumption of green tea results in a lower risk of many cancers. These cancers range from throat, stomach, colon, pancreatic, lung, skin, and breast cancer.

These studies identify the polyphenols in green tea as the cancer fighting agent. More specifically, one compound—epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) appears to inhibit cancer cell growth and also trigger apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death.

Heart Disease, Cholesterol and Green Tea

Heart health is important for a long and healthy life. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Green tea helps promote a healthy cardiovascular system in a variety of ways.

According to a study in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation , drinking green tea rapidly improves the health of the delicate cells lining the blood vessels and helps lower the risk of heart disease.

A 2011 study found that green tea significantly lowered LDL or “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Another 2011 study found that people who drank the most green tea had a 28% lower risk of coronary artery disease than those who drank the least green tea.

Prevent stroke with Green Tea

The formation of abnormal blood clots (thrombosis) is the leading cause of heart attack and stroke, and green tea has been shown to inhibit abnormal blood clot formation as effectively as aspirin.

Hypertension and Green Tea

A major cause of hypertension (high blood pressure) is an enzyme secreted by the kidneys called angiotension- converting enzyme (ACE). Many hypertension drugs act as ACE inhibitors. Green tea is a natural ACE inhibitor, and several medical studies show lowered blood pressure in animals and humans given green tea extracts.

Lose Weight Drinking Green Tea

Green tea helps burn fat by increasing metabolic rate. A recent U.S. study of overweight men found that, with no other changes to their diet or exercise regimes, drinking green tea three times a day burned up 200 extra calories a day. The green tea drinkers also found that their energy levels were greatly increased.

Protect against Diabetes with Green Tea

Green tea can help protect against diabetes by inhibiting amylase, an enzyme that breaks starch down into simple sugars, which are then absorbed in the bloodstream. Green tea polyphenols inhibit amylase, thus lowering blood sugar levels. High blood levels of glucose and insulin predispose people to diabetes.

Arthritis and Green Tea

A recent study found that antioxidants in green tea may prevent or reduce the severity of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Antioxidants in the tea inhibit the Cox-2 gene that triggers inflammation, working in much the same way as anti-inflammatory drugs.

Alzheimer’s and Green Tea

Alzheimer’s is caused when plaques, or misshapen clusters of proteins, interfere with the neurons of the brain. Researchers at the University of Michigan discovered that the EGCG in green tea prevented the aggregation of this plaque and even helped the plaque break down. EGCG has also been found to prevent against other forms of dementia.

Green tea and Immunity

Gargling with green tea boosts immunity to influenza and flu, according to a study in Japan.

Research at Harvard University also indicated that green tea chemicals stimulated gammadelta T-cells, which bolster immunity against bacteria and viruses.

Browse our selection of premium organic green teas.

Herbal Tea for Allergies

Herbal Tea For Allergy

Tea for Allergy Season

With the approach of allergy season, many reach for over the counter medication for relief from sinus aches, runny nose, and itchy eyes. However, relief can be found in a good cup of herbal tea.

There are certain herbs that provide natural antihistamine benefits in addition to other anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, herbal tea is an excellent way to stay hydrated and fill up on antioxidants.

What herbs are good for allergies?

The following herbs help alleviate the symptoms associated with allergies. All these ingredients can be found in our Organic Allergy Tonic tea.

Rooibos:

Rooibos is a naturally caffeine free herbal tea from South Africa. It has smooth, full bodied, and slightly sweet flavor that makes it a popular beverage. South Africans have used Rooibos for centuries for the treatment of a variety of ailments, including allergies, cramps, colic, insomnia, and eczema.

Rooibos contains two bioflavonoids called rutin and quercetin. These compounds block the release of histamine, a chemical the body produces in response to allergens. These compounds work both inside and outside of the body. A tea infusion can be consumed to prevent and relieve allergies. As used in South African hospitals, infusions can also be rubbed on the skin to treat irritations.

Check out our Rooibos Teas

Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate is an herbal shrub or tree that’s found in places such as Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Yerba Mate stimulates the adrenal glands to produce corticosteroids. This helps suppress overactive immune system responses to allergens, suppress inflammation, and creates more oxygen flow by opening the respiratory passages. It is important to note that Yerba Mate contains caffeine, which may keep people awake at night if consumed too late in the day.

Check out our Yerba Mate

Ginger

Ginger is a natural antihistamine, so it relieves allergy problems in the sinus. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can provide relief to any aches accompanying a bout of allergies. In addition, ginger is traditionally consumed for relief of digestive disorders and to calm the stomach.

Check out our Ginger Teas

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm, named for its lemon scent, is a member of the mint family and is considered a “calming” herb. It has many medicinal qualities including being used to fight colds, settle sore stomachs, ease headaches, lower blood pressure and ease menstrual and respiratory problems. It has also been found that Lemon Balm has helped decrease stress and agitation in patients with Alzheimer disease and dementia.

Check out our Lemon Balm teas

Other Herbs:

Stinging nettle and peppermint are traditional herbs for relieving the symptoms of allergies. Nettle is particularly effective in treating allergic rhinitis, relieving the symptoms of itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose. The essential oil of peppermint acts as a decongestant, and substances in peppermint contain anti-inflammatory and mild antibacterial constituents. Nettle and peppermint can be found in our Organic Orange Detox Tea.

When to drink your herbal tea:

Don’t wait for symptoms to develop, drink allergy relieving herbs daily to prevent the onset of allergies. In addition to allergy relieving benefits, these herbal teas will provide other nutritional benefits that compliment a healthy lifestyle.

Did you know: We created a tea just for allergy relief? Organic Allergy Tonic tea.

Health Benefits of Black Tea

black tea is good for your heart

What is black tea?

Black tea is a type of tea that is more oxidized than oolong, green and white teas. All four types are made from leaves of the shrub (or small tree) Camellia sinensis. Black tea is generally stronger in flavor than the less oxidized teas. Two principal varieties of the species are used – the small-leaved Chinese variety plant (C. sinensis subsp. sinensis), which is known for its complex and sometimes delicate flavor, and the large-leaved Assamese plant (C. sinensis subsp. assamica), which is known for its robust flavor.

Why is black tea good for you?

While green and white tea receive a lot of attention for their health benefits, black tea has its own unique properties. The beneficial polyphenols in green and white tea are converted into another type of polyphenol during oxidation: theaflavins and thearubigens. These black tea specific antioxidants have been linked with a reduced risk of stroke, a decrease in cardiovascular problems, and a reduced risk of diabetes.

Black tea promotes cardiovascular health

In 2001, Boston University found in a study that both short-term as well as long-term drinking of black tea actually reverses something called endothelial vasomotor dysfunction in patients with coronary artery disease. This is a dysfunction which basically serves as a predictor for even more serious coronary events. The conclusions in the study backed up a previously held link between black tea and its propensity to lower cardiovascular problems.

Black tea reduces the risk of stroke

A long-term study by the Netherlands National Institute of Public Health and the Environment linked regular consumption of black tea with reduced risk of stroke. Researchers looked at the health benefits of foods that are high in flavonoids. While some of the flavonoids were obtained from fruits and vegetables, seventy percent came from black tea. The study looked at 552 men over a 15 year period. Researchers concluded that the flavonoids in black tea helped reduce the production of LDL – the “bad” cholesterol that can lead to stroke and heart attacks. Furthermore, men who drank over four cups of black tea per day had a significantly lower risk of stroke than men who drank only two to three cups per day.

Another study of 3,000 adults in Saudi Arabia produced similar findings. Researchers found that regular consumption of black tea can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by fifty percent.

Black tea reduces the risk of diabetes

Black tea contains a substance that mimics type 2 diabetes drugs Precose and Glyset. Black tea contains more of the substance, a polysaccharide compound, than either green or oolong tea, according to Haixia Chen and colleagues of Tianjin University, China. Their findings were reported in the Journal of Food and Science.

Make sure your tea is organic

All our black teas are certified organic. Find out why organic tea is good for your health

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