Learn about 6 delicious herbal teas used in Ayurveda for overall well-being.
In Ayurveda, herbal teas are often used for medicinal purposes. This is because many herbs, plants or flowers have different properties which can be useful for health or maintaining a state of wellness. It’s important to note that these teas should be in their pure, dried, lose leaf form and organic. If you use teas in bags that come in a packet at supermarkets or other stores, it is always a good idea to check the ingredients on the back of the packet, because sometimes they add some ingredients like stevia or even artificial or natural flavours, which are usually very similar.
The following 6 teas used in Ayurveda can provide lots of good properties for overall wellness of mind and body.
This is one of my favourite teas. It can come in the form of rose petals or the full rose bud. The rose petal tea is a little bit cheaper than the full rose bud, but either one can be used because they are essentially the same. This delicious and aromatic tea is full of antioxidants and Vitamin C, which can help with skin health. It is said in Ayurveda that rose petal tea provides the skin with a glow. Rose bud tea can also help kindle agni (the digestive fire) and it may help with inflammation, which makes it a good option for those with Pita predominant dosha. I use this often also for preparing natural rose water which I use on my skin. I make the tea, and store it in a glass jar once it has cooled down. For 4-5 days I use this water to clean and nourish my skin, by applying it on my face with a cotton wool. In Ayurvedic treatments, such as Mukta Abhyanga (face massage) rose water is very commonly used.
Butterfly pea tea or Blue tea is also known in Ayurveda as Shankhapushpi, a very popular herb used for boosting cognitive functioning amongst other benefits. The beautiful blue flower makes this tea extra special because when prepared, the tea turns blue. It has many antioxidants and like rose petal tea, it may help with skin glow and wellness. It has anti-stress properties and it is said to boost memory and overall mental functioning. I drink butterfly pea tea often and aside from the taste which I love, in my opinion, it is also very calming and soothing for the mind.
Chamomile tea is one that is more commonly known than maybe the above two, and it easily is found in supermarkets, health shops etc. Chamomile tea is a wonderful way to calm the mind and help with stress relief. This can also refer to digestive or physical body stress as chamomile tea helps to reduce gas and bloating and relax the muscles. It is a great tea to have in the late afternoon or evening time to relax the mind and prepare for sleep.
You may have heard about sage smudging practices or the burning of sage to cleanse a space or the body, mind and energy of a person. Actually sage has been used for hundreds of years by healers, spiritual practitioners and shamans as it is considered a natural purifier. Indeed this strong scented plant, is known for naturally cleansing and detoxifying the body. It has a heating effect, so it can melt all impurities from the body and nourish any dryness or cold developed in the body. It also has anti-fatigue properties, which can be used for when the body or mind feel fatigued. Here in Greece we have lots of sage everywhere, and the island I live on, is known for its high spiritual energy. I definitely relate some of this to having so much sage growing everywhere.
Another one of my favourites, lavender is best known for its calming effects on the mind. Its strong fragrance is enough to provide soothing to the mind and an overall tranquil vibe. Lavender tea is actually quite strong and can help with insomnia or any type of stress, anxiety and depression symptoms. It is a wonderful tea to have in the evening time, when we begin to wind dow and get ready for sleep.
Although Green tea is more commonly used in TCM, I had to include it on the list because it has so many amazing benefits. Green tea is full of antioxidants and is a natural detoxifier, as well as helping with digestive functioning. It has an energising effect on the mind, and even tough it contains caffeine, unlike coffee, it does not give an instant boost, but a gradual, longer lasting one. Green tea is also said to have anti-inflammatory properties and may improve overall brain functioning.