Herbal Tea: The Best Options For Gut Health, Inflammation, Glowing Skin & More

Photo: Jack Sorokin

It’s not often that you find me without a cup of tea in my hand. I usually reach for green tea due to its numerous health benefits and caffeine content, which is much-needed during a full day of patients at my functional medicine clinic. While green tea is a fantastic option, there is a whole world of tea just waiting to be explored.

In my previous article, I discussed the difference between green, white, black, and oolong teas. These varieties are made from the actual tea plant Camellia sinensis and are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the tea varieties.

Herbal teas are made from a combination of single herbs, plants, fruits, and spices and differ from the above varieties in the fact that they contain zero caffeine. But what they lack in caffeine they make up for in their insane amount of health benefits. Chances are whatever health problem you are dealing with, there is an herbal tea to help remedy your symptoms.

There are plenty more teas than just this list, but if I included all the types, it would fill a book. But let this be your go-to guide to your most common health problems.

So grab your favorite mug and start steeping away your health woes one cup at a time.

Anxiety & stress.

Chamomile: Chamomile promotes relaxation and has been shown to decrease symptoms of anxiety.

Passionflower: Studies have concluded that this can be just as effective as oxazepam for treating anxiety due to its assumed GABA-increasing abilities, which promote relaxation.

Kava: This herb is one of the common natural anti-anxiety treatments out there.

Beauty.

Rooibos: This South African tea is loaded with antioxidants to help fight against the free radical damage responsible for skin aging.

Rosehip: This tea not only also fights against free radical damage, but it increases cell rejuvenation to keep skin youthful longer.

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Blood sugar balance.

Lemon Balm: Lemon balm replenishes the nervous system and helps regulate insulin production.

Hibiscus: Research has shown that hibiscus can help inhibit the absorption of glucose in the body and therefore keep blood sugar more balanced.

Bilberry: The powerful flavonoids known as anthocyanosides have shown promising results in maintaining blood sugar balance.

Detoxification.

Dandelion: Dandelion has powerful liver-supporting properties to help flush out toxins from the body.

Burdock root: A natural diuretic, this tea can help remove excess toxins, particularly heavy metals, through increased fluid excretion. It can also boost your lymphatic system and allow for increased detoxification.

Red clover: Red clover aids in cleansing the liver, lymphatic system, and spleen of toxins.

Fatigue.

Rooibos: African red bush tea can have a balancing effect on your body's main stress hormone, cortisol.

Licorice: Licorice balances out uneven cortisol levels.

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Gut health.

Licorice: Deglycyrrhizinated (DGL) licorice helps to heal and repair damaged gut lining.

Peppermint: Studies have shown that this herb is able to bring relief to those suffering from IBS by helping reduce inflammation.

Slippery elm: This specific variety of elm tree is a known demulcent able to reduce inflammation of the digestive system to relieve symptoms of IBS, leaky gut syndrome, and other gut problems.

Marshmallow root: No, not your sugar-filled camping dessert, this root actually helps repair damaged gut lining in order to treat leaky gut syndrome. It also helps to coat the stomach and ease symptoms of heartburn, constipation, and diarrhea.

Immunity.

Echinacea: With its antibacterial and antiviral properties, there’s a reason this herb is also found in the cold-and-flu aisle of your pharmacy.

Elderberry: Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, once referred to the elder tree as his "medicine chest" due to its extremely powerful antimicrobial and antiviral abilities specifically against the flu.

Hibiscus: Because of its rich vitamin C content, hibiscus is a fantastic immune booster and can help when you feel a cold coming on.

Inflammation.

Nettle Leaf: Nettle is an Nfkb inhibitor—essentially, Nfkb is a type of inflammation, and nettle helps quell it in your body.

Rosehip: Since they contain a type of anti-inflammatory galactolipid, rosehips are able to aid in reducing symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and IBS.

Ginger: Often used to calm upset stomachs, ginger also brings down pro-inflammatory Nfkb activity and inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1 and IL-8.

Plus, the best tea for hormone balance and anxiety.

William Cole, D.C.

Functional Medicine Practitioner
Dr. Will Cole, leading functional medicine expert, graduated from Southern California University of Health Sciences as a doctor of chiropractic. His extensive postdoctorate education and training is in functional medicine and clinical nutrition. Dr. Cole consults people around the world via webcam and locally in Pittsburgh. He specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors and customizing health programs for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal dysfunctions, digestive disorders and brain problems. Visit www.drwillcole.com for free e-books, recipes, and webcam evaluation.
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William Cole, D.C.

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