We all know tea is a healthy, but if you’ve been drinking the same brand of sencha green tea for years, maybe it’s time to expand your horizons. Consuming various types of teas allows you to experience a vast array of flavors and health benefits. Maybe you can’t ‘drink the rainbow,’ but you can mix it up by trying out these 6 healing, less mainstream teas.
Pau d’arco. Anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory, this tea is a bit woody in taste—which makes sense, since it is made from the inner bark of a South American tree. Two active chemicals identified in this bark, a class of chemicals known as naphthoquinones, have been shown to be powerfully anti-inflammatory and have incredible potential to kill bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi. Due to its powerful healing effects, use this tea with caution and avoid consuming in high doses.
Horsetail. This herb is one of the densest plant sources of silica, which makes it beneficial to bone strength, as well as skin and hair health. It’s also a powerful diuretic and promotes a strong immune system. The tea from this prehistoric reed has a very light and distinct flavor, and is high in B vitamins, minerals and flavonoids. Try steeping this herb on occasion to keep colds at bay throughout the winter season.
Nettle. This plant is extremely anti-inflammatory and has long been used to treat arthritis and urinary tract infections. Nettle tea contains vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin K, riboflavin, niacin and folate, and is rich in a spectrum of minerals. If you know how to safely harvest stinging nettle, a fairly abundant wild food, you can steep your own tea from the fresh or dried plant, or add the bitter wilted greens to dishes for a flavor and nutrition boost.
Reishi mushroom. Mushroom tea is something entirely different, and the umami/mushroomy flavor may take some getting used to. But mushroom teas can confer an array of benefits upon the drinker. Reishi mushroom tea, in particular, is a supreme immune booster with anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. This tea may be best blended with other teas to diversify flavor and antioxidant benefits—to create a super tea!
Pu-erh. This fermented tea from the Yunnan Province in China varies in price point, depending on how long it has been aged. The leaves are generally sundried, fermented, aged and packed into bricks. Similar to black tea, pu-erh can taste very earthy. Although it has a lower antioxidant content than other teas (since it is fully oxidized) it has traditionally been used to promote weight loss, balance cholesterol levels and protect the body from heart disease. This tea in particular is great for multiple cups, as each steep improves in flavor.
Genmaicha. This green tea from Japan is blended with toasted rice to create a very nutty, nutrient-packed tea. The brown rice leeches its minerals into the tea while green tea leaves itself are incredibly rich is disease-thwarting antioxidants. If you love the taste and benefits of green tea, try this traditional tea for a change of pace and flavor!
All teas, regardless of their health benefits, are a very relaxing and calming indulgence. In moderation, tea can offer a flavorful boost to your health and lifestyle. Have you tried any of these teas? What’s your favorite tea? Share below!