Guide to Chinese Herbal Tea
Chinese herbal teas are typically made from ingredients including dried flowers, seeds, leaves, dried fruit or roots. In Chinese medicine, it is thought that each of these teas has special healing properties, ranging from soothing sore throats to helping to send you to sleep. We take a look at some of the most popular Chinese herbal teas and what benefits they are thought to hold.
Tea made from dried Chrysanthemum flowers is one of the most popular herbal teas in China. It is considered to have a cooling effect in Chinese medicine and is thought to reduce fever and lower blood pressure. People with cardiovascular diseases or hypertension are also thought to benefit from this tea.
Honeysuckle tea has detoxifying and cooling properties and is used to help prevent and alleviate sore throats. Honeysuckle, as the name may suggest, has a sweet flavour. While it can be enjoyed on its own, honeysuckle is often used in tea blends, adding a hint of sweetness to the other flavours.
Lavender tea is not just enjoyed in China, as its calming benefits are world renowned. The calming nature of the lavender plant also makes this a great tea for those who experience insomnia. This tea can be enjoyed on its own, or when blended with other tea types.
Eight Treasures Tea
The eight treasures tea is made up of a selection of eight healthy herbs, spices and fruits. These ingredients are not set and can vary from one producer to another. An example of the kinds of ingredients used to make up these eight treasures could include chrysanthemum, jasmine, red dates, wolfberries, dried lily buds, rock sugar, dried longan and lilyturf root. This tea is said to soothe nerves, aid digestion and boost your energy, making it a great choice for if you are feeling a little stressed or drained.
The Ginkgo tree is one of the oldest trees in the world, so this tea is a classic. It has a woody taste, which can be explained by the fact it comes from a tree! Ginkgo tea is said to promote better memory and mental clarity, as well as helping to improve blood circulation.
Qian Ri Hong
The name Qian Ri Hong translates to ‘Thousand Days Red’, in reference to the lengthy periods of which these particular flowers remain in bloom. With a sweet herbal taste, this tea is rich with vitamins and minerals and helps to soothe coughs.
There are a number of tea types popular in China, including oolong, green and jasmine tea, which are not considered ‘herbal’ tea, as they come from a tea plant rather than flowers or fruits. Despite this, these teas also have a number of healing properties.
Oolong tea comes from the same plant as green tea and black tea, yet is fermented for a little longer than green tea, and a little less than black tea is. There is not one set flavour for oolong tea, as its taste can be quite diverse based on its production style. The flavours can range from sweet and fruity to woody or fresh. Oolong has many different benefits, and is rich in antioxidants. In the West, it tends to be marketed as a diet tea, as it increases metabolism, lowers cholesterol and has a beneficial effect on hyperglycaemia in people with type 2 diabetes.
While it may seem like jasmine tea is a herbal tea from its name, jasmine tea tends to be normal tea that has been flavoured with jasmine flowers. Jasmine tea is one of the most popular in China, based on its unique taste and apparent health benefits. The tea is said to help to reduce stress, improve the digestive system and is also great for diets, as it has antioxidants, and boosts metabolism. Drinking jasmine tea is also believed to help prevent against cancer, diabetes and heart attacks.
Green tea is made from the unfermented and unoxidized leaves, making it one of the least processed type of tea available. As such, it contains the most antioxidants of all of these tea types, making it great for boosting health. Like the other tea plant teas, green tea is becoming increasingly popular worldwide as a dietary aide. It also helps to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of stroke and boosts brain function.
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