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Herbal Teas for Healing

You’ve probably heard of green tea — perhaps have tasted the tea in its original form, or blended it with shaved ice like your favorite Matcha Frappuccino from Starbucks. You’ve also probably heard of how good green tea is for you, with all its incredible antioxidants that can fight cancer, burn fat, improve mental health, and so much more. In fact, every doctor will likely recommend that you incorporate green tea into your daily routine. I myself am a dedicated green tea drinker, and have been so for years as it’s been such a fantastic addition to my life.

That being said, even though I choose tea as my main source of water intake, green tea isn’t the only herbal tea I drink on a daily basis. (The caffeine would’ve killed me.) I also try to remember to listen to my body and make myself a cup of the kind of tea that will help take care of its needs. Many people know only of green tea and black tea, but not of the other herbal teas that can be natural remedies and supplements for better physical and mental health.

Whatever stress you’re dealing with, let’s name it, and pay attention to what it’s doing to your body. For example, I’m feeling the stress of job hunting and it’s been difficult to sleep at night. There’s a tea to help with that! To find what tea suits your needs, check out this quick list of my personal favorite herbal teas.

I. Caffeinated tea: for those who need that extra energy boost

1. Green tea

An essential herbal teas list isn’t complete without the almighty green tea! Every tea company has green tea because it’s such a must-have, so you can find it easily in any grocery store or online. This incredible tea comes with a plethora of benefits, and I want to specifically highlight:

  • Moderate caffeine boost: with one-third the amount of caffeine of coffee, green tea is the way to go if you don’t want to get jittery!

  • Hydration: contrary to popular belief, because of the small amount of caffeine, the water volume of a cup of tea will actually overpower the dehydrating aspect of caffeine.

  • Aid digestion: green tea is a well-known digestion aid, partly because of the caffeine, but also because of other antioxidants that are great for the digestive system as well.

My personal favorites: green, jasmine green, and Japanese matcha.

2. Black tea

Black tea is also a caffeinated tea that I drink a lot, especially when the dining hall runs out of green tea and I’m faced with seven different types of black tea. Black teas offer almost the exact same benefits as green tea, though the very apparent differences to me are:

  • Bigger caffeine boost: if I really need that caffeine but don’t want to become dependent on coffee, I’ll look to black tea, which offers half the amount of caffeine in coffee.

  • More variety: while I’ve only seen pure green tea and jasmine green tea in my dining hall, black tea has quite a variety — pure black tea, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Irish Breakfast, English breakfast, and chai!

My personal favorites: black, Darjeeling, and Oolong.

II. Non-caffeinated tea: for those who are looking to wind down

1. Chamomile

If you’re having trouble sleeping, have a cup of chamomile before bed! Chamomile has a very light, floral flavor that can help soothe you and prepare you for a good night’s sleep.

2. Peppermint

I usually have peppermint tea just because of the amazing taste, but its benefits are no joke. Peppermint tea is especially good for your digestive system as it can calm an upset stomach, treat menstrual cramps, even clear sinuses. Also, when I need something to keep me alert but don’t want the caffeine, I’ll reach for peppermint. It’s just that magical!

3. Ginger

Ginger tea is another well-known natural remedy for an upset stomach. In addition, if I feel nauseous after consuming alcohol, a warm cup of ginger tea can reduce the sickness. When my friends have hangovers, I recommend ginger tea to them, and they’re always amazed by how effective ginger tea is with alleviating the uncomfortable feeling of a hangover!

4. Artichoke


Artichoke tea is not as popular in the U.S. as it is in my home country, Vietnam, but I love its sweet flavor and would introduce it to anyone in a heartbeat. Not only does it taste good, but it also improves liver health by eliminating toxins, and lowers cholesterol in your body.

5. Rooibos

Rooibos tea has quite a distinct flavor — mild vanilla sweet with a creamy feeling. If you’re someone who isn’t a big fan of the bitterness of green and black teas, and the grass-like taste of common herbal teas (something that I wholeheartedly agree with), you might want to check out rooibos. It’s considered the non-caffeinated alternative to green and black tea, while potentially helps improve your skin and alleviate acne.

This is definitely not an exhaustive list of all herbal teas out there and their benefits, but these are some of my personal favorites that have had a huge role in enhancing my quality of life. I started out drinking herbal teas for the health benefits, but now, I’ve grown to love them and drink them everyday like water. In the end, even if not all of the health benefits are definitively confirmed as true, just the act of sipping a warm cup of tea I made for myself is already calming and healing in and of itself.

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ren dinh

Mt Holyoke '19

Ren is an English major and Japanese minor at Mount Holyoke College. Ren uses they/them pronouns, prefers their name not capitalized, loves dogs and music and books and listening to people from different lands and waters of the world.
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