We love tea at Healthynow. Drinking tea is an integral part of our Clean Food Reboot as well as a delightful and important companion in our daily lives. Teas can soothe or refresh depending on the tea leaves or the herbs used. Teas also have therapeutic benefits. During the reboot, we suggest drinking Green tea, Dandelion Root tea, and Nettle tea. Tulsi, or Holy Basil, and Hibiscus are optional but also confer great benefits and are worthwhile having in your tea arsenal! Getting technical here; black tea, green tea and white tea come from the Camelia sinensis, an evergreen plant. These all contain caffeine. Dandelion, Nettle, Tulsi, Hibiscus are herbal infusions or tisanes, but we tend to still call them tea.
We limit the intake of caffeine during the HN Reboot, which means avoiding coffee and black tea. (which is fermented or processed green tea) But, we like drinking green tea because of it’s high levels of antioxidants and the amino acid l-theanine, which promotes a feeling of calm. Green tea has so many benefits -- for immunity, for hormones, for the brain. It's a great thing to add to our diets even though it does have caffeine. Green tea has 35-75 grams of caffeine vs. coffee 90 -150
Keep in mind that our bodies detox the caffeine through the liver and each thing that our body has to detox, the fewer resources it has to detox something else. During the reboot, just drink one cup a day.
Some people don't like green tea because it can have a grassy or bitter flavor. It's a delicate tea and should not be steeped with boiling water. When steeped @ 180 degrees or just before your kettle boils, it will be less bitter. Also, it should only be steeped for a max of 3 minutes. You could brew it with another tea to change the flavor to your liking. But try steeping it at a lower temp and for less time and see how it changes the flavor.
Dandelion root tea is an herbal tea that is best known as a liver purifier. It encourages optimal digestion by stimulating the production of bile which in turn helps to break down cholesterol and fat. We love that! Be sure to steep this tea for at least 10 – 15 minutes. And drink it earlier in the day because of it diuretic effect.
Nettle tea comes from the leaves of the stinging nettle plant. Not a leaf you want to gather in the wild, unless you wear sturdy gloves, the nettle is an incredibly beneficial plant. Nettle is also a liver tonic, increases stamina and energy and is a gentle diuretic. Some claim it helps with seasonal allergies. Nettle tea is a lovely tonic to sip in the afternoon – it may help with the afternoon slump. We like it for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. Be sure to steep at least 10 minutes.
Holy Basil, or Tulsi, is an apoptogenic herb which means it helps the body deal with stress, Tulsi grows prolifically in India and is very important in Ayurvectic medical practices. It protects the body from toxin inducing damage2 which is good any time, but especially beneficial during the reboot. Tulsi is protective of the liver, kidneys and pancreas, so drink up! You can steep this tea for as long as you like. Many find this herb’s flavor very soothing; it’s lovely to drink at night.
Hibiscus tea’s bright red color is a beautiful herbal tisane to consume anytime and is high in Vitamin C, so drink up to boost your immune system. This calming tea also lowers blood pressure.3 We like it during the reboot because it is a natural diuretic and can help with constipation. But maybe the best aspect of this gorgeous tea is it’s very high levels of anti-oxidants which helps to lower inflammation in your body. This herbal tea can be steeped for as long as you like, though it will get more intensely sour. If you drink more than a cup a day, be sure to use a straw to sip your tea (it’s delicious iced in the summer) because it’s tough on tooth enamel.
One last tea or tisane, that is wonderful to drink all year round and particularly after a meal when you might be carving sweets, is a simple infusion of fresh mint leaves and boiling water. It’s delightful, refreshing and aids in digestion. Be sure to use organic mint leaves. There are dozens of flavors in the mint family, such as lemon balm or chocolate mint leaves; feel free to try any of them for your tisane.
For all of these teas and herbal drinks, look for organic preparations. Tea bags are certainly easy to use and store. But for the best teas, get in the practice of using loose leaves. Your tea drinking will be elevated to another level. Plus you can add as many leaves to your drink as you like, so that if you like your beverage stronger, add more leaves or experiment with different flavor combinations. Also keep in mind that black and green teas can be steeped more than once as well as the herbal teas.
Here are some of our favorite loose-leaf companies:
The best way to steep your loose leaf tea is in an tea strainer. There are plenty of options on Amazon or other online stores.
If you prefer the bagged teas, look for companies that are organic and use whole leaves in their teas. A few favorites easily found are:
Enjoy your tea and reap healthy benefits from these incredible plants!
1. Medicinal Herbs,a beginners guide, Rosemary Gladstone, p. 125
3. Twenty First Century Herbal, Michael J. Balick, p. 179