4 natural brews that improve digestion, energy and mental clarity
Every subcontinent has a traditional resident brew of healing tea. Whether it's South American Yerba Mate, Japanese Matcha, Chinese Green Tea, African Rooibos, European Chamomile or North American Chaga, tea has been savoured world-wide for its therapeutic properties since the plant kingdom provided its grace to humanity. If we peek into history, tea was not only used as a relished pastime for enjoyment, but was consumed for the phytotherapeutic qualities that preserve health, longevity, beauty and resilience.
The lore of pharmacopeia includes various herbs, roots, fruit and bark that provide a plethora of insight into natural remedies for digestion, assimilation and elimination. Traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine administer individual warm herbal tea concoctions to be consumed at precise times of day, during specific seasons, to boost immunity, stimulate metabolism, produce mental clarity and promote body tone.
Keeping your metabolism strong helps the powerhouse of your health and immunity flourish. Taking responsibility for your health includes prevention of imbalances through the maintenance of a strong digestive fire or metabolism. Regular stomach aches, poor digestion, constipation and lack of hunger are all signs and symptoms that can point toward the need to improve metabolism or gut health.
So if your body is feeling lethargic with unwanted bulge, belly bloat and sluggish digestion, it could be time for a spot of tea, to stay on target. Here is the skinny on easy to make teas for fast metabolic action, to keep you feeling energetic and mentally focused.
Tulsi and Ginger Tea
Tulsi, also known as holy basil is a warming, adaptogenic herb. When added to ginger, this duo can kickstart your metabolism, create clarity and focus your mind. Ginger is the universal root for digestion and Tulsi increases your energy levels, awakens the senses and reduces stress. It is best to drink this tea in the morning. If you feel a lull of energy in the afternoon, then take a second cup before 3:00 p.m. Since Tulsi can keep your mind alert, avoid this tea at night to ensure better sleep. Simply take ½ teaspoon of Tulsi powder and add it to ½ teaspoon of fresh grated ginger. Boil in 1 ½ cups of water and strain the tea. After the tea cools, add honey to taste.
Tangerine Zest and Cinnamon Tea
Tangerine is an uplifting and refreshing scent and when its nutrient vitamins are combined with cinnamon, it becomes a digestive dynamo. Tangerine has also been known to combat weight gain and increase the absorption of nutrients. Cinnamon alleviates gas, bloating and stomach upset while increasing metabolism and stimulating weight loss. Take one dry tangerine peel with a stick of cinnamon and boil it in a 1 ½ cups of water. Let the infused water cool down to a warm temperature for drinking and enjoy.
If you are diabetic, are regulating your blood sugar, are pregnant, have thyroid disease or breast cancer, speak with you doctor before consuming cinnamon.
Roasted Barley Tea
This nutty flavoured nutrient tea is packed with vitamins and antioxidants and is popular throughout Asia. Barley tea balances acidity in the body, increases blood flow and aids in digestion and weight loss. Barely tea can be purchased in select food stores. If you cannot find the roasted barley tea, you can make your own by toasting pearl barley in a pan over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the grains turn a golden-brown colour. Place one tablespoon of the roasted barley in a cup. Pour one cup of hot water over the barley and allow to steep. After a few minutes, you can strain the tea and drink it at a comfortably warm temperature. Add honey or lemon to taste.
Sipping a bit of green tea with your meals can help to keep your tummy flat and your digestion moving. Studies show that "quality green tea is a mild appetite suppressant, diuretic, antioxidant, and metabolic enhancer." However, if you drink green tea, it should be used in moderation and not taken in large quantities over a prolonged period of time. A cup of green tea per day should suffice.