The herbal tea is different to normal tea in that it is an infusion of herbs and is not made out of leaves of the tea bush. Herbal tea may be prepared out of fresh or dried leaves, seeds or roots, most often by pouring boiling water over the parts of the plant and letting them steep for a few minutes.
Some Herbal Teas can be Dangerous to Your Health
In the case of seeds and roots, it is also possible to boil them on a stove after which they may be strained and sweetened, according to your own personal taste. There are also herbal tea bags being sold by many companies for infusion, if you prefer.
There are very many different types of herbal tea and these include that of: Anise tea, Bissap, Catnip, Chamomile, Chrysanthemum, Citrus, Echinacea, Essiac, Fennel, Ginger, Hibiscus, Honeybush, Gentian, Horehound, Kava, Labrador, Lapacho, Lemon, Licorice, Lime blossom, Mate, Mint, Nettle, red Raspberry, Rooibos, Rose hip, Sage, Sassafras, Skullcap, Thyme, Tulsi, Valerian, Vetiver, Wong Logat, Woodruff, Yarrow, Yuen Kut Lam Kam Wo Tea (from Hong Kong) and Tan Ngan Lo Medicated Tea.
Herbal tea is often drunk for both physical and medical effects and their stimulant, relaxing and sedative properties are highly appreciated by tea drinkers all over the world. However, in spite of the fact that most herbal teas are safe to drink, some do have toxic or allergenic effects and the most worrying are: Comfrey, which contains alkaloids which may permanently damage the liver; Lobelia, which contains toxins that are considered to have the same effect as nicotine; and Pineapple Weed, which can cause violent allergies causing anaphylactic shock and even death.
Even Hercule Poirot, the famous detective from Agatha Christie's novels was known to be an avid herbal tea and hot chocolate drinker and in many stories drank herbal tea to soothe his nerves as well as to recover from the ill effects of weather.
The use of herbal tea is as old as the hills and has been imbibed somewhat since writing first evolved and has been in use for centuries, at first primarily for medicinal purposes and later to enjoy and relish. There are many health benefits that can be derived from drinking herbal tea, even though not all herbal teas are healthy.
Drinking herbal tea is one way to avoid the ill effects of drinking especially caffeine laden beverages and sometimes spices may be added to get that extra zing, or even for a particular medicinal benefit. From the many studies conducted on the effects of drinking herbal tea it has been found that this tea's polyphenols can actually lower the risk of gastric, esophageal and skin cancer, simply by drinking four to six glasses each day.