Tea! It is one of my favourite things! Which is still funny to me because I used to really dislike tea. I NEVER drank it when I was younger. But I started drinking it a bit in university and then I got a job at David’s Tea and ever since then I have been tea obsessed! My obsession has grown since starting to study naturopathic medicine because I have learned about so many incredible herbs with amazing medicinal properties that make great teas!!
I now have an entire tea shelf in my apartment and a tea for every different mood! Every night I have an herbal tea after dinner (usually Traditional Medicinals Chamomile Lavender tea – soothing for my digestive system, relaxing for my brain, and delicious!) because it helps soothe my stomach after a long day and calm me down as I get ready for bed.
It can sometimes be a struggle for tea drinkers when the warm weather hits. Who wants to get home after a long day, sweating from the heat of the city, and sit down to a nice hot cup of tea? Nobody. This is where iced tea comes in! It is so easy to make a jug of iced tea and have it ready in the fridge whenever you need your tea fix.
Another benefit of iced tea is that it can be a great water alternative. It is so important to drink enough water every day but a lot of people seem to find drinking plain water to be incredibly boring (I’m not one of those people, you will never see me without my water bottle! But that’s beside the point). As long as you are drinking an herbal tea, it definitely counts towards your daily water intake. There are so many delicious fruity teas out there that can make a very refreshing treat.
Now back to the medicinal properties of tea. Most people are aware of the benefits of drinking teas like chamomile, peppermint, and ginger. But do you know about raspberry leaf and lemon balm?
These are two herbs I didn’t know about before starting the program and I drink them all the time now!
I drink raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus) when I’m on my period and I find it very helpful for decreasing the intensity of my cramps! Raspberry leaf has an affinity for the reproductive tract and helps to tone and strengthen the uterus. Due to these properties, the most common use for raspberry leaf tea is during pregnancy to prepare the uterus for labour.
The other herbal tea I have come to love over the past few years is lemon balm (Melissa officinalis). Lemon balm is in the same family as peppermint but it tastes totally different, it’s very mild with a slight lemony flavour. Both peppermint and lemon balm are carminatives, which is an herbal term meaning they can soothe the digestive tract and help expel gas. This, along with its antispasmodic action, makes lemon balm a great herb for soothing stomach pains, gas and bloating. I especially love drinking lemon balm when I have a nervous stomach! It has some mild sedative properties, which can make it a very relaxing tea to drink.
I drink both raspberry leaf and lemon balm tea on a regular basis but during my period I often drink them together and fairly consistently throughout the day for the first 2-3 days of my period. This combination is perfect because it is calming to my cramps and my stomach!
Since the weather has been getting warmer, I’ve been making this combination into a delicious iced tea, with a little fresh lemon added to it. It is very hydrating, soothing, and nutritive. Warning: raspberry leaf tea doesn’t taste anything like raspberries!! I was a little disappointed when I first tried it. It has an herbal flavour that took some getting used to but now I love it!
Here’s how I make my iced tea and you can do this with ANY tea you like!!
- Boil 1L of water.
- Use approximately 6 tea bags (you can go up to 8 if you like your tea stronger or down to 4 if you prefer a lighter tea). For this combination, I use 3 tea bags of the Traditional Medicinals Raspberry Leaf tea and 3 tea bags of the Traditional Medicinals Lemon Balm tea.
- Steep the 6 tea bags in the 1L of water for 10 minutes (precise timing isn’t important!).
- Once the tea has steeped, remove the tea bags and add 1L cold water.
- Top with a few slices of lemon. And you’re done!! So easy.
It is ready to drink now if you fill a glass with ice cubes and pour the warm tea over top. Or you can put the tea in the fridge for a few hours to make sure it is nice and cold. I often make my iced tea at night and it is the perfect temperature to drink by the next morning 🙂
What are your favourite herbal teas? Have you ever wanted to learn what herbs might be beneficial for you? Naturopathic doctors have an in-depth knowledge about herbal medicine! We learn about a wide variety of different herbs and we can prescribe them as teas, tinctures, tablets, and in many other different forms.
Have any questions? Book an appointment with me (Emily Martin) at the RSNC (416-498-9763).