Updated: 3 days ago
Tea is an aromatic beverage produced by steeping in freshly boiled water the young leaves and leaf buds of the Camellia Sinensis, also referred to as the tea plant (1). All types of tea—green, black, oolong, and white—are produced from the Camellia Sinensis plant using different methods. These methods are used to extract various components, including polyphenols, alkaloids (caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine), amino acids, carbohydrates, proteins, chlorophyll, volatile organic compounds (chemicals that readily produce vapors and contribute to the aroma of tea), minerals, and trace elements for their particular health benefits (2). Camellia Sinensis Assamica is a larger-leafed varietal of the tea plant typically used to produce black tea. Camellia Sinensis Assamica originated from the Assam district of India. It grows in warm, moist climates and is prolific in sub-tropical forests. The Camellia Sinensis is a smaller-leafed variety native to China typically used to make green and white teas. It evolved as a shrub growing in sunny regions with drier, cooler climates. It thrives in mountainous areas because it has a high tolerance for cold (3).
Tea is typically processed in two ways--orthodox or non-orthodox, often referred to as Crush-Tear-Curl or CTC. Each processing method produces a very different final tea product.
The orthodox method has four sub-methods depending on the intended final product. The orthodox processing method creates various styles of loose-leaf tea, including white, green, oolong, and black. The whole leaf method uses a process that preserves the integrity and flavor of the entire tea leaf throughout all stages of production. The Rolled & Shaped for Loose Leaf Tea Method is when whole tea leaves are rolled or shaped into different sizes and styles depending on the tea cultivated. The Artisan Method is oxidized and dried during the production process. It can significantly vary the result of a tea’s final appearance, aroma, and flavor by how the tea leaf is shaped. The Complex Flavor Method takes longer but results in an attractive whole-leaf tea with complex flavor and aroma (4).
On the contrary, the non-orthodox method, also known as Crush-Tear-Curl, or CTC, also has four sub-methods. The non-orthodox way is mainly a black tea production process because oxidation starts quickly as the leaves are shredded. The Shredded Leaf Method yields small, intentionally shredded pieces of tea leaf shaped into granular pellets. The Made for Commercial Tea Bags Method was initially designed to produce a substantial, full-bodied black tea packaged in traditional tea bags and stand up to the added milk and sugar in a brewed cup. The Machine Method was created to eliminate some of the labor-intensive steps of the orthodox artisan method to speed up time to market for black tea production. The One-Dimensional Flavor Method cannot produce a wide range of teas and tea flavors. Some green teas can be made in this method, but white and oolong teas cannot. These processed leaves are highly oxidized, and they start losing their essential oils immediately. Therefore, subtle nuances in aroma and flavor cannot be controlled, creating a final tea product with a one-dimensional profile (4).
Despite dozens of tea varieties found in the store and even online, many can't differentiate the many types and their medicinal purposes. Some people consume tea because they like the taste, while others consume it for the therapeutic properties they retain. Unfortunately, too much can be detrimental to your kidneys. Tea, especially black tea, is full of oxalic acid, which is a compound found naturally in many foods and, when taken in excess, can deposit into your kidneys and interfere with the process of removing waste from the blood, even resulting in kidney stones (5).
Types of Teas & Their Benefits
Peppermint Tea (order here)
Peppermint, also known as Mentha piperita, is a part of the mint family known as Lamiaceae and is a hybrid between Watermint (Mentha aquatica) and Spearmint (Mentha spicita) (6). Peppermint can grow up to three feet tall and two feet wide at maturity, typically with smooth, red stems with broad and oval tooth-like leaves that may be hairy (7). This aromatic perennial herb has a strong, sweet odor and a warm, pungent taste with a cooling aftertaste. The peppermint plant's fresh leaves are often used in culinary, while the flowers are dried and used to flavor foods. Peppermint is also widely known for its many medicinal properties, primarily in the form of oil. To learn more regarding the Benefits of Peppermint, click here.
Peppermint Tea is typically made from the dried leaves of the peppermint plant and added to Black, Green, or White Tea. It's an aromatic tea that can magically heat you up on a cold day or cool you down when it's warm. Just the aroma of Peppermint Tea can relieve headaches and colds as well as many other benefits (8).
Consuming Peppermint Tea is said to have attainable benefits such as:
Relieving tension headaches
Reducing nasal congestion
Lessening painful menstrual cramps
Improving energy levels
Antibacterial properties (9)
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Black Tea (order here)
When people typically talk of tea in Western culture, they often refer to Black Tea. Sun tea, sweet tea, iced tea, and afternoon tea are all well-known tea categories typically made using Black Tea. Even the favorite English Breakfast and Earl Grey blends are made from Black Tea leaves, which just so happens to originate from the same plant—Camellia sinensis. This tea is typically processed in two methods--orthodox or non-orthodox, often referred to as Crush-Tear-Curl or CTC. Generally, Black tea is more robust, bolder, and more prosperous than Green Tea. A brewed Black Tea can range in color from amber to red to dark brown, and its flavor profile can vary from savory to sweet, depending on how long it was oxidized and how it was heat processed (10).
Consuming Black Tea is said to have attainable benefits such as:
Heart health benefits
Reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol
Improving gut health
Reducing blood pressure
Reducing the risk of stroke
Decreasing blood sugar levels
Reducing the risk of cancer
Antioxidant properties (11)
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Green Tea (order here)
Green tea and its components, such as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), have been studied for their many medicinal properties (12). Again, they originate from the same plant as black tea, Camellia Sinensis; how the tea leaves are processed defines how the tea becomes green. A brewed green tea is typically green, yellow, or light brown, and its flavor profile can range from grass-like and toasted (pan-fired) to vegetal, sweet, and seaweed-like (steamed). Most Green Tea should be pretty light in color and only mildly astringent if brewed correctly. Some standard features used to describe the overall flavor profile of the green tea category include vegetal, grassy, earthy, sweet, buttery, nutty, toasty, seaweed-like, broth-like, lush, green, and herbaceous (13).
Green Tea can be consumed as a beverage or even dietary supplement, such as Earthley's Greens Powder, which can be purchased here.
According to an article published called A Review of the Role of Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis) in Antiphotoaging, Stress Resistance, Neuroprotection and Autophagy, they said:
The phytochemicals present in green tea are known to stimulate the central nervous system and maintain overall health in humans (14).
Consuming Green Tea is said to have attainable benefits such as:
Improving brain function
Increasing fat burning
Protecting against cancer, especially breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer
Lowering the risk of heart disease
Protecting the brain from aging
Reducing bad breath
Helping prevent type 2 diabetes (15)
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Chai Tea (order here)
It's said that the origin of Chai Tea dates back more than 5,000 years when a king in what is now India ordered a medicinal spiced beverage for healing properties to be created for use in Ayurveda. Ayurveda is one of the oldest holistic medicinal practices that focus on whole-body healing based on the belief that health and wellness hinge on a fragile balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Ayurveda practices use herbs and spices to promote health are obtain healing (16).
No recipe represents Chai since traditional Chai beverages can differ from town-to-town and family to family. But Chai Tea generally consists of Assam and Darjeeling black teas native to India, a sweetener such as honey, white or brown sugar, and buffalo milk in India. Still, there are also milk alternatives, and of course, spices such as cardamom, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and black peppercorns as dominant Chai spices but some people also use vanilla, nutmeg, mace, star anise, or fennel. The massive variation of Chai Tea recipes means the beverage can take on many different flavor directions depending on the ingredients used. Chai Tea heavy on the ginger and black peppercorns spices can leave a fire-like bite, while other recipes containing more vanilla, cinnamon, or nutmeg may leave behind a sweeter note. Those with saffron or cacao may impart some earthy bitterness. And those using fennel or cumin may have a more savory note (17).
Consuming Chai Tea is said to have attainable benefits such as:
Improving heart health
Reducing blood sugar levels
Assisting in weight loss (18)
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Hibiscus Tea (order here)
Hibiscus Tea is known across the globe by dozens of names. The hibiscus flower seizes our attention with its magnificence and entices our taste buds when brewed into a zesty, tea-like beverage. Countries worldwide steep dried hibiscus flowers into an herbal infusion that can be served hot and cold. The resulting tea is known by different names depending on where in the world it’s brewed, such as Rosella, Sorrel, Karkadé, Soobolo, Gudhal, Arhul Ka Phool, Chai Torsh, Chai Kujarat, Carcadè, Agua de Jamaica, Rosa de Jamaica, Gumamela, Bissap, Tsoborodo, Wonjo, or Roselle. Hibiscus is steeped and appreciated all over the globe. The Hibiscus flower is infused in hot water, creating a beautiful ruby red liquid characterized as tart-like lemon and tangy like cranberry or pomegranate. Hibiscus can be slightly bitter, so the brewed beverage is often sweetened with sugar or honey to cut down on the bitterness. Hibiscus can also be combined with fruit or citrus juices, such as fresh ginger or mint, and even dried spices like cinnamon and cloves. Some even enjoy hibiscus with alcoholic beverages such as vodka, rum, or beer to enrich, enhance, or complement its distinctive flavor profile (19).
Consuming Hibiscus Tea is said to have attainable benefits such as:
Lowering blood pressure
Lowering blood fat levels
Boosting liver health
Promoting weight loss
Preventing cancer (20)
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Ginger Tea (order here)
Ginger is the rhizome or the underground stem of the Zingiber officinale. Ginger thrives best in humid conditions. The plant resembles bamboo and grows clusters of white and pink flower buds into stunning yellow flowers. Traditionally, Ginger is harvested when the plant’s stalk begins to wilt. The root is immediately cleaned and scraped to kill it and prevent sprouting. Ginger is often consumed on its own as a culinary delicacy or used as a pungent spice in cooking an assortment of dishes, from savory to sweet. Ginger is historically known as a medicinal plant for its many potential health benefits.
"Ginger has been used as a healing herb in Ayurveda for thousands of years. Ayurveda is a traditional Hindu system of medicine that uses diet, herbal treatments and yogic breathing as part of a holistic approach to healing. Ayervedic practitioners recommend ginger to treat a variety of ailments, including nausea, rheumatism and arthritis (21)."
Consuming Ginger Tea is said to have attainable benefits such as:
Helping calm motion sickness
Lowering blood pressure
Protecting against heart disease
Controlling blood sugar levels
Anti-cancer properties (22)
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White Tea (order here)
White tea is one of the most delicate tea varieties from Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needle), Bai Mudan (White Peony), Monkey Picked White Tea, or Darjeeling White Tea. White Tea is gathered before the tea plant’s leaves fully open when fine white hairs cover the young buds. White Tea is minimally processed, so less oxidation occurs. When the buds are harvested, they wither and air dry in the sun or a precisely controlled indoor or indoor environment. Some buds are steamed or exposed to low heat to help dry quicker and stop oxidation. Minimal oxidation transpires as the buds are typically dried naturally. Still, White Tea has a much more delicate and soothing flavor profile than Green or Black Tea since oxidation is not encouraged manually (23).
Consuming White Tea is said to have attainable benefits such as:
Reducing the risk of heart disease
Assisting in weight loss
Protecting your teeth from bacteria
Lowering the risk of insulin resistance
Protecting against osteoporosis
Helping combat skin aging
Protecting against Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease (24)
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Matcha Tea (order here)
Matcha is a high-grade Green Tea that's typically ground into powder form. Instead of steeping, the Green Tea powder is whisked into hot water to form a frothy drink. The deliberative act of preparing, presenting, and sipping matcha is the backbone of the Japanese tea ceremony. While matcha's origins are primarily ceremonial, the Green Tea powder is favored worldwide in beverages like tea lattes or boba tea and as a cooking ingredient in everything from ice cream to salad dressing. All Matcha is created from shade-grown tea leaves, which is a labor-intensive technique where tea bushes are shielded from the sun, and light is filtered to the bushes in a very imperturbable manner to encourage chlorophyll production to create that gorgeous green color acquainted with Green Tea (25).
Consuming Matcha Tea is said to have attainable benefits such as:
Protecting liver health
Boosting brain functionality
Promoting heart health
Assisting in weight loss (26)
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Neem Tea (order here)
Native to the Indian subcontinent, Neem or Azadirachta indica, also referred to as Indian lilac, boasts beautiful white flowers that can be as aromatic as the blossoms of a lilac bush. This vigorous tree thrives in drought-prone conditions; it only needs a few drops of water to survive. It prospers in most environments but does best in hot, tropical climates that are dry to sub-humid and have a plenitude of sand-like soil. Much like dandelions, this tree is so fertile; it's viewed as a weed in some areas of the world. Also, like dandelion, Neem is depended upon to treat many ailments in Ayurvedic medicine. Neem leaves can be steeped to yield a distinctive and relaxing Herbal Tea. While the neem tree has a sweet fragrance from its lilac-like flowers, the flowers, seeds, and leaves are known to have a very bitter flavor. Neem is often added to tea blends to balance the bitter taste (27).
Consuming Neem Tea is said to have attainable benefits such as:
Improving skin health
Improving hair health
Strengthening the bones
Supporting the immune system
Maintaining healthy eyesight
Antifungal properties (28)
Order organic loose-leaf Neem here.
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Chamomile Tea (order here)
Chamomile is a flowering plant from the Asteraceae family, like sunflowers, Echinacea, and marigold. This daisy-like plant is widely known as a comforting, relaxing herb. Chamomile originated from the Greek word "chamomaela" or "ground apple" to convey its invigorating, apple-like scent. For centuries chamomile has been known as "mantazilla" or "little apple" in Spain. Chamomile's history spans many cultures and continents, whether used for its aroma, soothing effects, or flavor profile. Used in everything from cosmetics to aromatherapy and even beverages, calming Chamomile has been around for ages, dating back thousands of years to ancient Egyptian times. German Chamomile, Matricaria Chamomilla, Roman Chamomile, and Chamaemelum Nobile are cultivated and used for Herbal Tea and other herbal applications. German Chamomile is extensively produced in Eastern Europe and thrives in Europe and temperate parts of Asia. German Chamomile, or wild Chamomile, grows like a weed under the right conditioner. On the contrary, Roman chamomile thrives in Central Europe and North America (29).
Consuming Chamomile Rea is said to have attainable benefits such as:
Reducing menstrual pain
Lowering blood sugar levels
Slowing or preventing osteoporosis
Promoting sleep and relaxation
Treating cold symptoms (30)
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Rose Tea (order here)
Roses, also known as Rosa, are a beautiful, woody, multi-petal perennial from China but are now grown worldwide. With anywhere between 100-150 species of roses, some varieties are known for their thorns along the plant's stems, which are used to deter predators and are grown in various colors ranging from white to red and thrive in sunny, well-drained soil (31). The petals of the rose are often referred to as rose hips, and are frequently used for their many medicinal purposes, especially in rose water, which is created by distilling rose petals with steam. To learn more regarding the Benefits of Roses, click here.
Roses have been utilized in herbal medicine for centuries and are brimming with healthful properties. Different teas may use distinct parts of the rose plant as ingredients in their blends. For instance, rose petals are usually added to light, mellow teas to add a floral note, while rose hips are typically added to fruity blends to add sweetness and tartness. Although rose petals and rose hips differ in taste, the particular benefits they bestow are nutritional and flavorful additions to herbal and caffeinated blends (32).
Consuming Rose Tea is said to have attainable benefits such as:
Assisting in weight loss
Reducing menstrual pain
Benefiting mental health
Reducing stress and anxiety
Improving insulin resistance
Improving heart health (33)
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Earl Grey (order here)
While the English may have popularized earl grey tea, it was not their invention; it was a Chinese creation. Early Chinese tea masters regularly experimented with ways to create more exotic teas to capture the attention of the reigning emperors of the time and the business of worldwide trade merchants looking to return home with the unique flavors of the Far East. Today, Earl Grey Tea is one of the most recognized flavored teas globally, and believe it or not, it is not its own category of tea and actually falls into the classification of flavored teas. Flavored teas include any variety from White, Green, Oolong, or Black; it doesn't matter if it's scented or flavored with fruit, flowers, spices, oils, extracts, and natural or artificial flavors. Earl Grey is most widely depicted as a Black Tea that has been flavored with bergamot oil. However, there is not just one way to make Earl Grey Tea, which is why every Earl Grey Tea you've ever tried has probably tasted slightly different (34).
Consuming Earl Grey Tea is said to have attainable benefits such as:
Boosting heart health
Aiding in digestion
Preventing stomach ulcers
Lowering cholesterol levels (35)
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Pu'erh Tea (order here)
Pu'erh Tea is cultivated from a larger leaf strain of Camellia sinensis called Dayeh. Pu'erh Tea is a variation of black tea and is often referred to as Black Tea in the Far East part of the world, it originates from the Yunnan province of China and is named after the market town where it originated. Pu-erh Tea is post-fermented, meaning that the tea leaves go through a microbial fermentation process after being dried and rolled, resulting in the leaves darkening and changing in flavor. A Pu'erh Tea can be classified in two different ways: raw (sheng) and cooked/ripe (shou). Today, Pu'erh continues to be considered a highly prized commodity. A well-preserved pPu'erh still holds its value and remains a household delicacy even in modern society (36).
Consuming Pu'erh Tea is said to have attainable benefits such as:
Aiding in weight loss
Improving cholesterol levels
Inhibiting cancer growth
Boosting liver health
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Oolong Tea (order here)
Oolong is neither a Black Tea nor a Green Tea; it falls into its own tea category. Depending on how Oolong Tea is made, Oolong may end up with more Black Tea attributes or more Green Tea attributes; it all depends on the approach of the tea process. Unlike Green Tea, which is not supposed to oxidize much, Black Tea is allowed to oxidize during processing, giving the tea leaves a dark color and rich malty aroma. The appearance, shape, and taste of an Oolong Tea can range wildly depending on the region where it's farmed and how it's processed. Oolong Teas are generally rolled, twisted, or curled into tight balls or thin strands. Due to Oolong Tea's varying oxidation levels, the processing technique of the tea master can alter its flavor ranging from light to full-bodied, floral to grassy, and sweet to toasty. The leaf's color and the brewed tea's coloring can also run from green to golden to brown. Both China and Taiwan claim to have originated Oolong Tea and are still highly cherished in both countries today (39).
Consuming Oolong Tea is said to have attainable benefits such as:
Protection against diabetes
Easing insulin resistance
Improving heart health
Aiding in weight loss
Improving brain function
Protection against certain cancers
Promoting tooth and bone strength
Relieving eczema symptoms (40)
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Jasmine Tea (order here)
The aromatic Jasmine flowers that flavor Jasmine Tea typically comes from the common Jasmine species (Jasminum officinale) or Sampaguita (Jasminum sambac). Similar to Earl Grey Tea, Jasmine Tea falls into the flavored or scented tea category. Jasmine Tea became one of the first flavored teas exported from China during the late 1800s. The planet soon fell in love with Jasmine’s pungent scent and delicate flavor and has longed for the exquisite blossom ever since. The desire for Jasmine Tea includes any tea that has been flavored or aromatized with flowers, fruit, spices, oils, extracts, and natural or artificial flavors. While Jasmine’s fragrant and intoxicating aroma is most famously infused into Green Tea, some tea gardens also cultivate Jasmine Tea with a base of White or Black Tea (41).
Consuming Jasmine Tea is said to have attainable benefits such as:
Aiding in weight loss
Protecting against heart disease
Promoting good oral health
Boosting brain function
Protection against Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease
Lowering your risk for type 2 diabetes
Reducing your risk of certain cancers (42)
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Elderberry Tea (order here)
Elderberries come in several varieties from the Sambucus tree, a flowering plant that belongs to the Adoxaceae family. The most familiar type is Sambucus nigra, also known as European elderberry or black elderberry, which usually grows up to 30 feet tall and has clusters of white or cream-colored flowers often referred to as elderflowers with small bunches of black or blue-black berries. Although elderberries are one of the most commonly used medicinal plants throughout the world and history and are even used for culinary purposes, the plant's berries must be cooked to be eaten. In contrast, the flower can be eaten raw or cooked (43). To learn more regarding the Benefits of Elderberries, click here.
Elderberry Tea is created from the berries of the elder tree. The berries are harvested and then dried before infusing with water to make a warm, relaxing tea. The berries come in various colors, from black and red to blue. They have a tart flavor and are beneficial for boosting the immune system (44).
Consuming Elderberry Tea is said to have attainable benefits such as:
Relieving cold and flu symptoms
Relieving sinus infections
Improving bronchitis (45)
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Nettle Tea (order here)
Nettle, also known as stinging nettle or by its botanical name Urtica dioica has been a staple in herbal medicine dating back to ancient times in Egypt and Greece (46). Nettle can be identified by its pointed at the end, coarsely toothed leaves that can be several inches long. The overall plant grows 2 to 5 feet tall and has become naturalized throughout the United States (47). This herb can be supplemented in a pill or tincture, dried, freeze-dried, or even cooked to be safely consumed, and has several potential health benefits. To learn more regarding the Benefits of Nettle, click here.
Nettle Tea is created from the leaves of the stinging nettle plant and infused in hot water. It is similar to vegetable broth in taste and can have a gentle or pungent taste depending on the concentration. While people have utilized nettle for centuries as herbal medicine, modern research supports many of the possible health advantages of nettle and Nettle Tea. Soaking nettle leaves in tea is one way to consume nettle (48).
Consuming Nettle Tea is said to have attainable benefits such as:
Relieving rhinitis and seasonal allergies
Easing difficulties urinating
Relieving inflammation and joint pain
Reducing muscle spasms
Improving high blood sugar
Preventing bacterial infections, such as urinary tract infections (49)
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Orange Tea (order here)
Orange Tea is created from the juice or peel of the orange fruit, also known as Citrus sinensis, which tastes like a cup of hot orange juice. Many tea blends contain citrus peel, usually the most aromatic part of any citrus fruit. Orange peel can add a tasty, sweet, intense, and zesty note to many tea blends. Orange Tea can be made by steeping the orange peel in hot water or adding orange juice to other tea blends. Dried orange peel is both a familiar and popular ingredient, and it’s available in many shops today. Sugared orange peel is viewed as a delicacy in some countries and may be used in tea-making. If you make your Orange Tea using freshly squeezed juice, it will be sweeter, zestier, and juicier than orange peel tea. On the other hand, orange peel tea may be more aromatic but sometimes more bitter due to the orange peel containing tannins. If you use an orange peel instead of orange juice, try not to over brew your tea (50).
Consuming Orange Tea is said to have attainable benefits such as:
Rich in vital nutrients
Promoting better digestion
Boosting immunity (51)
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Raspberry Tea (order here)
Raspberry plant or Rubus idaeus is prevailing and widely available because it produces delectable and healthy fruits. Raspberry Tea is an infusion of either raspberry fruit, referred to as fruit tea, or raspberry leaves in hot water, herbal tea. Tea made with raspberries, and raspberry leaf will have a different flavor and provide additional benefits. Expect more benefits from infusing raspberry leaves than raspberry fruits. Raspberry leaf tea has been used traditionally for centuries. Raspberry fruit tea and raspberry leaf tea will have a very different flavors. While the first one is juicy and fruity, sweet, and sometimes slightly tart, raspberry leaf tea doesn’t have a fruity note, and it’s more similar to the flavor of Black Tea. Raspberry leaf contains tannins and may be more or less astringent (52).
Raspberry Tea is most often used for women during pregnancy and is typically recommended for the second and third trimesters. Some women use the herbal remedy to help with nausea and vomiting in the first trimester (53). One study evaluated the use of herbal remedies in 600 pregnant women. It revealed that 52% of women regularly used some type of herbal remedy, and 63% of women had tried red raspberry leaf tea (54). If you're interested in Raspberry Tea during pregnancy, I recommend Earthley's Pregnancy Tea, which can be purchased here.
Consuming Raspberry Tea is said to have attainable benefits such as:
Rich in vital nutrients
Relieving PMS symptoms
Strengthens the uterus for childbirth
Reducing interventions and complications of childbirth (55)
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