When it comes to anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting drinks, teas top the list. The antioxidant properties of most teas help reduce oxidative stress, and the antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties boost immune function and overall health. What better way to support your health than to sip a comforting and nourishing cup of tea throughout the day? Discover the anti-inflammatory teas and herbal teas that can provide you with general well-being in many ways.
The best anti-inflammatory teas
1. Green tea
The benefits of green tea are well known and abundant. It is known as the quintessential anti-aging drink, and it is one of the most consumed drinks in the world. Numerous studies indicate that green tea has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It suppresses gene and protein expression of inflammatory cytokines. Green tea consumption has been shown to improve the quality of life of patients with inflammatory diseases. And a study published in Food and Nutrition Research found that green tea supplementation has beneficial effects on markers of inflammation and antioxidant status, as well as blood pressure.
How to prepare it: There are many types of green tea, with sencha being the most popular and matcha green tea gaining popularity due to its high antioxidant content. To prepare green tea, place your tea bag or high quality tea leaves in a teapot and heat the water to 80-90 degrees. This temperature is lower than boiling so as not to reduce the delicate compounds found in green tea. Steep the leaves for 1-3 minutes, or longer if the leaves are larger. You can add lemon juice or raw honey to green tea just before drinking it.
Preparing matcha tea is a different process. For matcha, you will add a teaspoon of matcha powder to a bowl or cup, along with an amount of nearly boiled water. Then you whip the powder for a minute until it becomes thick and fluffy.
2. Chamomile tea
One of the best-known anti-inflammatory teas is chamomile, which has been used for nearly 5,000 years for its ability to promote tranquility and longevity. Chamomile has been called a “vegetable aspirin” because of its pain-relieving properties. The anti-inflammatory effects of chamomile allow the herb to reduce pain, swelling, redness, and underlying inflammation issues. Research evaluating the benefits of chamomile shows that not only can the herb reduce inflammation when consumed as a tea, but it also improves inflammation issues when used topically.
Chamomile is often used to treat inflammations of the skin and mucous membranes, as well as various bacterial infections of the skin, mouth and respiratory tract. It can also help soothe gastrointestinal disorders and even eye inflammation. Just note that people with a ragweed allergy sometimes report a worsening of their symptoms when they drink chamomile tea. It may therefore not be suitable for people allergic to ragweed.
How to prepare it: Chamomile tea is the most popular way to consume this herb, and it is widely available in ready-to-serve teabags. You can also find chamomile powder and extracts, which are known to be the most potent forms of the plant’s antioxidants. If you drink chamomile to reduce inflammation, consume 1-4 cups daily. This potent anti-inflammatory herb can also be used to make homemade beauty and body care recipes, like this Homemade Lavender and Chamomile Bubble Bath.
3. Ginger tea
Drinking ginger tea is a comforting and tasty way to reduce inflammation, ease stomach upset, and even control cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Gingerol, the most valuable compound in ginger, has been analyzed for its anti-inflammatory effects. Research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food suggests that this constituent of ginger modulates the biochemical pathways that are activated in chronic inflammation. And a 2017 study published in PharmaNutrition indicates that the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger are not limited to its phenolic compounds, but are also due to the combined effects of root metabolites, pungent gingerols and aromatic essential oils.
How to prepare it: Ginger tea is available in ready-to-serve sachets that you will find in most organic stores. You can also make your own ginger tea by following this easy anti-inflammatory herbal tea recipe:
Peel and cut a knob of ginger into thin slices.
Add the slices to a pot of water and boil for 10-30 minutes (depending on the desired strength).
Strain and discard the ginger.
When ready to drink, add fresh lemon or organic honey to sweeten.
4. Peppermint tea
Peppermint has been proven to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. It is often used to relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and to promote respiratory health by reducing congestion and opening the airways. It is known as one of the best teas for stomach inflammations. How to prepare it: You can easily find peppermint tea in sachet form at your local grocery store. There are also loose leaf teas on the market. If you have peppermint oil at home, you can make an anti-inflammatory tea by adding two drops to green, white, or black tea. It is an excellent remedy for stomach ailments, respiratory problems and fatigue.
5. Turmeric tea
Turmeric tea is prepared by infusing turmeric root or powder. It’s an easy way to add the anti-inflammatory turmeric to your diet. Turmeric’s most active ingredient, curcumin, has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown in in vitro studies to reduce markers of inflammation.
Research suggests that turmeric tea also helps boost immune function by reducing inflammation and preventing oxidative stress. The antioxidants in turmeric help optimize your overall health.
How to prepare it: Turmeric tea is available in ready-to-serve tea bags. It can also be prepared from dried, ground or powdered turmeric. To make it yourself, add 1-2 tablespoons of turmeric to 4 cups of water and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Yerba Mate
Yerba mate is a plant that belongs to the holly family. Its leaves and young twigs are crushed and aged to make loose leaf tea. Yerba mate contains polyphenols and saponins that help boost the immune system and support the body’s ability to protect itself from disease. Yerba mate is also nutrient dense and contains multiple vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fatty acids, tannins, amino acids, and chlorophyll. Research shows that yerba mate has high antioxidant capacity and protects DNA from oxidation.
How to make it: Yerba mate is available in loose leaf and ready-to-steep tea bags. You can also find it as a bottled cold drink. To make loose leaf tea, bring water or milk to a boil, add about a teaspoon per cup, and steep for 3-5 minutes. To flavor it, you can add lemon, mint or your favorite natural sweetener.
The best anti-inflammatory teas are made with herbs and roots that help reduce inflammatory markers and oxidative stress that lead to disease.
They are available in ready-to-use sachets that can be found in most organic shops. They can be made at home by steeping the herb or root for several minutes. Drinking about two cups (or more if you tolerate it well) of anti-inflammatory tea will help promote immune function and overall health.