What's your ideal infusion? Herbal infusions and their health benefits

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The British love beer, and black tea, which is the most often drunk, and which has many health benefits, though, bypassing the pastries that accompany it. In Spain and Italy coffee is still the most common drink, but infusions are gaining popularity thanks to their many health benefits. In addition, the enormous quantity of varieties of teas (in spanish: variedades de tés) that exist makes it possible for each person to find their ideal flavor.

Recent studies show that tea helps protect against dementia, softens the blood sugar peaks that increase the risk of diabetes and reduces the chances of developing prostate cancer. 

 

Tea is full of antioxidant flavonoids and is a powerful weapon against oxidative stress, which is a factor in many serious health problems. Most of the antioxidant flavonoids and flavones in the British diet come in a cup of tea, but it's not just black tea that provides health benefits. 

 

Drinking herbal teas, or infusions as experts call them, can also help prevent problems. 

 

So why not put the kettle on and find out how different teas and infusions can help you stay healthy? 

BLACK TEA 

Protects against cancer and cardiovascular problems.

In a meta-analysis conducted in 2015, a super-study that combined the findings of previous research, it was determined that the consumption of a cup of tea a day reduced the risk of developing cancer by 2%. Those who drank more tea had a 21% lower risk of cancer than those who drank nothing. 

 

A similar study found that it reduces levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol associated with heart disease and scientists have also found that people who drink black tea are less likely to develop hardening of the arteries. 

GREEN TEA 

It comes from the same plant as black tea, Camellia sinensis, but is dried differently and has a different mixture of beneficial flavonoids. 

 

It is also healthy for the heart, as a major study shows that drinking three cups of green tea a day reduces the risk of a heart attack by 11%. Another report suggests that regular consumption reduced the chances of a heart attack by 46%. 

 

Green tea (té verde) catechins also contribute to weight loss and appear to be particularly helpful in combating excess abdominal fat, which is a major risk factor for diabetes and heart disease. 

 

A 2009 meta-analysis, which combined the results of 11 trials, concluded that green tea catechins reduced weight and body fat. 

ROOIBOS 

Also known as red bush tea, which uses Aspalathus linearis leaves, rooibos is a caffeine-free drink originating from South Africa that is drunk with or without milk. 

 

Powerful antioxidant, immunomodulatory and anti-cancer effects have been identified in laboratory studies. Regular consumption may protect against heart problems, as rooibos has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while increasing HDL cholesterol, which is healthy for the heart. 

 

Emerging data suggest that it may also help with nervous tension and digestive problems. 

FENNEL SEED 

Long used to treat digestive problems such as bloating, flatulence and heartburn, fennel is a common ingredient in many commercial water remedies for baby colic. 

 

Its main component is anethole, which has been shown to inhibit muscle spasms and uterine contractions. The conclusions of a clinical trial in 2012 were: "Fennel is an effective herbal drug for menstrual pain. 

 

Anethole is also believed to increase bile production, which is important for digestion. 

LICORICE 

This tea has all sorts of healthy properties. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-microbial immunomodulator, antioxidant and acts as a demulcent. This means that it creates a soothing film on the mucous membranes, explaining why licorice tea relieves digestive problems such as heartburn, gastritis and ulcers, and can also relieve sore throats and calm coughs. 

 

Historically, licorice has been used to treat arthritis, and benefits may come from the glycyrrhizin it contains, which buffers inflammation. 

 

It has also been shown to counteract suppression of adrenal function, a side effect of steroids sometimes prescribed for osteoarthritis. 

HIBISCUS 

This should be on your shopping list if you have high blood pressure. Along with helpful amounts of vitamin C, it contains plant compounds called anthocyanins that appear to act in the same way as ACE inhibitor medications. 

 

Studies have shown that hibiscus lowers blood pressure as effectively as the prescription drugs captopril and lisinopril and reduces hypertension in people with type 2 diabetes who are at increased risk for cardiovascular problems. 

MATTE GRASS 

From the leaves of the Argentinean holly, its fans say it combines the energetic impulse of coffee and the softening properties of chocolate. 

 

Perhaps not surprisingly, it is often used as an ingredient in energy drinks. Scientists at the Pasteur Institute in Paris say it has almost all the vitamins needed to sustain life. Laboratory tests show that it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions and that it can protect against cell damage. 

 

Trials confirm that it reduces LDL cholesterol and increases the effectiveness of prescription statins. 

CAMOMILE 

It contains glycine, an amino acid that relieves muscle spasms and helps relieve menstrual cramps and the discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome. 

 

Glycine is also a mild sedative, so drinking chamomile tea before bedtime can combat insomnia. It can also kill bacteria, fungi and viruses. 

 

A study published by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry of the American Chemical Society found that drinking five cups of chamomile tea every day for two weeks increased markers of antibacterial activity. 

LEMON BALM 

One study found that volunteers who received lemon balm extracts reported being "significantly" calmer up to two and a half hours later. 

 

Another placebo-controlled trial found that it also reduced agitation in Alzheimer's patients. Another found that volunteers who were asked to do math problems while exposed to mild stressors felt calmer, more alert, and solved problems more quickly.

MINT 

Mint tea is packed with carotenes and vitamin C and also provides useful amounts of magnesium, copper, iron, potassium and calcium.

 

It has a long history of traditional use for the relief of indigestion and scientists have found that it works in several ways. Australian researchers discovered that it buffers pain-sensitive fibers by activating TRPM8 receptors that block pain signals. 

 

Peppermint also calms stomach muscles and improves the flow of bile that the body uses to digest fats, so food passes through the stomach more quickly. 

 

Peppermint tea has the same soothing properties for the stomach as peppermint tea, but also has higher levels of several beneficial plant polyphenols that provide antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. 

 

According to the Journal of Chemistry, peppermint extracts have "excellent antioxidant activity. 

HIP ROSE

It can help relieve arthritis pain. 

 

Analysis of three placebo-controlled studies found that patients with osteoarthritis reported significant reductions in pain scores and a reduced need for pain medication after taking rosehip powder for three months. 

Swedish scientists found that it also reduced the risk of heart disease in obese people, and at increased risk, by 17%. 

 

When 31 clinically obese volunteers received daily rosehip for six weeks, their blood pressure was reduced by an average of 3.4%, total cholesterol decreased by almost 5%, and dangerous LDL cholesterol was reduced by 6%. 

GINGER

A proven stomach-setter. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports: "Treatment of pregnancy nausea and vomiting with ginger has shown beneficial effects. 

 

But it can also provide natural pain relief. In a University of Georgia study of 73 volunteers, ginger was found to reduce exercise-induced pain by 25%, while a study of 70 students suffering from painful periods reported a significant reduction in pain and four out of five women experienced less nausea. 









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