We have touched on teas in various blog entries before. So we thought we would look at different types available and see what they can do for you. It does make interesting reading. Like many foods and drinks, it does come down to taste in the end. Variety is the spice of life, but does it make you healthy?
This is the sort of tea that is used to make a "builder's brew" and is essentially just a fermented green tea with milk.
Black tea contains caffeine to kick-start your brain in the morning, but also stress-relieving chemicals that counter the jitteriness that caffeine can cause.
One chemical in tea - L-theanine - has been found to increase alpha waves (the brain-signalling patterns that are also seen after meditation and yoga). This is one reason the kettle on is as good for a relaxing break as a morning boost.
As well as being a refreshing, cooling breath-freshener, peppermint has digestive benefits. It relaxes muscles in the gut, which has the knock on effect of reducing cramping, pain and bloating, making it the ideal after-dinner drink.
The menthol smell in the tea can help to clear your nose when inhaled, as well as reduce muscle tension and pain to ease a headache.
In many people's books, this is the healthiest tea of all. It shares all the benefits of the black tea above, with some of very high levels of antioxidants, and it is these molecules, known as Catechins, that are thought to provide most of the health benefits of green tea.
People who drink green tea on a regular basis tend to live longer, healthier lives, and regular green tea consumption has been found to lower incidence of heart disease, improve blood sugar levels and cholesterol, and reduce the risk of dementia. Some people believe this is also down to lifestyle made by green tea drinkers.
Lemon and Ginger Tea
This is such a classic combination, and also tastes delicious. This warming home remedy is linked to helping to treat colds and flu.
As well as producing Vitamin C to boost the immune system ginger is good for digestion - it helps to relax gut muscles and is also great for reducing nausea. It soothes inflamed skin in the throat during coughs and colds, and is helpful to reduce pain after over-exercising.
Earl Grey Tea
Yes, it does feel a little posh to drink this, and it is a desired taste different to normal tea - but that is only because if is just black tea with some added Bergamot. Like other citrus plants, bergamot can help you relax.
A study using aromatherapy with bergamot essential oil found that it reduced heart rate, blood pressure and anxiety in a group.
Widely used in family settings to calm restlessness, reduce anxiety and improve sleep, this tea has also been used to ease digestive complaints linked to nervous conditions.
Scientists have found that one cup of chamomile tea at bedtime can help with the quality of sleep and even reduce depression. They also found that people who regularly drank it for more than 30 years had a reduced risk of thyroid disease.