Herbal Tea Health Uses
A Chinese Medicine Perspective

What does traditional Chinese medicine say about the herbal tea health benefits and its uses? Which tea should you drink at different times of the day? What about seasonality?

As with all aspects of traditional Chinese medicine, the most important thing to know about herbal tea's health benefits is to understand its polarity, i.e. whether it is warming or cooling.

Generally speaking, lightly oxidized teas such as white tea and green tea are cooling, whereas fully oxidized teas such as red tea or black tea are warming. Oolong tea, depending on the variety, sits in between.

Warming teas promote better digestive health and are excellent as anti-inflammatories. You may need a warming tea if you have a slow metabolism, or suffer from depression, fatigue or a lack of sexual energy. Rosemary added to your favorite tea can also be warming.

Cooling teas are excellent for cleansing and detox, and for treating recurring skin rashes and allergies. Depending on the individual, they are also more likely to irritate your stomach and cause nausea and heartburn.

Ideally you would have access to the full range of cooling and warming teas for different times of the day and season.

Timing and Preparation

The health benefits of herbal teas can be maximized by taking them during the proper time of day.

Since the body has been still all night, cleansing teas are best taken in the morning. This applies to lighter oxidized tea such as green and white tea, which are more cooling and cleansing and so are best taken in the morning.

Teas for breathing problems or arthritis conditions and other cooling teas should be taken between meals because they may irritate the stomach and cause nausea and heartburn.

Digestive and warming teas should be taken with food since they are usually stimulants and cause an upset stomach if taken without food.

Herbs taken for mental problems or eye deficiencies should be taken at night along with teas for menopause and hot flashes.

Teas made from leaves, flowers or powdered spices should be prepared by steeping; extreme heat will destroy their delicate properties. If you buy roots, barks, fungus or seeds they should be simmered for at least twenty minutes.


Some teas are more seasonally appropriate than others. Each season brings an ailment with it which can be avoided or greatly reduced with the use of proper teas.

In the spring it is good to have teas that detoxify and cleanse your body of excess phlegm caused by allergies. Green tea and white tea contain high concentrations of EGCG that has been proven to have anti-allergic properties.

White tea is the most "uncooked" Camellia sinensis tea as it is processed under low temperature conditions. In China, it is prized for its cooling properties and so is especially suitable for consumption during summer. Iced white tea, especially, is a special treat during a hot, sweltering day!

The fall and winter can cause your metabolism to slow down so a warming herb may be better to prevent fatigue and weakness.

A darker oxidized tea such as an oolong or black tea is recommended. Echinacea tea is a great tea all year long but especially in the winter to fight off colds.

What To Add?

Adding sugar or honey to your tea may dilute its effectiveness and increase digestive problems. If you must add honey, try raw honey to avoid the inflammatory properties that processed honey contains.

Fennel seed can also be used as a sweetener.

Adding lemon to your green tea may boost its antioxidant properties, a 2007 study reports.

You can try adding ginger for a digestive boost and a distinct flavor.

Turmeric powder is another additive that can be used for flavor.  It also helps to purify the body.

Herbal Tea Health Benefit #1:
Weight Loss

Tea can help you to lose weight.

Drinking at least one cup of green tea every day can be very effective in the battle against excess weight. Research studies have proven that it is especially effective for burning fat, preventing fat storage and increasing metabolism.

Green Tea Weight Loss - Important Facts To Avoid Being Ripped Off!

Cinnamon tea also helps if taken prior to exercise because it causes the body to produce more sweat.

Herbal Tea Health Benefit #2:
Fertility Aid

Tea can help with fertility problems.

Warming teas should be taken by men who are having problems with producing a child.

Green tea was observed to alleviate erection problems in one 2006 rabbit study. Horny Goat Weed is also a good tea for men as it increases sexual energy and fertility. So is an authentic Panax ginseng.

Clove tea is a good tea for both males and females because it is a moistening tea.

Laxative teas should not be taken while attempting to conceive.

Green Tea and Pregnancy - A Fertility Aid?

Herbal Tea Health Benefit #3:
Women's Ailments

Tea can be helpful to women with specific ailments.

For women who suffer from elevated hormones during PMS, adding Aloe Vera to your favorite tea can help calm you down. Sarsaparilla tea is good for UTI’s and Valerian root tea can assist with cramping pains.

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