The Magic of Tea: How to heal your gut and boost your genetic potential with a delicious drink
If you are not much of a tea drinker, hopefully this article will make you think twice about it. Tea has been a popular beverage for ages and rightfully so! I drink tea often and I suggest it to all of my patients. Teas can have gut healing, anti-inflammatory, immune balancing, digestion boosting capabilities. It’s like magic!
Here are my top 7 tea recommendations:
- Green Tea (I especially like Jasmine Green tea but it’s nice to switch it up and try different flavors from time to time). Green tea owes its magical powers to its bioactive molecules such as epigallocatechin-3-gallate. This superfood has been associated with health benefits in those with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24915354).
- Oolong tea. This is another anti-inflammatory tea that has great polyphenols and can help with weight loss, inflammatory conditions, obesity, and diabetes (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25031332).
- Tulsi (Holy basil) tea. Holy basil has numerous health benefits from improved oral care and to relief from stress. One of the most exciting areas of research has been in how it can help improve memory and cognition. This magical tea may have brain-protecting properties! (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25031332).
- Chamomile tea. This is an oldie but goodie. I often use and recommend chamomile tea. Just make sure you don’t have an allergy to this and any related plants such as daisy and ragweed. Chamomile soothes the digestive tract, reduces stress, promotes sleep, and can boost your immune system. I love it in my patients with Irritable bowel syndrome, especially if they have anxiety as well. This magical tea is packed full of health promoting phenolic compounds, flavonoids, quercetin, and a number of other chemicals. It can help relax your bowel spasms and potentially lower your cholesterol at the same time! (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16628544).
- Lemon Balm tea. This is another favorite. A friend of mine described feeling like they were getting a spa treatment while drinking this tea; that’s how relaxed they were. I like it for those with anxiety, sleep disorders, and indigestion. It’s a great way to wind down a long stressful day. There is even science behind the claim that it has anti-stress effects (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25360512). I guess my friend wasn’t too far off the mark!
- Ginger tea. Ginger is one of my favorites! It is great for nausea, heartburn, bloating, constipation, gastroparesis, inflammation, arthritis, and a whole host of other things. For those of you who don’t like to take pills, ginger tea is another great way to get in that dose of ginger and some of its health benefits. Ginger has even been used in nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29614764). I would advise anyone using ginger or other herbs to make sure to consult with your doctor before trying anything to make sure the dose and quality of the product you are using is appropriate.
- Peppermint tea. This can be a refreshing and cooling beverage. Try it chilled! Peppermint is a great one for bowel spasms and those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, perhaps more particularly with those who have diarrhea predominance (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21389791). My kids love peppermint tea; it’s a refreshing way to cool them off after playing in the sun outside and preparing them for a gut healing snack such as carrots and cucumbers. The main thing to be aware of with peppermint is that it can make acid reflux or heartburn worse. So, for those of you with heartburn, peppermint tea may not be the best option for you, but don’t worry because you have many other choices to pick from!
If you are not a tea drinker or you never thought of drinking tea, try to switch it up a bit and experiment! Food really is medicine. Teas can be one of the greatest ways to get a nice dose of medicine that will make your mind and body happy! Just remember to source your tea from good, clean, reliable companies and try to stick with organic and loose leaf options whenever possible.