With Season 3 of Downton Abbey upon us, I thought it only right to do a post on the health benefits of herbal tea. And, for all of you posh cavemen and women, I’ve even included a recipe for a 1 minute microwaveable paleo crumpet! So, shine up your monocles because we are sitting down for tea.
Did you know that tea is the second most commonly consumed beverage in the world behind water? Herbal tea can be defined as an “infusion of leaves, seeds, roots or bark, extracted in hot water.” By steeping these plants, we extract the health-promoting agents in an easy to digest format, plus there is an added aromatherapy bonus. Whether loose or bagged, many herbalists reinforce that the main thing to think about when choosing a tea is to pick a well-sourced, high quality product.
Herbal teas are widely known for their antioxidant properties. Listed below are a few types of teas, which are known to aid in specific areas of health.
- Peppermint tea has been linked with the relief of various digestive issues, including nausea, gas and bloating. It’s also one of the easiest herbs to grow, I added it to my garden this summer and it was definitely the hardiest herb by far.
- Ginger tea is another great digestive aid. Used commonly to curb motion sickness, ginger tea can be made at home by simmering a piece of ginger for 10 to 15 minutes on the stove. Try adding lemon and a bit of honey to this tea for an affective remedy for colds and sore throats.
- Chamomile is probably the most famous tea for helping to evade anxiety and insomnia. Herbalists recommend a long steeping time for the maximum health benefits.
- Rooibos tea, high in vitamin C and other minerals, has been linked with anti-aging affects and been shown to help with various skin afflictions, such as eczema.
- Through my research, I’ve learned that Lemon balm tea is a great for lifting those dark, winter blues. Herbalists claim that this tea can help with concentration and, when consumed before bed, can rid you of those plaguing nightmares. Since I often complain of seasonal bouts of depression, I plan to try this one out…I’ll let you know how it goes.
- Rosehip tea, made from the rose plant, is another great source of vitamin C. This tea can be used when the immune system needs a boost.
- Green tea, probably the most famous of the herbal teas, is widely touted for it’s antioxidant power and ability to promote weight loss by increasing circulation and metabolism.
Cream and sugar…one lump or two? Based on a small study done in Europe in 2007, it may be best to avoid cream and milk altogether. This study showed that the addition of milk to black tea counteracted many of it’s health-promoting benefits. As for sugar lumps, while cute, can definitely add to unwanted insulin spikes at tea time. Why not try adding some stevia, another natural plant-based product, to your tea to sweeten it up a bit?
As promised, here is a really interesting recipe for a 1 minute, microwaveable crumpet (original recipe found here). The consistency is sort of like an english muffin. I think I would like to fiddle with this recipe a bit though to add some more flavor. I substituted blueberry flax, but I think it sort of ended up giving it an off taste. I always wish to recreate the yeasty flavor when using almond flour alone and I think this would have been more successful using golden flax seeds. That being said, this was a delicious little muffin that could definitely be used in place of toast with eggs or to hold your sandwich. Enjoy!
If you make any substitutions please let me know!
The elegant caveman’s 1 minute crumpet
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed meal (I used blueberry here, although the original recipe called for golden…would probably stick with golden next time)
- 1 tbsp butter or coconut oil
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- Melt the butter or oil in the microwave
- Slowly whisk in the egg to avoid cooking
- Add the almond flour and flaxseed meal and stir until combined
- Add the baking powder and salt and stir once more
- Pour into a lightly greased ceramic ramekin
- Microwave for 1 minute (my microwave has low power, so I did it for 2 minutes. You can tell when it’s done because it puffs up and has some resistance when you touch the top)
- Release from rammekin (may need to use a knife to help loosen it a bit)
- Slice in half, toast and serve plain or with your topping of choice, I chose to use a bit of the apple butter from last week’s post…delicious!
Literature and acknowledgements: