This article will cover some of the main plants used for tea production around the world, from the well-known Camellia sinensis – the original plant of green, black, oolong and white tea – to lesser known but equally captivating varieties such as hibiscus, chamomile, mint and yerba mate.
Let’s embark together on this aromatic journey and discover the richness and diversity of the plants used to make tea.
Main plants for making tea
Nature presents us with an abundance of plants that offer a variety of flavors, aromas, and medicinal properties, many of which are traditionally enjoyed in the form of teas. The act of preparing and consuming tea not only offers a moment of tranquility and sensory pleasure, but also allows access to the health benefits that many of these plants carry.
Check the list:
- Lemon grass
- White tea
Chamomile is a plant commonly used to prepare teas due to its calming and medicinal benefits. There are two main types of chamomile that are most often used to make tea: German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).
- German Chamomile Tea : This is probably the most common type of chamomile tea available. The flowers of this plant contain compounds such as chamazulene and bisabolol, which have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. German chamomile tea is known for its calming properties and can aid in quality sleep.
- Roman Chamomile Tea : Although less common than German Chamomile, Roman Chamomile is also used in tea production. This plant has a slightly more bitter taste than German chamomile. Its tea is commonly used to aid digestion, reduce stress and promote sleep.
In addition, there are chamomile teas that are mixed with other herbs or spices, such as mint, lavender, and honey, creating blends with distinct flavors and properties. Chamomile tea with honey, for example, is a popular remedy for colds and sore throats, while a mixture of chamomile and lavender can provide an even more relaxing effect, ideal for bedtime.
Lemon balm, scientifically known as Melissa officinalis, is a perennial plant of the mint family, widely used in the preparation of teas for its pleasant aroma and calming effects. Here are some popular lemongrass tea variations:
- Pure lemon balm tea : The simplest and most common way to consume lemon balm is through a tea made only with its leaves. This tea has a mild, slightly citrus flavor and is known for its relaxing and sleep aiding properties.
- Lemongrass mint tea : This combination produces a tea that tastes fresh and invigorating. Both plants have calming and digestive aid properties, making this tea a great after-meal option.
- Lemon balm tea with chamomile : This tea combines two plants known for their calming properties. The result is a delicate, aromatic tea that is often used to relieve stress and promote better sleep.
- Ginger Lemongrass Tea : This tea combines the citrus flavor of lemongrass with the spicy heat of ginger. In addition to the relaxing effects of lemon balm, ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory and digestion-stimulating properties.
Remember that despite its many benefits, consumption of lemon balm tea should be moderate, especially for people who are pregnant, nursing, or taking other medications, as there may be interactions or side effects.
Lemongrass, also known as lemongrass or cymbopogon, is a tropical plant that has a characteristic citrus aroma and is often used in teas. Here are some popular lemongrass tea variations:
- Pure Lemongrass Tea : This is the most common form of consuming lemongrass. The tea has a light, refreshing taste and is known for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Lemongrass and Ginger Tea : This is a popular combination because of the contrast between the citrus flavor of the lemongrass and the spiciness of the ginger. In addition to the calming properties of lemongrass, ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory and digestion-stimulating properties.
- Lemongrass and Mint Tea : The citrus flavor of lemongrass combined with the freshness of mint creates a refreshing and invigorating tea. Both plants are known for their digestive properties.
- Lemongrass and chamomile tea : This combination results in a relaxing tea, ideal to be consumed before bed. Chamomile is known for its calming and sleep aiding properties, complementing well the effects of lemongrass.
Keep in mind that while lemongrass tea is safe for most people, it can interact with some medications and may not be appropriate for some people, such as those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional before starting to consume any medicinal tea regularly.
Fennel, or fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), is a highly aromatic and flavorful plant that is often used in cooking and tea making. Fennel tea has a sweet, slightly aniseed flavor and is known for its digestive benefits. Here are some common fennel tea variations:
- Pure Fennel Tea : This is a simple tea made with just fennel seeds. It is known for its digestion-aiding properties and can help alleviate issues such as bloating and gas.
- Fennel and Chamomile Tea : This combination creates a tea that is both soothing and beneficial for digestion. Chamomile is known for its relaxing properties and fennel helps with digestion.
- Fennel and Mint Tea : This combination creates a refreshing and digestive-friendly tea. Mint is known for its calming and digestive properties and fennel helps with digestion.
- Fennel and Ginger Tea : This combination creates an invigorating and helpful tea for digestion. Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory and digestive properties and fennel helps with digestion.
- Fennel and Anise Tea : The flavor of anise complements the flavor of fennel well, creating a tea with a strong, sweet taste that also aids digestion.
Keep in mind that while fennel tea is generally safe for most people, it can interact with some medications and may not be appropriate for some people, such as those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. As always, it’s a good idea to consult a healthcare professional before starting to consume any medicinal tea on a regular basis.
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) is a plant that has a long history of use in folk medicine. It is known for its diuretic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Here are some common horsetail tea variations:
- Pure Horsetail Tea : This is the simplest tea, made only with horsetail. It is known for its diuretic properties, helping with fluid retention, in addition to helping with skin problems due to its antioxidant action.
- Horsetail and Hibiscus Tea : This mixture combines two plants known for their diuretic properties, further helping to reduce fluid retention. Hibiscus adds a slightly acidic flavor to the tea.
- Horsetail and Dandelion Tea : This combination is often used in detox diets, as both plants have diuretic and purifying properties.
- Horsetail Tea and Green Tea : Green tea, known for its thermogenic and antioxidant properties, when combined with horsetail, results in a drink that can help with weight loss and detoxification of the body.
Remember that despite its many benefits, horsetail tea consumption should be moderate, especially for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking other medications, as there may be interactions or side effects. It is always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional before starting to consume any medicinal tea regularly.
White tea is made from the leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant, which also produces black and green tea. This type of tea is the least processed of all, which helps maintain a high concentration of antioxidants. Here are some common white tea variations:
- Pure White Tea : This is the simplest form of white tea, made only with the leaves of Camellia sinensis. It has a delicate, slightly sweet taste and is prized for its antioxidants and low caffeine content.
- White Tea with Jasmine : This is a common and delicious blend. Jasmine flowers add a floral scent to white tea, creating a delicate and aromatic drink.
- Peach White Tea : Adding peach to white tea creates a sweet and refreshing drink. Often, pieces of dried fruit or natural peach essence are used.
- White Tea with Red Berries : This combination creates a tea with a sweet and slightly acidic taste. Berries such as strawberries, raspberries or blackberries complement the smooth taste of white tea well.
- White Tea with Roses : Rose petals can be added to white tea to give it a floral scent and a smooth, sweet taste.
As always, it’s important to remember that while white tea is generally safe for most people, it does contain caffeine and may not be appropriate for people who are sensitive to this substance or for pregnant women. Consult a health professional before starting to consume any medicinal tea regularly.
Mint (Mentha) is an aromatic plant that is widely used in cooking and for making teas. Known for its digestive and cooling properties, mint offers a flavor that is both smooth and invigorating. Here are some common peppermint tea variations:
- Pure Mint Tea : This is the simplest form of mint tea, made with just fresh or dried mint leaves. This tea is appreciated for its ability to soothe the digestive system and for its refreshing taste.
- Peppermint and Chamomile Tea : This blend is a calming combination that can help relax your body and mind. Chamomile is known for its mild sedative properties, which complement the digestive properties of peppermint.
- Peppermint and Ginger Tea : This combination creates a tea with a spicy ginger and refreshing mint flavor. Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory and digestive properties, which makes it a useful addition to mint.
- Peppermint and Lemon Tea : Adding lemon to peppermint tea creates a refreshing, citrusy drink. Lemon is rich in vitamin C and is also known for its digestive properties.
- Peppermint and Fennel Tea : This combination results in a sweet and refreshing tea known for its digestive properties. Fennel has a sweet flavor that complements well the refreshing taste of mint.
As always, it’s important to remember that while peppermint tea is generally safe for most people, some people may be allergic to the plant. It is always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional before starting to consume any medicinal tea regularly.