Herbal teas (also known as “tisanes”) aren’t technically “true” tea types. But they’re brewed and consumed in the same way as the teas outlined above, and they’re beloved among tea drinkers of all stripes. So we’d be remiss if we excluded them from this list!
Here’s a look at some of the most popular herbal brews and their health benefits.
1. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is a pretty, elegant, and fragrant herb that belongs in the Asteraceae plant family. People have been using chamomile for therapeutic purposes for centuries, and today it’s a popular tea—especially among people who are looking to unwind before bed. Chamomile tea is made from the dried flowers of the chamomile plant.
There are two primary varieties of chamomile: German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile (which is sometimes called English Chamomile). They’re different species of the same plant, though they grow a bit differently and have a slightly different appearance.
The Benefits of Chamomile Tea
Per a comprehensive 2010 review, chamomile may offer the following benefits:
- It may support calm and perhaps support healthier sleep habits.
- It may support digestion.
2. Ginger Tea
The spicy root (or “rhizome”) of the ginger plant belongs to the same family as healthful spices such as cardamom and turmeric. It adds flavor to a huge variety of dishes and drinks, and people have been using it for therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. It also makes for a delicious and healthful tea.
Benefits of Ginger Tea
Many of ginger tea’s health properties stem from compounds called gingerols and shogaols. These compounds aren’t just fun to pronounce; they also seem to help support the body’s response to inflammation.
Ginger is also well-known for helping with nausea and helping people cope with motion sickness.
3. Hibiscus Tea
Not surprisingly, hibiscus tea is derived from the hibiscus plant. This plant grows native in North Africa and Southeast Asia and can be found in tropical and subtropical climates around the globe.
The red brew is simultaneously sweet and tart (think of it like the tea equivalent of cranberry juice). It’s commonly enjoyed as an iced tea and is a fantastic and refreshing summer drink.
Benefits of Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus doesn’t have the same “superfood” reputation as some other teas on this list, but maybe it should. Research suggests this pretty plant is packed with potential benefits:
- It’s high in antioxidants
- It may support healthy cholesterol management
- It may help support liver health
4. Mint Tea
Peppermint tea is perhaps the most popular herbal tea around and is used in a myriad of different herbal infusions. This minty brew—which is derived from the leaves of the mint plant—smells and tastes great and is commonly used to settle an upset stomach. In fact, it’s been used for its great taste and its health benefits for thousands of years.
Benefits of Mint Tea
Much of the research into the possible benefits of peppermint has focused on peppermint oil instead of peppermint tea. That said, because peppermint leaves contain peppermint oil, it’s possible mint tea may deliver some of the same benefits as peppermint in oil form. For instance:
- It may support digestion and may help make your belly feel a little better. Animal studies suggest mint can help support relaxation in the digestive system and help ease spasms in the gut.
- Even though it’s caffeine-free, peppermint tea might have a natural energizing effect. One 2005 study found the scent of peppermint may reduce feelings of sleepiness. In another small study, participants reported feeling less fatigued while taking a cognitive test when they consumed peppermint oil.
5. Rooibos Tea
This caffeine-free herbal tea is well-known for its rich, red hue and sweet, earthy, slightly floral flavor. (Not coincidentally, rooibos is also sometimes called “red tea” or “red bush tea.”) It’s derived from the fermented leaves of the Aspalathus linearis shrub, which grows natively in South Africa.
Benefits of Rooibos Tea
Like hibiscus, rooibos doesn’t have a major reputation as a health food. But it should! While research into rooibos is still ongoing, so far studies suggest that:
- It’s loaded with antioxidant compounds (including aspalathin, nothofagin, and quercetin), which may help support protection against oxidative stress.
- It may help support heart health.
- It may help support strong teeth and bones. Red rooibos is loaded with fluoride minerals as well as calcium and manganese—all of which may help support bone and teeth strength.