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There are so many unbelievable health benefits to green tea. It's full of beneficial ingredients like epigallocatechin, which aids in weight loss and the cancer-fighting antioxidants . It's common knowledge that health experts worldwide consider green tea as the world's healthiest drink. But let's face it; even the most hardened health freaks among us will admit that green tea is not the tastiest drink in the world. No amount of honey, lemon juice or mint is going to make it any more palatable.
Probably that's why the public fancy is shifting towards a different kind of tea altogether, one that is not made of tea leaves at all! Tisane (pronounced ti-sahn) is a herbal tea made by brewing leaves, flowers, fruit peels or fruits in water. The result is an interesting mix of flavours that is easy on your palate.
As mentioned earlier, tisane is not tea at all mainly because it doesn't contain Camellia sinensis leaves. Unlike green tea, tisanes don't have a set formula. You can customise your own tisanes by adding ingredients of your choice. My favourite is a ginger and mint tisane which has a lot of anti-inflammatory properties. You can also make a hibiscus-cinnamon tisane or an orange-clove tisane. There is no way to answer whether tisanes are healthier than green tea because it all depends on the ingredients in the mix. But here are some healthy reasons why you can make a switch from green tea to tisanes.
Tisanes are tastier: No surprises here, but a tea made of dried peaches will taste better than one made with green tea leaves. So instead of crying into your cup every morning, struggling to finish the yucky beverage, switch to tisanes. You can select the yummiest herbs and dried fruits for your morning cuppa.
Tisanes contain no caffeine: This is probably the biggest advantage of tisanes. You may need that jolt of caffeine in the morning to get through the day, but it can also cause nervousness, sleeplessness and anxiety. Green tea contains very less caffeine as compared to coffee. Still, it can still bother those who are caffeine sensitive. But beware, some herbs that you put in your tisane may contain small doses of caffeine like cacao nibs or Yerba Mat .
Tisanes don't cause acidity: Acidity issues put many people off green tea completely . In such cases, it is better to have a hot cup of ginger tisane with a little bit of turmeric.
Tisanes can be tailor-made according to your health requirements: So if it is hormonal imbalance that you are battling, a tea made of shatavari or peppermint may be best for you! If you have diabetes or hypertension, try hibiscus tea that reduces not only blood sugar but also high BP. If you have trouble sleeping, try chamomile tea!
Tisanes don't interfere with iron absorption: The catechins in green tea can decrease iron absorption from food which can cause anaemia . If you are already anaemic, it would be wise to give that carton of green tea the old heave ho! If you can't do without your morning cuppa, switch to a healthy tisane.
Here's a quick recipe for ginger-mint tisane
1 whole piece of ginger
Few mint leaves
Lemon rind (optional)
Pound the ginger in a mortar with a pestle. Heat a large cup of water and wait for it to boil. Throw in the ginger and let it cook for a full minute. Turn off the heat and add the lemon rind. Just before serving, throw in the mint leaves. You can sweeten it with a little honey but the drink is good on its own.
A word of caution!
Some herbs are very potent and may cause allergic reactions or interfere with your medication. Consult a good naturopath before you try out some random shrub you bought from a shady hakim. However, feel free to experiment with ingredients such as cloves, ginger, rose petals, hibiscus, orange and lemon rinds and peppermint.
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