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Teas to Help Fight Inflammation

Hand pouring tea into cupIt has long been known that drinking tea can help in the management of inflammation, a condition that occurs when the body’s defence mechanism reacts to things that may do it harm. As an immune response to harmful bacteria and viruses, acute inflammation helps with the healing process after injury or infection. Chronic inflammation, however, can occur when the body’s defence system triggers an inflammatory response when there is no infection or injury, and can result in detrimental effects associated with a host of illnesses known as autoimmune diseases. There are thought to be more than 80 auto-immune diseases, and these include conditions such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes. Many people suffer from inflammation, causing symptoms ranging from pain and swelling, inflamed airways, anxiety and depression, insomnia, fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, and more. These symptoms can last for months or years, so need to be managed somehow by medication or other means.

Anti-inflammatory medications are often prescribed to alleviate symptoms of chronic inflammation, but they can cause unwelcome side-effects and long-term use is not advised. Studies have shown that diet and lifestyle choices can either worsen or relieve symptoms, so it makes sense to try to adopt a healthy lifestyle; get enough sleep and exercise, find ways to combat stress, cut out refined and processed foods and incorporate foods in your diet that may have natural anti-inflammatory properties. Foods to include could be berry fruits, cherries and pineapples, green leafy vegetables, almonds and walnuts, tomatoes, oily fish and olive oil. There are many other foods with anti-inflammatory properties worth researching.

As well as offering anti-inflammatory benefits, drinking tea during the day helps us stay hydrated, and herbal teas that are caffeine-free are good to wind down with to promote a good night’s sleep. Green teas in particular are thought to be particularly beneficial as they contain the compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the immune system from inflammatory responses, and black teas contain the bioflavanoid, quercetin, known for its anti-inflammatory effects. Spices, such as turmeric and ginger, can also help to eliminate harmful chemicals that may build up in the body to cause inflammation; teas made from these roots are also warming and comforting. To make the most of their anti-inflammatory properties, teas are best served without milk or sugar. Some teas have delightful floral and fruity characteristics that make them naturally sweet.

Tea-direct has a great selection of delicious teas that may help in the fight against inflammation:

Sencha Ginger Tea - a mix of green tea with ginger pieces and black peppercorns makes this tea wonderfully warm and soothing.

Matcha Gold Green Tea - made from one of the highest grades of matcha, this vibrant tea is packed with antioxidants.

Nettle Herbal Tea - thought to help reduce hay fever symptoms and help with joint problems.

Dried Ginger Root Tea - a caffeine-free beverage that offers a remedy for digestive problems, as well as inflammation.

Liquorice Root Herbal Tea - a naturally sweet, flavoursome tea with a nectary thickness. Liquorice root is thought to contain natural analgesic compounds and anti-inflammatory properties.

Organic Turmeric Chai Herbal Tea - a warming mix of organic turmeric root pieces, liquorice, and spices for a powerful anti-inflammatory boost.

Dandelion Herbal Tea - a well-balanced tea that has been used medicinally for hundreds of years. Dandelions contain bioactive compounds thought to help reduce inflammation.

Peppermint Herbal Tea - a soothing, refreshing tea that is great to relax with, and helpful in the relief of blocked sinuses.

Rooibos Tea - contains high levels of antioxidants and is naturally caffeine-free, so can be enjoyed at any time of day.

Rose Hips Herbal Tea - unique and delicate flavours with a delightful floral fragrance. This relaxing brew is also high in vitamins and antioxidants.