5 Herbal Alternatives to Your Morning Cup of Coffee
For centuries, people have relied on the caffeine-filled beverage for agility and energy. Though coffee is great with many health benefits (prevents Alzheimer, dementia, healthy liver, etc), there are also many side effects like nervousness, insomnia, stomach upset, muscle tremors and agitation.
The good news is that though taste may differ, but there are other great herbal beverages that can serve the same purpose coffee serves and even with greater health benefits than coffee.
Is coffee bad for you?
Coffee has many health benefits but the benefits do not mean that side effects don’t exist. Caffeinism is a condition caused by excess intake of coffee which may result in some adverse health effect like:
- Weight gain
- Low energy
- Mineral deficiency
- Disrupted sleep
- Elevated cholesterol
- Increases chance of miscarriage
Reasons why you should go herbal
There are several benefits offered by herbal tea like pain reduction, relaxation, and the improvement of body systems. Other great reasons why you should choose herbal tea over coffee are
- It boosts the immune system
- Reduction of soreness and pain
- Prevention of chronic disease like high blood pressure and diabetes
- Aids in digestion
- Stimulation of brain function
- It contains little to no calorie
The following are super and delicious alternatives to coffee
5 great herbal alternatives to coffee and their benefits
1. Chai tea / Masala chai
Made from the combination of black tea, ginger and other spices like cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, black pepper and cloves, chai tea is a sweet and spicy tea that is brewed because of its fragrant aroma as well as other health benefits. As a tea native to the Indian people with less caffeine than coffee, chai tea boast of many health benefits like lowering the risk of heart disease, low cholesterol level, lowers blood pressure and improve digestion.
There are several ways of brewing the tea to receive best self care result; a simple recipe is as follows:
- Crush the desired quantity of cardamom seed, cloves and black peppercorns
- Mix with the aid of filtered water/milk a slice of ginger, cinnamon stick and the crushed spices
- Heat the mixture to a boiling point
- Add black tea bag and allow it to steep for 10 minutes, after which you can enjoy.
The tea is relatively considered safe but due to its caffeine and ginger content, individuals prone to low blood pressure or low sugar are advised to drink in moderation.
2. Chamomile / Camomile
It originated in Western Europe, India, Western Asia but over the years, it has gained popularity in the United States. It is grown in gardens due to its appealing physical features and sedative properties. It can also be grown in fields and other sunny, well drained areas.
Chamomile tea has a variety of benefits which include reducing the level of stress and tension in the body, aiding digestion and treatment of other digestive conditions, boosting immunity and fighting bacteria. It is packed with high amounts of antioxidants which help boost immunity and combat bacterial infection. It can also help to reduce inflammation, impede the growth of cancerous cells and relax the body’s muscles.
There are various ways of preparing chamomile tea. Below is a simple recipe:
- Fill up your tea kettle with water and begin heating
- Place the desired amount of chamomile (3 to 4 tsp) into your teapot. You could also use a makeshift teabag
- Pour the boiling water over the chamomile flowers and allow it to steep for 5 minutes
- Serve as desired
Chamomile has a bittersweet, honey-like taste.
It is a spice that is gotten from the soft, inner bark of Cinnamomum, a tree that grows in Sri Lanka and South India. Cinnamon is great for both the mind and the body. It has been found to help improve cognitive speed and clear the brain in people of older age.
Cinnamon has a robust taste with a sweet aftertaste. Some of its benefits include: improvement of focus and cognitive speed, boosting the immune system, improvement of digestion and calming an upset stomach.
It can be brewed in different ways for optimal health benefit. Below is an easy to follow recipe:
- Pour a desired quantity of water into a medium tea kettle (about one and a half cups of water)
- Add 1 cinnamon stick and cover the kettle. For a stronger tea, break the stick into smaller pieces
- Bring the pot to a slow boil for about 15 to 25 minutes
- Allow the tea steep for about 10 to 15 minutes
- Strain the tea into a cup. Serve and enjoy.
4. Thyme Tea
Thyme, commonly known for both its medicinal and culinary properties, is an excellent alternative for coffee. It is widely known for its various health benefits which include remedy for sore throat, its effectiveness for reducing fever, headache and the duration of whooping cough and asthma attacks. It is also used as a remedy for diarrhea and gastrointestinal discomfort.
Thyme has a savoury and aromatic taste and it can be brewed in different ways. Below is a simple recipe:
- Place 2 tsp of dried thyme in your teapot. If you prefer to use fresh thyme leaves, place about 3 to 4 tsp of fresh leaves in your teapot.
- Pour boiling water into your teapot
- Allow the thyme steep for about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
Mint plant is found in native Europe and it is commonly known for its medicinal and culinary purposes. It has a menthol and a refreshing taste and a number of health benefits. It helps give the body a cooling effect in the case of a fever, it is a great remedy for gastrointestinal conditions and it aids in digestion. It can help ease nausea and also prevent vomiting. Peppermint is very effective during instances of motion sickness due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Below is one easy recipe on how to make peppermint tea:
- Pick the peppermint leaves and rinse properly.
- Crush the leaves to release the aroma and flavor and place in a mug. You can also use a teabag
- Boil water and allow to cool for a minute before pouring the hot water into the mug
- Let the tea steep for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the leaves or teabag. Serve and enjoy.
Although nothing can ever replace coffee for some people, coffee is not for everyone even though it offers many benefits. Notwithstanding, many other beverages like the ones listed above exist which can give the same sensations that coffee gives and offer best self services just like coffee but are still healthier, with many of them rich in antioxidants, probiotics and acetic acid which coffee lack. Try different ones, see which one you like or rotate them to get the best of everything.
Author: Polly Tlg
Polly Tlg has always been interested in holistic and alternative ways of healing. Ayurveda and yoga are the best medicines for her. Deeply intuitive she finds that true healing surpasses the boundaries of the physical body and embraces the emotional, energetic and subtlest layers of our being. Polly helps people to know how to be healthy and beautiful using only natural remedies. She believes that nature is the best source of human health. Check her blog about elements of Ayurveda.