For thousands of years before the dawn of "modern medicine", herbal medicine was the choice for curing disease and increasing health. In every culture, there were specialists who were knowledgeable of the local plants and used them to treat all sorts of illness and disease. There were no pharmacies or officially educated doctors. This was simply how life was for most of humanity’s history.
It is no surprise then that these days there are still many plants and herbs that are commonly known to help with health. Most modern pharmaceuticals are still derived from some sort of plant, fungi or even bacteria. Herbs and fungi have been part of humanity’s medicine project for thousands of years, and here at Steep Into It, we are here to help bring that information back to common knowledge.
The act of brewing any combination of herbs with hot water is considered a tea and drinking tea does not simply have to be something we do for taste or pleasure, though it certainly does make it a lot more enjoyable!
Here a brief history of a few of our favorite medicinal herbs and how they can help with our health:
Chamomile has its roots all around the Mediterranean area, with two different species, Roman and German. The Roman variety is found in the warmer climates near the sea, and the German variety is found in the colder parts of Europe. The Roman variety is more common and has a history that goes back to the ancient Egyptian empires where it was commonly used to treat head colds, and even in the modern day, it is considered as an official pharmaceutical in 26 different countries. Its most common medicinal uses are to help treat anxiety and to promote relaxation and sleep.
Labrador is a shrub that grows in some of the coldest regions of North America and has been used by Native Americans for hundreds of years. The herb was quickly adopted by the French settlers in Canada as a brewed tea used for medicinal purposes, which then found its way back to France. The resilient leaves provide strong flavors due to high levels of antioxidants and unique blend of essential oils. Labrador has high levels of vitamin C making it a great beverage for cold and flu season, and the anti-inflammatory properties can relief discomfort from infections and autoimmune issues.
Milk Thistle and Dandelion
Both of these herbs come from common flowering plants that are known to most people just as weeds. Milk thistle has a history in Europe and North Africa as a common herb used to treat liver conditions, and dandelion has a its roots in ancient Chinese medicine, also use for common liver problems and detoxifcaiton. The liver has so many important functions in the body, that by consuming herbs to support one’s liver, these compounds can also support cholesterol levels, skin health and maintaining stable blood sugar and insulin levels.
This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the health benefits of brewing common herbs as tea. Hopefully this piques your curiosity to learn more!