While green tea has long been popular for its antioxidant properties, there are several other unique teas rich in valuable nutrients to try as well. Whether you’re looking to boost your immune system or naturally lower your blood pressure, consider these beneficial brews.
Also known as the European elder, the black elderberry has been used for centuries to help boost immune function, alleviate congestion and other symptoms related to seasonal allergies, influenza and the common cold. Elderberry trees produce clusters of cream-colored flowers that are followed with the blue-black berries, which provide a full-bodied taste similar to a blackberry. This fortifying tea can be found at most health food stores, as well as in a variety of other forms including lozenges and extracts.
While prized as beautiful tropical blooms, hibiscus are more than just decorative – they may also help your heart, according to research that includes a 2010 study in the Journal of Nutrition led by Tufts University. The study found participants with mild hypertension who drank three cups of hibiscus tea per day over six weeks saw a measurable decrease in blood pressure. With a tart, cranberry-like flavor, hibiscus tea is widely available–but be sure to look for the purest form. Several blends contain licorice root, which should be avoided by those with hypertension.
A centuries-old Chinese brew, pu-erh tea is generating buzz among health seekers and teatotalers. Made from aged and fermented black tea leaves, this heady tea is known for its earthy aroma and wholesome benefits. It naturally contains small amounts of the cholesterol-lowering compound lovastatin and is a source of probiotics for digestive health.