It’s almost impossible to go into January without thinking about new beginnings. The dawn of a new year means different things to different people but, for the most part, it usually involves reflecting on the last 365 days and assessing our health and well-being as well as our goals, dreams and aspirations for the year ahead. At this time of year so many of us focus on what to eliminate from our lives – “I’m giving up alcohol” or “I’m cutting out carbs” – but it may be time to practice a little self-love and focus on what you can add to your wellness routine (hint: it’s tea!) to upgrade your mind and body. Not only can certain teas help satiate your sweet cravings (suggestion: try herbal tea instead of reaching for the leftover Quality Street) but sipping regularly on the right teas can make a positive contribution to your physical and emotional well-being. Don’t believe the hype? Read on to find out how the great British tradition could help you achieve your wellness goals in 2018…
Choked with the cold? Sipping on immunity-boosting ginger tea is guaranteed to warm you from the inside and can help to fight off colds, reduce congestion and fire up your digestion. Daily HIIT sessions planned to work off those festive mince pies? No problem: ginger has anti-inflammatory properties so can help alleviate muscle soreness – there’s no excuse for skipping your morning workout!
Looking to kick-start your metabolism? The jury is in: research has shown that green tea helps to speed up your metabolism and increases fat burning (it contains a compound called catechin). Matcha green tea is made from the whole leaf of the green tea plant and is known to have 10 times the antioxidant value of ordinary green tea. Antioxidants play a critical role in protecting the cells in your body against the damaging effect of “free radicals” which can be caused by a bad diet and which are also found in the environment (pollution, cigarette smoke and UV rays) all of which can have an ageing effect on the skin. So sip on this refreshing tea to help ward off the ageing process – free radicals, you’ve met your matcha! We love Pukka’s Clean Matcha Green Tea.
Overindulged and feeling the festive bloat? Ah, the humble dandelion. Before you write it off as nothing more than a pesky weed, know that dandelion is a diuretic so swapping your breakfast tea for dandelion tea could help to combat fluid retention and reduce bloating. And, let’s face it, who doesn’t want a flatter stomach? Dandelion tea is said to have a detoxifying effect on the liver and is also high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. So, if you’ve partied a bit too hard over the festive season then why not try a dandelion “tea-tox”?
Mind in overdrive? Looming credit cards bills, an overflowing inbox and the pressure to make resolutions for the year ahead has the potential to leave even the calmest of yogis feeling anxious. Step in your new BFF: Gotu kola tea. Gotu kola is an Asian herb commonly used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine and is known to help ease anxiety as it has a soothing effect on the nervous system. If that wasn’t enough it contains chemical compounds (called triterpene saponins) that help with collagen production (responsible for giving skin its elasticity) and can improve blood circulation – just what you need to give dull, January skin a much-needed boost!
So, as we contemplate the year ahead, let’s not forget that happiness truly is in the small pleasures so why not pop the kettle on and take some well-deserved “me time”. Once you start reaping the benefits of positivi-tea, it’ll be one resolution you’ll want to keep!
“There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea”
words by Danielle Wardell
Co-Editor at Once Upon A Minimalist
Note: if you have any concerns about the use or possible side effects of any herbal teas (including those listed above) please discuss these with your GP/physician before including these in your diet and you should always consult your GP/physician before using any herbs to treat any medical condition.