There’s a Tea for That



teapotHealthy Living with Dr. Justin Hildebrand

Tea has been used to help calm the nerves, settle the stomach, and fight infections for centuries. The Ancient Chinese, English of the 1600’s, and Native Americans all used tea as medicine.  In the world we live today, tea is mainly used as a cold refreshing drink or to warm us up on a bone chilling day. The medicinal quality of tea has been lost to many of us.   Remember for whatever ails us, there is a tea for that.

Digestional Complaints: Drink peppermint or spearmint teas. Peppermint is best used to help warm you up and should be ingested hours after meals. Spearmint calms the nerves, lowers blood pressure, and starts the digestion of proteins.  Thus, it is best for the high stung and directly after meals.

Cranky/Fussiness: Drink chamomile tea. Chamomile is used to calm cranky children and adults or fall asleep. It is best used when sedation is desired, but should not be brewed by anyone who is allergic reaction to ragweed.

Common Cold/Respiratory Complaints: Drink green tea and/or Echinacea. Green tea has been thought to have anti-viral effects and has been shown to fight strains of the flu and common cold in research studies. Bottom line: it has a much better effect on viral conditions than the antibiotics commonly prescribed for cold like symptoms. Echinacea can possibly help reduce cold like symptoms when taken early in the infection. Echinacea has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties and helps stimulate the immune system.

Bloating and Gas: Drink ginger or rooibus teas. Ginger has been used for thousands of years to clam gas and the unsettled stomach. Rooibus, or sometimes called red tea in stores, is great for bloating or complaints due to overeating. Rooibus is best used when cramping or discomfort is associated.

Diabetes: Drink Oolong and green tea. Oolong and green tea are helpful for managing type 1 and type 2 diabetes.  Green tea can also help to reduce your risk for developing both types of diabetes. Adding a squeeze of lemon to pure oolong or green tea may increase the anti-diabetic effects.

Stress and Anxiety: Drink siberian ginseng and passion flower teas. Siberian ginseng can reduce the cortisol (or stress hormone levels) in the body and decrease blood pressure as a result of a stress response. Passion flower has been shown to be effective for generalized anxiety disorders and can reduce anxiety without sedation.

Next time you are feeling ill, down, restless, or just ate too much, just open the cabinet and grab some tea. It’s a quick, easy, and a therapeutic option without side-effects for many common complaints.

Yours in health,


Dr. Justin Hildebrand