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What’s Brewing in Herbal Tea?

Time:2017-12-15

What’s brewing in herbal tea?

More consumers are opting for herbal teas that offer diverse biological properties.

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Tea is the most-consumed hot beverage in the world, and the second-most-consumed beverage overall, after water. herbal tea is a new emerging trend among health-conscious consumers. Herbal tea is made from infusion or by boiling the herbs, spices, or dissolved chemicals from plant material in water to extract the active ingredients.

Since ancient times, people have been using fresh and dried herbs for the preparation of refreshing drinks and medicinal herbal infusions. all models of traditional medicine, such as ayurveda, chinese, unani, tibetan, amazonian, and african, integrate phytotherapy into their doctrine, although these are based on different theoretical, cultural, and religious principles. today, herbal infusions made from any plant part other than the leaves of the tea bush (camellia sinensis) are known as herbal teas or tisane. herbal tea includes ingredients that are generally healthy and nutrient rich, and is considered to have several medicinal advantages. It not only provides refreshment but also controls normal physiological processes. awareness about the benefits of herbal tea is increasing around the world. Also, several global markets are selling customized herbal tea to meet consumer demand.

The popularity of herbal tea is increasing globally, especially thanks to antioxidant function. But new research has indicated potential anti-diabetic and anti-obesity activity from many single herb or multi-herb formulations. Some studies have quantified the high amount of polyphenolic compounds in fermented/traditional and unfermented/“green” tea, e.g. rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) and evaluated its cardio-protective effects against ischemia/reperfusion injury in rat models


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Conclusion

It is well established that the plethora of different polyphenols present in herbal tea synergistically acts together to enhance the antioxidant, anti-diabetic, antimicrobial, and anti-cancer activity of an individual substance (mostly based on in vitro or in vivo studies). The multifunctional effects of combinations include inhibition of inflammatory cytokine production and proteasome activity in cancer cells, induction of apoptosis and essential enzymes such as superoxide dismutase and glutamine synthetase, and epigenetic regulation by affecting DNA methyltransferase.

Since herbal teas are often produced in countries where both soil and air are increasingly contaminated, these products may be tainted with metallic and metalloid elements. But considering the percentage of solubilization in infusions and the bioavailability of each compound, it seems drinking herbal tea does not pose major human health risks. Overall, metallic and metalloid levels in herbal teas studied were in compliance with the maximum permissible limits set by international agencies.

From: "What’s Brewing in Herbal Tea? by dilip ghosh, phd, facn, nutriconnect12.04.17"

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