How herbal teas can improve your health

01 Jun 2017

Love tea? So does Emma Watson, naturopath and co-owner of Melbourne-based organic tea business, Love Tea. Here, Emma explains the Love Tea story and the health benefits of drinking herbal brews.

 

TBT: What’s separates Love Teas from others on the market?

EW: We believe products that are the best for your health are the ones that have no hidden ingredients and no unnecessary additives or flavours. We choose to use high quality, certified organic ingredients, sourced directly from around the world.

We also fairly source the majority of our ingredients directly from the growing communities and cooperatives who produce them. We pay fair trade premiums for the ingredients purchased from fair trade farms and continually strive to learn more about the challenges that the producers face.

And we are dedicated to donating one per cent of our annual net revenues to a range of environmental organisations worldwide. We feel it is our responsibility to reduce our negative impact on the environment, and we continue to support not-for-profit environmental organisations that are working towards improving the natural environment.

 

TBT: I hear you’re a qualified naturopath. How did your interest in health science lead to the creation of Love Tea?

EW: From a young age, I knew I wanted to help people improve their health. To me, naturopathy was a great way to do this, working with herbs, and natural medicine to help improve and optimise peoples’ health and help them achieve their individual goals.

I studied at Endeavour College of Natural health for 5 years and received my Bachelor degree in Health Science, Naturopathy. I started working with herbs and blending teas in my second year of university, and after a lot of trial and error, Love Tea was born.

The business grew quickly and my partner Damien Amos jumped on board to help take care of Love Tea, allowing me enough time to complete my course. He had great knowledge of herbs, organics and a desire to create products which had the least amount of negative impact on the environment.

 

TBT: What are the key health benefits of drinking herbal tea and how regularly should people drink them?

EW: Our wellness range was designed to support common health conditions, using organic herbs which have traditionally been used to improve these conditions, or reduce the severity of the condition. These blends focus more on a prevention rather than a cure and have been designed to improve overall function of a specific condition, or system, when taken regularly, in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Each blend is completely unique and with 72 products in the range, there really is something for everyone.

Aside from the therapeutic benefits of individual ingredients, tea offers so many amazing health benefits. Tea is well-known for its antioxidant levels, but dependent on the individual spice, herb or tea, other health benefits can include anti-inflamatory qualities, digestive support and circulatory stimulant among many others.

The key is to become aware of your weaknesses and bring herbs and teas into your diet, that can offer the support you specifically require. We recommend two to three cups per day, at least 30 minutes either side of food so as not to compromise digestive function.

 

TBT: What should people be warry of when buying herbal teas?

EW: Additives, flavours and sweeteners. Some people fall in love with the taste of a tea and think they are doing their body wonders. Sometimes what they are drinking is closer to a cordial then to a tea. It’s super important to read the ingredients and check what is in a tea – don’t assume it will always be tea, herbs and spices!

The other important point to me is that your tea is certified organic. If there is only one thing you choose to buy organic, let it be tea not just because it tastes better, and it’s better for the planet, but also because you steep the tea in the water you are going to consume. This means you’ll ultimately be drinking whatever chemicals were sprayed onto the ingredients when they were grown.

By choosing organic ingredients, you ensure your tea is as close to its natural state as possible – pure and clean, and free from chemicals.

 

TBT: Winter is here and that means cold and flu season is upon us. What tea should people drink to ward off these nasty viruses?

EW: The beauty of tea is that there really is something for everyone and therapeutically speaking, different blends are more appropriate at different times of the year. Right now, while temperatures are still cool and the seasons are changing, our Immunity tea is our top pick.

This blend has been naturopath-designed to strengthen and support healthy Immune function. Herbs used in this blend including Echinacea have traditionally been used to enhance immune system function and help reduce the severity of the common cold or flu. We have combined this wonder herb with ginger, which offers circulatory support and nettle, which is nutrient-rich, to strengthen the immune system.

This grounding blend also includes lemon balm, supporting the adrenal glands, which are often depleted by stress and fatigue. We believe supporting the nervous system at this time is essential, as stress is often a contributing factor to colds and flus.

 

TBT: And what about insomnia? I hear herbal tea can be very beneficial to those who struggle to sleep?

EW: A herbal tea can be amazing for the treatment of insomnia. It offers a non-invasive and gentle approach to treating a condition that can have a hugely negative impact on someone’s life, if left untreated.

We designed our Sleep tea specifically to help calm the nervous system and to promote deeper, more rejuvenating sleep. This blend is completely caffeine free and is based on a combination of herbs that work together to relax and calm the mind, and body, including lavender, valerian, passion flower and chamomile. A hint of mint and liquorice bring a lightness and a subtle sweetness, making it a grounding and tasty nightly ritual before bed.

 

TBT: What’s your favourite blend?

EW: Very hard question! My favourite teas would have to be our Digestive tea and our Liquorice Love. Both of these blends are slightly sweet from the Liquorice and really refreshing.

Damien’s’ favourite blend is the Australian Sencha. This is a light green tea, grown in northern Victoria.