Health benefits of herbal teas not folklore

New Delhi: The idea that herbal teas may provide a variety of health benefits is no longer just folklore, say experts.

Diane McKay and Jeffrey Blumberg of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging looked into the science-based evidence of health benefits from drinking three of the most popular herbals in America.

Chamomile tea has long been considered a brew that soothes. But when Blumberg and McKay reviewed scientific literature on the bioactivity of chamomile, they found no human clinical trials that examined this calming effect.

They described test-tube evidence that chamomile tea has moderate antimicrobial activity and significant antiplatelet-clumping activity.

The researchers also described evidence of bioactivity of peppermint tea. In test tubes, peppermint has been found to have significant antimicrobial and antiviral activities, strong antioxidant and antitumor actions, and some antiallergenic potential.

Based on a human clinical trial, the team also has reported that drinking hibiscus tea lowered blood pressure in a group of pre-hypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults.

The findings have been detailed in Agricultural Research magazine.


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