In winter, the evening herbal tea is a cherished tradition for many, a delightful pre-sleep treat. However, enjoying herbal teas and infusions can extend beyond the colder months. They can be just as enjoyable in the summer with a few simple tricks. Dr. Elisabetta Macorsini, a nutrition biologist at Humanitas Mater Domini and Humanitas Medical Care, explores this topic.
Herbal Teas, Infusions, Decoctions: Are They the Same?
To begin, it is essential to clarify that herbal tea is an infusion or decoction made from various plant substances, like chamomile, linden, or birch. These teas are created by steeping or boiling multiple parts of different plants, be it flowers, leaves, fruits, roots, bark, or seeds. Both infusions and decoctions are specific types of herbal teas.
Staying Hydrated in Summer
Summer demands increased hydration due to the hot weather, but only some find it easy to consume the recommended 2 liters of water daily. Herbal teas can be a great ally in this regard.
Preparing Cold Herbal Teas for Summer
Making cold herbal teas for the summer is a straightforward process. You can either allow them to cool naturally or speed up the process. Once the herbal tea is no longer boiling, decant it into a shaker with plenty of ice and a splash of lime juice, then shake it vigorously. The result is a refreshing drink perfect for any time of day.
Each Herbal Tea’s Unique Properties
Herbal teas can be tailored to suit your preferences or address specific health benefits. Here are a few plant options:
- Diuretic Teas: Birch, horsetail, wheatgrass, nettle, and green anise are excellent for promoting diuresis. You can also consider orthosiphon (Java tea) or pilosella.
- Anti-Inflammatory Teas: If you seek an anti-inflammatory effect, consider artichoke and burdock.
- Digestive Aids: For alleviating abdominal bloating, fennel, chamomile, or mallow can be helpful.
Beware of Sweeteners
Regardless of the herbal tea flavor you choose for the summer, it is crucial not to add sugars or sweeteners. Adding these can diminish the tea’s beneficial properties.
Enjoy your summer herbal teas, stay refreshed, and savor the unique qualities of each brew!