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Enjoy a Cozy Evening with Herbal Tea

It doesn’t get much better than a good book and herbal tea steeping in a pot.

If you enjoy making loose-leaf herbal teas or are interested in giving them a try, Siesta Botanicals has several healthy and delicious choices. 

Here are some of our options. Feel free to mix and match!

Passionflower Tea

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is an ancient nervine (eases the nervous system) that has traditionally been used to treat insomnia, anxiety, menstrual difficulties and burns. 

The taste is described as floral, grassy and a little earthy. 

Many people consume passionflower tea to help ease insomnia, anxiety or restlessness. 

The herb contains many antioxidants, including vitamin C and lycopene, that help neutralize damaging free radicals. Native Americans used the herb as a medicine to treat a variety of health conditions, including wounds, boils, earaches, and liver problems. 

Passionflower appears to act on GABA receptors and is considered an effective stress reducer. It has been shown to help reduce spasms and relax the central nervous system. 

Research demonstrates that passionflower can help with chronic insomnia and memory issues. It may also help during episodes of restlessness, anxiety, sleeplessness and depression.

Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus tea is packed with antioxidants and is perfect as a tangy hot tea or as a cool summertime drink. This deep red-colored tea promotes healthy hair, skin and liver health. It also supports the healthy function of the kidneys and the female reproductive system. 

In one study with rodents, hibiscus extract increased the levels of antioxidant enzymes and decreased the harmful effects of free radicals by up to 92%.

Another study found that drinking hibiscus tea twice a day can help manage blood pressure in stage one hypertension along with lifestyle and dietary modification.

It is recommended that pregnant or breastfeeding women not drink hibiscus tea as it can cause fluctuations in hormone levels.

Damiana

Damiana (Turnera diffusa) is considered an aphrodisiac and is commonly used to enhance sexual health and decrease anxiety. The herb has also been used to treat headaches, depression, nervous stomach, constipation and to boost mental and physical stamina. 

Damiana has also traditionally been used as a treatment for bladder and urinary problems.

According to a study of damiana,  the author writes the following:

“The leaves of T. aphrodisiaca have been used traditionally as a stimulant, aphrodisiac, tonic, diuretic, nerve tonic, laxative and in kidney, menstrual and pregnancy disorders.”

“The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia lists specific indications for damiana as anxiety neurosis associated with impotency, and includes other indications such as depression, nervous dyspepsia, atonic constipation and coital inadequacy.”

“The leaf infusion of damiana has been used as a traditional remedy in the diseases related to the gastrointestinal and respiratory system, reproductive organs, and for the treatment of gonorrhoea in Latin American societies. Mother tincture (85% ethanol extract) of damiana is an important homoeopathic medicine for the treatment of sexual debility, and nervous prostration.”

Yerba Mate

Yerba maté, Ilex paraguariensis, is an uplifting South American tea that outrivals even green tea in its antioxidant content. It is commonly produced and consumed in the countries of Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil.

Traditionally, yerba mate has been shared from a gourd as a symbol of friendship and bonding and is commonly sipped through a filtered straw.

Yerba mate contains trace amounts of every vitamin and mineral your body requires, as well as 7 out of 10 essential amino acids. It will also give you an energy boost with its 85 milligrams of caffeine per cup. 

This is almost double the amount of caffeine found in black tea but less than half that of coffee (100 to more than 200 mg per cup). As a bonus, many yerba mate drinkers say it increases alertness and energy like coffee, but it doesn’t have the same jittery effect.

In a recent study, published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers analyzed the role of yerba mate and medicinal plants in the treatment of illnesses within Paraguayan folk medicine. 

The study was conducted among 100 Paraguayan migrants living in Misiones, Argentina. This included 61 women (ages 30 to 95) and 39 men (ages 28 to 90).

The authors write, “Studies have demonstrated that yerba mate leaves have antioxidant, antiobesity, antidiabetic, digestive improvement and cardiovascular properties, and chemopreventative ones (preventing cellular damage that may cause chronic diseases).”

“The consumption of yerba mate infusion reduces LDL-cholesterol in parallel with an increase in HDL-cholesterol, as observed in studies on humans. Yerba mate extract also reduces acute lung inflammation, as observed in the animal model. Antimicrobial activity of Ilex paraguariensis has been recently studied as well.”

Some research suggests that yerba mate may help with weight loss by reducing appetite and boosting metabolism. The tea also appears to reduce the total number of fat cells as well as the amount of fat they can hold.

In one 12-week study, researchers evaluated the effectiveness and safety of yerba mate supplementation in Korean subjects with obesity. 

The findings show that participants who consumed 3 grams of yerba mate powder per day lost an average of 1.5 pounds and reduced their waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) by 2%. In contrast, those who were given a placebo gained an average of 6.2 lbs and increased their waist-to-hip ratio by 1% during the same time period.

Blue Lotus

Blue lotus, or Nymphaea caerulea, is a water lily with strong ties to Ancient Egyptian civilization. The plant has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years as a natural aphrodisiac, sleep aid, and anxiety reliever. 

Blue lotus is also known as blue Egyptian lotus, blue water lily or sacred blue lily — not to be confused with Nelumbo nucifera, which also goes by the name blue lotus.

N. caerulea is considered an entheogenic substance, which is said to alter one’s consciousness in a spiritual or religious manner. 

The two main compounds responsible for the flower’s medicinal effects are called apomorphine and nuciferine. The buds and flowers are the psychoactive components of the plant.

  • Apomorphine is a compound that acts as a dopamine agonist, meaning it can give a happy or euphoric feeling. There is evidence that this compound may also help those with muscle control issues such as patients with Parkinson’s disease and erectile dysfunction.
  • Nuciferine is a compound believed to act as an antipsychotic substance that can induce feelings of calmness. It has also been shown to help with erectile dysfunction.

Blue lotus flower contains antioxidants such as flavonoids (help regulate cellular activity and fight off free radicals), quercetin (tied to improved exercise performance and reduced inflammation), kaempferol (may reduce risk of chronic disease), and myricetin. 

 

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