Stuffy nose, sore throat, indigestion, or insomnia—when you're feeling a little under the weather, your medicine cabinet doesn't have to be your first stop. Instead, consider putting on the kettle and going herbal with one of these delicious teas. They'll boost your immune system, keep you hydrated, and leave you feeling happier, calmer and healthier—and all without a trip to the drugstore.
10 Green Tea
Because green tea leaves aren't processed before they're brewed, green tea is bursting with catechins—antioxidants that can prevent cell damage. Studies have shown that green tea can lower blood pressure and cholesterol to healthier levels, which makes it great for improving heart health. Researchers have also linked green tea with improved memory and may be useful in treating and preventing Alzheimer's. The benefits don't stop there! The theanine in green tea can help naturally reduce stress—the perfect way to relax after a long, stressful week.
9 White Tea
White tea has not been processed or fermented—and incidentally, at least one study has shown that it has the best anticancer properties. The tea is alleged to have antibacterial and antifungal properties, meaning that it could also be used for cavity prevention and to beat bad breath.
8 Black Tea
With black tea's high caffeine content, it's the perfect afternoon pick-me-up—or a great migraine cure. Studies have also shown that black tea could also be effective in protecting the lungs from cigarette smoke and reducing the risk of stroke.
7 Oolong Tea
Antioxidants from oolong tea have been found to reduce bad cholesterol in animals—which is good news because it could have the same results in humans as well. Even better news? The polyphenols in oolong have been linked to the blocking of enzymes that create fat. Say goodbye to the muffin top blues! Combined with a good diet and workout routine, drinking a few cups of oolong a day may reduce body fat.
6 Rooibos Tea
Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, Rooibos tea has one great benefit for the caffeine-sensitive folks: it has all the healing properties of other teas while being caffeine-free. The weirdest thing Rooibos is used for? Some give it to colicky babies as a periodic replacement for milk.
5 Peppermint Tea
Queasy tummy or aching gut? Peppermint tea has been used for nearly 10,000 years as a digestive aid and stomach cure-all. It can settle your stomach, reduce cramps and bloat, and even still the churning feeling of motion sickness, as well as calm the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
4 Chamomile Tea
Chamomile has been long used for its calming effects. This makes it perfect for anxiety and insomnia, or just for winding down after a rough day. Added tip: it's best paired with lavender as lavender also has calming properties.
3 Ginger Tea
You've probably heard of using ginger ale to settle an upset stomach, but ginger tea? It has all of the same benefits without the processed sugars and flavorings. Careful drinking too much of this spicy tea, though. More than four cups of it could cause heartburn!
2 Cinnamon Tea
Cinnamon is a natural warming agent, which makes it the bomb when it comes to heating up chilly fingers due to poor circulation. It's been linked to improving blood flow and decreasing inflammation, so sip on some of this to improve varicose veins and aching joints.
1 Hibiscus Tea
This tasty floral tea can hit you right in the mucus membranes—so hit it up when you're dealing with a sore throat or inflamed sinuses. Hibiscus can even reduce swelling in the gums, so the next time your dentist leaves you bleeding after a much-needed super-floss, it might be just what you need to feel normal again.
As more and more people strive to find natural cures to their minor ailments, tea is becoming an increasingly popular cure-all. Science is still striving to verify all of the benefits drinking tea may have, but even if the effects of tea are minor at best, it's still a pretty delicious way to feel healthier—and it's still better for you than soda!