Tea to the Rescue: What to Drink to Cure Stress, Pain, and More

Photo: Haneburger via Flickr

Photo: Haneburger via Flickr

You’ve probably heard that tea is good for you. There’s a reason, after all, that the drink has been around for centuries and is enjoyed virtually all over the world. Different teas have different health benefits, and we take a look at just what they are. Of course, it’s not a be-all-end-all magic cure (nothing is), but here’s how tea can enhance your life—and keep you warm all winter.

For stress: You could argue that simply the thought of sipping on warm tea reduces stress levels. But for a more scientific approach, black tea helps bring down your cortisol (known as the “stress hormone”), while chamomile tea has calming properties.

For energy: The amount of caffeine in tea varies by tea type, manufacturer, and steeping method, but you’ll find that tea can give you an energy boost without the crash that comes from coffee. Generally, black tea delivers the most caffeine, oolong and green teas slightly less, and white tea the least.

For immunity: Pretty much any tea is good for your immune system because it contains  antioxidants. But kombucha, a kind of fermented tea loaded with probiotics, is especially beneficial for strengthening your immune system.

For anti-aging: While they might be less helpful in keeping you wide awake, green and white teas are popular anti-aging beverages. They contain ECGC, an antioxidant that is proven to fight wrinkles.

For pain: Coffee can worsen menstruation cramps and headaches, because of its high concentration of caffeine. And while tea does have some caffeine, green tea—which contains less—is actually recommended for soothing pain and headaches. Ginger and chamomile teas are also known to have anti-inflammatory properties that help ease the pain away.