Tea has been steeped and sipped for centuries, dating back well over 4,000 years ago when it is believed that the Chinese started drinking it. Since then, it has become an intrinsic part of cultures around the world. The British are known for their afternoon tea time, and in the US, even little girls love to get dressed up and hold tea parties for their friends and their stuffed animals.

Many people have found amazing health benefits from these little dried leaves. Recent research has connected tea to everything from improved alertness and bone health, to cancer prevention and weight loss. If you aren’t already a tea drinker, it’s time to get into the habit, as these nine tasty teas are sure to improve your health, happiness and productivity.

Green Tea

There might not be any such thing as a magic potion, but if you’re serious about wanting to take your health to the next level, green tea comes pretty darn close. It relaxes the lining of blood vessels so that they are more equipped to endure blood pressure changes, and in doing so it can effectively prevent heart disease. Green tea also boosts metabolism, prevents diabetes and protects brain cells, aiding in the prevention of brain-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Black Tea

Black tea has a significant amount of caffeine, which makes it a great choice when you need to power through a long workday. The antioxidants in black tea can lower your risk of clogged arteries and prevent heart attacks. In addition, drinking black tea regularly also lowers risks for the following health conditions: Parkinson’s, high cholesterol, diabetes and kidney stones. Some studies even suggest that black tea can prevent the development of osteoporosis and lung cancer, although this has yet to be confirmed.

White Tea

If cancer prevention is important to you, you might want to start sipping white tea more often. A recent study revealed that white tea has the most powerful cancer-fighting properties when compared to other teas that were more processed. Thanks to its blood thinning properties, which improve overall artery function, drinking white tea is also an effective way to lower high blood pressure. It also improves bone density, which is good news for people at risk for osteoporosis.

Rooibos Tea

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One great thing about rooibos tea is the fact that it’s caffeine-free, making it a perfect beverage choice for pregnant women, children or anyone sensitive to caffeine. It’s also great at the end of the day when you want to unwind with a soothing cup of tea without the jitters that will keep you tossing and turning all night.

Rooibos tea contains antioxidants that protect against heart disease and cancer, and it also contains several valuable minerals such as magnesium (important for nervous system function), calcium (for strong teeth and bones), iron (crucial for oxygen distribution throughout blood and muscles) and zinc (essential for a healthy metabolism). Also, it contains a flavonoid called quercitin that’s helpful for curing stomach cramps and indigestion issues.

Peppermint Tea

If you’ve had a very stressful day, peppermint tea is just the thing you need. The menthol that’s naturally found in peppermint tea is a muscle relaxer, making this tea an effective way to ease stress and anxiety. In addition, peppermint tea serves as a great nasal decongestant, which is welcome news for those chronic allergy and sinus sufferers out there.

Also, because it suppresses your appetite, peppermint tea can aid in your weight loss efforts. And it might interest you to know that it’s not just for drinking: you can soothe nasty burns and rashes by adding this tea to the water in your bathtub when you bathe.

Nettle Tea

Never heard of nettle tea? It’s time you did: this tea is a health superstar providing a wide variety of benefits. It boosts your immunity through stimulation of the lymphatic system, restores kidneys and breaks down kidney stones, erases skin problems and lowers hypertension. It can even be helpful in curing that nasty cold you can’t seem to shake.

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

The red raspberry leaf is known for its healing properties when it comes to digestive issues, disorders related to the respiratory system and vitamin deficiencies. This tea is even thought to ease discomfort from painful or heavy menstrual periods, so you can kick your Midol to the curb.

Kama Matcha Green Tea

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Matcha green tea and ceremony-grade kama matcha green tea contain an amino acid called L-theanine, known for its ability to relax the mind. Also, you might be interested to discover that Buddhist monks reached for matcha tea to help them with meditation. The tea’s amino acids (in combination with its caffeine) make it an excellent choice when you need to maintain a state of alert calmness over an extended period of time.

Oolong Tea

This is another great tea when it comes to mental sharpness that allows you to stay on top of your game. Oolong tea also helps with the prevention of tooth decay, and it’s used to treat diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and even skin conditions such as eczema.

Clearly, there is an abundance of health benefits to be gained from drinking tea. So what are you waiting for? Brew a pot today and raise a cup to improved well-being, because that’s something we can all drink to.

Featured photo credit: jstn via unsplash.com

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