Nature's Nightcap - Tea

I was raised by parent's who had a nightcap every night. Dad loved his Drambuie®, and mom had her brandy. I am different, though. Alcohol before bed leaves me restless and I always have an interrupted night's sleep. If I have a cup of tea before bed, I sleep like a baby and wake up energized from a good night's sleep.

Herbal teas contain no caffeine and are naturally sugar free. Herbal tea is made from many different plants from around the world, and not just using the leaves, but also the flowers, roots, bark and seeds.

Herbal, green and black teas are a healthy and soothing drink for any age, young and old. And one small cup of hot tea just might settle the little ones down before bed every night, and what a nice family tradition you can start. During the winter months, children love a cup of hot tea with a peppermint stick or a cinnamon stick, and if you prefer a sweeter taste as a nightcap, add local honey to satisfy that dessert "habit."

Herbal, green and black teas are not only soothing, but also healthy. Studies have found that black tea produces a significant protective association to disease prevention, and green tea catechins have been shown to benefit the arthritis patient by reducing inflammation and slowing cartilage breakdown. Both green and black teas kept healthy cells from turning malignant after exposure to cancer-causing compounds in research studies.

A recent study at a pre-natal clinic in Zurich showed that fennel tea helped relieve colic in pre-mature babies. Now wouldn't that be an easy solution for both parent and baby?

Herbal teas can be safely given to infants in very small amounts, but here's a better idea: if you are a breastfeeding mom, you can drink herbal tea and it will pass to the baby through your breast milk. Check with your OB to sanction drinking a cup at night while pregnant. Once an infant begins eating solid foods, herbal teas can be given in a small cup. Toddlers and older children can drink up to 3 cups of tea a day - hot or cold.

Not every herb appeals to everyone and some people prefer green tea over black, so select the taste that you like best, such as ginger, black cherry, green tea, or chamomile. Herbs like fennel and chamomile have been used for generations to help heal and prevent illnesses, and evidence shows that regular black tea consumption is linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Before bed, have a cup of tea as your nightcap, and see for yourself if you and your kiddos sleep better.


Posted January 2012 | Permanent Link

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