The earliest evidence of medicinal tea dates back to China’s Han Dynasty over two thousand years ago. However, we wanted to discover the plants that are backed by modern scientific studies. Herbalists claim that there are a range of health benefits to drinking teas and tisanes (herbal infusions). Many of these benefits haven’t been subjected to rigorous studies, so we decided to compile the plants whose health benefits have been tested. If you want to enjoy tea for a health boost, but are tired of being labelled as a new-age hippie, then use this infographic as a myth-buster.
We compiled a comprehensive list of teas and tisanes and then entered them into WebMD’s Vitamins & Supplements Center. This allowed us to discover which of the plant’s medical benefits could be backed by scientific studies.
WebMD analyse scientific studies to create an evidence-based effectiveness rating. They have seven categories ranging from ineffective up to effective. You can read more about their effectiveness levels here.
We only selected plants that were ranked as possibly effective or higher for the illness in question. We chose plants which had been tested for oral consumption and whose active ingredient would not be completely diminished by the brewing process, however the studies WebMD reference haven’t necessarily tested the plants by using a brewing process or tea consumption.
Brewing process: There have been relatively few studies into the medicinal properties of teas and tisanes, but we can research the plants which have been tested for oral consumption. The brewing process must also be considered though. For example, Rosehip would’ve been included as being beneficial for osteoarthritis sufferers, but unfortunately the active ingredient is diminished when heated.
Serious illnesses: We decided not to include a few life-threatening conditions and some other serious conditions, as this could have been controversial.