Tea vs. Herbal Tea: Which is Better?

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If you find water too bland for you, try flavored water. We don’t mean those bottles of Vitamin water you find on the shelves of drugstores and grocery stores. We mean, tea.

What do you reach for? Peppermint tea? Green tea?

Did you know that tea and herbal tea are actually not the same? Well, what’s the difference between tea vs herbal tea, then?

In this post, we’ll answer all your questions.

Tea vs Herbal Tea: What Is the Difference?

Here’s the big spoiler: herbal tea isn’t real tea.

Well, it is still tea in the sense that you steep it in boiling water and you enjoy the remnant water filled with all that herbal goodness. However, it isn’t real tea in the way that the tea world classifies tea.

So, what makes tea, “real?” What are the “real teas?”

Real Tea

The teas that we drink daily, such as green tea or black tea, come from the leaves of a small evergreen tree or bush called Camellia Sinensis. The leaves and the buds of this shrub are harvested at different stages to make different kinds of “real tea.”

Green tea derives from the younger leaves and the buds of the tree, whereas black and oolong tea comes from the older leaves. Harvested and processed older buds make white tea.

Any tea that does not come from this Camellia Sinensis plant is not real tea, such as herbal tea.

Herbal Tea

Herbal tea is an infusion of different kinds of herbal ingredients with unique healing properties.

These ingredients can range from:

  • flowers
  • bark
  • plant roots
  • herbs
  • spices
  • leaves
  • seeds

Some herbal teas actually have real tea leaves in them but the remainder of the concoction makes it still, an herbal tea.

Another special difference between tea vs herbal tea is that herbal teas don’t usually contain caffeine (unless there are real tea leaves in them). You don’t get the jitteriness of caffeine doses you would from drinking real tea.

Popular Herbal Teas and Their Benefits

We’re sure you’ve heard of some of these popular herbal teas before. They don’t only taste good. Here’s what makes them so beneficial to drink.

Peppermint Tea

Whether you struggle with coffee breath (or bad breath in general), stomach pain, or headaches, peppermint tea is your go-to. It is a natural pain remedy, as it relieves menstrual cramps, pain with digestion, and throbbing headaches.

Next time you reach for your ibuprofen, consider brewing some peppermint tea instead.

Chamomile Tea

This one is good for calming and relaxing. If you suffer from chronic stress from work, family, or your personal life, chamomile tea is a good natural remedy for you.

Drink some before bed for a good night’s sleep. You will sleep like a baby.

Ginger Tea

Ginger is a lifesaver for any nausea or cold. If you feel the symptoms of a cold or flu coming on, brew some ginger tea. In fact, brew it with fresh ginger and lemon to increase their antiviral properties.

Drink it a few times per day and gone be it the flu!

Hibiscus Tea

Have you seen the Hibiscus plant? It’s beautiful. Aside from its vibrant colors, hibiscus leaves make for a good tea for potential defense against high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Hibiscus tea packs loads of antioxidants that make this an herbal tea champion.

Benefits of Real Tea

The glory does not end with herbal teas. Green tea, black tea, oolong tea, and white tea are all quite powerful, too. Here are some of the benefits of each tea that will make you want to grab a cup for yourself.

Green Tea 

If you want a natural and effective way to boost your brain functions, green tea is the key. Two important ingredients in green tea: l-theanine and caffeine, work synergistically to give you a boost of energy, focus, and concentration, without the jitteriness of coffee.

Green tea is also popular for its high levels of polyphenol antioxidants, which decrease the amount of cell damage in your body. This can be a good preventative measure against certain neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Black Tea

If you prefer tea with a more robust flavor than green tea, black tea is a great choice. In fact, the U.S. enjoys black tea so much that the U.S. was the top leading importer of black tea in the world in 2020.

There’s a reason for this.

Black tea can help boost heart health and help manage cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. It’s a natural health remedy.

White Tea

Of all the teas, white tea contains the highest levels of antioxidants, which makes it the most powerful anti-cancer tea. It also contains less caffeine than the other teas, which makes it perfect for nighttime.

Oolong Tea

Glowing skin, healthy bones, improved brain function, better heart health, and a natural defense against cancer–these are all the benefits you may enjoy from drinking oolong tea.

If you find yourself drinking a cup of oolong tea, revel in the fact that you are part of the elite class, as the majority of the world sips on green and black tea.

How To Drink Tea

The best way to drink tea is to steep loose tea leaves as opposed to using tea bags. This is the freshest way to enjoy tea. You can find the widest range of fresh tea leaves to try from New Mexico Tea.

The easiest way to drink tea is to use a teapot. Some teapots come with a strainer so you don’t end up drinking the tea leaves. If that’s your thing, however, go for an ordinary (but good) teapot.

You can tell the quality of a teapot by its spout. If you pour tea and the water drips down the spout alongside the pot, you’ve got yourself a dud. If you really want to impress your guests with tea, get a good teapot.

A Warm Hug For the Soul 

Whether you’re sipping on a cup of tea vs herbal tea, the distinctions are not too important–however, you know the difference now. Both tea and herbal tea prove to be great natural remedies for a variety of conditions ranging from stress and pain to cases of colds and flu.

Tea is a warm hug when you need it most. Why not grab yourself a cup right now?

If you’re still reading, you may enjoy more from our food blog. We post on healthy eating, vegetarian recipes, and more.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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