The Best Teas for Your Health

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Healthgrades Editorial Staff on June 8, 2021

Tea is one of the most popular beverages around the globe. True teas, such as black tea, green tea, and oolong, are made from the leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. Herbal teas, or tisanes, are made from a variety of plants. Both true teas and herbal teas are rich in health-promoting phytochemicals—and calorie-free—so don’t hesitate to brew up a cup.

  • teapot-pouring-tea
    Black Tea
    To make black tea, the leaves of the tea plant are bruised and allowed to wilt. As the leaves oxidize, they darken and become fragrant. Black tea contains a variety of disease-fighting antioxidants, including theaflavins, thearubigins, and catechins. A recent study found that drinking black tea may reduce the risk for developing diabetes.
  • Green tea
    Green Tea
    Green tea is made by steaming and drying tea leaves without allowing them to oxidize. This tea is rich in catechin antioxidants. It boosts mental alertness, probably because of its caffeine content, and may help prevent heart disease and diabetes. Although some studies suggest that green tea lowers cancer risk, the National Cancer Institute says the research is inconclusive.
  • cup of tea, tea, herbal tea
    Oolong
    To make oolong tea, tea leaves are partially oxidized. Oolong contains a mix of polyphenols, including catechins, which act as antioxidants.
  • white tea, tea, herbal tea
    White Tea
    White tea is made by steaming and drying young tea leaves and buds. The catechin content of white tea is similar to that of green tea, making it an especially healthy beverage choice.  
  • matcha tea, tea, herbal tea
    Japanese Matcha
    Matcha is powdered green tea. Like regular green tea, it contains high levels of antioxidant compounds. To make a beverage, whisk a small amount of matcha into very hot water. Matcha is also used in candies, lattes, and smoothies, but watch out for the sometimes high sugar content of these treats.
  • hibiscus tea, tea, herbal tea
    Hibiscus
    Hibiscus flowers add a tangy, sour flavor to many herbal tea blends. The tropical flowers contain flavonoids and anthocyanins, compounds with antioxidant properties. In a study of adults with mild hypertension, drinking three cups of hibiscus tea daily led to a healthy drop in blood pressure.
  • tea, red tea, herbal tea
    Rooibos
    Rooibos (pronounced “roy-boss”) is a legume-family plant grown in South Africa. Also known as “red tea,” rooibos is caffeine-free and rich in flavonoid antioxidants. A clinical study found that drinking rooibos tea regularly increased the level of antioxidants in the blood and lowered LDL-cholesterol.
  • Chamomile Herbal Tea
    Chamomile
    Traditionally used as a folk remedy for anxiety and sleep troubles, chamomile tea is brewed from the small, daisy-like flowers of the chamomile plant. When used with other herbs, chamomile also may help an upset stomach and diarrhea in children.
  • peppermint tea, herbal tea, tea
    Peppermint
    Warm up in the winter and cool down in the summer with peppermint tea, a refreshing infusion served hot or iced. The oil in peppermint leaves may improve nausea, indigestion, and the distressing gastrointestinal symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
The Best Teas for Your Health

About The Author

The Healthgrades Editorial Staff is an experienced team of in-house editors, writers and content producers. Our team has a wealth of experience in the fields of journalism, TV and video production and the healthcare industry. We are committed to providing our audience with actionable content and tools to help them make the best decision when it comes to choosing a healthcare professional.
  1. Chamomile. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. April 2012. (http://nccam.nih.gov/health/chahmomile/ataglance.htm);
  2. Peppermint Oil. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. April 2012. (http://nccam.nih.gov/sites/nccam.nih.gov/files/Herbs_At_A_Glance_Peppermint_Oil_06-19-2012_0.pdf);
  3. Nutritionwise. Collins, K. American Institute for Cancer Research. October 19, 2009. (http://preventcancer.aicr.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=16731&news_iv_ctrl=0&abbr=pr_hf);
  4. Research in Your Cup. American Institute of Cancer Research. (http://preventcancer.aicr.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=17695.);
  5. Tea and Cancer Prevention: Strengths and Limits of the Evidence. National Cancer Institute. November 27, 2010. (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/tea.);
  6. Effects or Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) on Oxidative Stress and Biochemical Parameters in Adults at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease. Marnewick, J.L., et al. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2011;133:46-52.; Green Tea. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. April 2012.;
  7. Hibiscus Sabdariffa L. Tea (Tisane) Lowers Blood Pressure in Prehypertensive and Mildly Hypertensive Adults. McKay, D.L., et al. Journal of Nutrition. 2010;140:298-303.;
  8. Long-Term Tea Intake is Associated with Reduced Prevalence of (Type 2) Diabetes Mellitus among Elderly People from Mediterranean Islands: MEDIS Epidemiological Study. Panagiotakos, D.B., et al. Yonsei Medical Journal. 2009;50(1):31-38.;


Was this helpful?
222
Last Review Date: 2021 Jun 8
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.