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Shikha Sharma, Hindustan Times
January 18, 2014
We are used to the commonly consumed chai, but many other flavoured teas and herbal infusions resembling tea are great tasting and excellent for the body.

Since winter is officially ‘warm beverage’ season, it might be a good time to get adventurous with different varieties of tea.

These have to be taken without sugar or milk. Half a tsp of honey can be used if you have a sweet tooth.

Peppermint infusions:
This has a nice, fresh taste and relieves stomach discomfort caused by acidity and gas build-up. 

Herbal tea infusions are full of flavour, and are very healthy as well.

Chamomile infusion:
This floral infusion is an excellent relaxant for the nervous system. It can be taken after dinner to get a good night’s sleep.

Green tea:
This eases water retention, works as an antioxidant and clears up free radicals that lead to blockages in the arteries. It also soothes joint pains.

Oolong tea:
Also known as white tea, this is an expensive variety. Since the tea leaves have not been processed, they are rich in antioxidants.

Milk thistle tea: Milk thistle is excellent for detoxifying and healing the liver. 

Ginger and lemongrass infusion:
Ginger is used extensively in ayurveda for treating many diseases. Lemongrass also has many therapeutic properties. As a combination, lemongrass and ginger clear the airways and lungs of phlegm and resultant infections. The infusion can even be given to children over five years with half a teaspoon of honey.
Spoon it in: sweeten your herbal infusion with half a teaspoonfull of honey.

How much is too much?

If you drink regular chai, two to three cups a day should be enough. But there is no harm in drinking herbal infusions to your heart’s delight as these are not addictive.

Also, regular chai is not good for children. But drinks like these can be used as herbal medicine for colds and coughs.

From HT Brunch, January 19

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