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Herbal Teas For Preventing Breast Cancer
In recent years, much research has been done on ways to prevent breast cancer and other disease. Much of the research has focused on green tea, which has been shown in many studies to have cancer preventing qualities.
So much research has been done, in fact, that Japan’s medical community now calls green tea a known cancer preventative, and other medical communities are expected to follow suit.
One recent study, however, suggests that herbal teas may be effective in preventing breast cancer, too. The UK Tea Council reported on a study conducted on over 4000 French women with no history of cancer. The women were studied over a 6 year period, and received a mammogram and other cancer screening tests every two years during the period.
In addition, the women were evaluated based on the particular beverages they consumed, including herbal tea, regular tea, coffee, fruit juices and wine.
By the end of the six year period, 95 of the participants had developed breast cancer. However, the study could not find any link between any of the beverages consumed and an increased risk of breast cancer.
Surprisingly, however, they did find that the women that consumed herbal teas had a slightly lower risk of developing breast cancer than those women who consumed other beverages.
Herbal tea, of course, is not really tea at all. Rather herbal teas, also known as tisanes, are really infusions of one or more herbs. They are made with hot water and taken like tea, hence the name; but true herbal teas contain no leaves from the Camilla sinensis plant, the tea tree.
However, herbal teas can have many useful purposes, and are used to treat many discomforts naturally.
Just as they are thought to have discovered traditional tea, it is believed that the Chinese discovered herbal teas, too. Herbs were widely used in ancient medicines, and the Chinese, were the first to combine the healing properties of herbs with the enjoyment of tea.
Brewing a tea from the correct combination of herbs may simply have been the easiest way to administer the medicine.
Herbal teas were not widely used in the Western world until the last 20 years, though Asian cultures have continued to use them in conjunction with modern medicine. However, in the last few years, herbs have become popular in the rest of the world for relaxation and as alternative medical treatments.
Statistics show that today consumers spend about $120 million on herbal teas at major supermarkets, and that figure is growing at a rate of about 10% per year. So, you can see that herbal teas make up a significant portion of the beverages consumed in the Western world.
Most people who drink herbal teas buy commercially produced loose teas or tea bags. And, this is considered the safest way to consume herbal teas. Making your own brew from plants you’ve picked in the wild is risky, at best.
If you’re taking prescription medication, be sure to consult with your doctor before making herbal teas part of your regular routine. Some herbs have been known to have interactions with medications. But, as long as your doctor approves, there’s no reason to avoid herbal teas, whether for health protection or just for pleasure.
There are dozens of different types of herbal teas available. In fact, one of the pieces of information not noted in the study mentioned above was what kind of herbal teas the study participants drank. But, if you’re interested in trying them, here are some of the most popular varieties.
Rooibos - This is an herbal tea whose base is the South African Rooibos herb –it’s often referred to as red tea. You’ll find this tea delicious and sweet on its own, but it can also be found flavored with other fruits.
Yerba Mate Herbal Tea – This tea is made from the South American herb Yerba Mate. It is very healthy; full of anti-oxidants and vitamins and is said to give energy.
Chamomile – This is a traditional herbal tea made from the chamomile plant. Chamomile has been used for centuries to induce sleep and relieve upset stomachs.
Ginger Tea – Spicy ginger has been used for centuries to make tea. It’s delicious and also highly regarded as a treatment for nausea. Ginger tea is an especially good natural treatment for morning sickness.
Lavender Tea – Tea made from the lavender plant has been used for many years to help calm the soul and induce sleep. A weak brew of lavender can be used to calm a colicky baby, too.
Herbal teas can be a wonderful addition to your diet. They can be used to treat minor ailments and provide a feeling of calm. And, now that there’s evidence that herbal teas may help prevent breast cancer, they can become part of your regular health protecting routine.
Protecting yourself from cancer includes living an overall healthy lifestyle. This includes getting regular exercise, eating a diet that is low in saturated fat and rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and not smoking.
Be sure to include the most potent anti-oxidants in your diet too, like those found in blueberries, artichokes, pomegranates and green tea. Following these guidelines and adding a cup or two of herbal tea, as well, can help you protect your health for years to come.
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