When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it impacted few industries as severely as the travel and tourism and restaurant and bar industries. This, of course, had a ripple effect that was felt by other industries as well. What does this have to do with herbal iced tea recipes? Keep Reading and find out.
With borders, restaurants, bars, and clubs closed, and people staying in their homes, global alcohol sales took a major hit in every segment except one: retail sales. Not shockingly, as everyone was forced to remain in their homes with not much else to do, combined with the stress that comes with living through a global health crisis, at-home alcohol consumption went up.
Alcohol Consumption on the Rise
Marketing research firm Nielsen confirmed that total alcohol sales from stores in the United States had increased by 26.5 percent between mid-March and mid-May compared to the same time period in 2019 .
If you found yourself taking advantage of your new-found “freedom” during quarantine, you might be starting to feel as though you need to cut back a little, whether that be for financial reasons, health reasons, or both.
A Herbal Tea Subsitute?
Alcoholism or substance abuse aside (the solution to which is far more complex), a good way to decrease your alcohol consumption is to replace it with something equally as tasty and visually appealing, but without the alcohol.
Herbal iced tea is a great way to enjoy a flavorful beverage on a hot summer day without the health implications of alcohol, and it’s cheaper, too! This herbal iced tea recipe is easy to prepare, delicious and can provide some key health benefits to boot.
Herbal Iced Tea Recipe
The key to replacing some (or all) of your alcohol consumption with iced tea is presentation. If your pitcher looks like a big jug of sangria, and you pour your concoction into wine glasses, it feels less like you’re missing out on something.
The Chalkboard provides these simple steps:
1. Find your pitcher
A beautiful pitcher goes a long way in “dressing up” your iced tea, and while it may feel frivolous or unimportant, it can make drinking tea seem like a lot more fun. A nice glass pitcher works well, and a french press is a great way to brew loose-leaf teas since it has a built-in strainer.
Choose your tea. There are hundreds of options when it comes to herbal teas, each of them with their own unique flavors and health benefits. Find a few that you like, and mix-and-match them to create your own flavor combinations.
2. Make the tea
Brew a big cup or two of strong, loose-leaf or bagged tea the night before. When you’re ready to make your concoction, pour the brewed tea into your pitcher and fill it to the brim with cold water (you can make it as strong or weak as you like). This is when you can add a few fun things, like fruit or sprigs of herbs to make it extra fancy.
3. Sip it in a wine glass
Or a martini glass, beer stein, or tumbler- whatever makes you feel like you’re sipping on “the real thing” .
Which Tea Do I Choose?
The important question to ask yourself when you’re using iced tea to replace alcohol, is why were you drinking alcohol in the first place? Was it to help you sleep? To relax or calm down? To give you some energy or indulge a sweet tooth? Maybe it was simply because you enjoy it. Whatever the reason, it is important to take that into consideration when choosing your tea, since the right tea can provide you with the effects you’re looking for.
Five Beneficial Herbal Teas
Whatever your reason for having a drink or two, there is likely an herbal tea out there that can help you accomplish that goal. The following is a list of five teas with various benefits, but of course, there are many more out there, so be sure to do your research to find one that works for you.
Chamomile tea is commonly known for its soothing effects and is often used as a sleep aid. One study of eighty postpartum women found that drinking chamomile tea improved sleep quality and reduced symptoms of depression . Another found that patients with insomnia who took chamomile extract saw improvements in time to falling asleep, waking up in the night, and daytime functioning .
Peppermint tea can improve digestive health, and has been shown to have antioxidant, anticancer, antibacterial, and antiviral properties . Its an excellent post-meal digestive. Spearmint works too!
3. Lemon Balm
If you were using alcohol as a way to improve your mood or reduce anxiety, lemon balm is a great substitute. There have been several studies that demonstrate lemon balm’s ability to improve mood and mental performance, reduce stress and anxiety, and even reduce heart palpitations [6,7].
Passionflower is another excellent option if the stress of the pandemic has got you feeling anxious, or if you’re having trouble sleeping. One study has found that drinking passionflower tea for a week improved sleep quality scores, and more studies have proven that drinking passionflower tea was as effective at reducing anxiety as medication [8,9]. This one is best consumed in the evening.
There have been a number of studies that have found improvements in mood, mental function, and memory in healthy adults after they took sage extract . For this reason, sage is another good option if you’re looking to take the edge off or improve your mood after a stressful few months.
Tea for Health
As mentioned, there are hundreds of different herbal teas with long lists of benefits, and these are only a few of them. Whether you feel like you need to cut back on your alcohol consumption or not, adding some herbal tea into your daily or weekly routine will provide plenty of healthy benefits to keep you going throughout your day- wine glass optional.
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