Add together a rainy day, a good book and a nice cup of tea, and you have the formula for relaxation. However, chronic and recurring pain can get in the way of your favorite day, and inflammation in your joints often makes you feel even worse.
What would you say if the tea itself could alleviate your discomfort? Many natural ingredients reduce inflammation, cut down on pain levels and provide other beneficial effects. When you bring these ingredients together, you can make the ultimate tea for pain relief.
This spice is found throughout Indian cuisine, with a complex and warm flavor you may have already experienced in curry. Outside of being delicious, it also comes with numerous health benefits. Most notably, it reduces the inflammation that triggers joint pain, headaches and stomach problems.
The flowers of the arnica herb have antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. This herb is often used for joint and muscle pain creams, but it can be ingested as well.
This herb gets its name due to its sacred nature in Hindu culture. It reduces pain, is an antioxidant and works as an anti-inflammatory.
Anyone who has suffered from an upset stomach knows that ginger root is a thing of beauty. It cuts down on nausea and pain.
Capsaicin is the chemical that makes peppers spicy, but it also does great things for your pain levels. The endorphins your body produces have an anti-inflammatory effect and allow you to manage pain more effectively. Researchers are also exploring its uses in everything from stomach pain to cancer treatment.
This tart fruit is known for helping with urinary tract infections, but it also acts as an antioxidant.
You'll want to put a cherry on top of everything when you discover what it can do for your pain. The fruit cuts down on inflammation, is an antioxidant and is definitely tasty.
This fresh herb is excellent for reducing inflammation and settling stomachs, much like the ginger root.
How Does Tea Help Relieve Pain?As you can see in the infographic above, many tea varieties have their own health benefits. When you want to maximize the inflammation and pain-fighting benefits of the herbs, spices and fruits on this list, green tea comes out on top. It helps reduce swelling and pain, and it also has powerful antioxidants. Green tea has enough caffeine to help you feel alert, but not so much that it leaves you feeling anxious or jittery. Making a cup of tea is also easier than putting together an entree that includes many of the ingredients in the above list.
The Ultimate Tea Recipe for Pain Relief
The ultimate tea blend for pain relief is one that you feel up to drinking on a regular basis; it doesn't matter how beneficial the ingredients are if the taste makes you want to throw up. Here are a few base recipes to get you started. You can add more ingredients to taste as you figure out which combinations you enjoy the most.
The Herbal Holy Trinity
Ginger, holy basil and turmeric are often referred to as the Holy Trinity. When you combine these in equal amounts with a green tea base, you have an excellent general purpose pain-relieving tea suitable for every situation.
Mix capsaicin, turmeric, peppermint and arnica for a soothing tea that ends on a spicy note. This tea focuses on helping with pain related to inflammation, such as joint issues and arthritis.
Bright and Fruity
Peppermint, basil, cherries and cranberries deliver a fruity and refreshing experience. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatories present in these ingredients give you a tasty everyday option that can help with swelling.
When Should You Drink Pain-Relief Tea?
Your body takes time to process the tea once it reaches your stomach, so if you can predict your bad pain days or potential spikes, make sure to drink your tea a few hours in advance. When you get in front of the pain, you'll have an easier time riding out bad spells.
The Best Way to Brew Tea
Rather than us explain this, here's oldie but goodie of a video to learn how to brew:
Ideal Tea Brewing Temperature
The ideal temperature for a green tea base is 175 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Brew this tea for 2 minutes. If you use the spices, herbs and fruits on their own, bring the water to a boil and then brew for five to 10 minutes.
If you prefer cold tea or want to make it in advance, put your ingredients in a plastic pitcher and let it sit overnight. If you can make enough, you will have enough cold tea to last all week.
Here are a few products that make brewing tea quicker and easier.
You can quickly bring water to a boil or set it to a specific temperature without watching a pot on a stove. Bonavita produces several high-quality electric kettles across a range of price points.
Tea Ball or Empty Tea Bags
Keep tea ingredients out of your cup by placing them in a tea ball or creating your own tea with empty tea bags. Many companies make basic mesh tea balls that are easy to open, fill and brew with, such as this option from U.S. Kitchen Supply. Get a tea scoop to make it easier to transfer the ingredients from their containers to the tea bags or ball.
Where Should You Buy Pain-Relieving Tea Ingredients?
Both online and offline sources have their advantages, and the best option depends on your preferences.
Online tea shops, such as Adagio Teas and BlendBee, allow you to make your own tea blends. You can also source the individual ingredients through Amazon. Your online options bring everything right to your door.
If you feel up to going to a local tea shop or a herb store, you often get a chance to talk to a local small business owner who is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about his or her products and high-quality ingredients. You can find these shops by searching Yelp for tea shops, tea rooms and herb and spice stores. Sometimes you can find these ingredients locally at organic markets as well.
Now pick up your fresh cup of tea and get back to enjoying your book!