There might not be a Fountain of Youth hidden in a jungle somewhere but some ancient and natural medicine has proven to have life-long health benefits. Tea is the one of most popular drinks in the world - we drink it from Bone China tea cups, from thermoses at the top of a ski, or while holding a Yerba Maté gourd in a drum circle. For thousands of years, teas and herbal teas have been steeped, brewed, and boiled for purpose of healing ailments, preparing one for the day, and to bring community together.
In recent years, medical science and research is proving to various degrees of sureness that many of these beverages can stunt the growth of tumours, defend against nasty bacteria, and soothe the spirit. Though organizations like the Food and Drug Administration are quick to caution us against substituting our modern medicine for the homeopathic stuff, if done right the benefits can be monumental over a long life. Thankfully today if you do not have the adventurer’s kick to climb the tallest trees or highest mountains to find some ancient herb, you can order it online or right from a store.
From South America to Asia, there are many roots, leaves, and stems with benefits to share. Enjoyed hot or cold, the list below will give you an idea about how powerful nature can be whether you are looking for healing and preventative measures or psychoactive thrills.
8 Guayusa from Ecuador
7 Pu-erh from China
6 Ginger from South East Asia
5 Hibiscus Tea from Mexico
When air-dried and steeped the bright red Hibiscus flower results a deep crimson beverage. Hibiscus cultivars can be found throughout the Southern Hemisphere and is a popular drink in South America and parts of North Africa where the Hibiscus is highly prized. Served either hot or cold, it has a cranberry-like tartness and is often sweetened with other fruits or sugar.
4 Rooibos from South Africa
3 Lemon Balm Tea from the Mediterranean
2 Silver Needle White Tea from Southern China
1 Ayahuasca from the Amazon Rainforest
Legends of religious visions by Amazonian Tribes must have been a direct result of Ayahuasca. The beverage is brewed using the bark, leaves, and stems of the caapi vine and a mixture of other plants including Guayusa. Originally and still used today as a part of a religious ceremony by Amazonian shamans to induce psychedelic affects allowing one to feel closer to their spirituality. While those affects are certainly worthwhile, Ayahuasca also forces the body to detoxify through vomit and diarrhea cleaning away harmful toxins and parasites. Obtaining plants to produce Ayahuasca is difficult in many parts of the world due to it containing a powerful psychedelic DMT and being scheduled as a narcotic. The non-addictive properties of Ayahuasca though have made it a useful tool in helping addicts wean off opiates and contribute to improved mental health.
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