Herbal Teas Vs. Herbal Supplements

Healthy herbs, rooibos, honeybush, decaf tea, and yerba mate.

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Feb 3rd 08 7:05 am
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Herbal Teas Vs. Herbal Supplements

by TimeforTea » Feb 3rd 08 7:05 am

Hi,

I hope I don't offend anyone with this post... And I do not wish to start a debate. I'm just curious about something.

Do herbal teas have the same amount and/or potency as herbal supplements? For personal reasons, I don't like taking herbal supplements because they're not regulated, etc. And many, such as kava kava, have caused serious complications.

Is there similar possible "harm" in drinking herbal teas on a daily basis:?:

Thanks in advance.

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Feb 3rd 08 8:22 am
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by osadczuk » Feb 3rd 08 8:22 am

I qualify as "seriously not an expert" but I know that there are some tissanes that pregnant women are encouraged to avoid.

I'm thinking maybe raspberry, but I could be wrong.

As for the general public, I don't know. I would imagine it depends on the ingredients.

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by tseirPsaduJ » Feb 3rd 08 2:01 pm

For the most part herbs are very safe...if used in moderation/common sense. Generally the only trouble you'd have would come from MASSIVE doses, or for some strange reason you are allergic...but peanuts can do that to people you know. I have a friend allergic to strawberries. So in my opinion eating is as harmful (just stating not debating :D ).

Potency:...well...that depends on what you're using, how much, and how much the supplement has, wether the tea is more potent..generally fresh herbs aren't as potent as dried, and if you just make a quick tea (not steeping 6-12 hours like an herbal infusion/as a medicine) then you'll be fine. The supplements are usually extracts (meaning the oils etc. from ALOT of leaves/twigs/buds/roots), or a fair quantity of the whole herb..the whole herb means your body has time to process it first in the stomache, then keep taking what it can out of it in the small intestine, so ends up much stronger than if you just used a few teaspoons in boiling water for 6-15 minutes & strained, a.k.a tea. Is that what you were asking? And if you are extra worried about it, don't use the same herb over and over, mix it up every couple of days. :) Hope that helps, though I know I can be confusing..

Also...MOST of the herbs sold as teas/tissanes are very safe...otherwise most of us would be dead right now, because we are teaholics :D.
(and about the pregnancy herbs.....Red Raspberry leaf is something you WOULD take. It helps prepare the uterus for birth. But I believe the dose is just a cup a day until the actual labour where you make a double strength liter...just thought I'd clear that up...if someone you know is pregnant I do reccommend a good herb book to ensure safety {some herbs and even hot peppers can stimulate the uterus/cause contractions too soon})

Moderation and common sense really are the key to everything in life. I hope you enjoy your teas or tissanes thoroughly!

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Feb 3rd 08 2:12 pm
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by tseirPsaduJ » Feb 3rd 08 2:12 pm

I actually made my own brain hurt rereading that, the overall point was that: No, I don't think a simple herbal tea is as strong as a supplement. I don't think there would be the same effect drinking it unless you drank ALOT of the same tea all day everyday.

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Feb 4th 08 1:47 am
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Re: Herbal Teas

by TimeforTea » Feb 4th 08 1:47 am

Ok...thanks for your helpful explanations. :D

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by Cinnamon Kitty » Feb 4th 08 3:35 am

With just a tea, you steep it for a shorter period of time. Most herbal supplements are a lot more concentrated and stronger. It would definitely take many mugs of tea to have the same effect. Generally, without taking into account food allergies, herbal teas are safe since they are a small dose. If you really want a good explanation, ask a pharmacist or your doctor. I only remember some of what I looked up when I looked up something similar to what you are asking a long time ago.

That being said, a mug of tea sometimes just helps any ways. I know, for me, peppermint tea is my preferred way to deal with sinus issues and headaches.

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by TimeforTea » Feb 4th 08 5:14 am

Cinnamonkitty wrote:With just a tea, you steep it for a shorter period of time. Most herbal supplements are a lot more concentrated and stronger. It would definitely take many mugs of tea to have the same effect. Generally, without taking into account food allergies, herbal teas are safe since they are a small dose. If you really want a good explanation, ask a pharmacist or your doctor. I only remember some of what I looked up when I looked up something similar to what you are asking a long time ago.

That being said, a mug of tea sometimes just helps any ways. I know, for me, peppermint tea is my preferred way to deal with sinus issues and headaches.
Thanks. I do currently drink tea bags of chamomile or peppermint. I like the idea of herbal tea because they have no caffeine, and some taste really good. I'll ask a pharmacist or doctor as you suggested...

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I take olive leaf tea instead of swallowing the capsules

by olivetealover » Feb 22nd 08 2:48 pm

I drink anywhere from 2-5 cups per day instead of taking the capsules. My blood pressure and cholesterol are down!!!

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Re: Herbal Teas Vs. Herbal Supplements

by minin23 » Jan 2nd 18 9:18 am

Health Benefits of Tea: Herbal Teas. Made from herbs, fruits, seeds, or roots steeped in hot water, herbal teas have lower concentrations of antioxidants than green, white, black, and oolong teas. Their chemical compositions vary widely depending on the plant used.

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Re: Herbal Teas Vs. Herbal Supplements

by chapka » Jan 16th 18 6:23 pm

The problem is, because as you say herbal supplements are pretty much completely unregulated, it's hard to give you a straight answer to your question. Herbal teas do have to tell you ingredients, but there have also been cases of the wrong herb going into a tisane--such as the highly toxic datura (devil's trumpet) being mistaken for trumpet vine.

Add to that the uncertainty of how soluble whatever active ingredient you're interested in is in water (as opposed to whatever extraction method the makers of the herbal supplements use) and it gets even harder to guess which will have a higher dose of what.

The bottom line is this: if a substance is effective--if it does something to your body--then it has the potential for side effects or overdoses. Being "natural" or "herbal" doesn't mean it's safe. There are long-established traditional remedies that can cause serious side effects or death even in healthy people. Medicating yourself with herbal medicine without knowing what dose you're taking of the active ingredients is like a doctor handing you a bottle of pills and telling you to take "a bunch, every so often."

Also, if you are taking any other medication, NEVER take any herbal supplements or drink any herbal tea more exotic than peppermint without talking to your doctor. There are a lot of teas that interact with common medications in potentially dangerous ways. If you're on the wrong meds, even chamomile can be fatal; the same goes for black cohosh, saw palmetto, valerian, St. John's wort, ginseng, feverfew, and many others. Even some foods (notably grapefruit and cranberries) can have serious interactions.

When I say medication, that includes birth control; there is a long list of herbal treatments that can make your birth control stop working. And while we're on the same subject, anyone who is or might be pregnant should not mess around with herbal medicines, some of which are known to cause miscarriage.

Basically, if you're taking herbs as a substitute for other kinds of medicine, you need to treat it like medicine, and that means taking it seriously. Don't do anything with a "medicinal" leaf that you wouldn't do with a pill.