What should be considered when consuming herbal teas? / Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
Herbal teas contain bioactive components with antioxidant properties that have positive effects on health. Teas containing polyphenol substances such as catechins, flavonols, flavones and phenolic acids have anticarcinogenic, antimutogenic and protective properties against cardiovascular diseases. Especially with the increase in epidemics, the tendency to herbal teas has increased even more.
The raw material of herbal teas is mostly obtained as a result of drying valuable parts of plants such as leaves, flowers, roots and fruits. One of the methods used in the preparation of herbal teas with water is boiling (infusion). Leaves, flowers and stems are usually kept in boiling water for 3-10 minutes, as it is easy to release the bioactive substances they contain with the infusion method.
The usage areas of commonly used herbal teas can be listed as follows; There may be places where it is used for weight loss, body shaping, depression, gastrointestinal symptoms, immune support, relieving joint pain, such as relax teas, or to increase breast milk.
Expert opinion should be taken while consuming herbal teas. Pregnant women should be especially sensitive about herbal tea. It can cause serious problems up to the danger of miscarriage due to uterine contractions. Kidney patients may be at risk due to the diuretic effects of herbal teas. It is absolutely necessary to consult a specialist and not to exceed the daily reliable overdose.
What should be considered when buying herbal tea?
The frequency of scientific publications to draw attention to side effects has increased significantly all over the world, especially in the USA and Europe, due to the increase in the use of unlicensed drugs, whose quality, efficacy and safety have not been demonstrated, their labeling and standardization have not been carried out appropriately, and the use of uncontrolled, over-the-counter drugs.
The name of the plant, the collected part, the amount of active substance, if any, its side effects and the purity of the tea, the production and packaging permission must be stated.
The consumption of herbal teas is increasing in the autumn and approaching winter seasons we are in. However, it is observed that some herbal teas where herbal teas are sold are not clean enough. In this regard, consumers should be careful to buy labeled products.
What should be considered when consuming herbal teas?
Side effects of herbs and drug interactions that may occur when used with drugs are not fully known. When using plants and plant products for the treatment and prevention of any disease, it should be noted that potential drug interactions and side effects may occur when used with drugs.
People with hypertension and palpitations should take care not to consume more than one or two cups of green tea daily.
Although thyme seems harmless when looked at, it can cause low blood pressure as it increases the effectiveness of high blood pressure medication. It is recommended to consume thyme tea 2-3 hours after the medication.
Apart from being good for colds during pregnancy, it should not be taken more than 1 g daily when consumed because it is good for nausea, it may cause a risk of miscarriage.
What is the shelf life of herbal teas?
Contamination of herbal materials used in tea making with microorganisms, soil, water, fertilizer, sewage, animal waste and residues can occur before harvest, as well as during production stages such as harvesting, drying, classification, grinding, processing, packaging and storage. .
In accordance with the Turkish Food Codex, samples are taken in accordance with the communiqué published in the Official Gazette, internationally accepted analysis methods are applied and the shelf life of the plants is determined.
In our country’s food legislation, the regulation on the levels of microorganisms that can be found in foods is included in the Turkish Food Codex Microbiological Criteria Regulation, the number of yeast molds allowed in herbal teas is limited to 105 cfu/g and the number of Salmonella to 0/25 g-mL.
How should it be stored at home?
Poor ventilation conditions during storage often lead to increased moisture content and these plant materials become more conducive to mold growth and toxin production.
It is recommended to keep the dried plants under suitable conditions for 1 year. It is more possible to store it in places that are not exposed to sunlight, not humid, and in dry places that do not rise above room temperature.