I was cleaning out my cabinet for my mugs because I finally got my expanding shelves in (yay!), and I discovered that I had a LOT more tea than I remembered. I hadn’t had any in a while, probably because it was a pain to get to that part of the cabinet (and of course, the hot weather doesn’t make it fun to drink right now, though a little at night would be a good idea again).
But I remembered all the varieties I got, and many were those specialized “wellness” teas that are meant for certain situations, things like digestive balance, better sleep, whatever. I think I got one of each box when there was a sale about a year ago, mainly because I wanted to try so many different kinds. At this rate, though, it’s gonna take ages for me to drink all the bagged tea so I can finally get to my loose tea. And it’ll save space in my cabinet. So many boxes of tea!
It got me thinking, though, as I was sorting things out–are “wellness teas” just some good marketing and generally b.s.?
I mean, I haven’t tried any in a while, but unless I’m gonna drink a certain tea for months, how the hell will I know if it’s a contributing factor in my digestive improvement or not? I looked at the flavors and such that they put together for these teas and can only conclude that it’s some great marketing. Because it’s being touted as some health improvement brew (beyond regular black, green, rooibos, or white teas in general), they can tack on an extra buck and people will buy it, or have a few less tea bags in there (I’ve noticed that depending on the brand, there’ll be anywhere from 2-6 less bags than usual… or at least, the last time I went out to buy tea, that’s what I saw).
But honestly, when you look at the flavor combos on the package, that’s where I think it comes from. Unless you’re a tea snob or really into trying new teas whenever you can (and have), I doubt the average joe that is looking at tea is gonna pick up a package of tea with a blackberry and licorice combo, or chili and tumeric and matcha (yes, Bigelow tea has been my go-to for many years now, but these flavor combos are something else in the “benefits” line).
I mean, I partially blame our “quick fix” and “junk food” culture. So many “exotic” ingredients have popped up and are in our teas. When the hell did matcha (whatever that is) suddenly show up in the U.S. and take over? Reminds me of the Goji berry juice thing, and the Acai berry juice thing… sheesh, a new thing every year, it seems.
It’s true that tea in general is healthy and helpful for the body, and even certain herbal teas have something to bring to the table (as long as you don’t add a bunch of sugar, of course). I just wonder how many with the “quick-fix” mentality think drinking a couple boxes of a certain type of tea are really gonna keep their energy up or heal their gut health or whatever the hell.
I really wish the FDA had a presence in “alternative” shit. I’m about to stop all but the most basic supplements because who the hell knows what’s really in those things. But I digress.
But now you look at the shelves, and there are plenty of combos you wouldn’t have seen before. I didn’t realize, but the last time I went to the store (box was in the back–I rotate stock, so that’s how I know), I got a box of ginger tumeric and peach tea. Weirdly enough, I stumbled on a vlog post that was talking about women’s issues, and ginger and tumeric are supposedly good to help with the most painful symptoms of women’s time of the month. I’m gonna give that a shot and see if it helps next time it comes along (because Midol only does so much sometimes–hee hee).
I do think tea does much, and can do a lot. There just haven’t been enough studies to confirm all these little additions to the basic tea lineup, the spices or other ingredients and what they can do. It could be just clever marketing.
I do know that thanks to that awful buzzword “detox”, I definitely won’t be grabbing any of that overpriced detox tea. If I drink enough water (or unsweetened tea), then my system will do it’s job and “detox” me anyway.
Anyway, other than chamomile tea (which I’m sure does work as a sleep aid if you’re not careful), I can’t think of any tea or tea blend that seems to work as some super health food on a certain part of the body, or has been proven to do so. I think a lot of it is guesswork from multiple studies of food chemistry and pairing interesting flavors for marketing more than anything.
Well, floor’s yours…
Edit: sorry, I just noticed I posted earlier and accidentally erased half the post before publishing (stupid mouse ran out of batteries and was stuck til I replaced it). So if you saw this earlier and wondered why I didn’t finish my thought, now you know.