Best Tea for Inflammation & Muscle Pain
There’s a pretty good reason tea is one of the most popular home remedies for ailments like a sore throat or muscle pain: it works!
Of course, you can’t just use any tea. While many teas have anti-inflammatory properties of some sort, not all are created equally. When you’re looking for the right tea to soothe your inflammation, you’ll want to do your research first. Some teas are significantly better than others when it comes to dealing with inflammation and muscle pain.
For example, herbal teas like chamomile and cinnamon tea are excellent options for those looking to ease inflammation. When it comes to more traditional teas derived from Camellia sinensis, the processing method may impact the strength of a tea’s anti-inflammatory properties — green teas reign supreme on that front.
Whether you’re dealing with a scratchy and painful sore throat or just want to relax your muscles, we’ve compiled the following guide to help you find the right tea for your inflammation-related ailment. In this blog post, you’ll find a variety of teas that are particularly powerful anti-inflammatory agents, in addition to tips on which teas work for which ailments, such as stomach pain, sore throat and skin problems.
Read on and we’ll help you find the right anti-inflammatory tea for your personal needs.
Five Best Anti-Inflammatory Teas
- Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea might be most well-known for its sleep-inducing properties. But did you know that its anti-inflammatory properties might be even stronger?
In fact, its anti-inflammatory properties might just be the reason why it has such a strong anti-insomniac effect. That’s because chamomile is particularly effective at relaxing your muscles. By relaxing the muscles it helps you to feel extra comfortable, soothing you into a deep and cozy sleep. Plus, it happens to be caffeine-free. If you’re struggling with sore muscles, chamomile tea just might be the right tea for you.
Not only does chamomile help with sore muscles and poor sleep, but it’s also used as a home remedy for skin conditions like eczema. With skin conditions, a topical application is typically recommended, so you don’t expect your eczema symptoms to go away after drinking a cup of tea. But chamomile-infused ointments and lotions can help ease the discomfort of dry and itchy skin associated with eczema.
- Green Tea
Green tea leaves are packed with antioxidants that help fight inflammation. Thanks to the presence of antioxidants such as green tea polyphenols and epigallocatechin, green tea is exceptionally good at easing the effects of chronic inflammation. Drinking tea is a great way to get your proper dose of green tea polyphenols.
This class of antioxidant present in green tea has been shown to be effective at reducing inflammatory responses in the body, which in turn helps fight symptoms of chronic inflammation. These antioxidants do their job by reducing oxidative stress and fighting free radicals that can lead to inflammation.
It’s unclear whether or not green tea polyphenols are preventative or therapeutic, but one thing’s for certain: green tea certainly helps fight inflammation, and can be a great supplement to traditional, mainstream medicines.
Besides its anti-inflammatory properties, green tea is highly revered for its health benefits. The antioxidants present in green tea also stimulate weight loss in addition to having anti-aging, anti-arthritic and anti-microbial properties. Not to mention, green tea is super tasty — whether you like it for its slight, grassy notes or are looking for something that’ll fight chronic inflammation once and for all, green tea is an excellent option.
We recommend the following green teas for their anti-inflammatory properties: Capital Teas Genmaicha, Bigelow Tea Matcha Green Tea with Turmeric, U.S. Wellness Naturals Organic Gunpowder Green Tea
- Black Tea
Green tea’s not the only kind of tea with anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Black tea also contains an antioxidant called theaflavin, similar to the green tea polyphenols discussed above. Theaflavin is responsible for reducing your body’s inflammatory response — which is great if you have chronic inflammation.
Theaflavin is also a great antioxidant for reducing muscle soreness. If you have tight, painful muscles, you may find it beneficial to skip the morning cup of coffee and have a nice, warm cup of English breakfast tea. Not only will it perk you up and keep you awake, but it’s also going to help relieve some of the pain you might feel from overworking yourself or other inflammatory responses.
Masala chai blends are a particularly good option for fighting inflammation. This is because masala chai is often infused with ginger, cinnamon, and even turmeric. These added spices also have anti-inflammatory effects.The presence of caffeine in black tea makes it a good alternative to chamomile for anti-inflammatory purposes if you also need something to keep you alert for the day.
- Ginger Tea
Ginger is an extremely popular home remedy for stomach issues. If you’re struggling with inflammation in the gastrointestinal region — stomach pain, nausea, acid reflux, etc. — ginger tea might be a good option for you.
Like traditional teas, ginger is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds to help improve your digestive health and ease pains. Ginger’s inflammation-fighting properties are unparalleled — thanks to the presence of the antioxidant gingerol, this herbal tea has strong anti-inflammatory properties. When looking for ginger teas, you’re also quite likely to come across ginger and turmeric (and even black pepper) blends. Turmeric is also an amazing spice for fighting inflammation, as it has curcumin, the antioxidant that gives turmeric its vibrant yellow-orange color.
Not only is ginger good for easing stomach issues, it’s also great at easing joint pain. It’s a very popular home remedy for some of the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Combined with a sweetener like honey, ginger tea has a citrusy, spicy-sweet flavor profile that’s exceptionally calming as well. It’s the perfect cup of tea to cozy up with while fighting off inflammation and other painful issues.
- Cinnamon Tea
Like ginger tea and chamomile tea above, cinnamon tea is a type of herbal tea (there are lots of other herbal teas, by the way, that have strong anti-inflammatory properties, including peppermint, rooibos, licorice, and rosehip tea). Cinnamon’s anti-inflammatory properties are just as strong as the rest.
Cinnamon tea helps both with acute inflammation — for example, muscle soreness after a good workout — and chronic inflammation conditions. Cinnamon contains various bioactive compounds that help reduce your body’s inflammatory responses. Cinnamon is particularly useful for targeting inflammation that occurs as a result of aging. Whether it’s weakened muscles or rheumatoid arthritis, cinnamon is a very powerful spice that can aid in treating inflammatory conditions.
When combined with other teas — cinnamon is a particularly common addition to black tea and ginger tea — you can get double the anti-inflammatory effects. This is why we recommend sipping on a cup of masala chai or cinnamon rooibos: to get the anti-inflammatory effects of both the tea leaves and the other spices in the blend.
We recommend the following cinnamon teas for their anti-inflammatory properties: Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea Tin, Pukka Organic Three Cinnamon Tea, Celestial Seasonings Herbal Cinnamon Apple Spice
Find The Best Anti-Inflammatory Tea For Your Needs
Different symptoms call for different types of tea.
For instance, you likely won’t want to use green tea to treat stomach pain, as the bitter tannins Camellia sinensis plant can actually exacerbate stomach inflammation and nausea. In the case of stomach pains and digestive issues, you’ll want to opt for ginger tea, which will help soothe any gastrointestinal discomfort. On the other hand, if you need a little something extra to fight off the pains of arthritis, green tea might be a better option.
When it comes to stomach pain and other gastrointestinal issues, ginger tea is your best friend.
The gingerols in ginger tea are a great option for fighting a wide range of stomach issues, including, but not limited to:
- Acid reflux
- Stomach ulcers
If you’re suffering from any of the above issues, pour some hot water over a ginger tea sachet and let this fiery spice work its magic. Ginger and turmeric blends are a particularly common blend for treating stomach pains in ayurvedic medicine. You may find that turmeric tea on its own is also helpful — because ginger and turmeric are quite closely related, they have many of the same compounds.
While it may not be an end-all-be-all solution to your stomach pain, ginger tea is certainly a good place to start if you’re looking for a home remedy.
Skin problems are some of the trickiest to deal with — oftentimes, traditional treatments can be invasive or uncomfortable. That’s why tea can be a great supplement to other medicines for treating certain skin conditions.
Depending on the skin problem you’re suffering from, different teas will work best. In general though, green tea and chamomile tea are excellent options for skin conditions.
Green tea may be especially helpful if you struggle with acne. Many people use the sweet-smelling essential oils of green tea to ease acne and moisturize the skin. Likewise, chamomile tea is particularly good for skin conditions that cause dryness or rash, such as eczema.
Generally, topical treatments infused with these teas are best — the jury’s still out on whether drinking a cup of green tea can help combat acne. But it’s not hard to find skincare products infused with tea — from green tea infused face wash to chamomile-based ointments, you’re tea products are especially helpful in reducing inflammation that manifests on the surface of your skin.
If you’re worried about heart disease and conditions that can lead to it, you may want to restock your tea collection with some new black and green teas.
Teas that are derived from the _Camellia sinensis plant _— including oolong and white teas as well — are an excellent option for preventing heart disease. These teas have a huge range of compounds that not only reduce inflammation, but also lower your risk of heart disease. They do this by lowering your blood pressure and reducing cholesterol, thereby laying down the foundations for a happy healthy heart.
When it comes to a sore throat, the best tea for you depends on what’s causing the sore throat. If it’s a common cold, ginger tea with a drizzle of honey could do the trick. That’s because ginger has compounds that fight against the rhinovirus that causes the common cold. Additionally, ginger’s gastrointestinal effects may also aid in soothing a sore throat caused by acid reflux.
On the other hand, peppermint tea could be a good option if your sore throat is caused by something a little bit nastier — say, strep throat. The menthol in peppermint has cooling effects that are particularly good for easing a sore throat.
Additionally, tea brewed over ice may also be a good option for healing a sore throat. While hot tea is a cozy and warming option, hot drinks may further irritate the throat and make a sore throat worse. The cooling effects of iced tea can help calm throat pain, similar to how applying a pack of ice to your body helps with joint and muscle pain. That’s why we recommend sipping on an iced tea if you need to get over a sore throat.
How Does Tea Reduce Inflammation?
Camellia sinensis has several different compounds that aid in fighting inflammation and reducing pain.
Fresh tea leaves have several anti-inflammatory chemical compounds of their own. However, the process of drying and aging tea to create green, black or oolong tea, facilitates further development of these chemical compounds. Enzymes present in the fresh tea leaves oxidate the tea leaves, deepening the flavor and changing the chemical makeup of the tea.
The chemical compounds developed during this process vary depending on the type of tea the manufacturers are producing. Black tea contains the antioxidant theaflavin, which relaxes the muscles and reduces soreness and inflammation. Green tea contains green tea polyphenols, which have all sorts of different functions, from antimicrobial properties to reducing the inflammation associated with arthritis. Both types of tea contain catechin, which also has anti-inflammatory properties.
On the other hand, herbal teas are a bit more varied in their effects. Because these all come from different plants, it’s hard to generalize about compounds that’ll have an effect. For instance, gingerol is present in ginger (the compound is even named after the plant!), which helps soothe a sore throat and fight against cold symptoms. But it’s wildly different from the antioxidants and chemical compounds that make up chamomile.
Other Ways To Reduce Inflammation & Muscle Pain
Of course, tea is no substitute for your doctor’s advice. If you’re struggling with inflammation — chronic or otherwise — it’s best to get a doctor’s opinion on the issue. Your doctor may be helpful in prescribing medicine and suggesting a course of action to treat your inflammation or muscle pain.
That’s not to say you can’t follow your doctor’s advice with a cup of tea in hand, though!
The teas discussed in this blog post can be an excellent supplement to your doctor’s advice. Things like the R.I.C.E. method (an acronym which stands for “Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate”), massage, and a warm bath can help ease some of the pain you might feel from sore muscles or other pain.
We recommend doing these things alongside a nice cup of tea. Regardless of what your doctor suggests, these teas are likely to be a safe and healthy addition to mainstream medicine.
Our Favorite Tips For Faster Recovery With Tea
Quality & Quantity
Of course, you’ll want to buy the highest quality teas possible. Low quality teas might be older and may have even gone a little bit stale. Obviously, this has a negative impact on the flavor of the tea, but it also affects the composition of the tea as well. If your tea has gone stale, it’s anti-inflammatory properties may be a bit less robust.
For this reason, loose leaf tea and high quality bagged teas are the best options. Low quality teas often consist of fannings — that is, the dust and leftover broken tea leaves from producing higher quality tea. These go stale much faster, and as such, their anti-inflammatory properties decline over time. Finding a high quality tea is the way to go to treat inflammation.
When it comes to quantity, you should take into account your personal preferences. While we don’t recommend chugging down 10 cups of tea per day, you can safely drink two to four cups in a day without worrying much about side effects.
Be sure to follow the instructions on your tea’s packaging when you brew your cup of tea.
Different teas have different requirements — herbal teas like chamomile, peppermint and ginger may require a slightly longer steep time and hotter water. If you don’t steep these teas as long as they need, you may not be able to get all of the anti-inflammatory benefits from drinking them.
On the other hand, steeping a cup of green tea as long as you steep a cup of chamomile might yield a bitter and undrinkable brew. This is why we recommend doing as much research as you can on the type of tea you’ve settled on.