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Time for Tea? Nikki Biddiss, Medical Herbalist looks at the growth of the herbal tea market.


Despite the dominance of coffee shops on our high streets, we are at heart a nation of tea drinkers. And we are not the only ones: after water, tea is the second most consumed beverage worldwide. Analysts predict that the next big trend in the beverages market will be the rise of tea shops, and to capitalise on this, coffee chains such as Starbucks have started acquiring tea chains across the US.


An equally interesting trend is the growth in teas we buy at home. While black tea is still number one in sales rankings, green tea has risen to number two as the health benefits of green tea continue to be researched and reported in the media. Herbal and medicinal teas also appear in the top 5 of best- selling teas, and this market is growing 11-15% year on year. As a medical herbalist, I am particularly interested in this area of growth.


So what are the catalysts for the growth in herbal tea consumption?


It is primarily driven by the


health and wellness trend. People are looking for affordable and safe ways to enhance their personal wellness and self-care regimes. It is also driven by a desire to drink less caffeine- green tea, which is from the same plant as black tea, still contains caffeine, albeit both contain less than coffee. And as the nation’s waistline continues to expand, consumers are becoming more calorie-conscious and are looking for healthy alternatives to that morning latte.


So what herbal teas are the most popular? Unsurprising perhaps, chamomile is the best-selling herbal tea, followed by mint infusions, and ginger lags quite far behind into third place. Alongside taste, consumers are looking for immune and digestive support, herbs to help regulate stress and promote sleep. Echinacea, elderberry, liquorice, ginseng, valerian, passionflower and lavender fall into these various categories and all appear in the top 20 list. Herbs such as raspberry leaf, which is used in the latter stages of pregnancy and fennel which is used to promote breastfeeding also make an appearance. It is interesting that the health benefits of herbal


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teas seems prominent in the reason for consuming them while the health benefits of black tea, which are increasingly recognised, appear almost as an afterthought in most people’s minds.


Drinking herbal teas is by no means a new trend. People all over the globe have been brewing tonics,


teas and tisanes for thousands of years.


These beverages have been used to complement a healthy diet and lifestyle. Brewing the leaves, flowers, berries, seeds roots rhizomes or bark releases the active ingredients in the plants. There are hundreds of herbs with healing properties and each one has its own unique qualities. This can make the process of choosing herbal teas overwhelming so I would always suggest visiting a herbalist or a specialist shop rather than buying online so you can discuss what your needs are and they can guide you in choosing herbal teas which may suit your needs. This is particularly important if


you are pregnant, breast-feeding, taking


medication or have underlying health concerns. It is worth remembering though that caffeine can be a pretty strong drug for some and the tannins in tea can impair nutrient absorption yet we drink large quantities of both. Good advice will help you drink herbal teas safely and effectively.


So why not get on-board with this trend. Herbal teas are an economical, healthy way to quench your thirst, support your health and nurture your wellbeing. Source: http://www.worldteanews.com/insights/ abc-tea-market-report


Nikki Biddiss BSc (Hons), MNIMH, is a Medical Herbalist, Aromatherapy Massage Therapist and Cognitive Coach. She runs the herbal clinic in Napier’s, Glasgow and has her own practice in Bridge of Allan. www.botanicalhealing.co.uk or contact Nikki on 07528 341 206.


Please consult with your herbalist or health practitioner before using any herbs if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, on medication or have underlying health issues.


To advertise in thewire t. 07720 429 613 e. fiona@thewireweb.co.uk


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