|Turkish Linden tea is known to be effective against the flu, colds and coughs. / Courtesy of Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism|
By Jun Ji-hye
It has become more important than ever for people around the world to keep themselves in good health and boost their immune systems to combat COVID-19 amid the prolonged pandemic.
Turkey has many practices that help people stay strong and healthy, such as drinking natural herbal teas very often.
According to the World Tea Report compiled by the International Tea Committee, Turkey took the first place for highest consumption of tea, with an annual 3.5 kilograms per capita. In 2019, 260,000 tons of tea were consumed in Turkey.
Turks taking the first place in this field was not surprising, since the country has a habit of drinking tea, from breakfast all through the day until bedtime in the evening.
The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism introduced Turkish herbal teas from various plants, noting that some of these herbal teas strengthen the immune system, while some are good for fighting disease.
The ministry added, however, due to their varying effects, those with certain diseases must be careful of the herbal teas they consume.
Cure-all herbal teas
Linden tea that is known to be effective against the flu, colds and coughs also helps relieve headaches. The tea also helps reduce anxiety and stress, and lower blood pressure. It is also consumed for fighting liver disease and arteriosclerosis, and is known to have benefits for the digestive system. It is usually consumed with lemon.
Rosehip tea that is rich in Vitamin C is recommended for fighting bone and joint inflammation, such as osteoarthritis. It is known to regulate blood pressure, relieve rheumatic pain, slow the spread of cancerous cells, lower bad cholesterol and protect against diabetes. The tea is also used in treating colds.
|Turkish Rosehip tea is rich in Vitamin C and is recommended for fighting bone and joint inflammation. / Courtesy of Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism|
Sage tea helps lower blood sugar and has a soothing effect. The tea that cleanses the liver is good for stress and effective in getting rid of harmful toxins from the body. It relieves the symptoms of bronchitis and asthma, and is good for a sore throat. The tea even can be used as a mouthwash. Experts recommend that those with blood pressure problems consume it only after consultation with a doctor.
Fennel tea is recommended for indigestion, stomach pain, heartburn and other digestive disorders. It helps the body produce bile and is effective in easing stomach spasms and contractions. It has a relieving effect for toothaches and coughing as well as cleansing effect for intestines.
Echinacea tea helps relieves the symptoms of colds. Its antiviral property helps prevent damage to the throat and lungs by controlling the number of inflammatory factors caused by viruses. It is recommended to be sweetened and consumed with honey.
Hibiscus tea made from mallow can be consumed either hot or cold depending on personal taste. When consumed regularly, it is known to improve blood lipid levels. Its antioxidant effect, immunity support and Vitamin C-rich content are among its other known benefits. Hibiscus tea has an anticoagulant effect, therefore people who use certain medications, especially high blood pressure medication or diuretics, must consult their doctors before consuming hibiscus tea.
Tea culture in Turkey
In Turkey, tea has rituals unlike any other country in the world, from brewing to serving, from the glass to the spoon being used, according to the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
After being brewed, tea is not consumed directly, but first weakened with hot water to lighten the taste. Therefore, teapots in Turkey consist not of one but of two separate parts stacked on top of each other.
While the tea is brewed in the upper chamber, water is boiled in the lower chamber. During the serving of the tea, the proportion of the two is adjusted depending on taste, either strong or weak.
In Turkey, tea is not served in teacups, but in a special curved, tulip-shaped glass and a small matching saucer. The tulip-shaped glass made of transparent, see-through thin glass fits right into the palm and is usually preferred since it shows the color, clarity and the balance of tea and water.
When tea lovers take the tea glass in their hands, they first look at the color to see if the tea and water balance is as appropriate for their tastes.