There is something so relaxing about a cup of tea. Tea can boost your immune system and offer a gentler form of caffeine than some other drinks (er, Ass Kicker). Each cup is full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. And with so many varieties on the market, there is something for everyone. Green, black, white, oolong—just to name a few. Don’t limit yourself, though. Outside of the average grocery store, there are many rare healthy teas that you’ve probably never heard of. Available at health food stores (like Whole Foods) and online retailers (like Lucky Vitamin), these healthy teas have a stoic place in traditional medicine. They double as gentler alternatives to over-the-counter medications, which are often known for their pesky side effects. From insomnia to allergies, these teas may be just what your pantry needs.

Tulsi

Also known as Holy Basil, tulsi has been dubbed as “The Queen of the Herbs.” This plant provides a healthy source of energy and stamina, making it a unique alternative to coffee or black tea. It works as a natural stress buster, so make yourself a cup before a job interview (or meeting your in-laws).

Valerian

When it comes to relaxing nighttime teas, most people think of chamomile. Try valerian (see top photo) to take things up a notch. This herb boosts the production of gamma aminobutyric acid, a neurotransmitter that calms you down. Valerian can also improve the quality of sleep and ease stomach cramps.


Skullcap

Skullcap can totally transform your collection of teas. The American version, which is grown across North America and Europe, can reduce nerves and anxiety. Like valerian, skullcap also works as an amazing sleep aid.

Stinging Nettle

If you suffer from hay fever, stinging nettle tea can be a game changer. Not only does it boast an impressive medley of vitamins and minerals, but it can reduce the body’s level of histamine. This equals relief from sneezing and itchiness due to pet dander, pollen, and dust mites. Better yet, it doesn’t cause drowsiness like many over-the-counter medications.

Dandelion

Often seen as a petty weed, dandelions are quite healthy for the body. It promotes a healthy liver, an organ that contributes to the body’s natural detoxification process. Dandelion can also ease joint pain from issues like osteoporosis and arthritis. Furthermore, it aids your noggin by helping with memory.