3 teas that can also be in your medicine cabinet

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 19 November 2019

Herbals are amazing! No wonder they have been used for centuries across different cultures.

But did you know that many herbals can be used very effectively as a tea?

The technical word is infusion OR decoction.

Here are three herbals that you can use as a tea that fit the bill:

  1. Ginger - an excellent anti-inflammatory for menstrual pain, migraines, IBS, as well as nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. It works on the phospholipase A2 enzyme to reduce the production of inflammatory prostaglandins. One study showed 250mg has the same efficacy as 20 mg of Immitrex (pharmaceutical used for migraines). Another study used 250mg of dried ginger three times a day from day one to three of the menstrual cycle for three months. There was a 46% reduction of bleeding compared to 2.1% in placebo. And that's not all! The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Practice Guidelines recommend ginger as a first line recommendation, not pharmaceuticals, for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Sadly, I have never had a patient to date that has been told to take ginger as first line treatment by their OBGYN.
  2. Spearmint - not the same as peppermint, this herb is great for Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a common cause of infertility. It helps reduce testosterone levels in the blood that causes the acne, hair growth, and inflammation associated with PCOS.
  3. Lemon Balm - also known as the "gladdening herb". It is a gentle calming herb for the nervous system that is mostly used in kids and the elderly. It has show to have anxiolytic activity in human trials acting on GABA receptors. When combined with valerian root it showed improvement in sleep in children and relieved test anxiety in healthy volunteers. It also has an affinity for the digestive tract so it can be great for anyone with an "anxious stomach".


  1. Savage K, et al. GABA-modulating phytomedicines for anxiety: A systematic review of preclinical and clinical evidence.Phytother Res 2018; Jan;32(1):3-18
  2. Mattei C, et al The Medical use of Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) and Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) as Natural Sedatives: Insight into their Interactions with GABA Transmission. Int J Clin Pharmacol Pharmacother Volume 1. 2016. 112
  3. Pattanittum P, et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;3:CD002124.; Shirvani MA, et al. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2015;291(6):1277-81.
  4. Ozgoli G, et al. J Altern Complement Med 2009;15:129-32; Adib RH, et al. Effect of Taiwan J Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Dec;57(6):806-809 Maghbooli M, et al. Phytother Res 2014;28(3):412-5.
  5. Chen CX et al. Efficacy of Oral Ginger (Zingiber officinale) for Dysmenorrhea: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016; :6295737.
  6. Kashefi F, et al. Effect of ginger on heavy menstrual bleeding: a placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial. Phytotherapy Research2015;29:114-119.
  7. Kamel HH. Role of phyto-oestrogens in ovulation induction in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. May 2013;168(1):60-63.

2 Replies to “3 teas that can also be in your medicine cabinet”

Steph VanderMeulen

Timely! Today I have a pelvic ultrasound to see if there’s anything wonky going on down there or if it’s just perimenopause symptoms or what. I’ll make a cup of ginger tea right now! I’ve found all of these from the Traditional Medicinals brand. Spearmint and lemon balm can be hard to find in the shops, I’ve found, but sometimes the Bulk Barn carries them, or you can get them online.

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Awesome Steph!

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