Teas vs Tisanes: What’s the Difference?
What Is Tisane Tea?
Tisane tea is an herbal tea made from parts of a particular plant. “Tisane” and “herbal tea” are the same thing. The correct term in the tea industry for teas made from anything outside of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) is a “tisane.”
The tea and herbal industries market tisanes as a tea; however, tisanes are not a true tea. True teas are black, green, oolong, yellow, or white, made from the tea plant Camellia sinensis. Tisanes are made from various herbaceous plants or plant parts that have medicinal bioactivity.
Ancient Uses Of Tisanes
Many tisanes (herbal tea) have been around for thousands of years. Ancient uses of certain plant parts to make tea were used to treat numerous ailments and conditions. Today a whopping 75% of the world relies on herbs in traditional, Ayurvedic, Unani, Chinese, Folk and other unconventional medicines.
According to a published research study entitled “Historical Perspective of Traditional Indigenous Medical Practices: The Current Renaissance and Conservation of Herbal Resources,” Hippocrates relied on herbal intervention to help with pain and fever. Archeological records of Sumerian medicinal writings on pharmacological plant use (including herbal teas) go back 5,000 years. Herbal intervention is said to date back 8,000 years ago in China and 60,000 years in Iraq.
What Are Tisanes Made Of?
Tisanes may be made from all, several, or one part of plants. These plants are not tea plants (Camellia sinensis.) A tisane can be made by infusing bark, leaves, stems, roots, flowers, seeds, or hips. Tisanes may also be made from spices or fruit. Honey may be added to a tisane to help make it palatable, sweet, or as a medicinal enhancement.
Tisane vs. Tea: What Is The Difference Between A Tea And A Tisane?
There’s a bit of confusion about tisanes and teas because tisane (herbal tea) packaging lists it as a “tea.” Tisanes are also served in tea shops. Avid tea drinkers claim true teas (black, green, oolong, yellow or white) are the healthiest option, whereas others claim herbal teas (tisanes) are superior. Both true teas and herbal teas have merit, and as to which is best, well, that comes down to a personal preference.
- Made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis (tea plant.)
- May include infusions of herbs, flowers, spices, or fruits.
- May contain up to 70 mg of caffeine in a six-ounce cup of tea
Antioxidant, antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and more.
- Enjoyed hot or cold.
- May be blended into other teas.
Examples Of Some True Teas
- Orange Pekoe
- Earl Grey
- English Breakfast
Tisanes (herbal tea)
- Made using all or part of a plant (other than Camellia sinensis,) spices, or fruits.
- Does not contain caffeine
Depending on the plant species, there may be antioxidant, antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, or other medicinal benefits.
- Enjoyed hot or cold.
- May be blended into boba or other teas.
Examples Of Some Tisanes
- Butterfly Pea Flower
- Taro bubble tea
What Are Tisanes Good For?
Tisane benefits vary and are plant-specific. For example, chamomile tea may have different benefits compared to peppermint tea. Herbalists and non-conventional medicine practitioners use certain herbs and plants for tea to help alleviate or treat specific ailments and conditions.
We do not have the medical expertise to recommend or provide advice on the use of tisanes. There are far too many tisanes to mention and their purported benefits.
Chamomile tea is one of the most common tisanes and is often enjoyed to help one sleep and relax. Honey-lemon tea, on the other hand, is typically consumed to relieve sore throats. Echinacea tea is something one might drink at the first sign of illness.
Aside from the medicinal uses of tisanes, many tea drinkers find that tisanes are quite delicious to drink. In the winter, a hot tisane chases the chills away while summer milk tea, iced tea, or boba tea hits the spot and refreshes.
Different Types Of Tisanes
The mystery behind tisanes and their ingredients are easily dispelled by breaking down what goes into making them. Below are various tisanes listed according to what they are made from. ‘
The plant(s) used to make a tisane have what’s known as a taxonomic (botanical.) For example, peppermint tea is made from the leaves of Mentha x piperita.
There may be several species belonging to a plant. A good example of this is a tisane called chamomile. This herbal tea can be made from one of two chamomile plant species which is Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) or German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla.)
We understand that the botanical names of plants and trying to understand species and subspecies and their relation to tisanes can easily numb the mind. When it comes to tisanes, it’s important to know what ingredients are used to make herbal tea.
There are many plants and parts of plants that are toxic or, worse, poisonous. Just because herbal tea is sitting on the shelf in a local grocery store does not mean it’s safe to consume.
Which Herbal Teas Are Safe To Consume?
When consuming anything made with herbs or plant matter, safety should be at the forefront of our minds. There are many herbs, plants, and spices that can cause side effects, be toxic, or be poisonous. Some interact with certain medications, cause adverse reactions, or worsens existing medical conditions.
Those with medical conditions, taking medications, allergies, sensitivities to pollen or plants, and pregnant or nursing women should consult with a healthcare provider before consuming any herbal product or beverage. More importantly, tisanes should never replace appropriate medical care or treatment.
Good quality herbal teas on the market will always list the ingredients used to make the tea. Avoid tisanes with ambiguous labeling that fail to provide consumers with ingredients. The last thing you want to drink is herbal tea that may harm you.
Lastly, something to “chew on” is herbal tea purchased from herbalists selling them online. Although most are ethical herbal tea makers, there are those who fail to properly handle/process and package the tea. In cases like this, you may end up with a product contaminated with mold, pesticides, bacteria, or foreign plant matter.