Does Herbal Tea Have Caffeine?

Are you skeptical about using herbal tea? This is the right article for you if you wish to reduce your caffeine levels or you want to stop taking it entirely. Although herbal teas are widely known, people tend to know very few facts about them. Many individuals do not even know if herbal tea contains caffeine or not. But the main question is, does herbal tea contain caffeine? Most herbal teas do not contain caffeine. That is, only a few herbal teas contain caffeine. However, there are two significant examples to look at to determine the kinds of herbal teas that are caffeine-free or not caffeine-free.

  1. Mint, Lavender, Chamomile, or Cinnamon tea do not contain caffeine.
  2. Yerba Mate that is also called "lemon tea," contains caffeine.

What often comes to mind when you think of herbal tea is probably herbs, and there are thousands of herbal teas available. Out of the thousands, only two kinds of herbal tea contain caffeine. The first of these two is Yerba Mate, widely known in South America and naturally contains caffeine. The second is a mixture of different teas that eventually produces an artificially caffeinated herbal tea.

YERBA MATE

This popular South American tea is the only naturally caffeinated tea known to man. However, it is not so popular in other continents but is widely known in the Americas — including the Southern and central parts. There, it is a very common drink. In North America, the Yerba tea became more popular thanks to the Latina immigrants who brought the tea along. Therefore there's a little chance that you would know so much about Yerba, mate, especially if you are not from the Americas. Yerba Mate is a type of herbal plant with similar features to holly. The leaves are used to make the tea, and it is consumed in a unique manner.

First, the many leaves are soaked in hot water. After a while, the drink is put in a gourd and is consumed by using a metal straw with a filter at one end. This kind of tea is brewed in a unique way such that you never remove the leaves; you simply add more water to reduce the concentration. The caffeine content is very high in Yerba Mate that many people believe higher than black tea. However, we cannot determine if this is true except an experiment for testing is carried out. While some Yerba Mate teas may have a higher caffeine level than black tea, others may not.

Notwithstanding, Yerba Mate has strong caffeine content, and the more leaves being added to the brew, the higher the caffeine levels become. Therefore Yerba Mate should not be part of your to-drink list if you are avoiding caffeine consumption. Yerba Mate is also sold as an energy drink in the market. Some energy drinks may claim to be caffeine-free but contain ingredients such as Yerba Mate. This is why it's important always to check out the ingredients used to make a particular product before consumption.

ARTIFICIALLY CAFFEINATED HERBAL TEA

Producing artificially caffeinated herbal tea is a common occurrence. Many tea-producing companies are infamous for adding caffeine to herbal teas. What is more unfortunate is that some of these companies would not indicate in the ingredient label that they have added caffeine to the tea. It is important to check if your herbal tea contains other caffeine-containing mixtures like green tea,  white tea, Oolong, or black tea. Because these teas contain significant amounts of caffeine, and a small number of such teas can add caffeine to your herbal tea mixture. Although the caffeine content is usually in a small dose, it could still be effective, especially for those who do not want caffeine.

Also, other kinds of herbal teas are mixed with black or green tea. Such mixtures are commonly found in teas that are in teabags. Therefore it is recommended that you get loose leaf teas if you are looking for genuinely blended tea.

There is also a lesser-known variant of caffeinated herbal teas.  In this variant, the real ingredients are gotten from plants used to make herbal teas, but caffeine is added to it during brewing. In this case, no other tea mixture (or coffee) is added to the herbal tea — just caffeine. However, producers of this kind of tea often add a label to indicate caffeine in the tea.

"DECAF" LABEL ON SOME HERBAL TEAS

You might have asked yourself this question a couple of times; if most herbal teas do not contain caffeine, why do some tea products carry the "decaf" label? (For those who don't know, "Decaf" means "decaffeinated").

Most often than not, it is just a simple marketing strategy used by companies. For some unexplainable reasons, "decaf" tends to lure people into buying a herbal tea product than "caffeine-free."For example, if you ever see a rooibos tea with the "decaf" label, just know it is a marketing move. However, the label "decaf" still serves other purposes rather than just being a marketing gimmick — they are used to indicate those tea products that previously had caffeine. Such tea products include black tea, green, Yerba Mate, etc.

ARE HERBAL TEAS DRANK BEFORE BEDTIME?

Many people have different reasons why they consume herbal teas. Some drink it for therapeutic purposes; others simply drink it because they believe it aids sleep. While the latter is not known to be true, there is nothing wrong with drinking herbal tea before going to bed. Although it is not a tea brewed to induce sleep, it will not keep you awake since it is usually caffeine-free. Depending on the kind of herbal tea blended, you can give it to your child to drink. However, you must have a good knowledge of the kind of herbal tea before allowing your kids to drink them. Generally, they are safe for children's consumption.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Herbal teas do not contain caffeine naturally except for Yerba Mate, which is very popular in the American continent.

If you seek to consume teas that are not caffeinated or detrimental to your health, you should start drinking herbal teas. They are generally safe for both children and adults. Nevertheless, always ensure to check the ingredients of any herbal tea product you buy to determine whether they are caffeine-free or not. While Yerba Mate is the only known naturally caffeinated herbal tea, other herbal teas can be brewed with caffeine-containing mixtures. 

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