A trip to Vietnam can’t be complete without indulging in the nation’s cuisine. Vietnam, with its lush vegetation, stands as one of the world’s most prosperous land for plant life. For millennia, the people of Vietnam have harnessed the power of herbs, proudly integrating them into Vietnamese tea. Vietnamese herbal teas, celebrated for their health-preserving properties, have found a special place in traditional remedies, culinary delights, and everyday beverages.
1. About Vietnamese herbal teas (tra thao moc/tra thao duoc)
Even though they are called “teas,” there is no green tea in them. Instead, Vietnamese herbal teas are made from steeping or boiling a mix of flowers, fruits, and other plant parts in hot water. Along with other Vietnamese drinks, these special teas have been a part of Vietnamese culture for a very long time and are more than just drinks now. They have become a smart choice for people who want a drink that is not only tasty but also good for their health.
The process of making these teas retains the good nutrients of the plants while giving the teas different flavors and benefits. Research shows that Vietnamese herbal teas can help with heart issues, cancer, strokes, diabetes, and problems with arteries. The mix of different plants, like polygonum multiflorum and red sage, brings special substances called flavonoids that are good for preserving cells and making you feel younger.
Vietnamese herbal teas are beneficial for health in many different ways, as they:
- Help retain heat and warm the body.
- Enhance the immune system and protect the body against illnesses such as the flu, colds, and attacks from viruses.
- Significantly reduce mental fatigue and promote good sleep.
- Support digestive functions and effectively reduce gastric discomfort.
- Improve blood circulation and contribute to regulating blood sugar levels.
- Boost skin care and aid in weight loss.
2. Popular types of Vietnamese herbal teas
2.1. Vietnamese artichoke tea (tra atiso xanh)
Drinking Vietnamese artichoke tea regularly can promote deep sleep. It is also rich in fiber that supports digestive functions. The antioxidants in this tea slow down the aging process and aid in liver function.
Brewing this herbal beverage is easy. You can take 10g of dried artichoke flowers and rinse them with hot water. Steep them in a pot of boiling water for 3-5 minutes, strain, and enjoy.
2.2. Vietnamese lemongrass tea (tra sa)
Besides being a popular ingredient in many Vietnamese dishes, lemongrass is also used to make Vietnamese herbal teas. During winter, a blend of lemongrass tea with honey, cinnamon, lime, and mint can effectively alleviate the cold. Lemongrass tea also possesses antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
To make this herbal beverage, boil 1 liter of water. Add chopped lemongrass stalks, let them steep for 5 minutes, strain, and enjoy.
2.3. Vietnamese chrysanthemum tea (tra hoa cuc)
Chrysanthemum tea is a go-to choice for reducing stress, improving sleep quality, and preventing colds. Often combined with honey, licorice, or artichoke, it also helps alleviate headaches and dizziness. To make this Vietnamese herbal tea, just steep 2 tablespoons of dried chrysanthemum flowers in hot water for 10 minutes.
2.4. Vietnamese pandan tea (tra la dua)
Vietnamese pandan tea offers health benefits such as treating high blood pressure, aiding digestion, and potentially inhibiting cancer cell growth. To make this tea, just boil 10 dried pandan leaves in 2.5 liters of water. Consuming this tea regularly also assists in weight loss and provides a quick energy boost.
2.5. Vietnamese mint tea (tra bac ha)
Mint tea is known to boost the immune system thanks to its rich content of vitamins B, potassium, and calcium. It also helps combat common ailments like the cold, flu, and dry coughs, but caution is advised for certain groups. To make mint tea, steep 3 tea bags with fresh mint leaves in warm water for 3-5 minutes, then add lemon and honey to taste.
2.6. Hibiscus tea/Vietnamese red artichoke tea (tra atiso do)
Hibiscus tea, loaded with antioxidants, supports heart health, lowers blood pressure, and reduces cholesterol levels. Regular consumption can aid in weight loss, detoxify the liver, and provide anticancer benefits. Brewing it involves steeping 4g of dried hibiscus flowers in 250ml of hot water for 15 minutes.
2.7. Vietnamese ginger tea (tra gung)
Enjoying Vietnamese ginger tea in cold weather effectively warms the body, improves respiratory symptoms, and aids in digestion. However, moderation is key to avoid potential side effects. To make this tea, simply boil water, add 4-6 thin ginger slices, simmer for 10 minutes, strain, add honey, and savor.
3. How to drink Vietnamese herbal teas properly?
Vietnamese herbal teas have become a daily choice for many people. However, to fully enjoy a delicious cup of tea while promoting good health, consider the following guidelines:
- Caution for women: Menstruating women should limit herbal tea intake due to its cooling nature. During this phase, the body is already iron-deficient, and consuming herbal tea can impair gastric functions, leading to dizziness and abdominal pain. Concentrated herbal tea may affect heart rates in pregnant women, posing health risks. Women in the postpartum period should also limit herbal tea consumption.
- Avoid adding milk and sugar: Adding milk to herbal tea diminishes its weight-loss benefits. Some herbal teas may even react negatively with milk, causing unintended side effects when consumed. Same goes for sugar. Instead, use a small amount of honey or palm sugar to enhance the flavor.
- Don’t let the tea sit overnight: Pre-soaking herbal tea overnight is an unscientific practice that can negatively impact health. Tea left overnight undergoes degradation, causing the breakdown of vitamins B and C. Additionally, the caffeine content rises, potentially overstimulating the central nervous system and leading to discomfort.
- Consumption timing: Each type of tea has an ideal time for consumption to ensure maximum benefits.
- Avoid overindulgence: Although herbal tea is beneficial, excessive and prolonged consumption is not advisable. Individuals with a delicate constitution may suffer adverse effects from overindulgence, particularly to the spleen. Small children should refrain from herbal tea consumption.
On your Vietnam travel, there are many other healthy and popular beverages to try, such as Vietnamese coconut juice, Vietnamese sugarcane juice, Vietnamese avocado smoothie, pennywort juice, Vietnamese oolong tea, Vietnamese lotus tea, and more. You can find these drinks in every big city, such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Ha Long.
In Vietnam, you can opt for a truly indulgent stay by choosing the accommodations within Vinpearl’s network of hotels and resorts. Vinpearl boasts world-class services that showcase the epitome of Vietnamese hospitality. With Vinpearl, you can even unleash your inner adventure by exploring VinWonders, a system of entertainment complexes that promises an unforgettably entertaining experience in Vietnam.
Vietnamese herbal teas bring a captivating blend of cultural traditions and health benefits. The variety of ingredients, each carefully selected for its unique properties, make them a holistic and sensory experience. From promoting the immune system to enhancing digestive functions, these teas provide multiple health benefits through just a single sip.