Why do we have to brew tea or others herbs instead of eating them raw? Why (probably) can’t we get the same health benefits from dry herbs?


Why do we have to brew tea or others herbs instead of eating them raw? Why (probably) can’t we get the same health benefits from dry herbs?

In: Biology

In my country we also boil them like pasta and eat them as a type of salad. Certain herbs that aren’t gross to eat raw we also chew them like gum. You can do all kinds if things with them.

You can (and many people do) chew fresh herbs, either for their taste or their perceived health benefit.

But fresh herbs only stay fresh for a very short time after being picked. Within a couple of days they’re usually starting to go limp, to lose some of their flavour, and generally to be less desirable.

So the answer to that is to dry the herbs and distribute them in their dried form. But then they’re quite unpalatable: putting a handful of dried herbs into your mouth is not far different from shoving in a handful of sawdust!

However if you steep the dried herbs in hot water for a few minutes, you get a reasonable compromise: a product that can be easily distributed and stored for months, along with an experience for the consumer of something that tastes good and isn’t unpleasant.

Some herbs require heat to be activated. Some herbs have their benefits hidden deep within them, like bone marrow, and you have to boil to get them out. Sometimes, it”s purely because those herbs have been dried and your body can’t digest those vitamins/minerals etc when the source is so dry that you might as well be eating paper.

What health benefits from what herbs are you refering to ?

You can because there are essentially no health benefits. Remember that “modern medicine” is just all of the bits of pre-modern medicine that were actually right. Those herbs with medicinal properties have become actual medicines now. Those that are still teas n’ shit are just teas because they taste good, nothing more.

Just adding a note about cannabis. THCA isn’t psychoactive, but once it’s heated (the technical term is decarboxylation), it becomes THC which is psychoactive. That’s to say, the chemistry of plants changes when you add heat.

Edited to add: that’s why you can eat a bud of cannabis without any harm or true high, because there are only trace amounts of activated THC in the flower.

Tea can actually be eatten freshly picked or arranged in different recipes, though it becomes less delicious the further from first flush it it.

People brew tea because this is how it tastes good.

If you consume random tea (as in, camellia sensis) only for health benefits, following advice on Internet, to me you’re doing it all wrong:

1. good-tasting savory tea will have the same benefits than bad-tasting tea.

2. the benefits are often largely overrated, especially if you don’t change the rest of your diet.

3. the benefits, if any, depend on who consumes the tea, when, how much and how often – any simple one-fits-all rule can only be wrong…

A lot of herbs cannot be digested and when put in tea or other meals the nutrients (some of them) go into the water or the meal. Also, a lot of the time it tastes better because it’s with other food.

Yes, No, Because we want to, and it depends.

Yes– you can get some benefits from uncooked items. Some vitamins and nutrients will break down with heat. There are benefits to raw or raw-ish foods.

No– some things (nutritionally speaking) are only accessible to us when a thing cooks/heats, or they become more readily accessible. Complex chains can break down and become more palatable and/or digestable, cooking meats or tough roots are good examples here. (Steak and potatoes, as a for example).

Because we want to– some things, like eggs can be eaten raw or cooked. Most vegetables also fall into this category. How we prepare them depends on what we’re using them for. Or for things like tea, you CAN eat them raw but it’s more difficult, the tea makes it easier to drink, plus there is the emotional connection to a simple ritual. Tea is also easier to drink for a sick person.

It depends– depends on what you want from the item(s) and/or the feeling you’re after. Carrots in a stew and carrots in a salad are different things done for different reasons.

You can get a lot of benefits from dry herbs.


I take Kratom by just dumping a powdered spoonful of it in my mouth cinnamon challenge style and then just swishing and swigging it down with a beverage.

Water tastes bland and the tea’s main objective is to make the water more tasty. Just like sausages are mainly mustard-delivery devices.