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The 2nd September marks National Independence Day in Vietnam, celebrating the date when the country claimed its independence and sovereignty from France and Japan.

Marked by a national holiday and a day of celebrations, there’s now no better excuse to try some of Vietnam’s speciality teas.

Ask people where the origin of Britain’s most famous drink is and you’re likely to get a reply of either China or India.

Whilst it’s probably true that the first cultivated tea came from China, before the Brits set up farms in India, it is believed the oldest tea trees in the world are from Vietnam where local Hmong people have been picking the leaves of wild trees for thousands of years.

Today, an innovative company called Natur Boutique is helping put Vietnam back on the map for its teas; showing not only why it produces some of the best green tea in the world, but also how we can benefit from some of the country’s other tea drinking traditions.

jpg artichoke tea (375x400)So boil up the teapot and tuck into a steaming cup of Vietnamese tea.

Artichoke tea is a traditional drink of the Lam-Dong highland region in Vietnam, where an abundance of artichokes are grown due to the area’s relatively temperate and mild year-round climate.

Often drunk in restaurants as an aperitif, the cuppa is refreshing, revitalising, delicious and has a pleasing scent.

Natur Boutique’s version, produced traditionally in Vietnam, is the only organic artichoke tea available in the UK.

Drunk not only for its unique taste, the artichoke extract contained within has been shown to have the potential to soothe IBS symptoms, making the drink popular with the millions of people suffering with the condition.

It’s also fantastic for clearing up the skin. Scientists have looked at the effects that cynaropicrin – a bioactive compound in artichoke – has on skin cells and they found two main effects; reduced inflammation and lowering of the production of oxygen free radicals.

Nature Boutique’s Organic Artichoke Tea is available in Holland & Barrett and independent health stores. For further information visit

Please note: Pregnant and breast feeding women should seek advice from their doctors before using artichoke extracts. Artichoke leaf extract should not be taken in the presence of gallstones or other bile duct occlusion, due to its bile stimulating effects.

Always consult your doctor or health advisor before using herbal tea products, especially if pregnant, lactating or using specific medication or suffering from a medical condition.