Herbal tea, or, more properly, tisane (UK //, US //), is any beverage made from the infusion or decoction of herbs, spices, or other plant material in hot water, and usually does not contain caffeine. These drinks are distinguished from true teas (black, green, white, yellow, oolong, etc., which are prepared from the cured leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis), as well as from decaffeinated tea, in which the caffeine has been removed. In many countries, the word 'tea' may only be used for leaves of Camellia sinensis and therefore the phrase 'herbal tea' is a contradiction in terms, and should not be used. These beverages are therefore labelled infusion or tisane.
Like beverages made from true teas, herbal teas can be served hot or cold. Herbal teas have been used for nearly as long as written history extends. Documents have been recovered dating back to Ancient Egypt and Ancient China that discuss the enjoyment and uses of herbal teas. Among the Chinese, herbal teas are commonly known as liang cha (Chinese: 涼茶; pinyin: liáng chá; Jyutping: loeng4 caa4).