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Three Tasty Teas to Try

Three Tasty Teas to Try


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June is National Iced Tea Month, and it's befitting. After all, there's nothing like a cold glass of fresh iced tea on a sweltering day.

So to celebrate this beloved beverage, we decided to try out some new products that make brewing iced tea easier than ever—simply steep a bag in a pitcher for a few minutes, then pour over ice.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

Sign up for our daily newsletter for more great articles and tasty, healthy recipes.

Here are our picks.

Phoebe likes:Mighty Leaf Iced Tea in Ginger PeachTruly, I'm a black iced tea purist—I love a glass that's plain, unsweet, and strongly brewed. But, I was pleasantly surprised by this flavored tea. Fragrant peach and fresh ginger sync together harmoniously here. No one flavor dominates the other; the kick of ginger keeps the sweet peachiness in check. Indeed, this is not your typical perfume-laced artificial-tasting fruit tea; here, the peach notes are very authentic and welcomely refreshing.

Kimberly likes:Mighty Leaf Iced Tea in Calypso MangoI like my tea weak -- not watery, but refreshingly light. If you let the bag steep 4 minutes like we did, this is a light, aromatic tea -- pleasantly fruity with just a hint of earthy black. You could let this steep for several minutes longer, and I have no doubt it would be a strong black tea with a nice punch of tropical notes. It doesn't need any sweetener -- it's perfectly 'sippable' as is.

We both like:The Republic of Tea Iced Tea in Hibiscus SangriaBrimming with bold citrus and berry flavors, this brand new tea is super juicy and ultra refreshing. Tart hibiscus helps cut any sweetness, making it a good option if you enjoy doctoring up your teas with fresh fruit slices or a spoonful of agave. We also fell in love with the beautiful ruby hue.


Warm and Tasty: The Best Honey and Tea Combinations

Who doesn’t love a warm cup of tea on a cold winter day? When cold weather comes along, many households keep the kettle close at hand for whenever they need to fill a festive mug. Of course, everyone prepares their tea a little differently. Maybe you like to add milk, or maybe you’ve developed the perfect way to steep every variety you have in your cupboard.

A spoonful of honey also makes a wonderful and sweet addition to your cup, but you should consider your flavors carefully. After all, not all honey is created equally. Several factors create different flavors of honey, including the flowers from which bees forage and the processes that beekeepers put their product through. When you choose your flavor combinations carefully, you can pick a variety of honey that highlights the flavors of your tea beautifully.

Finding your new favorite drink might take some experimentation, but you can start by trying these best honey and tea combinations for a warm and delicious mug of tea.


20 Healing Herbs for Tea

Peppermint

Why It’s Powerful: Helps to relax the muscles of the digestive tract and reduce spasms.

Recipe to Try: Detox Tea

Chaga

Why It’s Powerful: The king of mushrooms, it’s a powerful immune-booster that has anti-cancer and anti-oxidant properties.

Recipe to Try: Chaga Chai

Reishi

Why It’s Powerful: The queen of mushrooms, soothes and calms the nervous system and has immune-modulating compounds.

Chamomile

Why It’s Powerful: Calming and great for digestion.

Ginger

Why It’s Powerful: Anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting and great for nausea.

Turmeric

Why It’s Powerful: Strongly anti-inflammatory and rich in anti-cancer properties.

Recipe to Try: Simple Turmeric Tea

Passionflower

Why It’s Powerful: Promotes sleep and relaxation, lowers blood pressure.

Lemon Balm

Why It’s Powerful: Soothes the nerves, calms the mind and body.

Cinnamon

Why It’s Powerful: Great for balancing blood sugar. Cinnamon also offers a natural sweetness.

Recipe to Try: Yogi Tea

Fennel

Why It’s Powerful: Reduces digestive spasms and gas, and eases symptoms of coughs and colds.

Lemon

Why It’s Powerful: High in Vitamin C, stimulates digestion and detoxes the liver.

Recipe to Try: Lemon + Sage Tea

Why It’s Powerful: Helps relieve stress, boost energy levels, balance hormones and increase sex drive.

Recipe to Try: Heavenly Maca Latte

Ashwagandha

Why It’s Powerful: Relieves stress, calms the mind, boosts energy levels and reduces inflammation. Also supports thyroid health.

Licorice

Why It’s Powerful: A great digestive aid, and it’s anti-microbial and anti-bacterial.

Recipe to Try: Ginger Licorice Tea

Marshmallow

Why It’s Powerful: A mucilaginous herb that soothes the mucus membranes of the digestive system, respiratory tract and urinary tract.

Lemongrass

Why It’s Powerful: Reduces digestive discomfort, helps soothe pain, and lowers cholesterol levels.

Lavender

Why It’s Powerful: Has a calming and sedative effect, helps to relax the muscles.

Matcha

Why It’s Powerful: Rich in antioxidants, boosts energy levels, contains l-theanine – an amino acid that increases focus and concentration.

Jasmine

Why It’s Powerful: Reduces inflammation, promotes sleep and relaxation, anti-bacterial and anti-viral.

Echinacea

Why It’s Powerful: Stimulates the immune system and has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anticancer effects.

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Homemade Mashed Potatoes and Variations

The key to the best homemade mashed potatoes is not in the butter, milk, or seasonings. It's all about the potatoes you choose and the way you mash them.

These fluffy mashed potatoes offer several possible variations, including lighter options and flavor additions.


3. Iced Lemon Chamomile Tea

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Lemon Skin, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Chamomile Tea
  • 4 cups Water
  • Mint

Place water and lemon skin, pith removed in a pot. Bring to a boil, turn off heat and add chamomile tea. Steep for 5-6 minutes. Strain over ice. Garnish with mint.

source: www.thenewpotato.com

At Naipo, we encourage our community to strive for their own personal definition of wellbeing. Even though detox iced teas aren’t a novel idea, they offer a great way to ease your body into a cleaner, healthier state. Try out one of the recipes and let us know what you think!


Tea 101

Tea is the second most popular beverage around the world, eclipsed only by water. In general, tea refers to dried leaves of the camellia sinensis plant prepared by steeping in hot water. It can be served hot or cold. In the United States, 85 percent of the tea consumed is iced, a uniquely American preference. One pound of tea leaves yields about 200 cups, making tea one of the cheapest beverages available, following tap water.

The camellia sinensis plant is grown at high altitudes in damp, tropical regions. Tea, like wine, is named for its place of origin, such as Darjeeling, Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka) and Assam.

The three most common types of tea in the United States, black, green and oolong, vary by their treatment after picking. Black tea is fermented, or oxidized, for four hours, which produces an amber brown color and strong flavor when brewed. Green tea is not fermented and when brewed tastes slightly bitter and appears yellow-green. Oolong is partially oxidized for two to three hours in order to combine the characteristics of black and green tea. A fourth type of tea gaining popularity in the United States is white tea. This subtly-flavored tea is produced by picking the new buds of the tea plant before they open and drying, but not fermenting, them.

Herbal teas are not considered "real" teas because they are not produced from the camellia sinesis plant. Herbal teas, also called tisanes, are made from steeping fresh or dried flowers, herbs, seeds or roots in hot water. Popular varieties include chamomile, ginseng and lemon balm. Traditionally, indigenous herbal medicines were administered as tisanes. Today, many people believe in herbal teas’ therapeutic qualities, but should speak to their doctors about any possible adverse interactions with their current medications.

Drinking tea can be a tasty complement to a healthy diet. Tea prepared simply with water contains no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium and no sugar and contains antioxidants which studies have shown have many health benefits.

There are as many teas to choose from as there are tastes. The teas listed below are a few of the many varieties available.

Assam: A rich black tea from northeastern India, brews to a reddish color and is considered a breakfast tea due to its brisk, assertive flavor.

Ceylon: A full-flavored black tea from Sri Lanka, brews to a golden color with citric notes and produces an excellent iced tea that does not appear cloudy when cooled.

Rooibos: A South African sweet, earthy and nutty tea that is lacking in tannins which makes it mild and less astringent than other tea types. Also known as redbush.

Chai: An Indian-spiced black tea blend, usually featuring cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves and black peppercorns tastes spicy and complex and is usually served sweetened and with milk.

Darjeeling: A full-bodied black tea from the foothills of the Himalayas in northeastern India, called the "champagne of teas," brews to a soft amber color and has a pungent, floral aroma.

Earl Grey: A blend of black teas that usually includes Darjeeling, flavored with oil of bergamot oranges, fragrant and exotic, usually drank as an afternoon tea.

English Breakfast: A blend of Indian and Sri Lankan black teas, brews to a rich color with a full-bodied and robust taste that many prefer with milk and/or sugar.

Formosa Oolong: An expensive oolong tea from Taiwan, has the rich flavor of black tea and light tanginess of green tea, brews to a yellow-green color, aroma is reminiscent of ripe peaches.

Gunpowder: A green tea from China with a pungent flavor, roasted aroma and light straw color.

Keemun: A mellow black tea from China, has a strong aroma and a less astringent taste than other black teas.

Lapsang souchong: A smoked black tea from China, brews dark brown and often served as an afternoon tea or with dinner.

Matcha: A powdered green tea from Japan, has a light sweetness and can be used to flavor foods.


20 Essential Herbal Tea Recipes: Tasty Blends for Health & Comfort

Herbal teas are reaching an astounding following throughout every corner of our little planet! Yes, more and more of us are buying expensive boxed teas, and we’re giving or receiving them as gift sets for all kinds of occasions. One of the biggest trends now is growing fresh herbs, many of which are uniquely suited for brewing our favorite teas. (In my blog post titled “Cuppa Medicinal Tea,” I outline how to plant a small herb garden. Take a peak even if you’ve never attempted to garden. It may give you the incentive to start.)

Even hospitals, restaurants, and community garden plots with limited space are growing herbs on their rooftops and decks, and many of us are experimenting with growing herbs indoor and year-round. A burning question I had was this: why is there now such a huge interest in these specific teas and at this specific time?

In answering that question, we need to admit that, for one thing, new health trends have helped herbal tea, which was once a specialty only in certain cultures, evolve into the popular beverage it is today. Herbal teas have now achieved the full-throated following of thousands of dedicated tea drinkers. I am one such crazy (smile) and have a collection of herbal teas you wouldn’t believe. Because of my growing interest, I kept purchasing all types of herbs, teas, and tea blends, and I found that many of them weren’t the most pleasant to drink! What a waste of money. Even my cat turned her nose away from the scent. (Smile)

I became a little discouraged, and reading the voluminous herb books at my local library seemed daunting to me. However, as good luck would have it, while looking at different websites about growing special tea herbs, I came upon one of the best homey yet cosmopolitan magazines as I’ve ever read!

Let me tell you a little about it, and about the gift of twenty tasty herbal tea blend recipes given to me by the magazine’s editor, Tina Sams, after I explained my desire to learn and write about good-tasting herbal tea recipes.

Luckily for me and my readers, this lovely magazine I’ve now subscribed to is full of growing tips, recipes, and articles galore about all things herbal. And all the while, it’s educating me about the medicinal side of these lovely herbs!

Attention: If you have any herbal buddies, be sure to share this one-of-a-kind blog post from me, including all twenty of the tested and tasty herbal tea blends below. Free of charge and good for thee or an ailing friend. I promise!

The Essential Herbal

Finding The Essential Herbal was truly one of those providential experiences! It’s a well-organized, full-color, hardcopy treasure that will be delivered to my mailbox every few months. What a joy to find that not all good news has to come to my email address! Editor/owner Tina Sams and family are the kind of awesome country folks we often hear about but rarely find in mainstream publications. Learn more about Tina and her family here.

A little about The Essential Herbal: “Bringing herbalists and herb enthusiasts together since 1992! The Essential Herbal is a print magazine shipping within the US. We also have a pdf version available worldwide.

The Essential Herbal is an herb magazine that you can prop up on the kitchen counter while trying recipes, take along to the natural food store, herb shop, or garden center to help you shop for the best stuff. We originally called it an ‘herbal newsletter,’ but since early 2004, when we began running 32 pages, it became an ‘herbal magazine.’”
—EssentialHerbal.com

There are six issues per year. Subscribe now! You’ll gain access to the subscribers- only Yahoo discussion group—only if you’re interested.

Personal note: Just so you know, I haven’t been paid or received any kind of compensation for recommending this great publication. I’m just sharing with my readers this great find and the twenty freebie recipes I was given by the editor Tina Sams.

Included in the recipe blends below is my own research on one or more of the medicinal properties that I perceive as the main herb in each tea blend. Feel free to look up any of the other specific uses for some of the other herbs. Here is my favorite herbal site, from which I’ve excerpted the “Medicinal Properties” cited below Herbs2000.com.

20 Essential Herbal Tea Recipes

The following recipes are listed without their particular author to maintain uniformity. Some are Tina Sams’ own recipes, and others are from the following contributors, who Tina would like to thank here: Sandy Michelsen, Cathy Walker, Mary Ellen Wilcox, Marcia Herman of SeedPodPress.com, Susanna Reppert of TheRosemaryHouse.com, Jackie Johnson, ND, from TheWisconsinHerbalist.com, and Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh of BackyardPatch.blogspot.com.

Unless otherwise noted, these blends are best made by infusion. By definition, infusion drinks are made by placing a flavoring ingredient (such as tea or herbs) into a liquid (such as hot water). Infusions are the most popular method of preparing teas. The “Medicinal Properties” cited below are all quoted (and/or adapted) from Herbs2000.com. (All emphasis mine.)

Southern Sipper
1 part spearmint
1 part black tea
Orange zest to taste

Medicinal PropertiesSpearmint is a widely used homemade herbal medication. Herbal medicine practitioners have customarily used a tea prepared with the leaves of spearmint to treat medical conditions, such as headaches, fevers, and digestive problems. Black tea has caffeine and as such may be bothersome to some who are not accustomed to drinking caffeinated beverages.

Lemon Up
1 part lemon balm
1 part lemon verbena
½ part lemon thyme
⅛ part lemon zest

Medicinal Properties – Lemon verbena has a number of therapeutic uses. For instance, a placid sedative tea is prepared using the leaves of the herb to comfort nasal and bronchial congestion. In addition, this herbal tea is also taken internally to treat palpitations, indigestion, stomach cramps, flatulence, and nausea. Lemon balm: Traditionally, decoctions made from the lemon balm have always been used to lift up the spirits and perk up morale. The herb is believed to induce longevity when it is taken on a regular basis. There are also many other traditional uses of the herb, such as in the healing of wounds to bring relief from palpitations, relax the heart, and treat toothaches and other dental problems.

M’Lady’s Cup
1 part chamomile
1 part red raspberry leaf
½ part peppermint or spearmint (see Southern Slipper)
Just a pinch lavender

Medicinal PropertiesChamomile has a great relaxant action on the nervous system and the digestive system. The herbal remedies made from this herb are considered to be a perfect remedy for the treatment of disorders affecting babies and children. Red raspberry leaf: The raspberry plant is used for its astringent and for its stimulant properties. When a strong infusion or tea of the plant is taken as a mouthwash or as a gargle, it soothes a sore mouth and also lessens inflammation of the mucous membrane of the throat.

Anise Mint
1 part anise hyssop
3 parts spearmint (see Southern Slipper)

Medicinal PropertiesAnise hyssop in folk herbal medicine tea has been employed to facilitate the digestive process. Native Americans also used anise hyssop as a medication to cure wounds, fevers, diarrhea, and cough. The leaves of anise hyssop are cardiac (good for the heart) as well as diaphoretic (induces perspiration). An infusion prepared from anise hyssop leaves is used to cure feeble heart and other health conditions. A poultice prepared with the leaves and stems of anise hyssop may be used to heal burn injuries.

Stomach Soother
2 cups of water
2 teaspoons peppermint leaf
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
Pinch of dried ginger

Medicinal Properties – Fennel Seeds Patients affected by abdominal bloating are the main beneficiaries of herbal remedies made from the seeds of the fennel. In addition, the fennel seeds are also used to alleviate problems such as stomach pain they are used in stimulating poor appetite in patients the diuretic action and the anti-inflammatory properties of the seeds are also used to treat a variety of disorders affecting different individuals. This tea is delicious, very calming, and great for digestive problems.

Elderberry Tea
2 cups of water
2 tablespoons elderberry syrup (or one heaping tablespoon dried berries)
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods
Simmer for 30 minutes.

Medicinal PropertiesElderberry: A variety of herbal medications are derived from different parts of the elder plant. For example, the mucous lining of the inner nose and throat is toned by a remedy made from the flowering tops of the plant. This treatment leads to a better resistance from infection in these areas of the body. This tea is helpful when you have a cold or flu.

Love Tea
¾ cup rose petals
¼ cup lavender blossoms
½ cup rosemary
¾ cup jasmine blossoms
½ cup hibiscus flowers

Mix all dried ingredients and store in an airtight container. To make the tea, use 1 teaspoon of the blend for each cup of briskly boiling water. Allow it to steep for 10 minutes. This blend makes a great gift in decorative bottles along with a fancy note about the folklore below!

Folklore: Rose petals to bring or send love. Lavender blossoms indicate devotion.

Rosemary is for remembrance. Jasmine indicates sensuality. Hibiscus flowers: when used behind the left ear, “I have a lover,” and behind the right ear, “I want a lover.”

Holy Basil-Sage Tea
Scant ¼ cup of dried holy basil leaves
Pinch of dried sweet annie (Artemisia annua) leaves (optional)
Pinch of green tea (I suggest ½ teaspoon)
Two dried sage leaves (I suggest ¼ teaspoon dried powdered sage)

Medicinal PropertiesHoly basil has numerous benefits. The leaves of this herb serve as a nerve tonic (stimulate the nerves) and help sharpen memory. The plants also help get rid of phlegm and catarrhal substances accumulated in the bronchial tubes. The leaves of holy basil help make the stomach stronger and bring about profuse sweating. Even the seeds possess medicinal properties, and they secrete mucilage (mucilaginous). In fact, this herb is excellent for diminishing anxiety, stress, and depression.

Rosemary-Mint Tea
Two (4 inch) sprigs rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried
About ¼ cup dried mint, either peppermint or spearmint
Pinch green tea (optional)

Medicinal Properties – Rosemary can circulate blood to the head, thereby aiding in better concentration and improving memory. It is also believed that rosemary helps in better hair growth because it is able to improve blood circulation to the scalp. The versatile herb has even been used to treat varied disorders like vertigo and epilepsy.

American Cranberry Tea
1 quart cranberries
4 quarts water
2½ cups sugar (I recommend substituting ½ cup raw honey)
½ cup cinnamon candies (I recommend substituting 2–3 teaspoons Ceylon cinnamon)
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
Juice of 3 oranges
Juice of 3 lemons

Bring cranberries and one quart of water to a boil. In another pan, bring three quarts of water and sugar (or honey) to a boil. Add cinnamon candies (or Ceylon cinnamon), cloves, and spices, then simmer. Put cranberries through a sieve and combine with other liquid. Before serving, add juice of oranges and lemons. Serves 12–15. Sounds like a great Christmas treat.

Medicinal Properties – Cranberries: In the 1840s, German researchers found out that the urine of individuals who consumed cranberries contains hippuric acid, a chemical that combats bacteria. Studies undertaken in recent times endorse the theory that consuming cranberries or drinking the juice of these berries may help in avoiding or combating urinary tract infections. In effect, hippuric acid thwarts the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli) from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract.

Memory Tea
Equal parts:
Rose (petals)
Rosemary (see Rosemary-Mint Tea)
Licorice Root

Medicinal Properties – Rose petals: Like rose hips, the petals of rose flowers also have numerous remedial uses. For instance, rose petals are effective in relieving congestion in the female reproductive system. Licorice root: Ancient records from Greece and other places show it was used in the treatment of asthma, chest problems, and canker sores. Licorice is also found to be useful to ease certain chest complaints, arthritis, and inflammation of joints, skin, and eyes.

Garden Tea
Equal parts:
Purple sage leaves
Lemon balm (see Lemon Up)
Peppermint or spearmint
Rose petals (see Memory Tea)

Medicinal Properties – Sage leaves can be used for all types of sore throats. This is because sage has antiseptic and astringents as well as certain relaxing properties, which is one of the main reasons why sage is used rather frequently in gargles. Sage is often described as a digestive tonic and as a stimulant, and in Chinese medicine sage enjoys a good reputation as a versatile nerve tonic.

Seventh Heaven Tea
Equal parts:
Chamomile (see M’Lady’s Cup)
Lemon verbena (see Lemon Up)

Lavender Mint Tea
1 part lavender
4 parts peppermint (or spearmint if you like a milder mint)

Medicinal Properties – Lavender is often combined in mixed remedies with different sedative herbs to treat problems such as sleeplessness, nervous irritability, and chronic headaches, as well as persistent migraine problems in affected individuals. The herbal remedy made from the lavender is also very useful in alleviating depression and related mental disorders.

Chamomile-Peppermint Tea
1 part chamomile (see M’Lady’s Cup)
1 part calendula
¼ part lemon peel
1 part peppermint
Pinch clove

Medicinal Properties – Calendula: The calendula is a potent antiseptic herb. Several of the active chemical constituents found in the herb are fungicidal or mycotic toxins, especially the resins. In addition, these compounds are also bactericidal and antiviral agents. This accounts for the effectiveness of the herb in the treatment of cuts, physical wounds, varicose veins, and various other inflammatory disorders that affect the human body.

Summer Sunshine Tea
1 part chamomile (see M’Lady’s Cup
¼ part lemon peel
1 part peppermint
1 part sage (see Garden Tea)
Pinch clove

Tibetan Butter Tea
Author commentary: This is no ordinary tea. In fact, many tea drinkers don’t like it at all because it’s not sweet tea but rather creamy and salty. I was a bit confused when I first drank it, thinking it was a broth rather than tea. But I immediately loved it. Tibetan tea, if you can get it, comes in blocks of about a pound or so, with large leaves. It’s often wrapped in yellow tissue paper, or you can just use loose-leaf tea (preferably strong black leaf), or even a few tea bags if you have nothing else. Please, do try this tea, especially on a cold day. It’s heaven, and it’s actually one of my favorite teas now.

2 well-rounded teaspoons of strong, loose black tea, or 3 teabags (if using pressed tea, cut off a chunk about double the size of a quarter)
2 tablespoons salted organic butter (preferably raw or cultured)
Milk (I recommend organic, raw whole milk)
Pinch sea salt
Hand mixer (that can be immersed in fluid)

  1. Boil water in kettle. Place leaves at the bottom of a glass
  2. Add 4 cups boiling water over leaves. Let sit, covered, 3–5 minutes.
  3. Strain leaves. Set aside, then pour back into the pitcher.
  4. Add pinch sea salt and 2 rounded tablespoons organic butter to the tea.
  5. Pour about 2–3 cups whole, raw organic milk, enough to fill pitcher about ⅔ full while still making sure liquid remains hot.
  6. Take hand blender and submerge it into the tea. Mix for a few seconds to make sure butter and salt are properly dispersed. Little oil bubbles will appear on the top of the tea, and it will become light brown. Leave tea in the pitcher if there’s a bunch of you, or quickly pour into a teapot with a cozy to keep it warm longer.

Herbal Masala Tea (Chai)
4 cups water
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into 4 thin rounds (about 1-inch thick)
4 sticks cinnamon bark, dried
10 whole cloves, dried
10 whole green cardamom pods
10 whole allspice berries
10 whole (black or green) peppercorns

Bring water to a rolling boil in a large pot, about 8 minutes. Add all spices and continue to boil for another 6–8 minutes. Remove from heat. Allow to steep for another 1–2 minutes. Strain to remove whole herbs and spices. Pour into a tea pot or other heatproof container, and serve in cups with cream or milk and honey to taste.

Licorice Spice Herbal Tea
8 cups water
2 whole cinnamon sticks (3-inch pieces)
10 whole cloves
5 green cardamom pods
½ tablespoon fresh orange zest (about 1 small orange)
½ large, whole vanilla beans, split open and scooped out with a knife or spoon to remove essence
1 tablespoon cut licorice root
½ tablespoon anise seeds
1 tablespoon whole Chinese star anise
1 teaspoon cut sarsaparilla (optional)

Bring water to a rolling boil in a large pot, about 8 minutes. Add all spices. Continue to boil for another 6–8 minutes. Remove from heat. Allow to steep for another 1–2 minutes, then strain to remove whole herbs and spices. Pour into a teapot or other heatproof pitcher or container. To serve, pour into tea cups. Tea can be served either hot or as an herbal iced tea.

Masala Chai with Fennel
1 cup water
1 cup organic raw whole milk
3 teaspoons Assam, Ceylon, or Darjeeling tea leaves (if these teas are not readily available, I recommend black tea)
1-inch piece dry ginger
3 cardamom pods, split open
2 peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1-ince piece cinnamon
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
Sugar to taste (I recommend raw honey)

Coarsely grind all spices together and set aside. Mix milk and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil on high. As the milk/water rises to a boil, add the spice mix. Reduce to a simmer. When it rises to a boil again, add the tea leaves. Allow to rise, then turn off heat. Cover and steep for 2 minutes. Strain, add sugar, and enjoy.

Green Tea Chai
2 tablespoons green tea leaves (I use powdered green tea)
6 whole cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground Ceylon cinnamon
1 cup organic raw milk
4 cups filtered water
Honey to taste

Boil water, then simmer with Ceylon cinnamon, ginger, and cloves for about 10 minutes. Add tea and steep 5 minutes. Add milk and heat to near boiling. Turn off heat. Strain out spices and tea leaves. Serve with honey.

Medicinal Properties – Green Tea: As an herbal measure, green tea is helpful in the treatment of various infections affecting the digestive tract of patients. It is believed to induce sweating and is used as a tonic for frayed nerves. Green tea is also used for the treatment of various eye problems. It is used in the treatment of hemorrhoids, to treat physical tiredness and fatigue, and to bring down fever in patients. The leaves of the tea plant can also be used as a topical herbal measure for the external treatment sunburn.

“The art of tea, whichever way you drink it, or whichever country you are from, has one underlining thread for all of us. It is the cultivation of yourself as you follow the ceremony of preparing your tea, the way in which you make your tea, how and where you drink it, and with whom. Making a cup of tea creates a space for just being.”
—Nicola Salt

Note from Maria: I am a Certified Natural Health Professional, CNHP, not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat, or claim to prevent, mitigate, or cure any human diseases. Please see your medical doctor prior to following any recommendations I make in my blogs or on my website.

Images from iStock/monkeybusinessimages (main image), michaeljung (couple gardening), GreenArtPhotography (peppermint tea), udra (cranberry tea), JulijaDmitrijeva (chai tea).

Maria Atwood is a semi-retired Certified Natural Health Professional and Weston A. Price Chapter Leader in Colorado Springs, CO. Visit her website, Traditional Cook. Also, check out Maria’s “Cook Your Way to Wellness” DVD (also available as an E-Learning). Be sure to join the Selene River Press newsletter to follow Maria’s Tips from The Traditional Cook blog.


Recapture Optimal Liver Function

No matter how hard we try to avoid toxins, exposure to these acidifying substances is inevitable in our modern world. The best way to give your bones the alkaline and balanced environment they need, is to do a periodic cleanse.

Don’t let the term “cleanse” worry you – I am not talking about anything drastic. When I created OsteoCleanse™: The 7 Day Bone Building Accelerator, my goal was to produce an easy-to-do yet highly effective cleanse that does more than detoxify your body.

The result is a cleanse rich in nutrients that are especially healing for the liver (and kidneys too) and create an alkaline and “clean” body environment to help you build your bones faster.

If you haven’t yet, I really hope you’ll take a few minutes to learn more about OsteoCleanse™, and enjoy a relaxing cup of tea!

References

1 Mozaffari-Khosravi, H, et al. “The effects of sour tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa) on hypertension in patients with type II diabetes.” Journal of Human Hypertension. August 2008. 23, 48-54 doi:10.1038/jhh.2008.100. Web. https://www.nature.com/jhh/journal/v23/n1/abs/jhh2008100a.html

2 Ko, Chun Hay, et al. “Effects of Tea Catechins, Epigallocatechin, Gallocatechin, and Gallocatechin Gallate, on Bone Metabolism.” J. Agric. Food Chem. August 2009, 57 (16), pp 7293-7297. DOI: 10.1021/jf901545u Web. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/164340.php


Homemade Herbal Teas

Herbs are plants that are valued for their medicinal, aromatic, or savory qualities. Many are tasty, too. A fresh tea made from fresh herbs captures between 50 and 90 percent of the effective ingredients of the plant. (Roots would need an alcoholic extract, so leave them out.) Much of what you can use in your tea may already be growing in your garden, and what is not there you can easily plant or purchase. Because you drink with your eyes and nose as well as your palate, you want your tea to consist of three kinds of ingredients: greens, blossoms, and herbs.

How will this tea taste? Appealing and complex &mdash and different every time because the ingredients change with the seasons. If you already like green tea, you'll be pleased with the smooth, rich flavor of your garden tea.

Kitchen herbs for your tea &mdash such as basil, thyme, rosemary, mint, and oregano &mdash are a delight to grow (though you can buy them in supermarkets year-round). They thrive everywhere, even in poor soil, and need little watering. Many do not need to be grown in full sun. You can even cultivate a variety of kitchen herbs in small pots on a bright windowsill. There they do require a bit more attention, since they do not like to be over- or under-watered.

Don't be afraid to try out and experiment with combinations. However, do not use any plants that have been sprayed with pesticides, and never harvest anything you find growing along the roadside. Be careful to avoid poisonous greens, such as the leaves of tomato or potato plants.

The beauty of your garden tea is that you can vary it by changing the combination of kitchen herbs, ornamentals, and weeds that you pick. No matter what the recipe, though, you'll feel good, literally, after drinking what you've made.

Teas made from your garden are a surprising departure from those brewed with ready-made tea bags. Be prepared for a fresh, vibrant, unfamiliar mix of tastes.

A healthy mixture makes healthful tea

For the best results, you want your tea to consist of three kinds of ingredients:

  • HEALTHY GREENS For a full-bodied flavor, you might try steeping a combination of dandelion leaves, watercress, parsley, and birch leaves.
  • BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS Consider using a colorful mixture of rose petals, dandelion blossoms, pansies, and violets for good taste and appearance.
  • NOBLE FRAGRANCES Combine chives, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, verbena, oregano, and mint with flowers such as lemon blossoms and lilac.

Herbal remedies can be administered &mdash and enjoyed &mdash in many ways, but when boiling water is poured over herbs, the plants' soluble organic compounds are easily broken down. The resulting fragrances are an indication of the herbs' inherent therapeutic qualities.

Plants that are safe to eat &mdash and drink

EDIBLE (AND DRINKABLE) FLOWERS

Alliums (flowers and young shoots), bee balm, carnations, hibiscus blossoms, hollyhock, honeysuckle flowers (the berries are highly poisonous), Johnny-jump-ups (flowers and leaves), lavender (blossoms and leaves), nasturtiums (flowers, buds, leaves, seedpods), pansies (flowers and leaves), roses (petals, leaves, and rose hips), violets (flowers and leaves).

EDIBLE (AND DRINKABLE) KITCHEN HERBS

Basil, chamomile flowers, chives, dill, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, peppermint and other mints, rosemary, sage, thyme, verbena.

EDIBLE (AND DRINKABLE) BUSHES AND TREES

Birch leaves (especially when young), blackberry leaves, citrus blossoms (lemon, orange, grapefruit, etc.), elderberry flowers and ripe berries (the leaves and unripe berries are poisonous), gardenia, hibiscus flowers, honeysuckle flowers, pine needles (white and black), raspberry leaves.

EDIBLE (AND DRINKABLE) WEEDS

Chickweed, chicory (flowers and buds), dandelions (flowers and leaves), goldenrod, good King Henry, kudzu, lamb's quarters, plantain (or white man's footsteps, as the Native Americans called them), purslane, stinging nettle.

Steeping your herb tea

Put a fat handful of the plants you gathered in a big pot or sparkling clean coffee press free of all oils, and pour boiling water over them. Consider using dandelion greens and flowers for about half of the handful (resulting in a slightly bitter taste, but great for digestion or use blackberry or raspberry leaves in bulk for a sweeter taste). Divide the rest of your tea fairly equally among plants listed in the categories above without any single ingredient dominating.

Use a glass pot this allows you to see the green beauty of your herbs. Let them steep for a few minutes. Keep them warm on a warmer and enjoy your tea all day long. There is enough flavor left in the plants for at least one additional steeping.


7 Tasty Teas to Boost Your Health

We’ve all heard that tea is good for our health, but what types of teas do what, exactly?

This article will talk about seven common, easy-to-drink teas, from black to herbal, and how their many compounds and antioxidants can improve various aspects of the drinker’s health.

1. Black Tea

This is what most of us think of when we think “tea.” There are countless varieties of black tea, but all of them are made with fermented tea leaves.

Black tea has the highest caffeine content of any tea variety with roughly 40 milligrams in each cup, so it’s usually the tea of choice for those wishing to cut down on their coffee consumption.

If you drink at least three cups of black tea per day, your risk of stroke is a full 21% lower than non-tea drinkers. Plus, black tea contains two types of antioxidants (theaflavins and thearubigins) that play a role in lowering cholesterol.

2. Oolong Tea

Oolong teas are fermented for shorter periods of time than black teas, which preserves more of the antioxidants and gives the tea a somewhat smoother flavor, as well as ten fewer milligrams of caffeine per serving.

Like black tea, oolong has been linked with lower cholesterol levels. Preliminary trials have found that oolong tea consumption may help with weight loss, as compounds in the tea mobilize an enzyme in your body to destroy the triglycerides in your adipose cells, while also boosting your metabolism and regulating your blood sugar.

3. Green Tea

Because green tea is made with steamed rather than fermented leaves, it has a far higher antioxidant content than almost any other tea, particularly when it comes to EGCG. These antioxidants help to fight free radicals in your body, reducing the incidence of all kinds of cancer and lowering your body’s overall level of oxidative stress.

4. White Tea

This tea is the reason that green tea doesn’t get the top cancer fighting spot. White tea is not cured, fermented, or oxidized at all, giving it a light, refreshing taste and a huge antioxidant punch. Even more so than green tea, a few cups of white tea a day can help you stave off breast, lung, stomach, bladder, pancreatic, and colorectal cancer, with the added bonus of antibacterial properties.

5. Chamomile Tea

While not technically from the tea plant, this herbal brew is also high in antioxidants, which in this case may help prevent vision damage. It’s also a frequent ingredient in relaxation and bedtime tea blends. Although research on chamomile’s sleep-inducing properties isn’t definitive, the soothing flavor may be enough to help you shake off some of the day’s stress.

6. Hibiscus Tea

Made from dried hibiscus flowers, this tea has a vivid red-purple color and a sweet and tart fruity taste. A preliminary study found that drinking three cups of hibiscus tea per day helped to lower blood pressure in individuals with mild hypertension (high blood pressure).

7. Peppermint Tea

If you’re suffering from an upset stomach, a tea made from either fresh or dried mint leaves may soothe what’s ailing you. A number of small studies have found that peppermint is not only high in antioxidants, but can also ease some of the symptoms of indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome. The oils in peppermint trigger the production of bile, which can help you to digest food more easily, and also helps to reduce gas and associated pain.

  • http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/04/26/6-healthy-types-tea/
  • http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/tea-types-and-their-health-benefits
  • http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/835225/tea-101-types-of-tea-their-health-benefits
  • http://www.livestrong.com/article/415621-is-peppermint-tea-good-for-health/

What teas do you drink for health benefits? Which of the above is your favorite?