Embracing Tea - Part 1
I like tea. It’s a simple, soothing drink and it can offer powerful benefits to your physical and emotional health.
The more I learn about herbal medicines, the more I value my tea-sipping habit. I’ve even grown and dried some plants for future sipping; it’s surprisingly simple to do and I find the tea tastier and more aromatic (though that may just be my imagination). At present, I drink tea primarily for the boost it gives to my physical health. I haven’t delved into the teas that specifically address mental health, although herbal teas with ingredients such as St. John’s wort, Lemon Balm, Lavender, or Chamomile will calm the nerves and ease stressful feelings. Mind you, I appreciate the short-term boost from the caffeine I get from in my cup of green or black tea.
Green Tea and Black Tea - Purchased Potency
I start my day off with a mug of green tea and my morning devotion. The caffeine is enough to give me a boost to start the day. While green tea is not the most flavourful of teas, it offers much in the health department; it improves blood flow, helps prevent heart-related issues, helps prevent the formation of plaque that is linked to Alzheimer’s, helps keep blood sugar stable, and helps cell growth. That’s a lot of ‘help’ for the body!
Before it steeps in my mug, green tea undergoes minimal processing; the leaves are picked, steamed, dried, packaged, and shipped. When steeped, the powerful antioxidants within the leaves are released into the hot water for our consumption. I depend on my kettle to heat the water to the proper temperature setting for green tea (175℉) to ensure the tea leaves don’t scald. Adding lemon to a cup of green tea enhances the absorption of antioxidants and, when mixed with honey, produces a tastier drink.
I also enjoy a mid-afternoon cup of black tea, usually around the time when lessons and piano practices are done for the day and I have attended to any garden or chicken chores. Not to be outdone by green tea, black tea also offers a wealth of health benefits. The beverage contains antioxidants and polyphenols that fight disease, work to prevent cancer, support digestive health, and are even beneficial to the hair, skin, and oral health. Drink it up!
I like my black tea with a spoonful of honey and cinnamon (pre-mixed) and a splash of almond milk. I like to think of it as my poor person’s chai latte. As an aside, we keep a container of unpasteurized honey and cinnamon handy and use a teaspoonful per day to help fight off or ease the symptoms of cold viruses. Both honey and cinnamon are antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and immune boosting. Furthermore, honey coats the throat and can soothe an irritated and sore throat.
Next: Part 2 - Homegrown Herbal Teas