06 Mar Healing is Just a Cup Away
Regarded for thousands of years by Native Americans to be a key to good health, medicinal herbal teas can assist us in a myriad of ways. Whether it’s treating an acute ailment such as the common cold or long-term benefits such as toning and strengthening the organ systems, it’s a gentle yet effective way to boost overall health and wellbeing. Consider creating a daily ritual of drinking an herbal tea blend. Toronto based herbalist Marcia Dixon supports this idea. “If you drink tea everyday, you can make all sorts of significant changes to your mood, your skin, your sense of wellbeing and energy.”
Herbal teas are rich in nutrients, particularly minerals that are readily absorbed by the body without stressing the digestive system. It’s much like a super food that can heal the body gently because of the uptake of nutrients. “In a lot of ways, we might get more benefit from a good organic tea than from a vitamin pill,” says herbalist Marianne Beacon of Elderberry Herbals in Peterborough, ON. A great benefit of this is that when you consume a particular blend over time, it can strengthen and tone organ systems creating long-lasting benefits. When an herbal blend is targeting a particular outcome and is prepared properly, a medicinal effect can be achieved.
It is important to have a proper method of infusion to achieve medicinal effects. After 25 years of formulating and drinking herbal teas, this is the method I value and have found most effective in achieving a potent brew. You need a proper steeping vessel like a French press or a tea maker that allows the herbs to steep loose while staying covered. I find it’s essential to cover your brew right away so the volatile oils from the herbs, so valuable toward effectiveness, do not escape into the air. That’s why Dixon says, “otherwise, your room smells nice but you’re not retaining the medicinal properties.” So begin by measuring 1 tbsp. herb per cup of water into the steeping vessel. To fill an average 16 oz. mug it usually ends up to be 2 tbsp. herb for 2 cups water. Pour just boiled water over herbs and cover to steep 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and enjoy! The tea will still be nice and hot and the herbs will have had a sufficient time to steep. You might be thinking a loose-leaf tea spares convenience, but when you have this down it’s a snap. Plus you have a high quality drink while getting more value for your buck. You’ll get 2 to 3 times more loose-leaf tea for the value of 1 tea bag.
As we approach spring, when everything is emerging and coming to life, our bodies want to do that too. The liver, being the organ of focus for spring, performs over 500 functions, many of which include digestion and elimination. One can imagine why it may need some perking up. What would be easier than putting all the helpful herbs together in your favorite cup of tea? For example, in my Spring Herbal Tea, herbs such as red clover blossoms, nettle leaf and burdock root are used, all of which gently cleanse the blood. This allows the liver to become more efficient in doing its job of eliminating toxic overload.
Another common need, since we’re all stressed these days, is targeting herbs to tone your nervous system and keep you calm. Some suggestions would be to blend herbs such as lemon balm, chamomile, skullcap, spearmint, lavender and passionflower. I’ve been inspired me to create the Calming Herbal Tea blend for this purpose. Incorporating a tea ritual as part of your day gives you a message to pause, reflect and restore your balance and wellbeing. It’s an incredible way to nurture and treat yourself well with little time spent on the process.
So let’s get started toward optimum health, in such an easy and delightful way, by brewing up a favorite herbal tea. We often forget that something so simple and affordable can have great impact on our health. This time honored medicine has been proven powerful over millenniums. Simply choose a single herb, or blend for your particular needs, and a steeping vessel of choice. Voila, a perfect marriage! Enjoy an ancient medicine way for modern times.
Kimberly DuBois is an inspirational teacher, healer, reflexologist and the creator of Turtle Moon Health. She focuses on the highest quality ingredients and practices, to raise the vibration of people and the planet. She can be contacted at info@TurtleMoonHealth.com.
By: Kimberly DuBois