In my mind there is nothing more relaxing than making yourself a cup of tea in your favourite mug and sitting down with a book or magazine. Taking time to tend to yourself is so important, especially in this day and age where time goes too quick and our “to-do” list is too long.
Our minds and bodies are inseparable and connected. Our thoughts determine our words, actions, and even biochemistry! Similarly, the foods and beverages we consume directly affect our feelings, moods and happiness. There are probably lots of examples you can all think of where this link became obvious in your life.
Holistic living is all about embracing this natural connection by treating the body, mind and soul with respect and love 🙂 How best to do this? Feed your body good food, and treat your mind to lots of relaxation and self-appreciation. I choose to do this with tea!
If you’re not a fan of herbal teas yet, I encourage you to give them another try. There are so many wonderful and nourishing herbs out there that range in flavours and benefits. I used to be a strict orange pekoe drinker, but after working at a health food store I was astounded to see the selection of beautiful dried herbs out there. The benefits of herbal teas are that most are naturally caffeine-free (caffeine can be exhausting to the adrenal glands, liver and thyroid), and most have many therapeutic uses. Usually 1-2tsp of the herb will suffice for a pot of tea, and the usual recommendation is to let the herb steep for around 10 minutes.
I’m not a herbalist but I have done my research and these are the herbs I know and love:
Lavender – Dried lavender blossoms are delicately scented and encourage calmness and tranquillity in a busy mind.
Green Oat – My personal favourite. Delicious mild flavour (tastes like oats!) and one of the best nervous system tonics. It is perfect for helping your body and mind adapt to stress. Safe for everyone, even children.
Nettle – very mild flavour, an excellent kidney tonic, and a natural source of calcium, magnesium, and iron.
Calendula – a calming soothing herb. Used topically in creams to relieve redness and irritation, and it does the same thing in tea form for the inside of your body!
Astragalus – a traditional chinese medicine plant that is said to prolong life. It looks like pieces of tree bark (see picture above) but steeps into a quite nice mellow flavour. Great for adrenal glands and boosting the immune system.
Elder Berry – great for the immune system (you’ll often find elderberry cough syrup in stores). Great source of vitamin C for immune boosting properties and antioxidant effect.
Dandelion Root – liver cleansing, digestive support, lowering cholesterol, anti-inflammatory, source of B-vitamins. The dandelion leaves specifically are great for the kidneys and help eliminate excess water (bloating, edema). People – save your dandelions!!!
Burdock – blood cleansing, helps reduce skin blemishes by improving circulation and detox. This one is quite bitter so I only use a little bit once in a while.
I also am crazy about bagged herbal teas. If this interests you, check out your local health retailer for a great selection! Best brands: Stash, Clef des Champs, Four O’Clock, and Celestial.