Are you a tea drinker? I do love a good cup of hot tea more so in the winter that in the summer but I’ve found a good herbal blend can be had in my favorite kombucha as well.
Kombucha is something I like to refer to as a magic elixir. It’s actually a fermented tea, for those that aren’t familiar with the term. The best known benefits are it’s loaded with probiotics, enzymes for digestion, high in B vitamins and it’s a great detoxifier. If you’d like to learn more about it, read my article here.
Today, as I’m sipping my cup of chai tea, one of my favorites, I’ve also been conversing with a dear friend about recipes for herbal tea blends, which we both adore. While she’s putting together beautiful blends to give as gifts, I’ve been experimenting with blends for health. I then found this glorious article in Mother Earth News Living that has a plethora of great digestible information. See if you agree.
- Chamomile for Anxiety – This is also great for promoting sleep.
To make tea: Gather 1 tsp. dried or tsps. Fresh chamomile flowers and steep in 1 cup boiling water for 15-20 minutes. The longer it steeps, the more bitter it will taste.
- Lavender for Sleep Problems – It has profound relaxing, calming and uplifting effects.
To make tea: Steep 3-4 tsp. fresh lavender buds in 1 cup boiling water for about 10 minutes.
- Peppermint for Indigestion – Renewing, invigorating and energizing is a perfect pick-me-up. There are also studies showing it to effective at helping symptoms of indigestion and IBS.
To make tea: Steep 1 tsp. dried peppermint leaves in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Ginger for Nausea – It helps to boost circulation in the winter and it’s also known to soothe upset stomachs and helps to ease nausea. This includes nausea associated with pregnancy.
To make tea: Steep 3-5 thin slices of ginger root in boiling water for 3 minutes. Strain and enjoy. You can also use grated ginger in tea ball, steeping for about 3 minutes.
- Raspberry Leaf for Menstrual Cramps – it’s naturally rich in nutrients including magnesium, potassium, iron and B vitamins. It’s also good for helping with motion sickness and diarrhea. Not to be used during pregnancy.
To make tea: Steep 1 tbsp. dried raspberry leaf in 8 ounces boiling water for at least 5 minutes.
- Lemon Balm for Anxiety – Also a natural relaxation aid. It can also help fight headaches and reduce insomnia.
To make tea: Steep 1-2 tsp. dried lemon balm per cup of boiling water. Let steep until it’s cool enough to drink.
- Basil for Bad Breath – It’s an excellent source of vitamins A and K, vitamin C and manganese. It’s also rich in antioxidants and has antibacterial properties.
To make tea: Steep 2 tsp. dried basil leaves in 1 cup boiling water for 20 minutes. Strain and sweeten, if you like.
- Sage for Sore Throats – Its antimicrobial properties help you fight off colds, as well as treating sore throats. Avoid using sage if you have epilepsy.
To make tea: Combine 3 tsp. dried sage leaves or 10 fresh sage leaves and 1 cup boiling water. Let steep 5 minutes then strain and enjoy.
- Rosehips to Boost Immunity – High in vitamin c, about 20 times the vitamin c in oranges.
To make tea: Combine 4 tsp. whole dried rosehips with 4 cups water in a saucepan. Cover, bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Strain into a teapot and drink when cooled enough.
- Dandelion for Bone Health – It’s loaded with essential minerals such as iron, potassium and beta-carotene, plus vitamins A, C and D.
To make tea: Boil 1 quart water. Turn off heat and add 4 tsp. dandelion leaf. Cover and steep 30-60 minutes, then strain.
These are only a few of the many beautiful herbs and their health benefits. By combining herbs together, you can make amazing herbal tea blends. If you would like to learn more about them, there are many resources available. Amazon is a good source as well as your local library or favorite book store.
Growing your own fresh herbs is a delight. If you can’t or don’t want to grow your own, a favorite and well-trusted source is Mountain Rose Herbs.
What’s been your favorite go-to herb or blend of herbs and why do you use it? Feel free to comment below.
To your health,
Do you ever struggle with what to eat? This may sound like a rhetorical question, but I realize that throughout the day, there are many opportunities in front of us to make both great decisions and not so good decisions when it comes to what we put into our mouth, which ultimately fuels our bodies.
That fuel comes in many forms, premium or diesel in a gas engine…probably isn’t going to go very far running on the wrong fuel.
I get asked the question…what do you eat…a lot.
It always makes me stop and think about, what do I eat? I don’t necessarily pay strict attention to the what, as to making sure I do eat pretty regularly, as I just feel better when I do.
Recently I was asked this question again and anymore I generally say something about my day not being complete without a big ole slice of my beloved sourdough bread, toasted and then slathered with a lot of grass-fed butter on top. Yummmmmmm!
This description sends all kinds of feel good receptors throughout my mouth and my body. Do you ever get that way about a particular food that you love or that brings up all those feel good emotions?
Food plays such a vital role in our lives. It’s usually wrapped around family gatherings, childhood memories, anything social like picnics, etc.
When I mention the bread and butter part of my day, they look at me and say something like you don’t look like you eat that.
Here’s the thing. We’ve been conditioned in this country to eat white or wheat bread from the store with margarine. Those things do make a person fat and not feel well.
There is truly a difference in real, nourishing traditional foods. Not commercialized, fast-food or prepackaged convenience foods.
I am not an over the top fanatic about the foods I eat. I do, however, make smart choices most of the time.
Here’s what I mean.
Today, I am going to a Customer Appreciation Day hosted by some dear friends following the end of a great growing and harvest season.
Food choices will be things like several chili variations, baked goods, fruits, sweet treats, etc.
I will choose a chili with chicken as opposed to beef, if it’s an option, not that I’m opposed to beef, but if I have a choice, and it’s not grass-fed, then I would choose a chicken choice because it’s had a lot less exposure to toxins and chemicals if it’s not raised on pasture also.
Next I would choose fresh fruit, if available and I probably would sample a little something sweet (especially chocolate).
It’s really all about choices and moderation.
It’s also about something I refer to 80/20. Following a guideline of making good choices 80 to 90 percent of the time and living your life the other 10 to 20 percent.
There is no need to go into a panic because you’re invited out and you have no idea what you’d eat.
If you are following a strict protocol because of a severe health issue, that’s a little different. My suggestion to you is, make something you can eat and take that, or eat before you go, that way you aren’t starving when you arrive.
Drinking water helps the stomach feel full too. I usually follow each meal with something fermented, like vegetables or a good swig of kombucha or kefir or something like that.
These additions help to digest the foods that I’ve eaten and they add much needed probiotics and good bacteria into my system, which it needs constantly.
As we age, our digestive abilities start to wain and we need the enzymes we produce are less, thus many having digestive issues as well as perhaps some of the choices of food being eaten.
I hope this helps you feel better about not having to be perfect or live up to an ideal of what you “think” you should be doing. Do what makes you feel good.
If after eating certain foods you feel bloated, uncomfortable or just plain sick, indications are you should stay away from those foods. Listening to your body is a great way to help you stay healthier.
If you are struggling with all of this, perhaps I can help you further with coming up with a plan that’s not only doable, but helps your body heal so you can live life as you’d like to, and as you deserve to.
The Let’s Chat button is always there for you, whenever you feel you’re ready to dive into your health and life journey.
What’s been your biggest struggle or biggest victory when it comes to making good food choices? Share below…love to hear from all of you.
To your health,
Holistic Wellness Mentor
What is Kombucha (kom-bu-cha) anyway?
It’s the beverage the ancient Chinese called the “Immortal Health Elixir.” It’s been around for more than 2,000 years and has a rich anecdotal history of health benefits like preventing and fighting cancer, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases.
While there are limited amounts of research done on the beverage, there has been lots of research done on many of the nutrients and acids it contains in large quantities (such as B-vitamins, antioxidants, and glucaric acids).
Kombucha is a naturally carbonated, fermented tea, which is very good for you.
While pasteurization and irradiation kill bacteria and yeast, fermentation actually uses live bacteria and yeast, as well as sugar, to create its finished product, which also include naturally fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, sourdough bread, beer, wine, yogurt, kefir, kvass and yes, kombucha. Kombucha is not as fermented as wine or beer — it only has a tiny amount of alcohol.
What are the health benefits?
1. Boosts the Immune System
Think of allergies, colds, and being run down in general – by consuming fermented foods and drinks, you can build up your immune system naturally. 70-80% of our immune system resides in our gut. Most of us have been on some form of antibiotics and other drugs that kill off bacteria, both good and bad. The ending results are that Kombucha’s fermentation encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria. Probiotics are good for your gut and good for your immunity.
Kombucha is also rich in antioxidants, which help to strengthen immunity.
2. Natural Detoxifier
Kombucha has probiotics and enzymes that promote detoxification. One of the main jobs of the good bacteria in your gut is to detoxify. By adding more beneficial bacteria to your gut, you’re getting the job done faster.
Kombucha promotes detoxification. Regular consumption of kombucha tea also supports liver function.
3. Energy Boost
Kombucha is the original energy drink. Don’t mistake this to mean that you are getting this by some form of artificial boost. Because kombucha helps the body detoxify, there is less burden on your system, and as a result, you get more energy. As stated below, kombucha is also rich in B vitamins, which gives the body energy.
4. Rich in vitamins and enzymes
In addition to beneficial bacteria, kombucha contains B vitamins and enzymes.
B vitamins provide support for the body’s metabolic functions including overall energy, utilization of carbohydrates, heart health, and healthy hair, skin, and nails. Adequate intake of B vitamins can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, boost memory, and relieve PMS.
Most of us don’t get enough enzymes these days because we don’t eat enough raw food. The role of digestive enzymes is to break down the foods that we eat into smaller compounds so the nutrients can be more easily absorbed into the bloodstream.
Because it’s naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and yeast, Kombucha is a probiotic beverage. This has a myriad of benefits such as improved digestion, fighting candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth, mental clarity, and mood stability. As such, it’s noted for reducing or eliminating the symptoms of fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, etc.
5. Increased Metabolism
Enzymes boost metabolism. In addition, all the beneficial bacterial and enzymes in the kombucha help your body work better and take the burden off of its functioning.
6. PMS Relief
Kombucha helps to relieve PMS. How? B vitamins help to break down and flush out excess estrogen from the body (a condition called estrogen dominance). This can help to reduce PMS symptoms.
7. Relief from Arthritis and Joint Pain
Kombucha contains glucosamine, a strong preventive and treatment for all forms of arthritis. Glucosamine increase synovial hyaluronic acid production. Hyaluronic acid functions physiologically to aid preservation of cartilage structure and prevent arthritic pain, with relief comparable to NSAIDs and advantage over glucocorticoids. Hyaluronic acid enables connective tissue to bind moisture thousands of times its weight and maintains tissue structure, moisture, lubrication and flexibility and lessens free radical damage, while associated collagen retards and reduces wrinkles.
If you’d like to tackle making this wonderful drink yourself, click here for my go-to recipe. While there are many sources and methods, this is the easiest and most satisfying. There are many sources to order a Scoby and a nice starter from, a friend or Google it and you’ll find many reputable locations. I drink it every day and so should you.
If you’re not quite ready for making it yourself, most health food stores carry it as well as stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, etc.
Cheers to your health,
Holistic Health Coach