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It`s tInsane- Teas, Tonics, and Tisanes


Raw Tea?!?

People who go raw don`t drink tea. It makes sense, as traditional leaf teas are dried at really high temperatures, and then boiled when you want to drink them. So that really takes green, black, and white tea out of the picture for any raw purists. What I don`t understand is why many die hard rawtarians don`t drink tisanes! A tisane is not a tea at all, it is herbs or flowers seeped in water. Often times the water can be stone cold, and you`ll still be left with something lovely to drink, without buying specialty ‘raw nutrient’ drinks and powders from stores. I myself am a huge fan of lavender tea (which is really lavender tisane) and I drink it on most mornings, or whenever I am stressed. In case you were curious, that means I drink it almost constantly! I found that, as it has a very delicate flavor, I had to steep it in Winter temperature water for about thirty minutes. More strongly flavored herbs and flowers, like dandelions or peppermint leaves, will steep in ten minutes or less without the catalyst of warm water. (Wow! I learned something in Chemistry class! Who knew?)

Some popular tisanes

  • Hibiscus
    • herbstreatandtaste`s blog describes some of the benefits, including fighting off sickness and mild laxative
  • Rooibos
    • inhumanexperiment`s blog lays it out that this tisane has tons of antioxidants and may improve cardiovascular health
  • Lavendar
    • soothes the stressed, helps with sleep and a busy mind, helaing headaches, soothing arthritis and rheumatism, etc
    • more on this site`s page
  • Rose Hip
    • There is some info at Livestrong. I figure the people that build the site probably didn`t use drugs, so I`ll include their page. If you are too insulted, feel free to look the benefits up on a less offensive website.
    • Among other things, this can help with kidney stones and arthritis. It will also help your adrenal system (those who are super stressed with or without a reason and those who are always blah about life may need to look critically at their adrenal system`s functionality!)

      Lavender tea in the good china is always a special treat!
      Lavender tea in the good china is always a special treat!

Tonics

If you don`t know what a tonic is, it is that stuff in Mary Poppins. You know, she pours out some stuff into their spoons, and it comes in a different color or flavor for each person? I have some stuff like that. I have Barlean`s (they are famous for their healthy and yummy oils!) Pina Colada fish oil smoothie, and I honestly can`t taste a bit of fish. It`s a little sad, really, as I like the taste of fish, but I guess it would be gross if it had the same texture. Thankfully, it doesn`t even feel fishy! But here, we`re not going into oils. We`re going into healing drinks. They rev your body up and prep your system for the changing of the seasons. In car language, it is basically a full body tune up! (Gosh, I just love cars. Especially my dream 1949 Ford Plymouth, which I really want to at least have a reproduction of someday. Where else would someone understand that than the internet!?!)

Did your grandma make you swallow your cod liver oil and douse you in disgusting mixtures and potions at the change of the seasons? Needless to say, she probably didn`t do it out of some deep seated hatred for you. In fact, healers have been doling out nasty tasting medicines since the first cave man nibbled on some random plant and realized his tooth stopped hurting. In fact, until about the fifties, this type of preventative care was the most popular type of medical care, as official doctors were more likely to be leech using quacks than the healer woman down the street. Now that we have a modern system of medicine that depends on drastic cures and surgeries, much of the populace seems to have forgotten what preventative care means. It has nothing to do with getting screened for cancer (though that is important!) as much as it has to do with healthy habits and taking vitamins and probiotics. If you`ve got that covered, this is an intermediate crash course on preventative care- drinking your medicine!

Actually, in Japanese, the people that are still just as obsessed with holistic medicine as they ever used to be (and have the health and vitality to prove its usefulness to the rest of the world) the word for medicine includes the word drink, as medicine is a liquid that has to be drunken. In Western society, one of our favorites is flavored fish oils and healing tisanes. Most of these cure alls base their effectiveness on the season, so I`ve organized them in that manner.

Spring

  • Dandelion Tea
  • Young Nettle

Summer

  • Lemon Thyme
  • Cucumber Water
  • Chamomile

Fall

  • Siberian Ginseng
  • Ashwgandha
  • Astragulus (a Chinese herb)
    • builds blood, and is also helpful to those undergoing Chemotherapy

Winter

  • Hot water with Lemon Juice
  • Ginger
  • Hawthorne
  • Oranges

When you are making a tonic to help your body adapt to the changing of the seasons, an easy way to get more benefits is to combine herbs. When you are in the midst of Winter, for example, you shouldn`t resign yourself to just having ginger tea. You can jazz things up by mixing the ginger with orange peel and some cinnamin! The only thing you can mix up, actually, is the hot lemon water. That has to be taken as is, with no exchanges. If it makes you feel better, I think the sour taste is well worth it when you factor in the metabolism revving and weight loss benefits of the drink!

What`s your favorite tisane or tea? How do you prep for the changing of the seasons?

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4 comments

  1. For a cold or flu, I use a mixture of eucalyptus, thyme, mint, pine buds, rosemary and lavender. I do use boiling water though. This prevents a head cold from going into bronchitis.

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