The Tea Edit
One of the things on your ‘start to do’ list in mid-life should be ‘drink more tea’. Herbal teas are simply fabulous; just add hot water for a soothing, refreshing, reviving, calming or relaxing brew. From internal detox to beautiful skin, antioxidants and vitamin C, protection against disease to a good night’s sleep…. and best of all, no dairy or sugar required! Choose organic varieties, and have a mix of tea bags and fresh loose leaves on hand. Establish a routine and make a little ritual out of it, with beautiful teapots and cups that inspire you to brew, sit and sip
Good morning teas:
Peppermint – Fabulous mid-morning (or as a mid-afternoon wakeup call) to get your brain working and make you feel sharp and refreshed. Known for its digestive benefits, peppermint tea is also great for inflammation, aids weight loss and relaxes the body and mind.
Spearmint – Antioxidant, anti-fungal, great for digestion and reportedly benefits fatigue and stress…. the aroma gets you first, then the minty flavour. Like Peppermint tea, it’s refreshing and clears the senses. It also assists with acne and problem skin… if this is your ‘rather not have’ then aim for 2-3 cups of Spearmint tea a day for 7 days and assess your progress.
I read somewhere that you can mix your peppermint and spearmint teas to get a ‘double mint’ experience – do good for your skin and Zen out all at the same time 🙂
Ginger – Relieves inflammation, stomach upsets and nausea, improves blood circulation and is a great detox. Ginger tea is also a powerful antioxidant and is high in vitamin C and magnesium. Steep your own using a piece of root ginger, then add honey or lemon for flavour. Always drink in the morning, as it has been known to upset sleep, and google the side effects as it’s not so good for people with blood disorders, hypertension, gallstone issues or who are pregnant or breast feeding.
Great night time teas:
Passionflower – I love this tea, it’s totally delicious. Sweet and soothing, passionflower tea is great for relaxing at the end of a busy day, it combats stress and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, helps with blood circulation, as well as aches and pains…. and sends you off to sleepy town in a lovely chilled state (it was used as a sedative and painkiller way back in the good old days).
Chamomile – I think everyone knows that chamomile tea is good for insomnia but did you know that it is also a powerful antioxidant and has incredible beauty benefits? It’s a cleanser, moisturiser and a skin bleach. It aids healing, disinfects and the antioxidants fight breakouts. Best of all it’s rumoured to be great for premature ageing and a cooled teabag placed over the eyes will reduce dark circles …. Ok, so another kitchen ingredient to bring into the bathroom!
My favourite teas:
Rooibos – I cannot go a day without at least a cup of this South African tea. I heard it was good for skin so I tried it. I love the robust flavour (I drink it black)… then subsequently I discovered there is more to Rooibos than meets the eye. It’s a powerful antioxidant that safeguards against heart disease, helps with inflammation, prevents some cancers, improves circulation, helps iron absorption, relieves abdominal and digestive ailments, protects against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease… wow! Because it’s caffeine free, it can be drunk at any time of the day, in fact I think it helps me sleep if I have one late in the day (it has a high mineral content that relaxes).
And as for the skin benefits… apparently Rooibos contains phenyl pyretic acid which can help to improve acne, psoriasis and eczema (apply a cooled tea bag direct to the affected area)…. I have certainly noticed a difference in the amount and level of breakouts I now have. If I have something sugary or with dairy (my known breakout causes) then I have a couple of big cups of Rooibos and, whether it’s all in the mind or not, it seems to work.
Dandelion – I started drinking Dandelion tea as a coffee substitute when I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and I’ve drunk it ever since. Like Rooibos, I enjoy the full flavour of Dandelion and when I feel like something with more oomph than a herbal tea, I drink this. It’s great with a handful of nuts – pecans, brazils or walnuts. It’s good for the kidneys, liver, gallbladder and immune system. It’s a diuretic (increases urination) so great for getting things flowing and lowering blood pressure. It also lowers cholesterol and slows the growth and spread of cancer. It’s rich in vitamins A, B, C and D, potassium, zinc, iron, magnesium, is even a source of fibre and contains protein…. wow, not bad for an annoying weed that crops up in the lawn! Again, it is great for skin problems… but also blood disorders and depression. Not everyone is going to like the taste… but give it a go.
Licorice – Naturally sweet, Licorice tea is a great afternoon treat to curb the sugar cravings. Licorice is my go to treat anyway, I can’t resist it… but it’s far from being a bad choice. It reportedly neutralises toxins in the liver (I’ve read that it soothes the liver and the stomach lining), it’s recommended for depression, PMS and bronchial disorders. It helps fight heart disease, reduces inflammation and is a mild laxative (remember, disease can only occur when there is a build-up!). Don’t drink too much of it, as there can be some side effects, but a few cups a week is going to make you smile. My all time fav is a cup of licorice tea with a piece of dark chocolate 🙂
Chai (or Masala chai) – Sometimes, especially in winter, this is the tea I crave. I have it black or with almond/coconut milk, hot and steaming and bursting with the aroma of spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and nutmeg. It’s hard to beat. It’s also fabulous for boosting metabolism and energy, preventing anything from a cold to diabetes to cancer, and reduces bloating and PMS. I find it uplifting for the body and soul.