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All Health's Breaking Loose: Have your own tea party

September 14, 2011|By Loa Blasucci

There's great satisfaction when the rewards for our efforts multiply. It's why I began drinking tea. What started out with sense of duty, trying to offset a cold or settle my stomach, or whatever those first few cups were for, has grown into a welcome, calming, routine part of my life.

I am a tea snob. I appreciate a really good cup of tea and am delighted to know where it was grown and the properties it carries. I get excited about it. Tea is much more than we give it credit for — tea preparation alone can lower your heart rate. Tea is unique. It allows you a chance to savor the healing properties of herbs that come from the earth so simply. More than a drink, it is an experience. Wisely selected, herbal teas promote balance and don't stress the body with toxic additives.

You just have to know yourself and know a little about tea to create a great match. You also have to be a good consumer. There are products out there with “tea” in the name that have no tea in the product. And some grocery-shelf teas may have enough added sugar to offset the health benefits. And if a tea is really low in price, you may want to avoid it. Price can be telling factor of how it was grown and harvested.

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Herbal teas are a therapeutic treatment for body and soul. Let the condition of your body decide which tea to drink. If you listen to your body, there's always an herb that will suit the moment.

If you are nervous, over-scheduled, anxious about upcoming events, having trouble sleeping, or just stressed, choose camomile. It calms the nerves, relieves muscles spasms and even menstrual cramps. Tulsi is a good choice here also.

If your need fresher-smelling breath, have occasional upset stomach, have eaten too much rich food lately, or want to support your liver or gallbladder function, choose peppermint tea. It is a natural cleanser of the body, a digestive aid and refreshing any time — iced or hot.

If you are struggling with sleepless nights, having headaches, hypertension, asthma, eczema, mild depression or hay fever, choose rooibos, or red bush tea. This is one of my favorites. I was turned on to rooibos years ago by a friend who hails from South Africa, the indigenous digs of rooibos. I live for the aromatic, fresh rooibos tea her parents bring me when they come to the States for a visit. Rooibos contains a mimic of the enzyme superoxide dismutase, which provides its antioxidant properties. It is anti-aging because of its ability to destroy free radicals.

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