Pour a cup for calmness

By admin
02 April 2014

Are the school holidays leaving you exhausted? Switch on the kettle, grab your favourite tea cup and sit down for a moment! This is how you make a soothing cup of tea.

I’m one of those people who really believe a cup of tea is the answer to any crisis. A cup of rooibos can calm the senses; a few sips of ginger tea soothes an upset tummy and homemade chai gives comfort.

And I’m not the only one. A study by a psychologist at the City University London in 2009 proved that even a single cup of tea can significantly reduce anxiety levels after a stressful experience.

But this time-honoured drink is not only for stress and anxiety, there’s a tea for almost every purpose or malady.

Cinnamon is a calmative, good for stabilising your blood sugar and helps your digestion, says Johannesburg-based dietician Taryn Coghlan.

Red raspberry helps to prevent miscarriage and haemorrhaging during pregnancy.

Fennel is excellent for increasing and enriching the breastmilk of nursing moms.

Lemongrass is thought to reduce fever and relieve pain.

Peppermint is used as a remedy for colds, fevers and flu.

Licorice is thought to decrease swelling, thin mucus secretions, decrease cough, and heal ulcers.

Hot ginger tea

Root ginger

2 black cloves

2-5 ml (½-1 t) cinnamon or cinnamon sticks

3 cardommon pods

  1. Chop and peel as much ginger as you wish. The more ginger, the stronger it gets and the longer you brew it.
  2. Add the cloves and cinnamon.
  3. Simmer everything in a pot in about 1 litre of water. Simmer for 5 minutes, depending on how strong you want it.
  4. If the water evaporates, add more water.
  5. Pour the liquid into a flask with the ingredients (it gets stronger if the ginger is left in).
  6. Drink throughout the day.
  7. Option: chill and serve with slices of orange and lemon.
  8. Option: add a bag of rooibos or other herbal tea.

Nourishing herbal tea infusion

3 parts dried red raspberry leaves

2 parts dried rosehip

1 part dried nettle

1 part dried oat straw

½ part cinnamon chips

½ part dried fennel seed

¼ part dried spearmint leaves (optional, omit if using homeopathy)

4 cups filtered water

ice (optional)

raw honey or fresh fruit juice (optional)

  1. Combine all the dried herbs in a medium size bowl, store the herb mixture in airtight glass container.
  2. Bring water to the boil, remove from the stove. Add 4 tablespoons of the herb mixture to water (1 tablespoon to 1 cup of water).
  3. Cover ? this ensures that you get all the nutritional benefits from the herbs. Steep 30 minutes to 4 hours for maximum benefit. The longer you steep, the stronger the flavour is.
  4. Sweeten with a small amount of honey or fresh fruit juice if desired. If you want to retain some of the beneficial properties of raw honey or fresh juice, add after the tea has cooled a bit.
  5. Store extra tea in the refrigerator up to a week.

Chai tea

4 cups filtered water

3 tablespoons cinnamon chips or 2 sticks of cinnamon

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 tablespoon dried ginger root

1 tablespoon rosehip

2 teaspoons whole cloves

3 astragalus root pieces

½ teaspoon black peppercorns

1 cup raw milk, organic whole milk, coconut milk or almond milk (optional)

3 tablespoons local raw honey

  1. In a medium size saucepan, bring water to the boil.
  2. Combine the cinnamon chips, fennel seeds, ginger root, rosehip, cloves, astragalus root and peppercorns in a small bowl or on a plate.
  3. Add all spices and herbs to the boiling water. Remove from the stove, cover and steep for 30-45 minutes (a minimum of 30 minutes gives you an infusion, meaning you’ll get the full nutritional properties from the spices and herbs)
  4. Strain the tea with a fine mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl or container.
  5. Pour chai tea back into the saucepan, add milk and sweetener of choice. Bring to the desired temperature over low heat.
  6. Stir to combine and serve hot.

Detox tea

Used as a natural colon cleanser and/or a liver cleanser

Equal amounts (2 tablespoons) of fennel, fenugreek, flax seeds, ginger root, licorice and peppermint leaves

Cheese cloth

  1. Place an equal amount (2 tablespoons) of each ingredient except for the peppermint and ginger in a cheese cloth.
  2. Place 2-4 slices of fresh ginger in boiling water for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Turn down the heat to low and add the ingredients except for the peppermint to the boiling water and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat, add the peppermint and allow to steep for another 5 minutes. The peppermint will burn if added with the other ingredients.
  5. Serve the tea hot or cold over ice.
  6. Drink this detox tea throughout the day, especially first thing in the morning, to reap the benefits.

- Alet van Zyl

Sources: Telegraph.co.uk, Webmd.com

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