Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tea: Lavender

For thousands of years, tea has been considered both a drink for medicinal purposes and for pleasure.  As many of you, I've enjoyed it in both it's lovely forms.  Tea has soothed my scratchy throat, helped relieve my sinuses, calmed my tummy and warmed me when chilled.  It's one of the ways Mother Nature shows off her abilities to nurture us naturally.  A warm cup of tea is her way of tucking us in with warm covers when we're not feeling so hot.

But we need not be sick to enjoy the herbal pleasures of tea.  And furthermore, enjoying tea regularly can even support prevention of illness!  I try to enjoy a cup a day.

Recently, I began having a deeper wonder for the role of individual herbs in these tea blends I was buying, so I bought a book.  The goal, to learn about and try a new herb a week (our Whole Foods has a marvelous bulk herb section) and as I become more confident in my knowledge of individual herbs, I will start to make my own blends.

Last night, I had the joy of drinking Lavender Tea! It was delicious!  Even Todd enjoyed it.  And it was simple to make.  I steeped about 1 Tablespoon of dried Lavender flowers in about 12 oz of hot water for about 5 minutes.  (For loose leaf teas, you'll need a wire mesh strainer to strain your tea, or use one of those mesh tea strainer balls).

I chose lavender because of how familiar an herb it is, but how little I actually knew of it's specific benefits! 

Use Lavender Tea for:
  • Anxiety, Tension, Headaches, Nerves on Edge -Lavender is calming. *
  • Infectious Diseases and Fevers -Lavender is said to reduce fevers, detoxify the body and induces sweating (I didn't notice any sweating last night, but maybe I just didn't drink enough?) to eliminate toxins.  It's  a potent antiseptic and historically was used to treat diphtheria, typhoid, streptococcus and pneumonia.*
  • Mouth and Throat -You can gargle this tea as well as drink it.  Nice for sore throats and laryngitis. *
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea -A nice tea for a travel kit.  Try it when you have stomach flu. *

    Use a Lavender Wash or Steam for:
    • A Facial Treatment (Steam) -This just sounds lovely.
    • Lice -Lavender tea can be used as a scalp wash to kill lice. *
    • Wounds -Lavender tea is an antiseptic water that can be used as a cleansing rinse for wounds. *
    *I am not attempting to provide medical care.  Please use your best judgment to determine if you need to visit your hospital or doctor.

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