There’s something about the end of September that brings about a certain nostalgia. Perhaps it’s that feeling that lingers from our younger days, where going back to school would signify excitement for some, and dread for others. And even if those days are long gone, the start of a new season, anticipating the cold, certainly brings a need for added comfort.

tealeafpen

Enter tea. The British notoriously use tea for most situations, and I’m starting to appreciate their point. Tea makes you pause for a moment, and let’s face it – most of us do with a little pause several times a day. Take a minute, sip, decide on your next move without rushing. Yes, I’m starting to catch on to that frame of mind.

The name is striking – Celestial Seasonings – and the packaging artistic and attractive. In fact, with a history behind each iconic painting used for the packaging, you just feel that you’re on the right track trusting these tea producers. The boxes are printed on 100% recycled paperboard with 35% post-consumer content. The botanicals are purchased ethically, supporting the people and places in the world that produce their ingredients. These issues are increasingly important nowadays.

The good news doesn’t stop there – there are so many different teas to choose from. Today I’ll focus on two that have made me happy. I’m looking forward to discovering more and adding to my collection!

celestial-tea

Dirty Chai Tea

For those times when you could do with a refresher and a gentle boost, whilst still enjoying a comforting taste… meet the tea with added coffee. Yes, that’s right – this special blend contains 40% black tea, a mixture of spices and 10% espresso. That means that you can get 46mg of caffeine in each brew, with a delicious flavour that you can enjoy while it perks you up. Incidentally, this tea bag will give you two cups of tea (or a pot) and infuses very quickly. Now what did they mean when they said that you can’t have your cake and eat it?

Sleepytime Vanilla and Sleepytime Blackberry Pomegranate

My beef with teas that are meant to promote sleep has always been the taste. If I cannot drink it, then it’s not going to get to work. The clever people at Celestial Seasonings in Boulder Colorado have managed to infuse this tea with a vanilla (and blackberry pomegranate) flavour that lulls you into a gentle sleep without any hangover sleepy feeling. I would recommend this if you have trouble sleeping, or even if you feel that you need help winding down after being on the go all day. A restful sleep will set you up to be able to better face the day ahead.


Smoothie with 1 banana, 1/4 honeydew melon, 1 local pear (tastes very much like an apple), 1 prune, 1 stick of celery, 1/3 teaspoon wheatgrass, 1/2 teaspoon raw cocoa energy mix (You can get this from D-Food Doctor locally), some coconut milk and iced water. Energy restored! (makes approximately 2 glasses)

WP_20140825_003


Winter, as always, brings along with it an array of colds, sore throats, allergies, respiratory tract infections etc as attested by the current longer queues at doctors’ clinics and pharmacies. Being a pharmacist by profession, I strongly believe in modern and evidence-based medicine and that these medicines have given us a better quality of life in general. However that is not to say that natural and herbal remedies don’t have their place in healthcare

Ever the scientist, I don’t believe it till I try it. And boy have I been underestimating some of these remedies! I suspect that there might be a few of these entries coming up in the future. Please note that even herbal remedies have contraindications and some treatments need to be used sparingly. Always acquire the necessary information before trying something out. And always, always, always seek the advice of a professional if you’re not sure which treatment is suitable for you.

Disclaimer over..

In the meantime, here is my first post on Sage tea.

Simply infuse 6-8 leaves in hot water. Note that the leaves may be used a second time. As you can imagine, the taste is bitter and takes a bit of getting used to. However, it’s not as bad as it sounds and may be rendered more agreeable with the addition of some honey / agave nectar / sugar or other sweetener of your choice. Optional: lemon juice.

Try this a couple of times a day. Wrap some leaves up in tissue paper and have it on the go too.

I used it to treat a sore throat and was very pleased with the results. Please note that the throat was NOT infected and that there was no fever present. This would require a trip to your healthcare professional !

Sage has a number of medicinal purposes. You can read more information here and here.