Have a Healing Cuppa
The amazing power of tea.
Published: May 28, 2012
Sip your way to better digestive health.
In my Meals That Heal Inflammation program, I strongly encourage you to try a different tea every day. In the end, your taste buds will appreciate the herbs’ healing effects and their natural fruity, woodsy, and spicy flavors. Before you take your first sip of tea, keep the following in mind:
• Try long brews for roots and leaves—this will boost the tea’s potency.
• Delicate flowers and leaves should not be boiled, as this can reduce their medicinal properties. A longer steeping time, 10 minutes up to 2 hours, will yield a stronger tea with more beneficial properties. Serve steeped tea hot or iced. If you wish, add sweetener, lemon, or spices to taste.
• Avoid steeping caffeinated tea (black, green, or white) in water that’s too hot or for longer than 7 minutes, as this will result in a bitter, unsavory brew and higher caffeine content. Consider steeping for 3 to 7 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea.
Note: Consult your health practitioner if pregnant or nursing to establish which teas are safe for you and your baby.
Herbal teas are healing, hydrating, and soothing. Making your own fresh teas from whole plant parts can be very rewarding, and fresh teas usually have stronger healing properties and are less expensive than prepackaged tea bags. Flowers, leaves, nonwoody stems, and other soft plant parts can be steeped, whereas resins, roots, seeds, woody stems, and other hard parts must be decocted. Powdered or finely shredded roots can also be infused. All teas can be prepared in 1-liter mason jars and stored in the refrigerator for ease of use.
Tulsi (Holy Basil) and Chamomile Tea
Modern scientific research confirms that tulsi (holy basil) reduces stress, enhances stamina, relieves inflammation, lowers cholesterol, eliminates toxins, protects against radiation, prevents gastric ulcers, lowers fevers, improves digestion, regulates blood pressure and blood sugar, and provides a rich supply of antioxidants and other nutrients. Tulsi is especially effective in supporting the heart, blood vessels, liver, and lungs.
Chamomile can help you fall asleep if you drink it before bed, but don’t hesitate to sip it throughout the day. Its relaxing effects do not interfere with activities such as driving a car or completing difficult tasks. Chamomile is an ideal choice for people with ulcers or other stomach problems aggravated by anxiety. It’s also recommended for muscle pain that results from stress. If you are experiencing muscle twitching, chamomile tea can help.
Place 2 tea bags of tulsi tea or 2 tsp (10 mL) of dried tulsi leaves and 2 tsp (10 mL) chamomile flowers (or 2 chamomile tea bags) into a pot and pour 6 cups (1.5 L) of boiling filtered water over. Infuse for at least 20 minutes. The tea must steep in hot water in a covered pot or teapot for at least 15 minutes. A longer steeping time, such as 2 hours, will yield a stronger tea with more beneficial properties. Serve hot or iced.
If desired, add sweetener or lemon to taste, or steep with a peppermint tea bag.
Makes 6 cups (1.5 L).
It is no surprise that Japan—where ginger root is used liberally—is home to the longest-living people in the world! Enjoy ginger root tea whenever your stomach is upset or when you’re experiencing sore joints. If you’re in a rush, you can use a tea bag, but it’s a good idea to stock your fridge (or freezer) with fresh ginger root, as it is more effective.
2 inches (5 cm) ginger root
4 cups (1 L) filtered water
Finely chop ginger root and steep in boiling filtered water for at least 20 minutes. Consider steeping it overnight—a long infusion maximizes the transfer of the active ingredients into the liquid.
Makes 4 cups (1 L).
Excerpted from Meals That Heal Inflammation by Julie Daniluk, R.H.N. Copyright ©2012 (Hay House).
Julie Daniluk, RHN, best-selling author of Meals That Heal Inflammation (Hay House), has helped thousands of people enjoy allergy-free foods that taste great and assist the body in the healing process.