After a long day…

a nice cuppa

a nice cuppa

…I owe it to myself (and my family!), to treat myself to a handcrafted form of relaxation. I know myself well enough to know I need to take good care of myself in this way. Taking time for a ritual cuppa, an herbal blend tisane, reduces my stress, balances my hormones and helps to prevent a lowered immune-response, thus keeping me healthier and more resistant to disease!

I have been “taking tea” since I was a teen, and I have perfected the art in all manner of financial situations. So, I offer my compendium of ways to enjoy and benefit from herbal blend teas from ghetto to gourmet.

The only difference between high rent and anything else is in the process. There are splendid stainless steel tea kettles, and cups with built-in strainers. One could spend a fortune on the very best and most highly advanced accouterments and if you have the means and the inclination, I highly recommend it.

For the rest of us, there are a wide variety of ways to make tea-

  • bagged tea is infinitely the easiest, but not the most cost effective. I am a huge fan of Stash teas, myself.
  • iron-closed paper tea bags. These can be purchased empty and filled with your favorite herbal blends. I love them! I use a curling iron to seal the bags, so I don’t even have to drag out the big iron.
  • Tea balls/bamboo strainers. Very economical, and last a long time.
  • Drip coffee maker. Throw a handful of herbs in the strainer basket and brew! Nothing could be simpler. *Be cautious with strong-smelling herbs (ie, valerian) because they can permeate the plastic of the filter basket with their scent.

Once you have your method worked out, it is all about the herbs. All of these blends are caffeine-free, and have specific effects. ***Please consult your medical professional, herbalist or Witch Doctor before ingesting any herb! This information is not intended to cure any disease or put me in an actionable position! I am not a doctor or an herbalist…;) ***

After A Long Day:

  • lavender 3 parts
  • chamomile 1 part
  • passionflower 1 part

Balance:

  • lavender 2 parts
  • rose petals 1 part
  • chamomile 1 part

Pick-Me-Up (as effective as a cup of coffee for mental acuity and focus, with no side effects):

  • Peppermint 3 parts
  • Lemongrass 1 part

Can’t Sleep:

  • lavender 2 parts
  • chamomile 1 part
  • hops 1 part
  • skullcap 1 part

All of these herbs are readily available at local herb stores, whole food markets and on the internet (when I didn’t have a local herb shop, I bought from Mountain Rose Herbs). Obviously, the more you buy, the cheaper it is, per ounce. Store any unused herb in an airtight seal jar (best kind, a mason jar or similar re-purposed jar and lid) for up to 1 year. But the fresher, the better, so try not to get nuts. I like to buy about an ounce at a time. Then I have enough for individual use, as well as making these blends up in advance.

There is so much to be gained from a handcrafted cuppa. Brew a cup, have a seat. Breathe in the scent. Savor the flavor…mmm…

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