Healing Herbal Teas

 Learn to Blend 101 Specially Formulated Teas for Stress Management, Common Ailments, Seasonal Health, and Immune Support


Subjects: LCSH: Tea--Health aspects. | Tea--Therapeutic use.

EDITED BY Deborah Balmuth and Hannah Fries
INDEXED BY Christine R. Lindemer, Boston Road Communications
COVER PHOTOGRAPHY BY Mars Vilaubi, front; © Kyle Johnson, back; and © Charity Burggraaf, inside, front and back

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Book Details
 658 p
 File Size 
 15,408 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 9781612125756 (Ebook) 
 2016 by Sarah Farr 

A Philosophy of Place and Healing
Herbal foods and teas can teach us how to nurture both our internal and external
environments. In the four years I have owned Harbor Herbalist and Bird’s Eye
Tea I have witnessed dramatic positive changes in the herbal tea community
where I live. Most of my customers reside in the Puget Sound area where cool,
damp winters make way for the lush, foliated landscapes of summer. The beauty
and uneven terrain of the Puget Sound seem to instill a fondness for innovation,
creativity, and adaptability in our cultural identity. We enjoy a healthy seasonal
balance of introspection and outdoor activity. An awareness and appreciation for
our special ecology give support to a robust network of local seafood and farms.
There is a growing community with a desire to become part of a more
sustainable culture that builds strong bonds between local organic producers and consumers.

Herbal teas fall at the intersection of food, nature, and medicine, and I feel
blessed to be able to create blends that both heal and highlight the incredible
biodiversity of the place where I have spent almost my entire life. My work is
influenced by the ingenuity and artistry of regional cooking traditions, and I
have always believed that the most effective herbal remedies are those that
nourish depleted organ systems and offer daily support. The selections of teas I
make for farmers’ markets are designed for and influenced by the energy of the
seasons where I live — and are also tasty enough for people to adopt as healthy habits.

Making and using your own teas (from locally available sources, when
possible) can have a positive impact on the environment and reduce your
reliance on pharmaceutical drugs. If you decide to start your own tea garden or
get out into nature to gather herbs, you will surely have a pleasant time getting to
know the landscape. Whether exploring a woodland forest for nettles in early
spring or relaxing in your own backyard apothecary, you are providing yourself
an opportunity to become more at home in your region.

The practice of drinking herbal teas to support wellness connects you to your
little spot in the world, but it also empowers you to participate in and own your
health. Despite what the media tells you, we are all capable of responsibly caring
for ourselves and our place through our lived experience. Like the rest of nature,
our bodies are incredibly intuitive and designed to heal themselves, but we
experience many moments of fear and discomfort when we stretch ourselves too
thin, which causes physiological imbalances. Tea can provide the beauty,
motivation, and direct therapeutic support that the body needs to shift its focus
back toward healing and balance on physical, emotional, and energetic levels.
Herbal tea is a daily celebration of life, and it reminds us how lucky we are
to be part of the earth’s natural cycles. 
A cup of tea is a form of communion, a coming home.

When you lean in and take those first deep breaths after preparing a
cup of tea, you are tuning your senses to the energy and fragrance of
nourishing botanicals.

Humans in just about every civilization worldwide have experienced that
moment of bliss, hovering over a cup of herbal tea. We physically and
emotionally respond to the chemistry of botanicals, and so did our ancestors —
the joy and familiarity of drinking herbal tea is embedded in the fabric of our
genes and cultures. The human body evolved along with a vast botanical
pharmacy, and herbal teas were among humanity’s first medicines. When we
commune with herbs in the pure form of tea, we participate in a long legacy of
relationship between humans and nature in all its glorious complexity.
Making and drinking herbal teas for comfort and health is an ancient
tradition that anyone can learn. It is both sensual and intuitive, a thoughtful
process in which we look, smell, touch, and taste the herbs. As we develop our
sensual palate, the flavors, texture, and fragrance of an herb begin to tell us a
story of its remedial properties.

The Power of Plants
Plants connect with myriad other organisms through their root systems, leaves,
flowers, and seeds. These connections increase their resistance to disease, aid in
pollination and seed dispersal, and help increase nutrient uptake. Plants also
create special chemical compounds to communicate with other organisms in
their vicinity, exchanging information about the constantly fluctuating
conditions in the environment. With their above-and below-ground connections
they are able to thrive and help a diversity of others thrive as well. Mutually
beneficial partnerships are what create stability and resilience in the landscape.
Like plants, our bodies need to be part of an interconnected community, too.
Our physical and emotional health depends on knowing and communicating with
our environment. Herbal teas — simple infusions of healing herbs in water —
offer a daily reminder of our place in nature and open our hearts and minds to
the ways in which plants can realign us.
We rely deeply on the plant kingdom for nourishment, medicine, oxygen,
ecological stability, and clean drinking water. By learning to observe, tend, and
use healing plants, we gain insight into their ecological roles both inside our
bodies and out in the landscapes from which we harvest them. No special genius
is needed, just interest and attention.

Learning from Those Who Came Before
Direct relationships with a landscape shape the needs of the people who depend
on that landscape for food and medicine. And, in turn, the actions of the people
shape the needs of the landscape. If we look closely, we all participate in a cycle
of reciprocity. The landscape draws us in and begs us to learn how to tend her; in
exchange we are given long-term access to some of nature’s most healing and
profoundly comforting plants. We can learn to modify our actions to meet the
needs of our place and let the abundance of where we live fulfill us physically
and emotionally.
Before centuries of colonialism, indigenous communities naturally embraced
the patterns of nature in order to survive; they knew how to use their regions’
biodiversity to find nourishment, maintain health, and treat imbalances. By our
standards, since every member of society was fluent in the language of plants
and could generally manage their own health, everyone would have had the
basic skills of an herbalist. Food and medicine were intricately connected to place.

Indigenous communities inhabited the Puget Sound long before my family
moved here. The unique range of native edible and medicinal species evolved
alongside these people, and the techniques they developed for tending the
diverse ecosystems of the Puget Sound are part of a rich cultural heritage.
Therefore, when I am out wildcrafting herbs and fruits for teas, I am practicing
an ancient skill that indigenous cultures in my area have performed for
thousands of years. Although my goal is to honor life and be part of a
community that appreciates and supports all the local biodiversity, my
opportunities are shaped by a history of colonialism, land-use choices, and a
culture of entitlement. I must work to create a new culture that ensures a
different legacy for this place I love.

Those of us who are not indigenous and feel spiritually shallow (or hungry)
often admire the earth-based spiritual practices of indigenous peoples. It might
seem enticing to identify and cloak ourselves with the teachings of these cultures
to compensate for our own feelings of emptiness and grief from being part of a
culture that prides itself in ecological dominance. But we must learn to teach
ourselves new ways to heal the wounds of our violent history, while honoring
but not appropriating indigenous culture.

As I learn skills that enable me to become an herbalist and land steward, I try
to be mindful of the indigenous roots of these skills. Part of learning about a
place is grappling with its uncomfortable history and not ignoring it. But there
are many ways to nurture our people and the earth, and time spent loving nature
and connecting to plants will naturally bring those ways to light.

Part 1: The Art of Tea Blending
Chapter 1: The Tea-Making Process
Chapter 2: Formulation and Herbal Actions
Part 2: Recipes
Chapter 3: Tonics for Holistic Health
Nutritive Tonics
Daily Mineral Tea
Respite Nervine Tea
Respite without Mint
Glow: Beauty Tea
Digestive Tonic
Vitamin C Tea
Vital Tea
Rejuvenating Tonics
Athlete’s Tea
Urinary Health Tea
Women’s Blend
Daily Adrenal Support
Kids’ Tea Vitamin C Tea
Basic Chai
Delight Chai
Decaf Chai
Vanilla Chai
Rainy Day Chai
Chai Light
Bright Chai
Mint and Spice Chai
Cardamom-Rose Chai
Love Tea
Love Your Life Tea
Chocolatl Spiced Drinking Chocolate
Chapter 4: Remedial and Medicinal Teas
Wellness Tea
Respiratory Health
Sore Throat Soother
Constipation Relief
Cancer Care
Daytime Calm
Pregnancy Tea
Postpartum Nourish Tea
Candida Support
Nursing Mama Tea
Calm Waters
Blood Pressure Support
Inflammation Reduction
Happy Heart
Ease the Pain Tea
Chapter 5: Seasonal Teas
Allergy Tea
Spring Revival!
Spring Nutritive Tea
Elegance Tea
Spring Aid
Spring Strength
Spring Tonic
Spring Immunity
Green Love
Wake Up!
Summer Solstice
Summer Sol
Berry Sun Tea
Summer Breeze Sun Tea
Nutritive Sun Tea
Mint Green Tea
Lemon Ginger Iced Tea
Apple Green Iced Tea
Sol MatÉ
Summer Goddess
Coconut Green
Cucumber-Jalapeño Breeze
Nervine Cold Brew
Summer Chill
Shiso Iced Tea
Black Beauty
Iced Chai
Iced Choco-Chai
General Fall Tonic
The Fall (Fall Repose)
Mulling Spices
Peace Tea
Brain Tonic
Golden Garden
Kukicha Gold
Honeybush Spice
Lift the Grey
Vira Protect
Winter Solstice Tea
Winter Comfort
Deep Wellness
Fire Tea
Late Winter Woodsman Tea
Traveler’s Tea
Part 3: Living Amid Your Medicine
Chapter 6: Starting an Herb Garden
Chapter 7: Wildcrafting a Better World
Converting Recipe Measurements to Metric
Steep Yourself in the Power of Herbs with More Books from Storey
Share Your Experience!

Storey Publishing
210 MASS MoCA Way
North Adams, MA 01247

Identifiers: LCCN 2016026492 (print) | LCCN 2016032205 (ebook)
Classification: LCC RM251 .F37 2016 (print) | LCC RM251 (ebook) | 
DDC 615.3/21—dc23LC record available at storey.com
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