Seven Herbal Teas to Nourish Skin

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You know how much I enjoy my daily cups of hot tea, even in summer. What a joy it has been to learn that these herbal teas support my health in a variety of crucial ways. The more I discover, the more often I think, when someone mentions an ailment…there’s an herb for that!

Healthy, glowing skin begins within. All the lotions and moisturizers in the world can’t overcome a poor diet or supply the vital nutrients the body needs to keep the skin vibrant and youthful.

These seven herbal teas to nourish skin provide healing, boost the immune system and revitalize skin cells, all while contributing to important hydration for the body.

Seven Herbal Teas to Nourish Skin

Seven Herbal Teas that Nourish Skin

In addition to your skin care routine, try adding one to three cups of herbal tea daily, to revitalize and nourish the skin.

Hibiscus

This rich herbal tea is high in vitamin C and a great source of vitamins A, B1 and B2 plus zinc and iron. Hibiscus contains natural alpha hydroxy acids and omega-3 fatty acids that smoothe the skin and keep it looking youthful. Add two to three teaspoons of dried hibiscus to a cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Sweeten with raw honey.

Chamomile

This well known stress reducer contains anti-inflammatory properties that protect the skin from sun damage. Add three teaspoons of dried chamomile, or one teabag, to a cup of very hot water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Sweeten with raw honey if desired.

Chamomile Tea
Chamomile, one of seven herbal teas that nourish skin.

Dandelion

Antioxidants in dandelion flowers, combined with immune boosting properties, enhance the appearance of the skin while neutralizing free radicals. In addition, dandelion aids digestion and the absorption of nutrients, which contributes to the health of skin as well. Add a handful of fresh dandelion blossoms to a large cup of very hot water. Or use a dandelion tea bag. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Sweeten with raw honey if desired.

Jasmine

This fragrant flower contains antiviral and antibacterial properties that support the immune system and nourish skin. Jasmine balances hormones, reduces oil production on the skin and helps to heal skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Brew a cup of jasmine tea by combining three teaspoons of fresh or dried flowers with a cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Sweeten with raw honey if necessary.

Green Tea

This soothing tea reduces inflammation throughout the body, including the skin. Green tea protects against harmful UV radiation. And it contains a powerful antioxidant called ECGC that fights free radicals and prevents the formation of wrinkles. In addition, this tea revives dying skin cells and promotes the growth of healthy new ones. Add a green tea bag to a cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for five minutes. Sweeten with raw honey if desired.

Green Tea with Jasmine
I love this tea from Twinings that combines two of the seven herbal teas that nourish skin…green tea and jasmine.

Ginger

Aromatic and spicy ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, plus it aids digestion. Ginger also strengthens the immune system. All of these supportive health boosters contribute to clear, vibrant skin. Peel a small piece of fresh ginger and slice or mince it. Pour boiling water over the ginger, cover and steep for 15 minutes. Sweeten with raw honey if desired.

Peppermint

This herb from the mint family balances hormones, with calms skin and helps to keep it clear and healthy. It also reduces sebum, an oily secretion, on the skin. Peppermint’s antioxidants prevent oxidative damage that ages the skin, and help to renew skin cells. Add two teaspoons of fresh or dried peppermint, or one tea bag, to a cup of very hot water. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Sweeten with raw honey if desired.

Ginger Tea
Aromatic ginger tea supports the body while promoting healthy skin.

Which of These Teas Will You Try?

These seven herbal teas that nourish skin are readily available through your favorite grocery story, in tea bag form. Or check your local health food store or grocer for dried loose leaves to create your own tea blends. Additionally, peppermint and chamomile are easy to grow in a backyard garden or container. I even have a jasmine plant flourishing in a container on my front deck. And wild dandelions dot most yards during spring and summer.

Or for convenience, click links below to order your favorite herbal teas from Amazon.

Simply adding one to three cups of tea to your diet, daily, can radically improve health and wellness. As a wonderful bonus, that health radiates from clear skin as a vibrant glow.

Which herbal tea will you try first?

Seven Herbal Teas that Nourish Skin Mint
A favorite among the seven herbal that nourish skin…peppermint.

Pick up your herbal teas for healthier skin, below:

 



 

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6 Teas that Soothe Anxiety

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Anxiety. Most of us have experienced it. For some, it is a daily occurrence that dims joy and creates a host of health problems.

Stressful events such as moving, the birth of a baby, job interviews, public speaking, relationship issues and financial strain can create a heightened sense of nervousness that we call anxiety.

Check out the symptoms below. And then read on for 6 teas that soothe anxiety, naturally.

6 Teas that Soothe Anxiety Title Meme

Symptoms of Anxiety

The following symptoms can indicate the presence of anxiety:

  •  restless sleep or insomnia
  •  muscle tension, especially in jaw, neck and scalp
  •  chronic indigestion and digestive disorders
  •  extreme nervousness before an event – “stage fright”
  •  worry and self-doubt
  •  self-consciousness
  •  excessive worry and fixating on a particular outcome
  •  obsessive compulsive disorder
  •  repetitive motions such as hair pulling, lip chewing, fingernail biting
  •  panic
  •  irrational fears

**for severe or chronic anxiety and accompanying depression, please see your doctor or mental health care professional.

Ways to destress and soothe minor anxiety include meditation, deep breathing, exercise, getting out into nature and drinking tea. The following teas are the best for calming the body and relieving the symptoms of anxiety.

6 Teas that Soothe Anxiety Chamomile
Chamomile Tea

6 Teas that Soothe Anxiety

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is well known for its soothing effects. Studies show that chamomile tea binds to GABA receptors in the brain, inducing relaxation. In fact, this herbal tea, made from the flowers of the chamomile plant, targets the nervous system receptors in the same way that medications such as Xanax do.

Brew tea by pouring boiling water into a cup containing 3 teaspoons of fresh or dried chamomile flowers. Cover and steep 15 minutes. Stain. Sweeten with honey if desired. Drink before bed or when feeling anxious.

Lemon Balm Tea

Lemon balm leaves have a lemony flavor and aroma. This powerful herb reduces stress without the side effects of medications. Researchers found that drinking lemon balm tea significantly reduces anxiety, for up to three hours after consumption.

Use 3 teaspoons of fresh or dried lemon balm in a cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Remove leaves. Sweeten with honey if desired. Drink lemon balm tea throughout the day, to soothe anxiety and restlessness and calm panic.

6 Teas that Soothe Anxiety Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm Tea

Rose Tea

This mild and slightly sweet tea is made from rose petals. Rose tea has analgesic and relaxation properties. It increases deep sleep and reduces the amount of time that it takes to fall asleep. This tea affects the benzodiazepine receptors in the same way that prescription meds such as Xanax and Clonazepam do.

Flavonoids in the rose petals target the production of cortisol, a stress hormone. They also ease inflammation and relieve pain.

Add one heaping tablespoon of dried rose petals to a cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Strain. Sweeten with honey if desired.

Green Tea

Green tea is made from Camelia sinensis leaves and buds that have not undergone the oxidation process used to make oolong and black teas. It has many health benefits. It’s rich in the amino acid L-theanine and antioxidants and polyphenols that boost health and ease anxiety by calming nervousness.

L-theanine directly affects the brain by increasing alpha wave activity. It also increases relaxation without causing drowsiness.

Brew green tea by placing a tea bag in hot, but not boiling, water. Boiling water can make the tea taste bitter. Cover and steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove tea bag. Sweeten with honey if desired.

6 Teas that Soothe Anxiety Green Tea
Green Tea

Lavender Tea

Lavender is famous for its calming properties and very useful for soothing anxiety and stress.

Studies show that inhaling the scent of lavender calms the body and improves deep sleep. It also elevates energy levels when awake. Lavender encourages the production of dopamine, the brain’s feel good chemical. Additionally, it lowers the stress hormone cortisol.

Add 2 teaspoons of dried lavender flowers to very hot water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain. Sweeten with honey if desired. Drink lavender tea an hour before bedtime, to improve sleep quality. Or drink this delicately flavored floral tea throughout the day to lower stress levels.

Passionflower Tea

Passionflower tea is made from flowers from the Passiflora family. This mildly flavored tea has a slightly sweet floral taste and scent.

Flavonoids in passionflower tea affect the GABA receptors in the brain. This plant also contains the flavone chrysin, which effectively reduces anxiety.

Add one teaspoon of dried passionflower petals to a cup of very hot water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Stain. Sweeten with honey if desired. Drink before bedtime for a better night’s sleep or throughout the day to lower stress levels.

Take Time for Tea

The next time a long day creates stress or a situation threatens to overwhelm, pause and brew a cup of one of these 6 teas that soothe anxiety.

One of the best things about a cup of herbal tea, beyond the many health benefits, is that it inspires us to take a time out. That break helps us to relax and unwind and quite literally, catch our breath.

I love practicing afternoon tea time daily for that reason. For a few minutes I pause and savor a cup of hot tea. It’s a great way to bring my attention fully into the present moment and check in with my body to see how I’m doing. It is me time, delightfully so.

Do you have a favorite tea, that helps you to destress and relax?

6 Teas that Soothe Anxiety Passionflower
Pick up a pretty glass teapot HERE.

Purchase dried herbs for tea below:

 


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Horsetail Herb

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This plant with the funny name, Horsetail Herb, is new to me. However its impressive list of nutrients earns it the nickname, “the repairing plant”. Take a look at the healing benefits of this little known but health boosting herb.

Horsetail Herb Title Meme

What is Horsetail Herb?

Horsetail is a perennial herb. There are 15 different species of this plant although common horsetail is used most often medicinally.

The herb grows in rich, damp soil throughout temperate climates in the Northern Hemisphere, including the US, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

The stems and leaves provide the health benefits. In the spring, horsetail herb puts up a brown stem that resembles asparagus. Cones filled with spores form atop the stems. As the plant dries, silica crystals form in stems and leaves, creating a feathery tail effect.

Horsetail Herb Bundles

Horsetail Herb Nutrients

Horsetail contains a long list of nutrients and beneficial compounds, including:

  •  vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E & K
  •  folate
  •  potassium
  •  sodium
  •  calcium
  •  magnesium
  •  iron
  •  zinc
  •  copper
  •  phenolic compounds
  •  silica
  •  kynurenic acid
  •  styrylpyrones
  •  chlorophyll

Pretty impressive, right? This is a plant I wanted to know more about, especially since it repairs and restores the body.

Horsetail Herb

Health Benefits of Horsetail Herb

This potent herb provides the following healing benefits:

Aids Hair Growth

Horsetail is rich in silica, an important mineral that supports hair growth. Studies suggest that hair strands with a higher silica content have a lower fall out rate and appear healthier and brighter. Horsetail is one of the best sources of silica and improves nail and skin health as well.

Improves Brittle Nails

Horsetail may be used topically or taken internally to improve brittle nails. Again, it’s the high silica content in the herb that boosts nail, hair and skin health.

Natural Diuretic

The herb is a natural diuretic that helps with edema, puffiness caused by excess water stored in the body. Horsetail improves edema without the side effects affecting liver or kidney function or causing an electrolyte imbalance.

Soothes Joint Inflammation

Horsetail is an ancient remedy for joint disease, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. The powerful herb soothes and calms inflammation and eases degenerative joint disease and rheumatoid arthritis. The compound kynurenic acid is responsible for the anti-inflammatory, antioxidative and pain relieving properties. These abilities place horsetail herb in a super group of plants including peppermint, nettle and birch leaf, all high in kynurenic acid.

Helps to Heal Wounds and Burns

The silica in horsetail is key to the formation of collagen, a key skin building block that is essential for strength and elasticity. Studies show that horsetail helps wounds and burns to heal while easing associated pain.

Antimicrobial Properties

Horsetail Herb stops the growth and kills microbes such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. It is also effective against staph infections and candida.

Dried Horsetal Herb

Using Horsetail Herb

Horsetail may be purchased as a dried herb, tea, capsules or tinctures. Also available are creams and lotions that contain horsetail herb and hair and nail products for topical use.

One of the easiest ways to enjoy the benefits of horsetail herb…and my favorite…is by brewing tea.

Pour one cup of boiling water over 3 teaspoons of fresh or dried horsetail. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Sweeten with raw honey if desired.

Use a strong horsetail herb tea as a rinse after shampooing, to strengthen hair. Tea may also be used to bathe wounds and burns.

Cautions

Be careful foraging for this plant. Although it commonly grows near water, there is a variety known as marsh horsetail that is poisonous.

Mild side effects from the herb include upset stomach, diarrhea and increased urination. Taking too much horsetail herb can cause kidney pain, low back pain, heart palpitations, nausea and vomiting so don’t take more than the recommended dosage or drink more than one cup of tea a day.

Check with your doctor about taking horsetail if you are pregnant, nursing a baby or have low potassium levels. Horsetail may lower blood sugar and potassium levels. Also check with the doctor if you are taking medications for diabetes or water retention or if you are taking lithium, as horsetail may interact with these drugs.

Horsetail Herb Teal

 

Pick up dried horsetail HERE or purchase capsules HERE.

Broadleaf Plantain Benefits

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The desire to learn about the healing properties of plants is closely connected to my own journey. As I heal, I appreciate more and more that plants play such a vital role in my health.

My garden is full of herbs that supply me with the makings for tea. However, I love foraging too, and discovering that plants I consider weeds are actually wild herbs. They are full of healing benefits as well.

The broadleaf plantain benefits are many. And yet, until last fall, I considered this common plant an annoying weed. I’ve been aware of plantain since childhood. Mowing over the broad leaves created a funny brrrr – up-up-up noise that reminded me of sound of playing cards attached to bicycle spokes.

My research of broadleaf plantain benefits inspires me to protect several plants in the garden area, keeping them for medicinal purposes.

Broadleaf Plantain Title Meme

History of the Broadleaf Plantain Plant

This herb is one of the most abundant and widely distributed medicinal plant in the world. In ancient times, broadleaf plantain, not to be confused with the banana like fruit also called plantain, treated digestive and female disorders along with snake and spider bites.

Native Americans used the herb for snake bites as well, earning the plant the name Snake Weed. They also applied the leaves to wounds.

Another name for broadleaf plantain is soldier’s herb because of its on-the-spot use as a first aid plant for injuries and illnesses.

Today broadleaf plantain is readily found in yards, along sidewalks and fencerows, and anywhere the soil has been disturbed. It thrives in high foot traffic areas as easily as it does nestled against a rocky outcropping. It tolerates poor soil conditions and doesn’t seem picky about the amount of sun that it receives.

Broadleaf Plantain for ForagingBroadleaf plantain growing in my yard.

Broadleaf Plantain Characteristics

The plant’s leaves may be eaten raw, in salads, or steamed with other greens. Small leaves are the most flavorful and tender, although the larger leaves may be used for teas and tinctures. Plantain possesses a slightly bitter taste. The larger the leaves, the more bitter the taste.

The plant sends up stalks that produce tiny flowers and then even tinier light brown seeds. The seeds and stalks are edible as well.

The herb is high in iron and calcium, and vitamins A, C and K.

Broadleaf plantain is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antimicrobial, making it a great medicinal herb for “hot” conditions in the body such as fevers, infections, inflammation and irritations.

Broadleaf Plantain IdentificationThese hardy plants return after the lawn is mowed. The new leaves are perfect for salads and teas and first aid use. See the tiny white flowers opening on the stalks?

Broadleaf Plantain Benefits and Uses

External Use

For external use, plantain is the perfect first aid herb. Crush, or chew, one or two leaves and apply to the skin or brew a strong tea from the leaves and use in a spray bottle.

  • soothes the pain, itching and swelling of insect bites and stings by calming the histamine response
  • relieves irritation and discomfort of skin rashes, hives, eczema and psoriasis
  • takes the heat out of burns and sunburns
  • eases pain of cuts and scrapes and keeps them from getting infected
  • calms poison ivy and relieves itching and swelling
  • draws out embedded splinters
  • also has a drawing effect on boils and soothes pain and swelling

Because this plant is found everywhere, it can quickly be utilized when first aid is needed. Suffering from a sudden wasp sting? Crush or chew the leaves until broken down and then spit the mass of leaves onto the bite. The relief is immediate. Yes, it sounds gross to chew up leaves and spit them out. Remember, however, that you are creating a poultice that is very healing and soothing.

Internal Use

As powerful as the broadleaf plantain benefits are for skin irritations and wounds, the wild herb is equally suitable for a host of symptoms and disorders within the body.

  • lowers cholesterol
  • helps control diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels
  • reduces the pain, swelling and discomfort of hemorrhoids
  • heals irritable bowel syndrome
  • soothes the entire digestive tract and urinary tract
  • treats bladder and kidney infections
  • relieves indigestion, acid reflux and ulcers
  • as a mouthwash heals canker sores and gum irritation
  • acts as an expectorant
  • calms a dry cough as well
  • treats and helps to prevent seasonal allergies

 


Dried broadleaf plantain
Click on photo above to order dried broadleaf plantain.

Foraging for Broadleaf Plantain

As you mow the yard, watch for this amazing wild herb. Perhaps before the blades mow it down, you might collect a few of those healing leaves. Create a tea by steeping the leaves in very hot water for 15 minutes, for drinking. Steep the tea overnight to create a strong brew for topical use. Store in the refrigerator.

Or, in the manner of our wise and resourceful ancestors, chew up a leaf to apply to a bite, sting or scrape for soothing, cooling relief. The next time I slice into my hands and fingers as I’m pulling weeds in the garden, I’ll pluck a couple of leaves to make an on-the-spot poultice.

That simple act makes me feel like a healer.

Broadleaf Plantain

Visit my Amazon Storefront for a variety of tea supplies and dried teas.

Cindy’s Amazon Storefront

 

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

 

Health Benefits of Catmint Tea

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I’ve grown catmint in my garden for years. This herb, which is closely related to catnip, is considered more ornamental for garden use. Catmint blooms with purplish blue flowers in late spring and summer and thrives in full sun.

Both varieties are members of the mint family and both are attractive to cats. In fact, that’s why I keep this easy to care for perennial in my garden. My three cats love to spend time roaming around the garden and they check out this herb frequently. I’ve seen them rub against the plant and nibble on the leaves.

I’m experimenting with using catmint for a variety of purposes, for the cats. As I worked with the plant, I wondered if its distinctively scented leaves possessed health benefits for people. Of course it does!

Late this afternoon, I experienced my first cup of catmint tea.

Health Benefits of Catmint Tea

Health Benefits of Catmint Tea

The active ingredient in catmint (and catnip) is nepetalactone. It is thought to contribute to the following benefits in humans:

Stress Reliever

Catmint has a calming effect on the entire body, relieving stress and quieting the body and the mind. This makes the herb beneficial for reducing anxieties and easing restlessness and insomnia. While calming anxieties, catmint strengthens the immune system which helps the body become less reactive to stress.

Digestive Aid

The plant’s calming effect soothes the stomach as well, relieving nausea, diarrhea, cramping, excess gas and bloating. Because catmint has antispasmodic properties it can even ease tightness in the gastrointestinal tract, eliminating abdominal discomfort.

Health Benefits of Catmint Tea

Respiratory Issues

Catmint’s active ingredient also contains mucilage properties, making is helpful for suppressing coughs. It also relieves congestion. And it speeds up the healing of colds, flus and fevers.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, catmint is effective in healing arthritis, gout, sprained muscles, achy joints and even hemorrhoids. The herb soothes the pain and swelling associated with rashes, hives and bug bites.

Insect Repellent

Essential oil of catmint can be mixed with a carrier oil and applied to the skin as an insect repellent. The oil also soothes skin irritations and improves the healing process. Applied to the temples, catmint essential oil helps to treat headaches and migraines.

**Do not use this herb in any form, if you are pregnant. Check with a doctor before using if you suffer from liver or kidney dysfunctions.

Health Benefits of Catmint Tea

Preparing Catmint Tea

To brew a cup of catmint tea, add several short sprigs of fresh catmint, or two teaspoons of dried herb to a cup and pour in hot water. Cover and steep for 15 minutes at least. Sweeten with raw organic honey if desired.

Catmint is also available in capsule form, tinctures, essential oils and salves.

I snipped several fresh sprigs from my catmint plant in the herb garden to create my tea.

This plant has a very pleasant, distinctive scent. I can’t quite pin it down, however the scent stirs a memory of a similar aroma. So I was looking forward to seeing how it tasted.

I was not disappointed! The taste is subtly minty with a hint of spiciness. I loved it, actually. In fact, this herbal tea now ranks in my top five favorites, for flavor!

How amazing, that an herb my cats adore has so many health benefits. Catmint tea goes into my afternoon tea rotation. I think I adore it too!

Health Benefits of Catmint Tea

Purchase dried catmint to make your own healing tea, by clicking on photo below.


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Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

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I enjoyed a first today. In the spirit of foraging, I gathered a wild edible yesterday from my backyard and allowed it to steep overnight in water. This afternoon, for tea time, I sipped on a refreshing cleavers cold water infusion.

I’ve read about the medicinal herb cleavers, that many consider a weed. Oddly enough, I even dreamed once about gathering the plant. It wasn’t until I studied foraging for wild edibles last fall that I realized I pull this “weed” out of my garden every spring, by the handfuls. In fact, I’ve been familiar with cleavers since my childhood. I’ll bet you know it too!

Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

What is Cleavers?

Cleavers originated in Europe, covering much of the extended continent, from England to Siberia. Today it flourishes around the world, including Canada and much of the United States.

And when I say flourish, I mean that it grows everywhere, appearing in early spring. Look for it growing along rivers, sidewalks, fences and tree stumps or in great clumps in meadows and fields. Cleavers thrives especially well in cultivated gardens, I’ve discovered.

While it has a fancy Latin name, Galium aparine, this prolific plant is more commonly known as cleavers. That’s not what I called it though, as a child. I  called this plant “sticktights”. It’s also known by a variety of descriptive names such as grip grass, stickyweed, catchweed, velco plant, everlasting friendship and sticky willies.

The main identifying characteristic of cleavers are the fine sticky hairs that cover the plant. These sticky hairs enable the plant to cling to clothes or fur that it comes in contact with. That’s a pretty cool way to propagate! After the plant flowers it produces tiny sticky seeds as well, that create a nuisance for dogs or cats that brush against them. I used to pick these sticktights out of my pets’ fur after a romp through nearby fields.

Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

Identifying Cleavers

Cleavers is a wild edible that is easy to identify. The bright green plant puts out long straggly stems with spaced out whorls of six to eight leaves. Cleavers does flower, producing tiny white blooms. And the miniscule seeds are covered with itty bitty soft barbs. The best way to test the plant, to make sure it is cleavers, is to pluck a stem with leaves and press it against your shirt. If it sticks, it’s cleavers!

Cleavers Cold Water InfusionCleavers growing around a stump in my backyard.

Health Benefits of Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

Used medicinally for centuries, cleavers offers many health benefits to those wise enough to recognize its gifts. The plant has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and astringent properties.

Cleanses the lymphatic system

Cleavers helps to reduce water weight and edema by cleansing and stimulating the lymphatic system. This reduces swelling in glands, tissues and cysts. Cleavers is naturally diuretic making it an excellent tonic for the kidneys and urinary tract. Its cleansing and flushing effect is good for the whole body as it detoxifies and purifies the blood.

Has cooling properties

This herb reduces fevers and helps to prevent heat strokes during hot summer months. Its cooling properties calm inflammation, within the body and on the skin. Cleavers even takes the sting out of sunburns.

Heals wounds and skin irritations

Fresh cleavers leaves provide relief from cuts, wounds, rashes and bug bites. Lightly crush the leaves and apply to soothe skin redness, swelling and irritation.

Cleavers’ antiseptic properties help to treat the skin conditions eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. Use tinctures or teas to begin treatment from within the body, while using a cleavers wash to soothe the skin.

Improves liver function

By stimulating the liver, cleavers improves digestion and the elimination of toxins from the body. It is also effective in treating ulcers, bladder inflammation and irritable bowel syndrome.

Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

Creating Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

Fresh cleavers leaves are delicious added to salads or included in a steamed greens meal. The herb is available for purchase as a tincture and a dried tea.

The easiest way to enjoy the health benefits of cleavers is to gather it in your yard or another place free from herbicides and chemicals.

Cleavers tea can be served as a hot drink or as a cold water infusion. My studies suggested that the cleavers cold water infusion provided slightly more benefits that a hot tea. I loved the idea of making a something different from my typical hot herbal tea.

I gathered cleavers from my backyard. Truthfully, I almost waited too long to try this herb. I pulled up cleavers plants in early spring, clearing them from my garden. It was difficult to find the herb when I wanted it. Finally yesterday I located cleavers growing near the wood pile for the fire pit.

To create a cleavers cold water infusion, chop fresh cleavers plants and drop them into a tall mason jar. Cover with filtered water, screw on the lid, and allow water to steep in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, strain and serve.

Cleavers Cold Water InfusionCleavers cold water infusion, chilling in the fridge.

A Different Kind of Afternoon Tea

I sampled my cleavers water this afternoon, in place of hot herbal tea.

How did it taste?

I expected a slight bitterness but there wasn’t any. At least, the water did not taste bitter to me. However, I am very accustomed to herbal teas, without added honey for sweetener. The cleavers cold water infusion had a mild green taste, but not like grass. The water was refreshing and satisfying, more like cucumber infused water or one made with aromatic herbs.

Cleavers infused water gets a thumbs up from me. I have enough water left over to enjoy a cup tomorrow. And a few more plants in the backyard, that escaped my earlier weed pulling frenzies. Next spring, I’ll leave more cleavers to grow in my garden. I recognize and appreciate their incredible value now.

Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

If you are feeling adventurous, try out these other wild edible teas:

 

Order cleavers tincture or cleavers dried tea below:

 

 


 

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

Herbal Teas that Relieve Bloating

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A reader recently made a request. She asked about herbal teas that relieve bloating. I’m happy to respond with a post that offers help.

Bloating is a condition in which the abdomen feels uncomfortably full. Triggers for bloating include:

  • intolerance to dairy, gluten, high protein or high fiber
  • build up of gas
  • intestinal bacteria out of balance
  • constipation
  • parasites

Up to 30% of the population experiences bloating, the majority as a result of food intolerance. If this discomfort is a problem for you, check out these herbal teas that relieve bloating.

Herbal Teas that Relieve Bloating

Peppermint

The use of this herb for healing the digestive system dates back to ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt. Peppermint relieves bloating, gas, constipation and other digestive disorders by relaxing the gut and calming intestinal spasms. It is especially helpful in treating irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.

Steep 3 teaspoons of fresh or dried peppermint in a cup of very hot water for 15 minutes.

Lemon Balm

A member of the mint family, lemon balm has a pleasant lemony scent and flavor. This herb possesses antiviral, antibacterial and sedative properties. It’s a digestive stimulant as well. As a tea it soothes indigestion, nausea and bloating. Many people suffer with sensitive stomachs and guts. Lemon balm soothes and calms the nerve receptors in the digestive tract and reduces inflammation so that the nerves become less sensitive. It is also anti-parasitic.

Add 2 – 3 teaspoons of fresh or dried lemon balm leaves to a cup of boiling water. Steep for 15 minutes.

 

Herbal Teas that Relieve BloatingFresh lemon balm

Fennel

One of the most widely used herbs in the world, fennel seeds are used to treat many ailments, including stimulating the digestive system. The plant with the slight licorice scent and taste eases the discomfort of gas while stimulating bile for better digestion. And better digestion means less risk of bloating.

To make fennel tea, steep 1- 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds in a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes.

Chamomile

A member of the daisy family, this herb contains flavonoids and terpenoids that provide medicinal properties. Chamomile relaxes the digestive system, relieving the discomfort related to bloating. The herb also treats gassiness, indigestion and nausea, which commonly accompany bloating.

Use 2 teaspoons of fresh or dried chamomile flowers to make tea, steeping them for 15 minutes in a cup of boiling water.

Ginger

The healing power of ginger has been used for thousands of years to cure a host of digestives problems. The root of the plant contains bioactive compounds that ease bloating quickly. Ginger stimulates the digestive system, eases nausea and soothes acid reflux. It also fights against pathogens in the gut.

Peel a 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger and slice into slivers. Steep in a cup of boiling water for 5 – 10 minutes.

Herbal Teas that Relieve Bloating

Dandelion

Although considered a weed, this powerful little plant makes a great herbal tea that relieves bloating. Dandelion flowers stimulate the digestive system and have a cleansing effect on the intestines, eliminating bloating.

Gather a handful of fresh dandelion flowers, in an area free from chemicals, pollution and herbicides. Steep flowers in hot water for 15 minutes. Or cover flowers with water and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Strain out flowers and sip on dandelion water throughout the day.

Lavender

This very versatile herb originated in the Mediterranean. It’s been used medicinally for centuries. Drinking lavender tea eases digestive problems that cause bloating, including gas, an upset stomach, abdominal pain and swelling. Lavender also stimulates a sluggish appetite, which can accompany bloating.

Pour boiling water over 2 – 3 teaspoons of fresh or dried lavender flowers. Steep for 15 minutes.

Herbal Teas that Relieve Bloating

Additional Tips to Ease Bloating

Bloating is a symptom, indicating the digestive system is sluggish or reacting. Consider eliminating dairy, gluten, high protein and high fiber, one at a time, for a week. Notice whether bloating is relieved or improved.

I talk to people every day who want to feel better. However, they don’t want to give up their “favorite” foods, even though those foods are making them feel bad. Many people have a dairy or gluten intolerance and don’t realize it. Stop eating those foods, for a short time, to confirm whether that’s the case or not.

Eliminating those problem causing foods reduces gas build up and restores digestive health. Drinking herbal teas increases water consumption, which helps to ease constipation. Turmeric balances gut flora. And adding raw organic honey to herbal teas that relieve bloating adds an anti-parasitic property to the drink.

The herbal teas ease bloating, and improve health and wellbeing, while you discover the underlying cause. Be sure to check in with your primary care physician also.

Here’s to enjoying health, at every age!

Herbal Teas the Relieve Bloating

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Sweet Violet Tea Benefits

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A couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed foraging for tea in my own yard. Spring announces itself with a flurry of early blooming flowers and plants. I learned last fall that many of these harbingers of spring are edible, making them suitable for tea.

Since that day, I’ve enjoyed delicately flavored lilac tea and earthy redbud tea. From the backyard I gathered dead nettle and henbit. It grounds and centers me to gather wild edibles and savor them as tea.

I had one last tea to try, before this first blooming season ended. Sweet violet tea offers many health benefits and the gift of beauty as well.

Sweet Violet Tea Benefits

Sweet Violets

This common flowering perennial, which is considered an herb, is among the earliest to appear after winter. The hardy plants favor the edge of woods and are not too shy to show up in lawns and gardens, uninvited. The herbs prefer shady areas. Look for them near house foundations, in areas of the yard and garden protected by other plants and on the north side of structures.

The flowers range in color from dark purple to lilac to pale yellow to white. The plant, which reaches a modest height of four to six inches, has dark green heart shaped leaves.

In the late Victorian era, the sweet scent of the violet proved popular in fragrances and perfumes. The French created violet syrup and the Americans used this concoction to make violet scones and violet marshmallows.

Culturally, Shakespeare mentioned this sweet flower in these now famous lines from A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, with sweet musk roses and with eglantine.”

Sweet Violet Tea Benefits

Sweet Violet Tea Benefits

Medicinally, sweet violets have been used for centuries, valued for their healing properties. The entire plant is edible and rich in vitamins A and C and full of bioflavonoids, alkaloids and anti-inflammatories.

Benefits include:

Anti-cancer properties that are effective against lung, skin, stomach and breast cancers.

Soothe respiratory ailments such as coughs, bronchitis, congestion, asthma and sinus infections.

Contains high amounts of rutin and salicylic acid which act similarly to aspirin. This makes the herb helpful for treating aches and pains, inflammation, flu symptoms, headaches and arthritis pain. Those same compounds help to prevent blood clots as well.

Eases nervousness, anxiety, stomachaches, indigestion, ulcers, insomnia, swollen glands, canker sores and gum disease.

Lowers blood pressure.

Added to baths, the flowers and leaves help treat psoriasis, eczema, rashes, sores and skin cancer.

Purifies the blood, strengthens the heart and detoxes and cleanses the entire body.

Sweet Violet Tea Benefits

Sweet Violet Tea

This herb is available online or at health conscious stores as dried tea, capsules, syrup, tinctures, extracts, creams and salves. Fresh flowers and leaves are suitable additions for salads, smoothies and fruit bowls.

However, in early spring it’s fun to gather sweet violet flowers and leaves and create freshly brewed tea.

I gathered a handful of delicate flowers and several small leaves from plants clustered in shady areas of my yard. When foraging, choose a patch of violets that are in a familiar area, where no chemicals or fertilizers have been used.

To brew sweet violet tea, cover 2 to 4 teaspoons of fresh or dried flowers and leaves with 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and allow tea to steep for 15 minutes. Strain and sweeten with organic honey if desired. Or for fun, leave the flowers and leaves in the tea.

Sweet Violet Tea Benefits

Enjoying Sweet Violet Tea

I sipped my first cup of sweet violet tea and savored the mild flavor. The brewed tea is a pretty shade of pale green, the perfect representation of spring’s arrival. My freshly prepared tea paired well with a bowl of apple slices, creating a simple afternoon tea.

I might get to enjoy a couple of cups of sweet violet tea before the flowers fade away.

It’s just the beginning of the growing season, however. Dandelions are popping up all over the yard. And while some see these cheerful plants as weeds or wishes, I see tea!

Sweet Violet Tea Benefits

Start a tea time tradition. Pick out your favorite teacups below.

 


 

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30 Foods That Fight Inflammation

Inflammation is a condition in which a part of the body becomes swollen, hot, painful or reddened, in reaction to an injury or infection. Continued inflammation can result in premature aging and diseases, including those referred to as autoimmune disorders. What I’ve discovered, through the teachings of Anthony William and by switching to a plant based diet, is that the underlying causes of inflammation, when not due to an injury, are pathogens such as viruses.

I healed from years of chronic pain and the shingles virus, which had attacked my sciatic nerves, by eating fruits, vegetables and herbs that not only soothed the inflammation but killed off the viruses. What I’ve continued to learn about my health is that when I do get a slight injury, my body reacts with an inflammatory response still.

I am grateful that I know how to deal with inflammation.

30 Foods That Fight Inflammation

Fighting Inflammation

Three times, in three years, I’ve injured myself slightly. And every time, it’s my left leg that suffers as an inflammatory response is triggered. This time I tangled with the front door, loaded down with bags of groceries, and lost my balance. As I fell, I threw myself forward toward a nearby chair, preferring to fall onto a cushioned seat, rather than onto the floor.

I’d love to see a slow-mo replay of that move! I successfully, albeit awkwardly, landed with a thump in the chair…and twisted my left knee in the process. This poor leg, that I call Darling with a mix of affection and exasperation, seems to be the weakest part of my body. The shingles virus affected it horribly, causing a great deal of pain over the years. After my graceless plop into the chair, I scanned my body, mentally, checking for injuries. Other than mild pain around the left knee, I seemed to be okay. However, within days I felt the tell-tale signs of inflammation in that leg. They included heat around the joint, muscle soreness and tightness, spasms, and pain. I began to limp.

I’m not a doctor or nurse, however, I do know my body well. And although I have healed from so much, this leg continues the recovery process. It reacts to stress by succumbing to inflammation. Thankfully, I can speed up the healing process by turning to foods that fight inflammation.

30 Foods That Fight Inflammation

Fruits that Fight Inflammation

First of all, when dealing with inflammation, whatever the cause, avoid wheat and dairy products. Both foods can aggravate and increase inflammation in the body.

Add these fruits, as many servings as possible during the day:

  • berries – all kinds
  • cherries
  • cranberries
  • grapes
  • kiwi
  • melons – all kinds
  • pomegranate

These can be eaten fresh or added to salads and combined in a variety of ways in smoothies. While oranges don’t make the list, for fighting inflammation, they are great for soothing body pains. I add them to smoothies and salads or eat them on their own.

Vegetables that Fight Inflammation

Add these veggies to eliminate inflammation:

  • asparagus
  • celery
  • cruciferous vegetables – all kinds
  • cucumbers
  • leafy greens
  • onions
  • potatoes
  • radishes

These foods can be eaten raw or cooked. My favorite anti-inflammatory meal includes steamed veggies, from the list above, with a fresh salad incorporating the rest of the list and pomegranate seeds tossed on top.

Herbs that Fight Inflammation

And finally, include these anti-inflammatory herbs and wild foods, in the form of fresh, tea, capsules or tinctures:

  • aloe vera
  • astralagus
  • burdock root
  • cat’s claw
  • chaga mushroom powder
  • chicory
  • cilantro
  • cinnamon
  • cloves
  • garlic
  • hemp seeds
  • honey (raw, organic)
  • lemon balm
  • nettle leaf
  • turmeric

Many of these can be taken in capsule or tincture form, however it works well to create tea blends and sip on the hot drink throughout the day. Combine dried burdock root, lemon balm and nettle leaf in a single large cup, add very hot water, and steep for 15 minutes. Stir in a spoonful of raw organic honey to receive the healing benefits from four inflammation fighting foods. Cinnamon and cloves can be added to chicory for a savory hot drink. Turmeric and cinnamon, combined with dairy free almond or coconut milk, makes a soothing anti-inflammatory drink.

Detox smoothie, celery juice, anti-inflammatory smoothie, turmeric milk (made with almond milk)

Sample Anti-inflammatory Menu

When I realized inflammation had settled around my left knee, I focused on consuming foods from the lists above. Here’s what a day of meals looks like:

Breakfast – 12 ounces of celery juice, 32 ounce smoothie (frozen berries, mango and pineapple, bananas, kiwi, grapes, pomegranate seeds, fresh aloe vera gel, teaspoon each of chaga mushroom powder and hemp seeds)

Lunch – plain baked potato with cooked cauliflower, salad of leafy greens, cucumbers, radishes and pomegranate seeds

Dinner – steamed veggies (potatoes, white and sweet, and asparagus), salad of leafy greens, cucumbers, radishes and pomegranate seeds.

Snack – fruit salad, mixing all the fruits from the list together.

During the day, I drank plenty of water and cups of hot tea, combining dried herbs together and throwing in several cranberries. I took cat’s claw and turmeric in capsule form, increasing my usual dosage. Several times during the day I iced the knee, to ease pain and reduce heat in the muscles.

List in hand, I headed to the grocery store and purchased as many of the healing foods as possible. I noticed improvement within 6 hours of including anti-inflammatory foods in my diet. After a couple of days of eating these foods, primarily, I am well on my way to being back to normal.

And this is what I’ve learned, finally. Because even a slight injury seems to trigger an inflammatory response, especially in my left leg, I need to be including foods from this list regularly, rather than waiting until I feel inflammation. I do eat lots of potatoes, celery and cilantro, and berries go into my smoothies most mornings. However, I want to be more intentional, more consistent, about eating these healing foods.

I’d rather be proactive. And perhaps someday, a little bump or tumble won’t set Darling off!

30 Foods that Fight Inflammation

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Peppermint Tea Benefits

It’s seems fitting to close the year with a post about peppermint tea benefits. Although this distinctive herb flourishes in the summer months and it is available year round, many associate peppermint with the holidays. Think of gingerbread houses with peppermint candies adorning them. Or imagine steaming mugs of hot chocolate with a stick of peppermint as a stirrer.

For the more health conscious, avoiding sugar, peppermint leaves make a flavorful hot tea that pairs well with healthy treats. The herb does so much more than contribute flavor, however. It offers healing benefits as well.

Peppermint Tea Benefits

Peppermint Nutrition

Spearmint and peppermint are members of the mentha family. Peppermint has a higher level of menthol than spearmint, which has a sweeter flavor. The plant originated in Asia and the Mediterranean and has been used for thousands of years medicinally and in teas and cooking.

Nutritionally peppermint offers vitamins A, B and C, iron, manganese, calcium, folate, protein and fiber. It also contains small amounts of phosphorus, potassium, zinc and copper.

Mint is extremely easy to grow in gardens and containers. In fact, the plant is considered invasive. I grow peppermint and spearmint in my herb garden, off by itself where I can limit the spread of the plants.

Peppermint Tea Benefits

Peppermint Tea Benefits

Add peppermint into the diet for the following health benefits:

• Aids digestion. Improves hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach and soothes intestinal spasms. Peppermint calms and cleanses a spasmodic liver, reducing liver heat brought on by toxins. It also helps the liver rebuild its glucose and glycogen storage reserves. (From Liver Rescue by Anthony William)

• Soothes an upset stomach, easing nausea and indigestion, and calms the entire digestive system. Peppermint is especially beneficial for those experiencing irritable bowel syndrome, a condition that causes abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, bloating and cramps.

• The menthol in peppermint relieves congestion and eases the symptoms of colds and flus.

• Powerful anti-microbial properties freshen the breath and kills off bacteria in the mouth.

• Just inhaling the aroma of peppermint enhances brain function and memory and increases alertness.

• Balances hormone levels in women, easing a condition known as polycystic ovary syndrome.

Peppermint Tea Benefits

How to Make Peppermint Tea

Peppermint is available as an essential oil or a tincture. Dried peppermint leaves are available in bulk form for tea or it is easily found packaged in teabags. Use 2 – 3 teaspoons of dried peppermint leaves in a cup of hot water. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Use teabags in hot water and steep for the same amount of time. Sweeten with raw honey if desired.

My favorite way to enjoy peppermint tea is to pick a few sprigs of the herb from my garden. After lightly rinsing the leaves I add them to very hot water, cover and steep for 15 minutes. Peppermint leaves can be combined with a variety of other fresh herbs for a hot drink that not only blends flavors but boosts health benefits.

Tonight I walked into the herb garden, with a flashlight. The garden sleeps in the cold, crisp air. In late fall I cut back the mint plants however, hope spurred me on this evening as I peered closely at the ground. I found them…tiny peppermint leaves pushing upward out of the rich soil.

Those tiny fresh leaves created one perfect cup of hot peppermint tea. I am savoring it.

Peppermint Tea Benefits

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