by Cassandra Vincent
"After a fairly shaky start to the day, Arthur's mind was beginning to reassemble itself from the shell-shocked fragments the previous day had left him with. He had found a Nutri-Matic machine which had provided him with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost,
The first loose leaf tea brand I explored while in school in the US was The Republic of Tea. A friend had shared with me one of their herbals (yeah, I know it’s not technically tea. We’ll get to that), Ginseng Peppermint. I was never a fan of mint tisane but found I loved this crazy blend. It was such a surprising well-balanced taste and the ginseng offered a kick in the absence of real ‘tea’ caffeine. I went on to discover The Republic of Tea Blackberry Sage black tea and Ginger Peach black tea which were regular staples in my cupboard. I appreciated not just their unique blends, but also the loose and bagged options. As I still used bags a lot at this time, for travel especially, I really liked that their bags are unbleached. To me there is a massive difference in taste let alone the gross idea of sucking on something that has been through a bleaching process.
When The Republic reached out about their new line of herbal tisanes focused on women I was glad to reconnect with the brand. The line is SuperHerb Tea http://www.republicoftea.com/superherb-tea/c/superherb/ and the one I tried is Nettle. I have had many herbal infusions of just the herb alone and though some are fine this way others do feel like I’m taking medicine either from the blandness or outright yuck taste (valerian – love the effect but it smells like something died in my cup). The Republic of Tea blends peppermint and vanilla with the organic nettle leaves for a light and well-balanced infusion. It has a lovely gentle sweet smell from the vanilla in particular without smelling like a cake or something. It doesn't lure you in with a smell that ends up being far different from the taste - I hate a bait and switch in my tea. Nettle alone is more of a ‘meh’ feeling than a gross one but I prefer some pleasure with my medicinal benefits and this works for me. Like most well-known herbs nettle has been used for ages to aid in a variety of ailments and has been through a battery of scientific tests in the more modern world. Areas nettle is helpful for include kidney function, inflammation, hair growth and allergies. Nettle has been used in women’s health for hundreds of years including supporting pregnancy and fertility.
With herbs it is a good idea to make sure your individual needs are met. Like anything else an herb can interact with other medicines/herbs in an undesired way so I feel it’s a good idea to refer to your doctor and do your research. Also, I have found that herbs are different for different people based on so many factors outside other medications including body weight – I mean really, is that ‘recommended dosage’ on any bottle meant to apply to both a 120 lb. adult and a 300 lb. adult? Take that into account. Also when I’ve eaten and what I’ve eaten in regard to taking in a supplement has changed my results.
Now, I know that herbal ‘teas’ are technically not tea as they do not contain any camellia sinensis leaves. They are ‘tisanes’ – basically herbs steeped in water, sometimes with fruit and/or spices. The etymology of the word goes back to a reference to medicinal barley water (what the Japanese having been drinking for centuries and call mugi-cha, but that’s for another post). I am a fan of herbal infusions and have used them for years. I feel they have a place for discussion in the world of tea because of the similar way in which they are prepared for drinking (not manufacture) and how they have become connected in our society. If I m feeling a bit ‘under it’ I find an herbal tea will give me that experience of sipping a tasty hot (or cold) beverage along with positive benefit in those times when my body just needs it. I’ve told tea about my friendship with herbals and tea doesn’t mind. Tea is very secure about its place in my life;). What herbal teas do you have a good relationship with? Share with fellow tea lovers on Twitter and Facebook.
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