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Healing Herbal Teas
by Brigitte Mars, A.H.G.

When we drink herbal tea, the brain is soothed and nourished by the aromas inhaled through the nose and the tasty sensory messages received by the tongue.

Nothing warms the body and soul like a fragrant, steaming cup of herbal tea, inhaling its subtle scents as you slowly sip. Tea is among the most ancient, basic, and simple methods of healing and nourishing body, mind, and spirit. As science has proven time and agian, plants are endowed with important nutrients and potent healing compounds. Some of those elements come from the raw earth; for example, a plant grown in calcium- or iron-rich soil draws those elements into its own body. When you brew plants in water, the resulting beverage-herbal tea-is imbued with those constituents, carrying them into the body, where they are quickly absorbed. Even better, teas are easy to prepare, inexpensive, and delicious!  

Even though there is a wide array of medicinal herbal preparations, including capsules, tablets, and tinctures, drinking herbal tea offers unique benefits that should not be overlooked. To begin, teas are readily absorbed in the body. Also, teas are flavorful and aromatic. When we drink herbal tea, the brain is soothed and nourished by the aromas inhaled through the nose and the tasty sensory messages received by the tongue.

Another important benefit of drinking herbal tea is that it gives us an opportunity in our busy day to take a bit of time out for ourselves. Taking time out to taste and savor herbal teas provides an opportunity for reflection. Rather than swallowing a couple tasteless capsules with a gulp of water as we run out the door, we can use our time drinking herbal tea to think about intention--"I'm nourishing my nervous system," or perhaps "I'm strengthening my immune system"--as our brain receives signals from the subtle qualities of the plants.
Nowadays, most natural foods stores offer a good size selection of herbs and herbal teas. When you are shopping for herbs, try to buy organic, from companies that employ indigenous peoples to harvest herbs, and/or protect the rainforest rather than destroy it. A growing number of companies support the fair-trade movement, where plantation workers are paid a fair wage for their efforts.

Antistress Tea
Slowly sip a cup of this soothing stress-relieving tea
2 parts chamomile flower
2 parts oat seed and/or oatstraw
1 part lemon balm leaf
1 part catnip leaf

Brain Booster Tea
Sharpen your wits with classic "smart" herbs
2 parts oats and/or oatstraw
2 parts rosemary herb
2 parts yerba mate leaf
1 part sage herb
1 part nettle leaf

Decongest Tea
Help open the lungs and sinuses with these herbs
2 parts green tea leaf
2 parts nettle leaf
1 part dandelion leaf
1/2 part thyme leaf

Diuretic Tea
Helps eliminate excess fluids
2 parts dandelion leaf
2 parts nettle leaf
1 part peppermint leaf
1 part yerba maté

Blood Sugar StabiliTea
Help stabilize the high and lows of blood glucose levels
1 part burdock root
1 part cinnamon bark
1 part dandelion root
1 part marshmallow root
1 part blueberries, fresh or dried
1/2 part fennel seed
1/2 part fenugreek seed

Digestive Aid Tea
When you need some help preventing digestive distress
2 parts anise seed
2 parts peppermint leaf
1 part angelica root
1/2 part orange peel

Cold & Flu Relief Tea
Help relieve fever, infection & chills
2 parts echinacea root
2 parts peppermint leaf
2 parts yarrow flower
1 part elder flower and berry
1 part ginger root

Reprinted with permission from Healing Herbal Teas, ©2006 Brigitte Mars, A.H.G., published by Basic Health Publications, Inc., Laguna Beach, CA. Available in stores or visit www.basichealthpub.com

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