Smoky Lungs Tea Blend

Herbalism, What's In My Cup?

Welcome to smoke season here in our usually lush, rainy corner of Northwestern Washington. As fires in BC rage the smoke blows down to our little haven here in Bellingham, just like last year. The sun shines red and our throats all suffer as we watch the last days of Summer squeak by from the air quality in our own homes. Even if we stay inside as much as possible, however, we will eventually breathe in some smoke particles. This morning I finally made up a good herbal blend for this occasion, so maybe my throat and lungs will stop hurting.

Mix together the following herbs:

2 parts Peppermint

1 part Mullein

1 part Lobelia

With the uplifting spring of peppermint combined with the respiratory expectorant qualities of the lobelia & mullein this is a great cup to brew daily in times of low air quality. While waiting for the herbs to extract remember to hold the cup up to your face, deeply inhale the rapidly developing aromatic profile before you. This is a part of the tea magick, never forget to take a whiff.

This Cup’s Mantra

I expand and contract.

 

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What’s In My Cup? Ultimate Relaxation Tea Blend

What's In My Cup?

Sometimes I drink way too much coffee. I just think that it’s so delicious you guys, but by the 5th cup of dark roast from the french press I’ve got sweaty palms and a pulsating brain. Then I always regret going too hard on the coffee beans. Sometimes I get on my yoga mat and try to quell the anxiousness that way, but yesterday I had too much work to finish and I decided to turn to my herbs.

I crafted this cup of tea and it truly helped my guts, my brain, and my sweat glands all let go of the epic amounts of caffeine that was coursing through my veins. I added the lavender and the chamomile to aid with the rampant anxiety that goes along with heavy coffee intake. The kava is added to help relieve that ultimate headache we all know is coming once our palms get sweaty enough. Calm the system in its entirety with this blend of relaxing, delicious tea that is just perfect for the afternoon.

Simply Mix Together:

1/2 tsp dried kava root

1/4 tsp dried lavender buds

1 tsp dried chamomile flowers

Pour a mugs worth of hot boiling water over a tea ball filled with these herbs. Let them steep for about 15 minutes with an awareness that lavender can become overwhelming for some when steeped too long. As the tea is steeping take in the aromas flowing from the mug. Take 5 deep breaths with an intention of letting go. While drinking focus on the mantra: Live and Let Live. 

What’s In My Cup? All-Around Feel Better Tea

Lifestyle, What's In My Cup?

This jam packed cup of tea does feature a lot of different herbs compared to my other blends but I take feeling better pretty seriously. When I feel a cold coming on or have a nagging tummy ache I almost always turn to tea. This cup is meant to build up the immune system, open a closed heart, stimulate circulation, ease a stomach cramp or ache, and reduce headache pain.

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As with all natural remedies, one cup of tea is a small piece of what it takes for strong physical health. Make sure to make this tea for one or two days and get plenty of water otherwise to help the cells of the body do their work. I’d also recommend upping the veggie intake, the best bet is to add one nutrient dense vegetable to each of our three meals for a day or so. Now for the fun stuff.

Simply Mix Together:FeelBetter2.jpg

1 tsp dried elder flower

1/2 tsp dried purple echinacea

1/4 tsp dried rose hips

1/4 tsp dried hibiscus

1/2 dried peppermint

1 tsp Elderberry syrup

Put all of the dry ingredients into a tea ball and place into a big ol’ mug. Pour at least 6 ounces of boiling, not tepid, water over the tea ball. Pour the Elderberry syrup into the cup at this time and give it a couple of good stirs. Let the aromas of these flowers and herbs wash over our senses as you settle in to let the mug cool. Steep about 15 minutes, hibiscus can be too sour when oversteeped so be aware of a changing scent with long steeping.

While enjoying your cup sit with the mantra: I am strong.

 

 

What’s In My Cup? Tea to Kick That Cold

Lifestyle, What's In My Cup?

Elderberry syrup is one of my most favorite things, I’ve loved it since I worked at Medithrive in San Francisco. We carried an amazing medicated elderberry syrup that fought colds and got rid of body aches almost completely. Since then I’ve been so interested in the other ways that elderberries can be used. This cup of tea is adapted from the Wellness Mama‘s recipe for immune boosting tea using my own favorite blend of herbs.  I personally felt a cold coming on yesterday and this blend is just what I needed to warm up my immune system and kick it into gear before Cowbae’s mom’s epic party coming up this weekend.

Simply Mix Together:

2 TB dried elderberries

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp dried ginger root

2 tsp dried echinacea

pinch of black pepper

1 tsp local honey

Combine 16 ounces of water, elderberries, turmeric and ginger root into a medium sized saucepan and simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take the saucepan off of the heat and stir the echinacea leaves and black pepper into the pot. Let steep/cool for 10 minutes. Strain into 2 mugs and quickly stir in honey, 1/2-1 tsp depending on our preference. Draw the aromas of your cup into your senses and imagine yourself building a strong white light of energy around yourself. Use whatever healing light that you prefer, I like to imagine it sparkling and white. Drink your brew and emanate your protective, healing light and focus on the mantra: Healing is a power within me. 

What’s In My Cup? Digest & Detox Tea

What's In My Cup?

Since adding lemongrass to my home made face wash I’ve been really loving experimenting with the bright, vibrant flavor it offers. This tea is great for the afternoon to get everything moving through the system while also mellowing out the mind into the evening time. Lemongrass and lavender help with digestion and both chamomile and lavender are relaxing. Enjoy feeling detoxed and loosey goosey after enjoying this cup.DetoxDigestion

Simply Mix Together:

  • 1/2 tsp dried lavender buds
  • 1 tsp dried chamomile buds
  • 1/2 tsp dried lemon grass

Pour boiling water over all of the herbs in a tea ball into a big mug. Let steep for about 15 minutes, the lavender can begin to get pungently floral so be aware not to steep too long. While holding the mug let all the events of the day wash over you, if they stick, honor those thoughts and then let them go. Focus on detoxing the body and mind as the cup steeps and the linalool and limonene being to take hold of the mind.

Focus on the mantra: live and let live.

What’s In My Cup? Invigorating Detox Blend

What's In My Cup?

There are a lot of underutilized herbs out there in the world. After doing some research on cardamom I realized that it should really be put into an amazing golden milk recipe. If this flavor is too much for you then add a tinge of locally sourced honey to sweeten. Cinnamon lifts spirits along with cardamom which also helps the digestive system. Turmeric cleanses the liver and detoxifies the entire system helping clear skin and organs equally. Black pepper is thrown in to help make the transport for the other herbs more seamless.

Simply Mix Together:

6 ounces almond or coconut milk (whichever milk you prefer)

1/4 tsp cinnamon (less if you’re not into cinnamon)

1 cardamom pod

1/2 tsp turmeric

dash of black pepper

Heat everything together in a sauce pan whisking pretty regularly as not to burn the milk substitute. If you’re adding honey add it right now so that it dissipates into the milk mixture. Warm the mixture until steaming and all of the turmeric and cinnamon are thoroughly dissolved. Sit and take in the aromas that lift from the cup, stay with whatever thoughts wash over you. Don’t cast them away if they’re bothersome stay with them and let them soak back into the universe. Drink up and do some twist heavy yoga or meditate.

What’s In My Cup? Kombucha Home Brew!

Lifestyle, What's In My Cup?

I’m on about my fifth home-brewed batch of kombucha and I’m really starting to get it down now. We’re in a real fermenting phase around these parts, I think the next stop is kimchi. But until then let’s spend some time focusing on kombucha. It costs around $5 for a generic bottle of store bought kombucha, and that’s a great price for a one time specialty beverage. But unfortunately the benefits of kombucha don’t really begin to take hold until after about 3 or 4 days in a row of drinking a glass or so. That’s not very cost effective, but don’t fret because a SCOBY mushroom costs about $10 and will constantly grow and make more live culture SCOBYs out of itself. The company that I bought mine from also sent a .pdf that told me exactly how to handle my weird little blog once it arrived in the mail. I write all this so that you won’t be intimidated, it’s so worthwhile to start brewing some ‘booch now.

I’m going to breakdown the basics of making a batch of kombucha to demystify the process for everyone. Because I’m a believer that everyone needs to start making their own ‘booch. For your first batch you will need:

  • 1 gallon glass jar with bottom spigot
  • 1 SCOBY mushroom culture
  • 1 gallon freshly brewed tea
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • coffee filters or loose dishtowel
  • rubber band

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First of all be sure not to get a cheap spigot on the glass jar, these will brew multiple ‘booch batches so go for quality of cost effective with this item. As far as the SCOBY I linked you to my preferred company above. The tea can be anything, starting off with black or green tea will help to get the fermentation started. I started mine with hibiscus and it was a little too tangy but I’ve switched over to green tea brews and I have some real bubbles happening now. When the tea is hot mix in the sugar and then bring the whole mixture down to room temperature. A SCOBY will die at high heat. Pour the cooled tea over the kombucha mushroom in the glass jar and cover with the coffee filter or towel, the item just can’t be loose enough to let bugs through. Fasten the rubber band around your ‘booch and let the little guy fly. After about 7 days the brew should be ready to consume. Once the tea gets down to about 20% brew more tea and repeat the process.

Secrets for Delicousness

After a couple of kind of gross brews I finally dialed it in. The goal is to do a second ferment. Stay with me now. After 5 days in the main batch, pour juice into the bottom of containers filling about 20%. Then pour the kombucha in and bottle, leave at room temperature to let it get fizzy for about 2 days. This will re-ferment the tea kombucha with the fruit juice. I make the fruit juice out of soaked fruit or peels and water so it’s not adding sugar to the brew. If this doesn’t sound ideal I do recommend bottling the brew and letting it sit at room temp, the fizziness really does make it more delicious.

I hope that I have helped you feel more empowered to ‘booch it up. I will truly never look back and now I’m sad it took me so long to start fermenting my tea!

SCOBY

What’s In My Cup? Ultimate Sleepy Time Tea

Lifestyle, What's In My Cup?

While I use cannabis medicinally I don’t want to ever have a dependence on it, which is why tolerance breaks are important. When I’m beginning a tolerance break I have A LOT of trouble sleeping and it makes the whole experience a bit more unbearable. When this is the case I supplement the cannabis for some lightly medicated stem tea to give my mind and body that little kick it needs to get to sleep.  I tend to have just enough cannabis flavor and mellowing effects with out milk but those with a higher tolerance or more intense insomnia will want to add just a bit of fat to their cup to ensure that the body can soak up the THC.

SleepyStemTea

Simply Mix Together

10 cannabis stems [fresh or preserved in an airtight jar]

1 tsp dried chamomile flowers

1/2 tsp dried valerian

1/2 tsp dried skullcap

1 tsp dried kava root

Mix these herbs in a tea ball and place the ball into your most large, comforting mug. Pour 6-8 ounces of boiling water over the ball and let the herbs steep as long as you’d like, at the least 15 minutes. If you add milk to your tea add it after about 15 minutes so that it doesn’t curdle. As the tea steeps evoking aromas will wash over you. If troublesome thoughts arise spend a moment with them and then let them go. Snuggle up in bed with your mug and a novel, don’t choose a bedtime book that is an adventure or thriller to ensure relaxation in the mind.While sitting with your cup meditate on the mantra: Be Here Now. Shout out to Ram Dass ❤

As you lay down to sleep lay on your back with arms spread lightly to your sides. With each breath imagine a pocket of energy, first in your right shoulder, to your throat, to your left shoulder, to your upper left leg, to your upper right leg. Continue focusing on this little energy ball in a circle through these 5 points, this will bring wandering energy to your heart and relax the body in the process.

 

What’s In My Cup? Tea for Healthy Guts

Lifestyle, What's In My Cup?

We went on a trip to California last weekend and it was so much fun, my cousin was married and I saw the ocean again. When we travel we love to eat and drink the local fare,  but as two dairy free people who eat very little processed food we tend to get very sick for a week or so after we get home. This generally happens because dairy truly exists in almost everything so it’s hard to escape. Instead of lamenting about eating delicious foods I decided to hit the problem head on, so I formed another tea that will help create healthy guts and push anything through that your body may be having trouble digesting. Anyone who has recently indulged a bit too much or isn’t feeling 100% lately will enjoy the uplifting and revitalizing effects of this tea.

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Simply Mix Together:

1/2 tsp dried dandelion root

1/2 tsp dried lemon grass

1/4 tsp dried calamus root

1 tsp dried spearmint

Put all of these herbs into your tea ball and put into your favorite mug. Pour 6-8 ounces of boiling water over the tea ball and steep for 15 minutes. Remove the ball after the tea has steeped, the calamus can become overwhelming when steeped too long. While you sit with this tea, swishing around your tea ball, meditate on movement. Not just the movement around you but the movement within you. Think about the kundalini energy of the chakras and inhale the pleasant aromas wafting from your cup. Your mantra for this tea blend is: I eliminate bad, I emanate good. 

What’s In My Cup? Heart Opener Tea

What's In My Cup?

Lately I’ve been working with the creator of this awesome clothing brand that is based on crystal healing through imagery. It made me super inspired to spread some information regarding opening the heart which is definitely something needed in our society. Especially as social media continues to warp us to thinking we need to constantly scrutinize and judge instead of loving and opening our arms unconditionally.

This cup of tea is a must brew for anyone who is having trouble loving others purely. Also think about enjoying this cup of tea if you need to work on loving yourself and finding your inner truth.

Simply Mix Together:

1/2 tsp dried Lavender buds

1/2 tsp dried Rose buds

just a dash dried Hibiscus flower

1 drop jasmine essential oil

Put all of these ingredients in a tea ball or muslin bag and drop them into your most beloved mug. If there is any ingredient that you absolutely love in tea then be sure to add that too, this mug is about you! Pour 6-8 ounces of boiling water over the tea ball and take note of all of the feelings that may arise. Be with those feelings, no matter how uncomfortable, and try to understand them. Opening the heart isn’t just about opening, it’s about digging around in there and unlocking the secrets to why it closed in the first place. This isn’t always a happy experience, but I guarantee that the light at the other side is worth it.