September is a truly magnificent month, summer is still lingering gingerly in the air, but at the days edge there is the distinct whisper of fall. September is a month for seemingly rapid cultural and ecological transitions. Students and teachers go back to school after the long blissful days of summer. It’s a “get back in the swing of things” kind of month. Out in nature, leaves of our deciduous and annual friends transform from boastful bright green to flashy hues of yellow, gold, orange, red, and brown…oh and those incredible shades of neon pink! The growing season does not fade without a great show! By the end of the month when the landscape is ablaze in color and seed, the showy expression helps captivate the senses and allows us to give a final thanks and farewell for all the work plants have done this year. This color show also gives us a vibrant boost to help ease the transition into the cool dark months ahead.
September is a bit of a tippy month for me. Most of the days are still very warm and dry which I can easily soak up, enjoy, and remain in denial that the seasons are, in fact, changing. Unfortunately society seems to speak loudly through advertisements in September that, “the fun is over” and it’s “time to get your head out of the sky and back down to reality”. I feel societal pressure to let go of my full spectrum sensual awareness of the natural world and shift toward focusing on more internal cognitive processing, even though it feels a little early…I think there is still lots to behold in nature before the energy of the plants go back underground.
My garden has almost gone completely to seed by mid-September. The circle of life for my plants this year is coming to a close. I have been seed collecting since July, but there are a lot more species to collect seeds from as the days get dramatically shorter. So far I have enough fennel, coriander, flax, fenugreek, mustard, dill, and poppy seed to satisfy my cooking and baking needs for the year. And I have at least begun saving seeds from most of my medicinal and pollinator plants, which will allow me to expand next year if I decide to. I simply love experiencing the end of the season, when my garden begins to look tattered and you can feel the urgency for plants to get their seeds to maturity before the daylight hours drop below 12 and fall rains begin.
Your teas this month are representative of a month in transition. Memoria is a fall harvest tea with the lushest of fruits and flowers from the late summer harvest. As we transition from looking outward and being outdoorsy to looking inward and being indoors we can use a little extra digestive support. And with Coconut Green I give you perhaps the last green tea for the year before I begin moving into darker more fermented teas…so as a last hurrah, I wanted to blend the green tea with tropical coconut to keep the summer vibes going for just a little while longer.
Honeybush, Rose Hips, Rose Petals, Elderberry, Lemongrass, Lavender, and Calendula
What a great soothing tea! Memoria is a rich melange of summer’s harvest! This tea is a reminder of all the wonderful complexity of our ephemeral summer season. It is really nice to have a look back at the gorgeous bounty of this harvest season. This tea has a fruity and floral flavor with citrus notes from the lemongrass for balance and brightness. Memoria is a blend that is delicious and wonderfully antioxidant.
Dao Ren Green Tea and Toasted Coconut
This is an iteration of a toasted coconut green tea that I send out each summer. Toasted coconut adds a nice nutty character to an otherwise subtle green tea.
Green teas come highly recommended because they are high in plant derived compounds called flavonoids, which are anti-oxidants. Green tea is the best nutritional source of a group of flavonoids called catechins, which are currently being studied because in preliminary research they have been shown to be more potent than vitamin C or E at limiting oxidative damage in cells and appear to have other disease fighting properties.
Dao Ren green tea is picked early in the growing season and carefully processed to limit oxidation. This means it has significantly more anti-oxidants than more mature green teas. A few other benefits of regular green tea drinking are reduced blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease. A Chinese study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed a 46%-65% reduction in hypertension risk in regular consumers of green or oolong tea.
Dao Ren green tea comes exclusively from the famous Dao Ren Peak in Zhejing province of China. It is named for the Dao (taoist) priests who meditated upon the mountain in ancient times. This tea was carefully cultivated for the priests themselves, but today the Dao Ren Monastery shares this unique prized tea with the rest of the world. Picked at the height of spring this tea is very lightly fermented, just enough to capture both a floral and tannin character. Known for its floral and fruity notes, this tea is a delight for both the tea connoisseur and novice
Dandelion Root, Ginger Root, Fennel Seed, Peppermint, Spearmint
This is my Harbor Herbalist digestive tea blend. I am constantly hearing from customers about how effective it works for their digestive complaints. It helps increase digestive fire and relieves digestive upset such as gas and bloating. I recommend drinking Digest just before you eat or with your meals for seamless digestive support. It is more common for people to drink medicinal teas after they are already suffering, but it’s terrific to integrate medicinal teas such as Digest right into your daily eating routine.
Due to the high stress lifestyle most americans experience one of the most common digestive issues people have is slow digestion or indigestion…which can lead to tightness in the stomach, stomach aches, bloating, excessive gas, and acid reflux. There are many ways to manage this problem effectively. The most straightforward and long lasting lifestyle shifts to ensure great digestion would be to let your body relax for an hour after eating. When we take a break after eating, the body allows the parasympathetic nervous system to circulate blood to your digestive system and break down food quickly and effectively. On the other hand, when we eat on the go or rush through meals, our sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for shunting blood to your skeletal muscles during heightened physical activity or stress, reduces the energy your body has to digest food. This slows digestion almost to a halt. Part of living a balanced life is listening to the body and providing it with the conditions it needs to do the physiological work necessary for health.
Drinking digest tea with meals will give your liver and digestive system a boost and ease some of the pressure put on the body when you eat. Over the years I have learned what kinds of foods make me feel uncomfortable, so I make sure I drink digestive tea when I indulge in those foods. I also drink Digest when I do not have control over how a meal is prepared. Despite taking special efforts to eat foods that boost my energy and do not upset my digestion. When I go out to eat or head to a potluck, my self control seems to take a back seat to my desire to explore all the food possibilities presented to me…this is why Digest Tea is indispensable to me.