Bird's Eye Tea Newsletter

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November 2012 Tea Newsletter

The month of giving extra thanks!

It is a real privilege to be able to drink teas with amazing herbs such as reishi mushroom, dandelion, burdock, yerba mate, tulsi, etc. Taking the time and effort to habitually drink teas that are most certainly supporting your overall health and wellness is wise beyond words. Allowing your food and drink to be your best ally will make a huge impression on the natural wisdom and intelligence of your body as you go through your life. Live boldly, by nourishing all aspects of yourself. Making tea into a daily ritual feeds your body, mind, and spirit. Tea can help calm and focus your energy, eliminate toxins from your body, energize, and balance/tone body systems. 

The herbs I use in each blend are absolutely unadulterated dried plant/mushroom parts grown and gathered at the height of their brilliant lives. I only use herbs that are organically grown with the love and attention they deserve.

Having you as a customer is a gift to me and letting me source and mix awesome herbs into Bird’s Eye Tea blends each month is such a joy in my life! Thank you dearly for being wonderful customers and supporting my dream! 

In your package you received:

-AWAKE

-MUSH-ROOT-SEED-BARK

-MULLING SPICES

-PINE NUTS: need to be shelled. Crack soft shell with fingers or teeth. The delicious pine nut is high in fat, protein, and amino acids

AWAKE

Ingredients: Yerba mate, Tulsi, Bacopa (brahmi), Spearmint, and Currant

Steeping Instructions: Pour 1.5 cups hot water over 1 TBPS tea. Steep 5-7 minutes.

This energizing blend will brighten your mornings this month!

Tulsi and brahmi are prized herbs in India to support memory and focus. Tulsi and brahmi are also considered adaptogenic herbs. I have spoken about adaptogens many times before, as I feel they are a very important class of plants in todays stressful world. Adaptogens help balance the body’s response to stress, especially supporting the neuroendocrine and immune systems. They help reduce the effects of stress (physical, emotional, and environmental) on the nervous system and enhance health and well-being. Being incredibly safe, they have a positive effect on the body, many adaptogens have a cumulative effect, which means they increase a persons vitality or energy over time and with consistent use. Bacopa is a nervine (calming/nourishing to the nervous system) and promotes memory and focus. Bacopa is very similar to gotu kola which I have used in several tea blends throughout the last nine months. Tulsi (holy basil) is considered rasayana in Ayurvedic medicine, a nourishing herb that promotes a person to great health and old age. It helps increase vital energy and is commonly used for patients that feel lethargic, have cloudy thinking, and feel overall sluggish or stuck. Like other species of basil, tulsi is warming due to its essential oil content and aids in digestive complaints. Tulsi also is an anti-depressant, it is renowned for its ability to counteract “stagnant depression”. 

Mate is a very popular herb in many parts of South America. It is said to have the “strength of coffee”, “benefits of green tea”, and “euphoria of chocolate” referring to concentrations of caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine found in the leaves of this tropical Holly plant (Ilex paraguariensis). Mate also contains a rich variety of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It is the national drink in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Naturally found growing as an understory shrub/tree in subtropical forests of South America. Because Mate is not as bitter as coffee or tea it is claimed to be easier on the stomach and does not cause jitters.

Spearmint and currant simply round out the flavor of this tea. A touch of each to brings out the aromatics and fruity tones of the other herbs. 

This is a really fun blend that I hope will invigorate and keep you focused during this cool dark season we are entering. I harvested the currants in this blend from wild bushes along streams and creeks in Nevada. 

MUSH-ROOT-SEED-BARK

Ingredients: Reishi mushroom, Dandelion root, Burdock root, Cinnamon, Fennel seed, and Amla

Steeping Instructions: Combine 1.5-2 cups water and 1 TBSP tea in a covered saucepan. Bring to simmer. Simmer 10 min to several hours. Longer steep produces stronger reishi herbal action. 

Despite it’s mellow flavor, this tea is a fountain of youth (so to speak) to support biotransformation in the liver and kidneys, naturally energize you, and give a little boost to your immune system this month. Because of the weather and holidays, November and December are often months of heavy eating and drinking. This tea will support the organ systems most affected by over indulgence.

Dandelion and burdock roots are very familiar herbal friends of mine. Dare I say, two of my favorite herbs. They are gentle and nourishing to the liver and kidneys. Burdock root works best if eaten or drank in tea regularly. I have made special effort to incorporate burdock into many of your monthly teas. Energetically burdock is a mover, as a plant she lives pretty much everywhere and anywhere we will let her and is an avid traveller. As an agent for movement within the body she stimulates the liver, kidneys, gallbladder, skin, and digestive and lymphatic systems to induce the removal of accumulated metabolic by-products and toxins. Clinical herbalists use burdock to support the excretion of toxins from the body and also to support beneficial gut flora. As a food burdock root is commonly eaten in stews and soups, most popular in asian countries. Dandelion is another common plant that lives pretty much everywhere humans do. Dandelion has a strong tap root which helps to aerate and loosen compacted soil. She also aids in the restoration of depleted soils. Many folks consider her a nuisance or a weed, but truthfully she is a wonder worker. Dandelion is always busy restoring soils in areas that are contaminated or difficult for other plants to grow in. Dried dandelion root in tea is used for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, abnormal blood sugar, and extremely beneficial to the liver. Dandelion works with both the liver and the digestive system to stimulate bile production and release bile from the gallbladder into the stomach. This expedites the break down of foods. She is a strong liver ally and has been shown through clinical practice to strengthen liver function.  

Reishi mushrooms are prized medicinal mushrooms in Japan, China, and were very important medicine for pre-contact Native Americans in Washington and Oregon. The species of reishi mushroom (Ganoderma oregonense) that grows in dense moist forests of the Pacific Northwest is only slightly different than the species that is cultivated in Japan and China (Ganoderma lucidum). Considered an adaptogenic herb, reishi helps the body tolerate stress without causing the nervous system to get jumpy and overly alarmed. Research is showing that reishi is an immuno-modulator and constituents in the herb prevent the growth of some types of cancer cells. Reishi is great tonic herb that increases overall vital energy. It is commonly recommended to drink reishi tea daily throughout Asia.

Amla is another adaptogen that is very high in vitamin c, anti-inflammatory constituents, and antioxidants. Being one of the most popular rasayanas in India, amla is commonly used to cure liver dysfunction, nourish the blood, prevent aging, restore apetite, and lower cholesterol. It has a sour taste which makes it a fun addition to teas. Amla is mentioned in ancient texts as the best medicine to promote resistance to disease, nourish tissues, and prevent aging. Contemporary uses range from aid in the healing of connective tissue and bone damage to immune system support (especially against viruses), protect cells from the damage of radiation, prevent heavy metal toxicity, and prevents allergy symptoms. This incredibly nutritious herb is one of the three herbs in the Ayurvedic formula “triphala” and is the base for “chyavanprash” which is a very rich medicinal jam made from fruits, herbs, and spices. Amla was a last minute addition to this blend because I thought the tea was in need of a drop of sweet tartness. The tea being primarily earthy flavors, I added a little pick me up, a top note, so to speak…and I could not think of a more powerfully nourishing one than amla!

I think it is a real luxury to be able to drink tea with amazing herbs such as reishi, dandelion, burdock, fennel, amla, and cinnamon. 

MULLING SPICES

Ingredients: Cinnamon, Star anise, Allspice, Ginger, Cardamom, Rose hips, Clove

Steeping Instructions: Combine 1-2 tsp tea for every 1.5 cups apple cider (juice) or wine in a covered saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Simmer on low 10-45 minutes. Feel free to add a bit of honey or maple syrup to mulled wine if desired.  

This blend is intended to give you the opportunity to share an herbal gift with family and friends. Brew up a batch of spiced cider or mulled wine for a party or gathering with family or friends this month. It will surely be a hit!  Simply simmer the herbs in wine (sherry, vodka, brandy, etc can also be used) or apple cider (juice) for a luxuriously rich infusion. This warming blend of spices will help keep you warm, support the immune system, and reduce stress. 

Mulling spices have been used for centuries to spruce up mediocre bottles of wine or adding healing properties to freshly pressed apple cider. Adding spices helped the flavor of the wine, but it also increased the shelf life of wine thanks to anti-microbial herbs such as cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, peel of citrus, and star anise or fennel. Poor bottling techniques limited the shelf life of many fermented drinks up until relatively recently. Still very popular throughout northern climates around the world mulled wine is a festive drink to share during the holidays.