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Tea Talk for Tea Lovers, Issue #008 -- A Well-Stocked Tea 'Medicine Cabinet,' Safe Tea Drinking
July 21, 2014
|Greetings from The Tea Talk!
Welcome to Issue 8 of Tea Talk for Tea Lovers, our monthly newsletter about the many benefits of tea for health and wellness!
A Well-Stocked Tea 'Medicine Cabinet'Many of us have a wonderfully well-stocked tea cupboard simply because we love the taste and aroma of this amazing beverage! But, teas and herbal tisanes offer so much more than a delightful, refreshing break during the day... Teas can also provide natural, healthy, effective support and relief for a multitude of common everyday health and wellness concerns, such as upset stomach, headaches, insomnia, sunburn, and much more.
The next time you pick up tea for you and your family, here are a few teas (in no special order) you may want to consider keeping on hand in your tea 'medicine cabinet.'
-- Chamomile tea - This versatile, caffeine-free herbal tea is not only soothing and flavorful, but it can also provide a wealth of health benefits, whether enjoyed as a beverage, applied topically, or added to a bath. Brew and sip some chamomile tea to help fight a cold, soothe an upset or gassy stomach, ease insomnia, and relieve pain (including arthritic aches, sore teeth and gums, and menstrual cramps). Used topically in a tea compress or bath, chamomile tea can help calm skin irritations (such as bites, burns, rashes, and eczema), ease joint pain and swelling, and soothe a sore throat or congested sinuses.
-- Black tea - With the surge of popularity of green, white, and even oolong teas, many of us have forgotten about black tea! But this familiar favorite is certainly worth another look... rich in flavor and health benefits, a cup of black tea can provide excellent support for a healthy immune system, help you lose those few extra pounds, reduce post-workout muscle pain, and prevent dental plaque buildup. Black tea is also a very effective stress buster - the perfect brew to help you relax and unwind after a hard or especially busy day!
-- Rooibos tea - Not only a delightfully fruity, naturally sweet beverage, Rooibos tea is also chock-full of health benefits. This herbal tisane can ease a headache, reduce allergy and hay fever symptoms, and help you relax and sleep when you're battling insomnia. Sipping Rooibos can provide effective relief from tummy troubles and other digestive issues, working quickly to relieve diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and colic. And, Rooibos' benefits don't end there... a comforting Rooibos tea compress or bath can help to soothe away skin irritations, such as diaper rash, sunburn, acne, eczema, itch, and more.
In next month's Tea Talk for Tea Lovers, we'll look at a few more teas that can be wonderful, beneficial additions to your tea 'medicine cabinet.'
Teas and herbal tisanes are delicious, fragrant, enjoyable beverages - and they are also effective, inexpensive, healthy, and readily available, which makes them wonderful alternatives for supporting and helping to manage everyday ailments, aches, and pains for you and your household.
As always, please be sure to check with your healthcare provider before adding any new tea to your (or your family's) day, to ensure it's a safe, healthy choice. Ask her or him about any potential side effects or risks associated with the teas you're considering (especially if you're pregnant, or are taking any prescription medications). And, we'd love to have you drop by http://www.theteatalk.com to learn more about the multitude of tea benefits for health and wellness.
Did you know... Green tea is a great choice for the man (or men) in your life, especially as he gets older. Research shows that green tea improves prostate health, helps to balance hormones, supports good heart health, and boosts energy!
Tips for Safe Tea DrinkingIt's so important to be aware of any potential risks or side effects when we're thinking of adding any new tea or herbal tisane to our tea stash. Once you've learned more about that new tea you're considering, and checked with your healthcare provider that it's a good choice for you and your household, here are a few other things to keep in mind as you're preparing to steep a tasty cup or pot of tea...
-- Use good quality water for your tea. Whether you love your tea hot and steamy or are an iced tea lover at heart, the water you use to make your tea will not only affect its taste, but can impact how safe and healthy your tea is, as well. If possible, use fresh, clean water for the best possible taste, and filtered or distilled water will provide protection against the dangers (and distasteful flavor and odor) of chemicals (such as fluoride and chlorine) often added to our water supplies.
-- Don't drink your tea too hot. Studies have linked regularly drinking very hot tea (over 69C / 149F) to an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer. So, before you enjoy that tasty brew, let it sit a few minutes after pouring to ensure it's not too hot.
-- What are your teabags are made of? We tend to take teabags for granted, appreciating their convenience, portability, and even their attractive packaging. However, although most teabags are made primarily from paper fiber, they do typically contain a certain amount of heat-resistant, non-biodegradable plastic, as well. (Some types of teabags are made almost entirely from plastic.) If you have concerns about plastic in your teabags (and the fact that this plastic will most likely end up in landfills, too), consider loose-leaf tea or healthier teabag alternatives, such as organic, GMO-free, biodegradable teabags.
'Iced tea is too pure and natural a creation not to have been invented as soon as tea, ice, and hot weather crossed paths.' - John Egerton
Tea Recipe of the Month - Carrot CakeOne of my favorite snacks with a cup of tea in the afternoon is a slice (or two) of moist, fragrant carrot cake. This recipe has been our go-to carrot cake recipe for many years, and is always at the top of my husband's baking request list! Quick and easy to make, versatile, and never-fail, this recipe is delicious any time of the year.
Carrot Cake RecipeYou’ll need…
-- 8 - 9 medium-sized carrots, peeled and grated to make about 4 c. grated carrots (a food processor makes quick work of grating carrots!)
-- 1 c. raisins
-- 1 c. walnuts or pecans (you can also double either the raisins or the nuts, and omit the other, if you'd rather)
-- 1 1/4 c. brown sugar
-- 1 c. vegetable or olive oil
-- 4 eggs
-- 2 tsp. vanilla
-- 2 c. flour
-- 1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
-- 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
-- 2 - 3 tsp. cinnamon
To make the carrot cake…
Preheat your oven to 350. Butter a 9" x 13" cake pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Mix the carrots with the raisins and nuts. Then, beat together the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla until just blended.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and stir in the wet mixture until just moist. Gently fold in the carrot mixture. (The batter will be quite thick!)
Scoop or pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake for at least 40 - 45 minutes (until a knife comes out clean). Cool on a rack for about 10 minutes, and then invert the cake onto the rack. Or, you can simply leave the cake in the pan and let it cool enough to be iced (you'll find the delicious Cream Cheese Icing recipe below).
This recipe is so lovely, as well, in a pretty layered cake for a special occasion (or just because). Divide the batter between 3 - 8" buttered, lined pans, and bake for 25 - 30 minutes at 350. Ice between each layer and the top of the cake, as well.
Cream Cheese Icing
Beat 8 oz. cream cheese and 1/2 c. butter together until quite fluffy. Gradually beat in 3 c. powdered icing sugar, and then stir in 3 tsp. vanilla.
Ice your cooled cake and enjoy! This cake also freezes very well, making it so very easy to pull out a slice for a special afternoon teatime!
Our Monthly Tea TipDon't be too quick to throw away those used teabags... These little gems can provide many additional benefits after they've been used to brew a delicious cup or pot of tea! Here are some ways to benefit even more from those used teabags.
-- Place a warm, moistened peppermint teabag directly on an aching tooth or sore gums for quick pain relief.
-- Soothe tired eyes by placing a chilled, moist teabag on each closed eyelid until the puffiness and ache fade.
-- Apply a moistened teabag to a minor cut to stop the bleeding.
-- Cover or swab a sting, bite, or minor burn (including sunburn or a razor burn) with a cool, moistened teabag for instant relief.
-- Keep a few used teabags by the kitchen sink. Moisten a teabag and rub it over your hands to remove kitchen odors, such as garlic, fish, or onion.
Wishing you a peaceful, tea-filled day,
Della @ The Tea Talk
Visit us at www.theteatalk.com to learn more about tea's many benefits for your body, mind, and spirit! You can also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/theteatalk and on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/theteatalk.
Questions or comments? We'd love to hear from you! You're welcome to reply to this newsletter, or you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please feel free to share this issue of Tea Talk for Tea Lovers with a fellow tea lover!
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