Herbal Tea Feature | Peppermint

Ask my husband. Ask my friends. Ask anybody who knows me. They’ll tell you “Ingrid always falls asleep!”

I’m not the kind of person to stay up late and sometimes it seems like I need more sleep than most to make it through my day.

UNTIL PEPPERMINT INVADED.

Let’s set the scene, shall we?

We’re staying at a friends house and we love staying up and hanging out together. I’m usually the one who falls asleep on my husband’s shoulder when we’re sitting on the couch, and I’m infamous for falling asleep through movies.

Who falls asleep during Princess Bride?! TWICE?!!!!

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Until I found that when I drink peppermint tea in the evenings, I can make it through. There’s something uplifting, energizing and mind-clearing about this tea (I later learned it’s called menthol) that maybe will replace my morning coffee. Maybe.

(By the way, have you ever stopped to think that coffee could arguably be an herbal tea?!) #steepthat

But what’s even more interesting, is that Peppermint tea is more widely known for a different benefit! Peppermint tea helps even more with digestion, which is something I’ve had to regularly deal with, and i’ll tell you what, drink one or two of these babies right when you get up, and your whole insides will be awaaaaaake!

OK, enough of that kind of talk. Let’s get into the reasons I’m totally fan-girling (tea-girling? fan-teaing?) over a cup of pure, hot peppermint tea!

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Native to Europe, Mint actually has hundreds of varieties like Russian mint, peppermint, red mint, and spearmint to name a few. So next time you buy some mint tea, check what kind of mint it is and what other herbs and spices were added!

The cooling, minty freshness comes from the Menthol content in the leaves of the plant and is commonly found in dental hygiene products, and topical pain reliever creams. In fact, the menthol content is different in each mint variety. For example, Spearmint ( or Moroccan Nana Mint) has minimal amounts. Something to the tune of less than 1%. Peppermint, on the other hand, has the likes of 40%!

Peppermint also helps with congestion, stress, nausea, bloating, alertness, bad breath, anti-inflammatory, and is even a mild appetite suppressant! Ladies and gents, this basically means that you need to have peppermint in your pantries if you don’t already or you grow your own mint!

On that note, here’s a cool (pun intended) recipe I tried: fresh peppermint leaves and a couple of orange peels from a fresh orange in freshly boiled water. the oils in the orange skin blends so well with the cooling peppermint!

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Also, peppermint pairs well with citrus fruits, tropical fruits, melons, mediterranean foods, milk or dark chocolate and mojitos. lots and lots of mojitos. Amiright?!

I hope my little tea feature on peppermint helps you or inspires you to give it a try!

Keep on steeping, tea lovers!

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sources: “20,000 Secrets of Tea” By Victoria Zak and  http://foodiegardener.com/grow-mint-indoors-spearmint-and-peppermint/

 

Tea Hack: How Herbal Teas Can Help You Stay Hydrated and Drink More Water

I don’t know about you, but it’s pretty customary for people to come up with goals, resolutions, etc this month. But inevitably by February or March, we fall off whichever bandwagon we desperately jumped on!

One of the most common resolutions I hear is fitness goals. More specifically, to drink more water.

Put your hands up if this is you!! #shameless

Listen, unless you’re drinking heavenly glacier water harvested by a burly Nordic god, drinking water all day long gets boring and old after a while.

The rest of us force ourselves to schlep around a gallon-sized jug with motivational scribbles written with sharpies on the side. Some are successful, some of us are not.

If you have a fitness goal that challenges you to drink more water, I’m going to help you to own it from the beginning! Although my little hack I’m about to share with you is not infallible, at least it’ll add a bit of pizazz to your fitness efforts and at the same time help you enjoy and benefit from herbal teas!

Before we dive in to how to use this tea hack, we need to go over how much water we should drink in the first place:

Tip#1: According to WebMD and other health sources, your recommended amount of daily water intake is half of your weight in ounces. So if you weigh 150 pounds, then drink about 75 fluid ounces. (for more information, check out this article:

Ok, so here we go! Find a water bottle that is easily portable, fits in your bag (no milk gallon jugs!) and would only need to be filled twice or, at the most, three times. If you have a bottle that is convenient, it’ll help you stay on track! I typically use a Voss 850ml and only need to fill it 3 times to make sure I drink my prescribed amount of water. I’m good at counting only to 3!

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Tip#2: If you like your tea more sweet, add your stevia or honey after you steep your tea and before you chill it. Have you tried adding honey to iced tea?!

Steep your favorite cup of herbal tea and experiment with the strength of the flavor that you like the most. Steep longer or with less water for a more intense flavor, or steep your tea with more water and a shorter period of time to get a mild flavor.

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Pour your freshly steeped tea into the water bottle.
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Then top it off with good pure water or ice and enjoy!
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I hope this tea hack has been able to help you stay on track with your fitness goals! Comment below what your favorite teas are for using this hack!

Keep on steeping, tea lovers!
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How I Kept My Cold at Bay During the New Year

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”  – Hippocrates

…and indeed it was!

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I wasn’t really sure where to begin  my new blog. where does one start?!

I thought about pulling a Frauline Maria and “start at the very beginning” and go through the Do-Re-Mi’s of teas, but that sounded a bit too predictable.

In the meantime, I had been battling a suffocating cold since New Year’s Day that hindered both my breathing and my thinking. Two days and nearly a whole bottle of Theraflu later, it was getting worse.

I’ve GOT to do something else…

I’m not even sure (#1) what triggered the thought, and (#2) why I didn’t think of it before, but I was a the grocery store picking up dog food and stopped by the tea and coffee aisle like I religiously do EVERY time I’m there. I rummage through a couple of boxes of tea and finally decide on the Echinacea Plus tea from Traditional Medicinals. It was worth a shot! If it doesn’t work, at least I’ve got more delicious tea to steep and sip!

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I’m not kidding you when I tell you this. I drank 1 cup and a half that afternoon and my coworkers were already commenting that I sounded better! By the next day, the cold was 90% gone.

WHAT?!

(Just to clear the air, I bought my teas with my own money, this is not sponsored or a colab. It’s my personal experience and research I did! OK? OK!)

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Here’s the scoop on Echinacea, tea lovers:

Echinacea, or purple coneflower, is a plant native to North America and found mostly in rocky prairie-like areas. the above-ground plant is mostly used for medicinal purposes, although the roots also have health benefits as well. Echinacea has immune-boosting properties and commonly used in pill form, extracts, syrups and you’ve guessed it, TEA!
Now, let’s get really nerdy:
Out of the several species of echinacea, Echinacea Purpurea is the one that is commonly used and found in teas, supplements, and tinctures. There are certain polysaccharides within the echinacea plant that boosts our immune systems, and is a short-term treatment for upper respiratory infections.
According to the university of Maryland Medical Center, “a review of 14 clinical trials found that echinacea reduced the odds of developing a cold by 58% and the duration of a cold by 1 to 4 days.” Essentially, the polysaccharides in Echinacea increase white cell production to fight off viruses!
Let’s replace the lab coat for an apron and go into the ways that we can use Echinacea at home:
  1. TEA: I used the Traditional Medicinals Echinacea Plus (I’m not endorsed by them. I just picked them because they are US-based, organic, and non-GMO verified.)
  2. Tinctures, syrups, extracts or drops: I have not personally tried these before but in my research, I read a lot of positive reviews about the health benefits to using drops and tinctures. If anyone is interested, I’m planning on creating a DIY Echinacea tincture!
  3. Pills: You can also buy over-the-counter Echinacea pills, but I also haven’t personally tried these. Just word to the wise: Most standard supplements will claim to have echinacea, in reality have less than 10% echinacea and the rest is filler. So, do your research before purchasing!

Keep in mind that when you’re buying anything that you’re going to ingest, please make sure that you’re buying good quality ingredients. PLEASE check with a doctor before taking anything, as I’m not a medical expert or doctor.

BUUUUUT…..since I’m primarily focusing on herbal teas and have personally tried the Echinacea tea, that is what I’d recommend next time you’re feeling a little under the weather and need to kick that cold to the curb! Go for high quality loose leaf echinacea tea (fresh from our garden is ideal!) and natural/ organic topical products.

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This is how I would imagine if I had a lovely garden with Echinacea…sadly, I live in Florida and no such beautiful thing as this exists! Only in my dreams for now…

I’m actually thinking of planting some Echinacea plants as part of my herbal tea journey!

Thank you for stopping by my humble herbal tea blog! It means the world to me that you stopped by, enjoyed a cuppa and accompanied me through my Echinacea journey….although, something tells me that this won’t be the last time Echinacea makes an appearance!

Keep on steeping, tea lovers!

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Welcome to the STEAP!

Hello tea lovers! Welcome to the little place I’m calling the STEAP! Out of my love for all things tea, especially herbal teas, I’m embarking on a journey where I explore the world of herbal teas…from benefits to recipes, tea comparisons to my favorite accessories…everything in between!

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So, grab your favorite mug or teapot and steep your favorite tea with me! Thank you for visiting the STEAP!

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