Herbal Tea Feature | Cinnamon

Cinnamon, spice and everything nice!
With Autumn in full swing, I couldn’t resist but to delve into one of the most popular flavors of the season: Cinnamon!

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HISTORY
Native to Sri Lanka and India, Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) does not grow well in North America. It is popularly used in curries in the East and sweets in the West, generally put. Cinnamon is actually harvested bark from the Cinnamon tree! Sometimes used interchangeably with Cinnamomum cassia, which is a different variety found in China.

TASTE
Cinnamon has a warming, spicy taste. The aroma is extremely comforting, hot and woody. Most commonly associated in the Western World with Autumn flavors, served on pastries, drinks and breakfast items.

BENEFITS
~ Fights against sluggishness, promotes circulation
~ Antiseptic
~ Soothes digestive upsets (colic, diarrhea, flatulence, kidney problems)
~ Used as a uterine stimulant, good for menstruation (caution!!!: consult a doctor prior to use if pregnant)
~ Arthritis and Rheumatism
~ warming against chills
~ Natural fighter against E. Coli and other viruses

USES
Drink cinnamon tea for internal relief or massage with cinnamon essential oil on the abdomen to relieve lower digestion problems.

STEEPING TEA
Steep a high quality cinnamon tea on its own or pair it with ginger for menstrual relief, or cardamom, cloves and nutmeg for an Autumn sipping tea to relieve chills in the cold seasons. Also, a nice addition would be Rooibos or Orange peels. Try MoxTea’s Viking tea! The Cinnamon is a wonderful wake-me-up in this tea!

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Now that you know a little more about the healing benefits of cinnamon, not that anyone needs persuasion, indulge this fall season with all things Cinnamon!

Keep on steeping, tea lovers!

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Sources:
Gladstar, Rosemary. Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: a Beginner’s Guide. Storey Publishing, 2012.

Ody, Penelope. The Complete Medicinal Herbal. Dorling Kindersley, 1993.

Zak, Victoria. 20,000 Secrets of Tea: the Most Effective Ways to Benefit from Nature’s Healing Herbs. Bantam, 2000.

5 Herbs that Help Kick that Cold or Flu to the Curb

It’s the end of September and the cold is coming if it hasn’t arrived where you live yet (in the northern hemisphere, of course). Snow is already falling in the higher altitudes and with damp cold, comes the sniffles, the flu, runny noses etc. You know what I’m talking about.

I already got hit with a sore throat. My weapon of choice: Echinacea.

But there are so many other herbs that can help with coughs, flu, fevers, congestion and phlegmy respiratory tracts that I took the liberty to compile a quick list of common-ish herbs that can help you this season!

ECHINACEA

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Otherwise known as a purple coneflower, Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) is a powerhouse for helping cure a common cold. (I’ve actually wrote about my experience with echinacea in the beginning of the year when I got a cold on New Year’s Day. ) The root and aerials of this plant is mainly used in modern herbal medicine and is a great antibiotic, immune stimulant, anti-allergenic and lymphatic tonic. One could also take Echinacea capsules, just double and triple check that it’s high quality and organic. However, the taste of the tea is quite nice, and I’d recommend that! Echinacea relieves a sore throat, cold and influenza among other uses.

HYSSOP

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A summer flowering plant, Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) is commonly known as a cleansing type of plant. It’s actually mentioned in the Bible over a dozen times. (“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7) Both the leaves and the flowers are used for cold remedies in syrups, teas, tinctures and essential oils. Hyssop is a natural expectorant, phlegm reducer, antiviral and promotes sweating among other benefits. Drink this tea hot at the onset of a cold/flu.

GINGER

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A wonderfully spicy herb, ginger (Zingiber officinalis) has been used for centuries in Asia to dispel chills among many other versatile uses (like a hangover for example). Ginger promotes circulation, sweating, is an expectorant, relieves nausea and vomiting, and is antiseptic. Either drink ginger tea made from the dried root or take a couple of slices and steep for 10 minutes in boiled water. Side note: if you don’t like the bite from a hot cup of ginger tea, try cold-brewing it instead and it goes down much smoother.

ELDER

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Described as a “complete medical chest,” these powerful flowers cure excessive phlegm and mucus. The elder flower (Sambucus nigra)is native to Europe and is actually surrounded by a wealth of folklore. The flowers are powerful in stimulating circulation, a great expectorant, promotes sweating and is anti-inflammatory.  Other parts of the plant, like the berries or bark, are used for other benefits but the flowers are mainly used for fevers, colds, coughs and flu. A hot cup of elderflower tea clears away the respiratory tract and an elder syrup is a great remedy for congestion. It pairs well with lemon and raspberry.

PEPPERMINT

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Who doesn’t love a cuppa peppermint tea whether one is sick or not! One of the most common herbal teas, Peppermint tea a cooling a soothing herb that treats fevers, congestions and even travel sickness. Much like ginger, peppermint prevents vomiting, nausea promotes sweating (but is internally cooling), and an analgesic. Another side benefit to peppermint is that it gives a gentle boost of alertness and is very uplifting. Read more about non-cold-related benefits of peppermint.
Bonus…if you’re brave:

GARLIC JUICE.

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It is great little warrior for infections but I don’t have the courage to brave this one yet!

I hope that as we enter the cold seasons, that you keep these brave little herbs in the back of your minds and tea cupboards for when the sniffles come on, you’re prepared to attack it head on!

Keep on steeping, tea lovers!

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