Tag Archives: peppermint

The health benefits of a jolly good cuppa…

It is snowing where I live today.  In the UK, snow is either greeted with unadulterated glee or with unadulterated dread.  I am not that bothered by the white stuff myself, but I will confess to loathing attempting to get around in this weather.  I am a capable driver.  It’s the other idiots on the road that I worry about.

snowflakes

Anyway, with this cold and snowy weather, I love making steaming hot cups of tea.  I love tea.  I love coffee as well, but I do feel that tea is somehow encoded in my DNA.  My Mother’s family were tea planters, and some of their knowledge has been passed down to us.  We know a lot less than they did, of course, but I find the best cup of tea is without milk, possibly with a slice of lemon.  Obviously, you make it in a pot, preferably with leaves rather than bags, and you always warm the pot before pouring the hot water over the leaves and leaving it to steep.  If you have to put milk in tea, then put it in after the tea has been poured.

tea and lemon

A few years ago, my husband and I made a deal with one another.  If we were going to drink more tea and coffee than we strictly ought to, then we needed to make it the absolute best quality we could.  That is what we have done.  We get fabulous tea from a supplier in Canada (yes, I am serious!).  It is my best friend’s favourite tea shop, and when we were visiting there last year, we went in and bought stocks of my favourite blend.  Seriously this tea (The Baroness, by The Tea Girl) is the most restorative cuppa I think I have ever had the delight of tasting.  It takes me from utter exhaustion to back up on my feet and raring to go.

It got me thinking though.  We all know that tea is an antioxidant and it doesn’t deliver as much caffeine as coffee does, but does it help with anything else?  Turns out yes.  Black tea reduces the risk of kidney stones and artheroclorsis, osteoporosis and helps to raise low blood pressure.  Oolong tea is great for mental alertness and Green tea… well, this might be the biggest super food out there.  People have claimed it has cancer prevention properties, but that might be accounted for by the fact it is an antioxidant., but it also lowers high cholesterol and helps with the old mental alertness.  I really don’t like green tea.  I don’t like the taste of it.

oolong tea

Then I looked into  Tisanes.  Well, first of all what is a tisane is any hot drink made of something not from a camellia bush.  Yes, really.  Tea is the only hot drink that comes from the camellia bush.  Any other infusion is strictly a tisane.  (My tea planter Uncle, a mild mannered man, was extremely vociferous on this topic).  Herbally, we know that chamomile calms and peppermint is great for soothing stomach pain.  But a Thyme tisane is great for coughs.  And Ginger infusion is brilliant for nausea, dizziness and menstrual cramps.

snowy

I think, in this cold and snowy weather, hot drinks are a must.  And if they do you good, then so much the better!  Keep safe and warm!

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Today I am on a very long car journey…

In North American terms, it is a bit of trip, but in terms of the UK, I am travelling a long way indeed.  Although North America has a lot more miles, we have a lot more people in one place … so driving here is a lot more difficult that you might think.  I will be travelling over 400 miles in a day, because I am off to fetch my Mum so that she can spend a week up with us in the new house.

 

I love driving, and I am happy to undertake long journeys, but it got me thinking about natural remedies you can use to make long journeys easier if you are not overwhelmingly thrilled with the thought of them.

cinnamon sticks

There are some pressure bracelets you can get, which use reflexology and acupuncture and pressure points to stop you feeling travel sick.  I know they have been used on ferry journeys to great effect.  There is also ginger and cinnamon which have been proven to help that nausea, and perhaps more surprisingly, diet coke!  I don’t know why that works, but it really does!

 

The biggest problem for me when I am on a long journey is getting tired.  I like to chose a radio station with some peppy music, maybe get the window open and let some air fly around (though not too much because it does horrible things to the petrol consumption!), but probably the best advice is to stop every 2 hours to walk around before getting back on the road.

mint tea

Incidentally, even though I am a HUGE coffee addict (sorry… I meant fan.  I am a coffee fan!) I would not suggest driving and drinking lots of coffee.  Peppermint tea is probably a better bet.

 

I hope to able to post on Thursday having safely returned home with our VIP (Very Important Parent!) for her mini-break with us.

Ouch… herbal pain relievers…

The idea for this morning’s blog has come out of yesterdays topic.  It is all well and good trying to prevent inflammation, but sometimes, the pain is there and although it isn’t bad enough to reach for the painkillers (remember what I said… if you need them, use them!) you wish there was something you could take naturally for it.

 

The good news is that yes, there are several different things you can try.  Of course, there are also lots of different sorts of pain.  I was going to give you the top ten natural painkillers… but I have actually found 11 of them.  So here comes the top 11 natural painkillers.

garlic

Number one is Garlic.  I loooove garlic, and it is absolutely awesome as an antibiotic.  I remember it being referred to as Russian Penicillin.  It is also good for earache.  That is one of the worst forms of pain you can have to my mind.   If you infuse some oil with crushed garlic and then drop the warmed oil into the ear (by the drop rather than the gallon) it works a treat apparently.  Thankfully, earache is not something I usually suffer with, for which I am very, very grateful!

cloves 2

Second on the list is cloves.  Cloves are fabulous for toothache and gum inflammation (plus they taste fabulous with Ham.  Sorry… I digress!)   I think toothache is almost as miserable as earache.  You do have to be careful with clove oil, the essential oil, though.  It can be very, very powerful.  I would actually put one clove in the mouth and crunch it.  That should do it.  Your breath will smell spicy, though you might need a gallon or so of water to wash the woody bit of the clove out of your mouth!

 

Three is Apple Cider Vinegar again.  Apparently it is great for heartburn, which is another good reason for taking it before you eat in some water.

ginger root

Four is ginger.  Ginger is great for muscle pain and is actually a constituent of several of the popular muscle balms you can get.  It also smells fabulous and tastes even better.

 

Cherries and Tumeric come in at five and six on this list.  I wrote about them yesterday, so please refer back if you are interested!

peppermint oil

Peppermint comes in at number 7.  It says in my research that Peppermint is good for sore muscles, but I also know it is EXCELLENT for headaches.  It is actually the menthol in the essential oil which is the force at work.  I also love the smell.  It is fresh and vibrant and green.  Yes, smells can be green.  Don’t look at me like that!  I know what I mean!

pineapple

A strange entry at number 8 is pineapple.  It is great for stomach bloating and gas.  Actually, this makes sense because pineapple is packed with important enzymes, and as your stomach is a veritable maelstrom of enzymes, pineapple is likely to even things out.  Lets face it, a bloaty and gassy tummy is all about imbalance somewhere in the system, so anything to even the scales is a good thing.

water drop

Good old water is number 9.  If you have a lot of pain, keep up the water intake.  Dehydration plus pain is not a pleasant mixture, and should be avoided.  Apparently water is good for general injury and pain.  I take that to mean, if in doubt, drink water.

horseradish

Number 10 is Horseradish.  This is great for sinus pain.  Of course, while it is clearing the blockages, it causes significant sinus pain, but boy oh boy does it work a treat on a blocked sinus cavity.

blueberries

And… drum roll please… number 11 is for the pain and discomfort caused by bladder and urinary tract infections.  Blueberries.  Interesting… I knew about cranberries but apparently blueberries have the same chemical in them and so both are good for helping to clear them up.

 

That was an interesting bit of research for me to do, and I hope it helps you too.