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Healing Herbal Teas

Steering clear of inflammatory choices such as white sugar, harmful fats and processed foods, and replacing them with healthy choices such as natural, unrefined sweeteners, healing fats, and anti-inflammatory herbs and vegetables goes a long way towards reducing chronic pain and other health problems.

For medicinal purposes, it is recommended that one cup of tea should be taken four times per day, on an empty stomach or 30 minutes after a meal. Teas can be made through infusion or decoction.

Infusion: Steep the herb in a covered pot of boiled water for 10 to 15 minutes.

Decoctions: Simmer the herb in water for eight to 12 minutes. The typical "dose" is two teaspoons of herb per cup of water. Chinese herbal decoctions is the most traditional method of preparing an herbal formula in China. Decoctions can involve lengthy preparation and result in "teas" with strong taste and aroma. For these reasons decoctions are not as popular or as widely used in the west.

  • Try long brews for roots and leaves, this will boost the tea's potency.
  • Delicate flowers and leaves should be steeped and not be boiled, as this can reduce their medicinal properties. A longer steeping time, 10 minutes up to 2 hours, will yield a stronger tea with more beneficial properties.
  • Avoid steeping caffeinated tea (black, green, or white) in water that is too hot or for longer than 7 minutes, as this will result in a bitter, unsavory brew and higher caffeine content. Consider steeping for 3 to 7 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea.

Infused Herbal Teas

Chamomile has antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and mild sedative properties that confer medicinal benefits if the tea is consumed or the scented steam is inhaled. Chamomile is good for anxiety and insomnia and is also helpful in reducing indigestion and intestinal gas and in healing stomach ulcers.

The medicinal value of Chamomile tea lies is in the petals of the flower, but unlike other herbal teas made from the flower, should be steeped a little longer in order to get all of the medicinal benefits. This soothing, slightly apple-flavored tea has mild sedative properties.

Rosemary helps prevent stress-induced headaches. Rosemary helps keep blood vessels dilated, so it helps prevent headaches caused by vaso-constriction, the narrowing of blood vessels. Use 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary per cup of boiling water.

Thyme helps reduce cough, bronchitis, sinus pressure. Use 2 teaspoons of dried thyme per cup of boiling water, steep for 10 minutes, and drink three times a day.

Decoctions

Ginger root contains plant compounds that helps ease motion sickness, improves digestion when taken after a meal, and reduces mucus that accompanies a cold or the flu. Buy fresh ginger root in your grocery store -- peel, slice thinly and simmer (as described earlier).

    Ingredients:
  • 2 inches ginger root
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • Finely chop the ginger root and simmer in boiling filtered water for at least 20 minutes.
Dandelion root helps the gallbladder produce bile and is said to be good high cholesterol, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (in which fat accumulates in the liver of a person who drinks little or no alcohol) or gallbladder disease.

Licorice root is an excellent antiviral agent that fights many viral ailments, including bronchitis and the common cold. Caution: Avoid using licorice for more than 10 days if you have high blood pressure -- the herb can affect blood pressure levels.

Chinese Remedy - Mixed Flowers Tea

Relieves constipation, acne, irritability and impatience.

    Ingredients...
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. chamomile flowers
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. yellow chrysanthemum flowers
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. jasmine flowers
  • 2 cups water Honey, optional

    Preparation:
    Place all flowers in a teapot or similar container. Heat water to boiling. Pour hot water over flowers and steep 20 minutes. Filter out and discard solids. If desired, reheat before drinking and/or sweeten with honey to taste.



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