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March 27, 2015

Natural Remedies for Allergies

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:45 am

 

evil-attack-on-nose

 

In concert with our theme, this month, I wanted to share an article I recently read in “Mother Earth News”. The author had quite a few tips on how to manage the symptoms of seasonal allergies, some of which I was familiar with (and use frequently), others that were new but definitely worth a try!

  1. Build Your Defenses With Bacteria – based on research at the Osaka University School of Medicine, some probiotics are effective at treating nasal and sinus symptoms linked to allergies.
  2. Drink Green TeaGreen tea is packed with powerful antioxidants that block histamine and immunoglobulin E (IgE). Both of these naturally produced chemicals are linked with uncomfortable allergy symptoms. For best results, drink two to three cups per day.
  3. Take Quercetin to Quell Allergy Symptoms – Quercetin is an antioxidant, antiinflammatory and antihistamine phytonutrient. It has the ability to reduce allergy symptoms and improve lung function. Good sources are apples, onions, berries, cabbage AND tea!
  4. Flush Your Nasal Passages – Using a Neti Pot, flush your sinuses with a salt-water solution. Start with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt to 1 cup of water. This is an excellent way to cleanse and eliminate mucous and microbes.
  5. Eliminate Sugar – Sugar is highly acid- and mucus forming – helping to aggravate allergies. Try a 30-day low sugar diet and you might be surprised at the results. (this is probably the toughest for me!!!)

March 23, 2015

Tea Gown- Is There Really Such A Thing?

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:04 am

tea gown 1

 

tea gown 3

 

Tea reached its height in England during the 19th century. Especially the Edwardians (think Downton Abbey) relished their tea and the rituals connected with it. Afternoon tea, introduced by Lady Bedford around 1840, became the social event for women of the upper echelon. The emergence of afternoon tea not only offered an opportunity for social gossip and indulgence in delectable treats, it was also an exclusivity that eventually appealed to the rising middle classes.  It contributed to the creation of tea ware and equipment and even influenced the era’s fashion by designing the so-called “tea gown”.

The tea gown is an interior gown that emerged in England and France in the 1870s at a time when the growing number of etiquette manuals and lady’s periodicals contributed to the revival of teatime. The gown which was marked by Victorian eclecticism  and often incorporated elements of fashionable European dresses from previous centuries, with exotic fabrics and patterns.  The tea gown provided respectable women with an outlet for fantasy and innovation within the codified system of nineteenth-century dress and behavioral codes.

Tea gowns were intended to be worn without a corset or assistance from the maid; however, elegance always came first. However, during the 19th century, it was not appropriate for women to be seen in public wearing a tea gown. They were intended to be worn indoors with family and close friends during tea time.

Although tea gowns were meant for midday wear, they could be worn into the evening and women started wearing them in the evening for dinner or certain events at home with close friends and family. Tea gowns intended for day wear usually had high necks, while evening tea gowns had lower necks.

How things have changed! Today afternoon tea is a much more relaxed affair and the dress code not quite as strict.
Most venues have a  ‘smart casual’ dress code, so there is no need for men to wear a jacket and tie (unless otherwise specified). Slacks or dress jeans, collared shirt and loafers are acceptable. No sportswear or sneakers. For the ladies, on the other hand,  it still is the perfect excuse to get dressed up!

source: https://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/downtown-abbey-season-2-teagowns-and-relaxation/

March 20, 2015

Green Tea May Help Lower Blood Sugar Spikes!

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:10 am

 

This is good news – especially for people with a serious sweet tooth like me!

According to Penn State food scientist an ingredient in green tea may help reduce blood sugar spikes.

The study which was conducted on mice that were fed EGCG ( a catechin found in green tea) simultaneously with corn starch showed that compared to the control group, these mice  showed a significant reduction in increase in their blood sugar – blood glucose – levels.

For humans, this may mean that green tea could help them control the typical blood sugar increase that are brought on when they eat starchy foods, like breads and bagels that are often a part of typical breakfasts.

There is one caveat, however. To reap the full benefits – you have to skip the sugar in your tea – otherwise these effects are negated.

On the other hand, it might be beneficial to have a cup of green tea with that cupcake – I will it certainly give it a try!

Ref. The National Institutes of Health; Penn State (2012, November 13) Medical News Today

March 16, 2015

Herbs for Gentle Cleansing!

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:03 am

 

Spring is the time of renewal and even here in the desert, nature’s awakening does not go unnoticed. The aroma of orange blossoms fills the air and a sea of wildflowers paints the desert in beautiful colors.
On the other hand, spring is also the time, when we clean house – thoroughly, get our backyards looking nice and are getting rid of the old to make room for the new!

After the holiday feasts and the comfort foods of winter, our bodies deserve a gentle cleansing too. The accumulation of toxins often leaves us feeling sluggish and tired. Digestive disorders, headaches, joint pain, allergies and unwanted weight are often the result of toxic overload as well.

While our body is designed to rid itself from waste, this process can break down because liver and gallbladder can’t keep up any longer. When this happens, the excess toxins are stored as fat deposits and add to unwanted weight or enter the blood stream.

Cleansing, however, does not mean you have to go on a fast, or very restricted diet. It can be accomplished much gentler and easier by incorporating specific herbs into a well-balanced diet. My favorites are Nettle , Milk Thistle and Burdock Root.

Nettle – (Urtica dioica) has been used for centuries as a cleansing herb. Its diuretic action flushes the urinary tract of accumulated waste. It is rich in vitamins and minerals especially iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and chromium. It strengthens the kidneys and is excellent for allergies and hay fever!

Milk Thistle – (Silybum marianum) is a powerful antioxidant, stimulates liver function and even heals damaged liver cells. The seeds are rich in a compound that stimulates the liver regeneration of liver cells. In fact it is so powerful that it is the only known substance to provide relief from poisoning by death cap mushroom. Milk Thistle also assists gallbladder and kidney function.

Burdock Root – (Arctium lappa) is one of the superior tonic herbs. It alkalinizes and eliminates toxins in the blood stream and promotes kidney function. Its ability to expels uric acid from the body makes it perfect for treating gout and rheumatism. Like Nettle, Burdock Root is also rich in minerals and one of the best herbs for skin. It can be used internally and externally for exzema, psoriasis, acne and other skin imbalances that are the result of too many toxins in the body.

Whether it is to counteract a little overindulgence or to support your body’s cleansing functions on a regular basis, herbs can be a wonderful aid in this process.
In order to reap the most benefits, make sure to steep the herbs in boiling water for at least 20 minutes.

If you want to know more about how to use these and other herbs for health and wellbeing, visit us or better yet – sign up for our “Cleansing with Herbs” class on March 26th !.

March 13, 2015

Add Lemon to Your Green Tea for Better Health!

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:04 am

Green tea with leavesYou have probably guessed by now what our theme for the month of March is.

During the month of March I wanted to share with you the power and goodness that all things green have to offer. From green teas to herbs, infusions, tinctures and recipes – stay tuned for much information and fun!

Did you know that adding lemon to your green tea may increase the benefits to you your health.  An article by Dr. Andrew Weil takes a look at how you can make green tea even better for you.

Just like green tea, lemon provides antioxidants in form of vitamin C. While vitamin C by itself aids in digestion and fights infections, combined with green tea, it creates the right environment for catechins to be available longer.

This means that with the addition of Vitamin C, the intestine becomes an acidic environment in which catechins can be absorbed more readily.

So if you want a little more flavor and a little more health with your next cup of green tea, just add a little lemon!

Cheers

March 6, 2015

Matcha – Powerhouse of Antioxidants and Flavor

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:10 am

Green is the color of the month of March. Not only do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with  a whole lot of green, it is also the month when Mother Nature takes the paintbrush and brings color (especially green) back into the world.  The perfect time, also to feature green, and especially Matcha tea in all its glory.

What is Matcha????

Matcha, the Japanese tea made from the de-veined, finely milled tea leaf, is like drinking

                                                                                    health in a cup!

Matcha Green Tea Benefits

A 100% natural source of Vitamin C

  • Soluble fiber
  • Insoluble fibers
  • L-Theanine “ the  secret of the zen monks’ focus  and calm alertness
  • Caffeine (unlike coffee) its consumed slower because of  L-Theanine
  • Antioxidants – Matcha includes more of the antioxidant  (EGCG) than  standard green tea.

And Matcha green tea is said to:

  • Provide a natural  source of long lasting healthy energy
  • Slow effects of aging
  • Support healing, prevention & recovery from cancer
  • Improve oral  hygiene
  • Help the natural  digestion process & boost metabolism

All in all…….Matcha is known to provide a natural  source of energy – give it a try!

 

 

 

March 2, 2015

Stinging Nettle – The Natural Allergy Remedy

Filed under: herbals and fruit blends,Tea and Health — Kwingert @ 10:10 am

 

Name: Urtica dioica

Parts used:  fresh or dried leaves

Use:Internal and external

Contraindications:  None known

Side Effects:  None known

Drug Interactions:  None known

Character: cool, dry, astringent

Actions:  astringent, diuretic, tonic, nutritive, circulatory stimulant, promotes milk flow, lowers blood sugar levels,

,Stinging Nettle

It is the season……Allergy season that is! Everything is in bloom and many of us have a difficult time seeing nature blooming and blossoming out of our watery and itchy eyes. Allergies are rampant this time of year and many of my customers have asked me if there isn’t a way to treat allergy symptoms naturally. There is indeed!

Nettle is one of the most effective natural treatment for allergies, especially itchy eyes and sneezing. The reason for this is that stinging nettle contains natural antihistamines and anti-inflammatory properties which can open up constricted bronchial and nasal passages and thereby reduce unpleasant allergy symptoms.

Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, uses and and recommends this herb for seasonal allergies. 

In 1990, the National College for Naturopathic Medicine in Portland Oregon was able to scientifically support what herbalists have know for a long time. There, a double-blind study was conducted to explore the efficacy of a freeze-dried preparation of stinging nettle on allergic rhinitis. The study showed that the group treated with the nettle preparation showed moderately better results than the participants in the control group which were given a placebo.

As with any medication, botanical or otherwise, before pursuing a course of self-treatment, always consult your physician if you are pregnant, nursing a baby, or being treated for any serious condition.

In addition to helping relief allergy symptoms, stinging nettle has many other benefits and makes a deliciously tasting infusion:

 

  •  Nettle leaf is a blood builder
  • It is rich in calcium and  Vitamin C (which aids iron absorption)
  •  It is used to reduce uric acid and to treat gout and arthritis
  •  Acts like a light laxative and diuretic (high in potassium)
  •  Used to treat skin conditions (eczema)
  •  Builds adrenal and kidney function

Infusion: 

1-2 teaspoons of dried leaves per 6oz water, steep anywhere from 5-15 minutes. (The longer the steeping time the more potent the medical properties of the infusion)

February 27, 2015

A Different “Shade of Grey”….

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:10 am

martini

 

The book  “50 Shades of Grey” has cause quite a stir – as has the movie that just launched in the theaters.

Suggestive, seductive and sensual are some of the comments from viewers, and we wanted to create a drink that would match these descriptions in taste and flavor. The result : Our Earl Grey Martini!

For one martini, take 2 1/2 oz strongly brewed Earl Grey (a Souvia favorite)

2 oz gin

1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

1tsp sugar

ice

In a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice, add the brewed  Earl Grey, gin, lemon juice and sugar.

Shake well, strain into a martini glass and serve.

Cheers!

February 23, 2015

Five Herbs For Your First Aid Kit

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:10 am

 

These five herbs should not be missing from your first aid kit. Maybe your are already using some of them in your kitchen, but are unaware about their incredible healing properties.

  • Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globules): treats congestion, inflammation, colds, flu, chicken pox, shingles and herpes. Use externally  as salve or as an essential oils.
  • German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla): relieves inflammation, bruises, sprains, tension and pain. Use internally as tea or externally as a poultice on the effected area.
  • Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia): treats bee stings, insect bites, sunburn, headache, bruises, sprains and depression. Use internally as tea or externally as essential oil or poulice.
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): lessens headaches, fatigue, hangover, constipation, muscle aches and improves circulation. Us as tea or essential oil.
  • Spearmint (mentha spicata): relieves indigestion, headache, fatigue, fever, sinusitis and muscle pain.

Keep these remedies handy – not only are they  effective, but they are safe, gentle and without unpleasant side effects.!

If you already use some of these herbals, or have some great recipes in terms of usage, share them with us on this blog!

Olivia

 

 

 

 

February 21, 2015

Herbs For a Gentle Body Cleansing

Filed under: herbals and fruit blends — wbwingert @ 9:44 am

desert-wildflowers1Spring is the time of renewal and even here in the desert, nature’s awakening does not go unnoticed. The aroma of orange blossoms fills the air and a sea of wildflowers paints the desert in beautiful colors.

On the other hand, spring is also the time, when we clean house – thoroughly, get our backyards looking nice and are getting rid of the old to make room for the new!

After the holiday feasts and the comfort foods of winter, our bodies deserve a gentle cleansing too. The accumulation of toxins often leaves us feeling sluggish and tired. Digestive disorders, headaches, joint pain, allergies and unwanted weight are often the result of toxic overload as well.

While our body is designed to rid itself from waste, this process can break down because liver and gallbladder can’t keep up any longer. When this happens, the excess toxins are stored as fat deposits and add to unwanted weight or enter the blood stream.

(Note: We will be offering a class on “Cleansing with Herbs” March 26th – register online)

Cleansing, however, does not mean you have to go on a fast, or very restricted diet. It can be accomplished much gentler and easier by incorporating specific herbs into a well-balanced diet. My favorites are Nettle , Milk Thistle and Burdock Root

Nettle (Urtica dioica) has been used for centuries as a cleansing herb. Its diuretic action flushes the urinary tract of accumulated waste. It is rich in vitamins and minerals especially iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and chromium. It strengthens the kidneys and is excellent for allergies and hay fever!

Milk Thistle(Silybum marianum) is a powerful antioxidant, stimulates liver function and even heals damaged liver cells. The seeds are rich in a compound that stimulates the liver regeneration of liver cells. In fact it is so powerful that it is the only known substance to provide relief from poisoning by death cap mushroom. Milk Thistle also assists gallbladder and kidney function.

Burdock Root(Arctium lappa) is one of the superior tonic herbs. It alkalinizes and eliminates toxins in the blood stream and promotes kidney function. Its ability to expels uric acid from the body makes it perfect for treating gout and rheumatism. Like Nettle, Burdock Root is also rich in minerals and one of the best herbs for skin. It can be used internally and externally for exzema, psoriasis, acne and other skin imbalances that are the result of too many toxins in the body

Whether it is to counteract a little overindulgence or to support your body’s cleansing functions on a regular basis, herbs can be a wonderful aid in this process.

In order to reap the most benefits, make sure to steep the herbs in boiling water for at least 20 minutes.

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