Archive for the ‘Health Through Tea’ Category

  • Holiday Road Trip With Ella

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    EllaDuring the holidays, our family had the rare occasion when we could all take time off from our jobs and busy schedules to make the 11-hour drive to visit my husband’s family. We packed up the car and tucked Ella, our 3-month-old puppy, into some blankets on the back seat with our son. Ten hours into the trip, Ella got carsick. We’re not too sure why she got sick, though she was watching a DVD with Ryan when it happened. I got everyone cleaned up without too much trouble, and we got to Gramma’s without any other delays. The whole incident, though, brought up a lengthy discussion on the uses and benefits of teas for dogs. When we got back home I did some research and was surprised with the results.

    Tea and coffee are dangerous to dogs because it affects their heart and nervous system. Like chocolate, caffeine is a stimulant that can cause all kinds of problems. Small amounts of caffeine can cause vomiting and diarrhea, whereas large amounts will increase heart rate and blood pressure and can lead to seizures and death. That means black, green and oolong teas should never be given to your pet. The question arises, is decaffeinated tea ok? It seems that I could not get a clear answer. While some studies say decaffeinated tea is all right in moderation, other studies say that even decaffeinated tea still has some residual caffeine, and a greater concern would be the dog’s reaction to the chemicals used in the decaffeinating process.

    I then researched herbal teas for dogs. There were even more pros and cons on this subject, but I found a few that seemed safe enough for dogs.

    Chamomile tea was safe in most cases. One caution, animals with allergies to goldenrod or ragweed should not consume teas containing chamomile. Also, never give chamomile tea to a pregnant animal since it can cause uterine problems. Chamomile tea is used to calm an animal; place a little in their water dish or soak a treat in it.

    Ginger tea seemed to be generally accepted for pets. It is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and can be used to treat a myriad of aliments such as gas, nausea, arthritis and heart problems. It can also be used as an antiviral and fever reducer. There are some cautions when using ginger. It can decrease blood sugar levels, increase absorption of oral medications and might cause uterine problems in pregnant dogs. Too much ginger on an empty stomach can actually cause a dog to become nauseated.

    Rooibos tea was the one herbal tea that I couldn’t find any negative side affects. It’s packed with over thirty powerful antioxidants that strengthen the immune system and doesn’t contain caffeine. With its natural sweet taste, dogs seem to love it.

    The best way to use tea for pets is topical. Here’s a few interesting ways to use teas.

    Brush your dog’s teeth with green tea. Green tea is great for oral health and helps kill the bacteria that cause plaque build up, cavities and gum disease

    Use green tea as an astringent for healing minor open sores. The antibacterial properties of green tea are great for drying out and healing hot spots.

    Spray your dog’s coat with Chamomile tea. It makes your dog smell great and, since Chamomile kills bacteria, it can sooth and relieve itchy skin

    Here are a few tea recipes that will help make your doggie more comfortable.

    Ginger Tummy Tea

    Pour a cup of boiling water over several slices of peeled fresh ginger root and steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove ginger slices and cool. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of Ginger Tummy Tea to your pet’s water about a ½ hour before leaving the house. This tea can be administered every 2 to 3 hours while traveling. Keep tea in the refrigerator or cooler and discard after 48 hours.

    Coat Deodorizer

    Brew a couple of cups of chamomile tea, cool and place in a plastic spray bottle. To use, lightly spray your dog before brushing. Keep tea in the refrigerator and discard after 48 hours. If your dog has itchy skin, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of vinegar to the tea.

    Remember, I’m not a veterinarian and am only sharing what I learned. Only your veterinarian knows what’s best for your particular pet, so before trying any natural or herbal treatments, always consult with him or her first. Please be a good pet parent and keep your pet safe.

  • Stress In Your Life

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    Does it seem like you never have enough time to get things done. Are you always on the go? Do you find yourself over whelmed with responsibilities? If so, you know what it’s like to be stressed out.

    Long-term stress can cause a lot of nasty health problems. It can lower your immune system making you more susceptible to infections. It has a direct affect on the cardiovascular system causing high blood pressure and increases your chances of heart disease and stroke. Continuous stress causes the body to stay in “flight or fight” mode and the liver produces high levels of blood sugar. If this happens, you’re at risk to develop type 2 diabetes. It can affect your memory; make you depressed, or more aggressive.

    There are some easy ways to reduce or eliminate stress in your life.

    Eat right – don’t skip meals, limit junk food, drink plenty of water, substitute teas for coffee and energy drinks. Green teas have natural antioxidants and a soothing and calming effect on the nervous system.

    Laugh or Cry – laughter releases endorphins that counteract hormones that causes stress. Crying rids the body of harmful stress induced hormones.
    Exercise – simple stretching exercises, a short walk, or yoga all work wonders to improve our mood and release stress

    Rest – lack of sleep actually increases stress. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Having trouble falling asleep? Listen to soothing music or sounds. Avoid caffeine late in the day. Try Rooibos Tea. It’s an herbal, caffeine free tea with excellent calming abilities.

    Take Deep Breaths – slow, deep breathes by inhaling through the nose and slowly exhaling through the mouth oxygenates the blood, clears the mind, and lowers stress.

    Talk – find someone to talk to. Make sure that person is someone you can trust and will be sympathetic and reassuring. Can’t find someone, then talk to yourself. Make a plan that you can easily achieve and then tell yourself everything will be OK and tomorrow will be another day.

    Touch – hold a loved one’s hand, pet your cat or dog, hug you child, or get a massage.

    Sound – forget rock and roll when you’re stressed. Try classical music, wind chimes, or simple natural sounds like ocean waves or cascading water.

    Hobbies – pick a fun hobby, something you enjoy and allows you to escape from the daily grind

    Get Rid Of Clutter – clutter causes stress so clean up your house or office and keep it in order

    Learn To Say “No” – don’t take on more than you can do in a day. Find different ways to get unpleasant tasks done. Learn to nicely say no to extra responsibilities or obligations that you know you can’t possibly fit into your schedule.

  • Boost The Healing Power of Green Tea: Add Ginger

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    Spiced Green Tea

    Green tea and ginger have become important elements in preventive health care. Their high concentrations of antioxidants boost the immune system. Also, both contain plant-based chemicals called polyphenols that neutralize free radicals in the body.

    One’s risk of developing cancer may be greatly reduced by Green Tea and ginger’s ability to neutralize free radicals. These polyphenols might help arrest the growth of cancerous cells and possibly diminish those that are already present in the body.

    Due to their antioxidants, Green Tea and ginger protect against blood clots. Ginger is a natural anticoagulant. Green tea is believed to help reduce cholesterol levels and promote healthy blood pressure. Thus, both are useful in the prevention of heart attacks.

    Ginger is known to help reduce nausea. Those suffering from motion sickness, morning sickness, or nausea that is caused by chemotherapy can benefit from drinking Green tea and ginger.

    Note that pregnant women should discuss the use of ginger with their doctor since ginger may stimulate uterine contractions.

    Both, Green Tea and ginger have potent anti-inflammatory properties that are useful in significantly reducing the pain and joint swelling associated with arthritis.

    Ginger also:

    • Increases blood circulation and reduces blood sugar
    • Has an aphrodisiac effect on the body
    • Treats colds and coughs by reducing fever, soothes sore throats, and helps clear up phlegm
    • Relieves heartburn, indigestion, diarrhea, and vomiting
    • Eases headaches, fatigue, muscle pain, menstrual cramps, gout, and soreness

    Caution:  If you have a medical condition, take medication, or are pregnant, consult with your healthcare provider before using Green Tea and/or Ginger either medicinally or therapeutically because they may interact with certain medications and medical conditions.

    Green Ginger Tea

    Peel approximately 1 inch of fresh ginger root and slice it thinly.

    Place the ginger in a saucepan, cover with 4 cups of water and simmer for 15 minutes.

    Let ginger steep in the boiled water for 5 minutes before removing and discarding.

    Brew Green Tea in another pot.

    Combine both teas.

    It’s recommended that you consume 3 to 4 cups of the mixture per day. Store mixture in the refrigerator and discard any leftovers after 24 hours.

    Or try Evanor Tea’s Spiced Green Tea; a light, not too spicy, refreshing drink that’s popular both hot and as Iced Tea.

  • Green Tea for Puffy Eyes And Dark Circles

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    Here’s a quick tip to reduce puffy eyes and lighten dark circles. All you need is green tea and one small cucumber.

    Brew two cups of green tea and allow it to come to room temperature. While the tea is cooling, thinly slice the cucumber. Put the cucumber slices in a glass dish, pour the tea over the slices, cover and refrigerate for a few hours. To use, gently blot excess tea from cucumber slices and place slices on puffy areas for about 10 minutes.

    It’s amazing how this works. Cucumbers have astringent properties that cause blood vessels to constrict, plus their cooling affects helps ease painful inflammation.

    It’s the tannin in tea that also works as an astringent. You could use black or oolong, but green tea contains considerably more tannin. The caffeine in tea also helps to constrict blood vessels, reduce swelling, and tighten the skin around the eyes.

    Cucumber and green tea will help lighten dark circles. because of their ability to constrict the blood vessels and tiny capillaries under the eye.

    To turn your next eye treatment into a spa experience, try adding a teaspoon of honey to the tea and mix well before adding the cucumber slices. The honey will help erase small wrinkles from around the eye.

    Always be careful when putting anything on or around the eyes. I recommend that you first test this on your wrist to check for redness or irritation, if so, do not place on the eyes. Of course, if you are allergic to any of the ingredients you should not use this procedure.

  • Ease That Sunburn With Tea

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    We finally got some relief of high temperatures and humidity, so I took the opportunity to do some yard work yesterday and ended up with a nasty sunburn. As the evening progressed, the heat and burning really started to bother me, so I decided to use tea compresses to ease the pain.

    Yes, you heard me right. Tea is a great home remedy for easing the burning and pain from sunburn. Black and green teas contain tannic acid that soothes sunburn and helps heals the skin.

    I hope you never experience a painful sunburn, but, if you do, here’s how I use tea.

    First you need to brew a large pot of very strong black or green tea, then refrigerate until the tea is cold. I prefer to use green tea because it contains powerful anti-oxidants. Green tea will help reduce skin redness and inflammation, while also helping to protect the skin cells from the effects of UV exposure.

    For all over relief, add the cold tea to a lukewarm bath and soak in the tea mixture for 20 to 30 minutes or until the bath becomes cool.

    When experiencing a localized sunburn, soak a clean cloth or gauze in the cold tea and gently apply it to the burned area for about 10 minutes.

    You can even put the cold tea into a spray bottle and mist the sunburned area. Keep the spray bottle in the refrigerator and throw out any remaining tea after a week. This is a good solution if you are going to the beach or on a picnic, just keep your spray bottle in the cooler.

    Remember that tea will stain, so use old towels and be careful where you use the compresses and spray.

    Usually one treatment will relieve the pain and reduce the redness associated with sunburn, but, if you want to, you may repeat the baths and compresses as often as you like.

  • Green Tea and Oral Health Connection

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    I’ve been blessed with a good set of teeth, but it could also be due, in part, to my love of tea.

    Did you know that green, black, and oolong teas all contain natural fluoride? They absorb it through the soil and water that they are grown in. Fluoride is helpful in strengthening teeth and preventing cavities.

    A Japanese study also revealed that green tea contains high concentrations of catechin. The antioxidants found in catechin reduce the inflammation that mouth bacteria causes and can reduce tooth decay and gingivitis. The study suggested that one to four cups of green tea per day could reduce the risk of loosing teeth.

    Another interesting study from the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Center has promising research that green tea can help prevent oral cancer. Polyphenols are found in green tea and they seem to retard carcinogenic bacteria in the mouth.

    Also, due to the limited fermentation process of green tea; it retains more of its antioxidant properties than black or oolong teas.

    To get the most benefit from green tea, one should use high grade, loose-leaf tea made from young buds. This will ensure the highest concentration of catechin for better oral health.

    Sencha Premium Green Tea

  • A Stressful Day

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    Ever have one of those days when nothing seems to go the way you planned it? Well, that’s the way my day turned out. By the time evening rolled around, I was exhausted and frustrated. So I turned on the TV  and made myself a cup of  Anti-Stress tea. As I sipped this slightly sweet, tasty cinnamon creation, I could feel the tension of the day melting away. Soon, I was totally relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep.

    (Ayurvedic Tea)