Tea Blog

Relax and Calm Down with Tea

Feeling overwhelmed, without focus, or upset? Interjecting positive habits like exercise, meditation and self care to our daily routines can do wonders. This is a time when we need to take special care of ourselves and maintain high immunities. And guess what? Drinking tea can boost your energy levels, improve your mental clarity and calm your nerves.

Unearth your gong fu tea set. Add some tea and pour the water…relax, delicious and calming. Perfection. This traditional Chinese method of tea brewing allows time to be mindful in a world of never ending activity.

Or, dig out your favorite tea pot from the cupboard. Brew your tea any way you want to. Pour a cup, relax, and reap the benefits! No matter the method, making and drinking tea can calm and center us.

Looking for some good teas to relax with? Try our Yin Zhen (Silver Needles) for a light cup of clarity and focus. Or try drinking A Few of My Favorite Things, a simple botanical blend that will calm even those tightest wound.

However you find your way to tea, consume it daily. Try to add ritual to your tea steeping and drinking. Ultimately, this is good for your state of mind and overall health!

National Tea Day!

National Tea Day is April 21. Why wait for one day to celebrate tea when tea can be enjoyed year-round? Here are 5 reasons why we should celebrate tea daily:

  1. Tea contains polyphenols. These antioxidants help bolster the body against oxidative stress and associated pathologies like inflammation, coronary heart disease and cancer.
  2. Tea helps to give you focus and mental clarity. It contains caffeine and the amino acid L-Theanine, which when consumed in combination can reduced mental fatigue, while increasing reaction time and working memory.
  3. Tea relaxes and calms us. The act of pouring and enjoying tea can help to wash away stress and settle us into our day or evening.
  4. Tea is exciting! Whether you like green, black, white, oolong, puerh, or botanical teas, there are hundreds of varieties and countless blends to keep you intrigued and enlivened!
  5. And last, but certainly not least, tea brings us together. Tea has traditionally been a way to pass time and relax with our friends and family. Although we cannot share immediate space right now, tea can make you feel connected. Have a virtual tea time with your pals or family – tea inspires communication and sharing, and there’s nothing like the bond that can be made over a cup of tea.

Written by Boo Curry, Tea Tender and Social Media Lead with Lake Missoula Tea Company

Tea Drinkers May Live Longer Study Says

Tea* drinkers might live longer, study says. Well, that sounds like music to a tea seller’s ears! And it’s no accident that we sell tea that we truly believe is good for you.

So what’s going on with tea and longevity? Tea drinking can have positive impacts on cardiovascular diseases. Flavonoids in tea help with inflammation and in turn help with blood flow. Tea drinkers consume approximately 20 times more flavonoids than non tea drinker.  The writer of the article consulted the doctor who also pointed out that it might not just be the tea, but that tea drinkers also lead healthy lives. Either way, consuming an abundance of tea sets you up for the opportunity to a healthier, longer life!

*Tea here means true tea from the camellia sinensis plant – black, oolong, green, white, puerh and yellow tea.

Do Tea Drinkers Live Longer The New York Times

Cinnamon – A Tea and Spice Super Hero

Have you ever found yourself needing a little extra warmth from your tea? Cinnamon is often used for this exact purpose. This potent spice does wonders for stimulating our bodies and warming them from the inside out. Read on for an herbalist’s perspective on why cinnamon is a tea and spice super hero.

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum; Lauraceae) is the dried inner bark of the shoots of the cinnamon tree in the Laurel family. Cinnamon is widely found in medicinal and culinary tea blends; highly valued in Chinese medicine as a warming and stimulating herb, used to stimulate circulation and clear congestion.  Ayurvedic physicians of India use cinnamon bark for respiratory ailments, stomach upsets, muscle spasms and diabetes. It’s action as a demulcent in the gastrointestinal tract is especially helpful for many problems due to coldness.

 What are cinnamon’s “warming qualities”?

A deep acting stimulant, cinnamon warms the internal body.  This aids many problems due to coldness such as rheumatic pain, cramps, spasms, gas, coughs, mucous, and lower back pain.  It also warms the kidneys and strengthens the adrenal glands. The warming helps enhance immune functions and our ability to handle stress. It is useful for diarrhea and replenishing strength, especially for the eldery.  It is a main ingredient in Tiger Balm, the popular topical Chinese ointment for pain relief. 

Daily consumption of cinnamon can lower risk factors and stabilize metabolic syndromes. Recent studies prove ¼-½ tsp cinnamon per day balances blood sugar and can control blood sugar problems, particularly in type 2 diabetes, and also lowers cholesterol and triglycerides. Those with type 2 diabetes or those who have elevated glucose, triglycerides or total cholesterol may benefit from regular inclusion of cinnamon in their daily diet. (Dartmouth College researchers reporting in Diabetes Care)   

Cinnamon’s prevention qualities

Cinnamon may help prevent and/or treat: cancer, cholesterol problems, heart disease, hypertension, prediabetes, stroke, high Triglycerides, ulcers, and wounds.  For women’s reproductive health, cinnamon relaxes the uterine muscle and calms painful uterine spasms. Further, complex, double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled scientific studies prove reduced pain scores for perineal pain and healing from episiotomy incisions. Another female disease where insulin and blood sugar levels are haywire and the sufferer is at higher risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke is PCOS(Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).  Researchers state “interesting” findings from studies, and encourage further research.

Slimy Cinnamon

Cinnamon is highly valued by herbalists for it’s extremely slimy quality. Cinnamon turns slimy if steeped in hot water for many hours and then chilled. In hot and/or extreme dry conditions, this is what you want in your gut. The slime helps retain adequate hydration and keeps your tissues moist. Cold water extracts extremely slimy chains of mucopolysaccharides from cinnamon bark which can be highly analgesic and wound healing. 

Cinnamon is a time-tested remedy for the onset of colds. It will resolve irritating coughs, sore throats and bronchial congestion, and clears stagnation throughout the respiratory tract. Cinnamon tea also makes an effective mouthwash for gum inflammation. 

Cinnamon has a food-preserving quality

This is why it features as a dominant spice in many traditional dishes throughout the world. It effectively eliminates one of the most virulent bacterial causes of food poisoning.  It eradicates Helicobacter pylori, the bacterial cause of most stomach ulcers and a leading cause of stomach cancer. Cinnamon is also effective against Candida albacans.  This is the fungus that causes most cases of vaginal yeast infections. Because it is warming, it is a perfect accompaniment for cold dairy foods. 

Much of the cinnamon imported into the United States is Cinnamon cassia, also called Chinese cinnamon.  True cinnamon is Cinnamomum verum and goes by the name Ceylon and Sri Lankan cinnamon.  The two cinnamons are very difficult to tell apart but differ in flavor.  Cassia is the sweeter and stronger of the two while true cinnamon’s flavor is more complex and light tasting.

Lake Missoula Tea Company’s cinnamon blends

While many Lake Missoula Tea Company blends have cinnamon, Sassy Citrus & Spice is our heavy hitter.  Other blends that have cinnamon:

Sweet Rhapsody | Baked Apple Pie  | Everything’s Coming Up Roses  | Cycle Goddess  | Joint Peace, Arthritis Blend  |  Joint Peace, Arthritis Blend | Virtually all of our Chais  | And Rice PuddingCinnamon Orange Spice

References and recommended reading:

The Herbal Kitchen by Kami McBride.  50 Easy-to-Find Herbs and Over 250 Recipes to Bring Lasting Health to You and Your Family.

The Mistress of Spices  A novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. 

Herbs for the Home Medicine Chest by Rosemary Gladstar, Storey Books.  Understanding Herbs, When to Use Herbs, Home Health Care with Herbs.

The Yoga of Herbs by Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad.  An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine

Healing Spices; How to Use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices to Boost Health and Beat Disease, by Bharat B. Aggarwal with Deborah Yost

Nathaniel’s Nutmeg, or The True and Incredible Adventures of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History, by Giles Milton

Written by

Greta de la Montagne, RH (Registered Herbalist), AHG (American Herbalists Guild), and Lake Missoula’s herbalist consultant and blogger, edited by Heather Kreilick.

Social Distancing, Create Ritual with Tea

Social distancing is affecting us all a little differently.  Those of us in rural areas have the luxury to social distance and have access to open space. This allows us to get outside more and separate ourselves from feeling cabin (or apartment) fever. Getting outside allows us to take a break from the onslaught of news and feeds.  We feel for others in urban environments during this time that don’t have as much outdoor access. Whether rural or urban, use tea to add ritual to your day.  Tea is know to help you relieve stress, maintain your immunity and has anti-viral properties.  Keep this in mind during this pandemic.

Lychee Black, the brewed tea in these photos, is made with essence of lychee. Lychees are small, translucent, sweet fruits found in Asia. They have a hard outer shell that you peel like an orange before eating.  This tea is delicious and is perfect hot or cold.