Headache Relief from Virginia Tea Co (with help from Mary Poppins). . . .

Once upon a time, I had sad news to give, and I was up all night thinking of how to break it. The next morning came with a pretty rough headache, but also the right words to say. Good thing this headache curing tea was in to ease some of my mental turmoil!

It’s got lots of pulverized leaves, I can recognize lavender and chamomile and there’s definitely spearmint in there too, though there are lots of fragrant flowers I can’t ID.

Virginia Tea Co is a Kickstarter crowd-funded company, whose done all the herbal medicine research so we don’t have to. They also source fair trade ingredients, and that’s a relief too.

When I tasted this, it seemed bitter to me, almost tasted like aspirin. Was it my conscience affecting my taste buds or was this just not my cuppa?

A few weeks later, I served some to a friend who’d been having a lot of headaches and thought he might benefit from it. He often describes himself as having “the palate of an eight-year-old”, but he liked it!…. After adding Paula Deen amounts of simple syrup…. in about 15 minutes, he noted his head felt less tense,  and later that night it hadn’t come back.

Well now we know Mary Poppins had it right, a (few) spoonful(s) of sugar helps the medicine go down! I know that some folks are sensitive to OTC pain relief options, or prefer not to use pharmaceuticals and this is a great option for them.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Virginia Tea Co.

Lavender, feverfew, chamomile, skullcap, and spearmint are blended together to help fight those awful headaches. They do this by relaxing your mind and allowing for better thoughts to enter.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Yerba Mate Mint by Choice Organic Teas . . .

I steeped this tea for 4 minutes at 175 degrees with one bag in about one cup of water.

The packet says to steep for 4-6 minutes but it smells plenty strong enough at 4 so I stopped there. Plus, since mint can get bitter if oversteeped, I didn’t want to wait too long.

It smells nice and minty while brewing. I can’t really distinguish it from plain peppermint tea by the smell. After steeping is over, the tea is a yellowish cedar-like color and not noticeably viscous.

First sip: Surprise! It tastes just like mint herbal tea–to me, anyway. Or at least not different enough that you would be positive there’s something else in there rather than just a variation on the minty flavor. (Maybe if I had prepared a cup of plain mint tea at the same time to compare against, that would have helped me pick out any differences, but alas–I didn’t think of that until it was too late.)

What that means is that this could be a clever way to have something caffeinated in the morning if you’re an herbal tea drinker and don’t care for green or black tea or coffee! Or if you only drink black tea with milk (like me) and are avoiding milk because you have a cold, but still need that caffeine boost. (I know that sounds oddly specific but it happens to me more often than you’d think!)

The mate isn’t roasted, I’m guessing, so maybe that’s why it doesn’t have a strong enough flavor to dominate this tea blend (after all, peppermint is a very powerful flavor and it’s hard to overcome that). So if you like peppermint tea, you’ll probably like this!

With sugar: It’s still good and minty, nice and easy on the throat (which means that it’s both good for colds and for vocal health if you’re trying to relax your voice and stay hydrated, although I guess caffeine is a little bit controversial where vocal health is concerned).

Overall this blend is both useful and enjoyable when prepared as a hot tea beverage, and it seems to have plenty of potential as a cold brew as well, although I didn’t try it that way.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Yerba Mate
Where to Buy: Choice Organic Tea

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Downton Abbey Lady Cora’s Evening Herb Tea from The Republic of Tea. . .

I smell Valerian Root…was the very first thing I thought when opening this single serve tea bag. Isn’t that funny that you can identify one lonely ingredient when it’s mixed in with others? Perhaps it’s because Valerian Root smells like feet – I don’t know! (Insert Sitcom Style Canned Laugh here)

Ingredients for Downton Abbey Lady Cora’s Evening Herb Tea from The Republic of Tea include: Lemon balm, linden flower, orange blossoms, chamomile, lavender flower, skullcap, passion flower and Valerian Root. None of which are on my personal faves list when chatting about or sipping on teas and tisanes but they seemed to work well here.

This caffeine-free blend of chamomile and lemon balm will calm the mind and body. The product description says these relaxing botanicals create a cup of tranquility that helps ease the nerves and is a nice bedtime herbal.

I still have yet to watch this series! I know – I know…what is WRONG with me, eh?

For those of you who don’t already know it’s an award-winning TV series, that has entranced millions of viewers and become a modern media sensation. Every episode is an explosion of drama, relationships and intrigue. Downton Abbey is home to the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants. From the pen of Academy Award® winner Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey is the most watched drama ever on PBS!

I wonder if this is one of The Republic of Teas’ most sipped on herbals?


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Republic of Tea
Description

This caffeine-free blend of chamomile and lemon balm will calm the mind and body. Relaxing botanicals create a cup of tranquility that helps ease the nerves. Nice before bedtime when a soothing cup is a welcome friend.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Throat Coat from Traditional Medicinals. . . .

Ever since I was a kid I’ve had throat issues. I got strep throat almost every year. My mother is a nurse and she is really into organic and natural products. One day she came home with this tea and she told me to drink it before bed when my throat was bothering me this one time. The next morning I swear that I felt so much better. Ever since, I have always kept this tea on hand for when my throat started acting up. It works every time. If the issue is strep, it may not rid it completely of course (you need to see a doctor and get antibiotics) but it will definitely ease the pain and make it a little more bearable. This tea is very soothing and it tastes delicious.

This is a blend that comes in a pre-packaged tea bag. Although I am not usually a fan of anything in a tea bag, I prefer loose leaf, but this tea brews strong enough that I truly wouldn’t know the difference. This blend is absolutely delicious, seriously it is! Not only is it soothing on a sore throat or just great for overall throat health, it is tasty and not the stereotypical “medicine tasting” herbal tea. I can taste the marshmallow and licorice the most, followed by the medley of herbs. It doesn’t even need to be sweetened because the marshmallow and licorice root do the job. I think that this could even satisfy a sweet tooth, that’s how yummy it is!

Every household needs to have this in their cabinet. Drink it at night before bed when you feel a sore throat coming on (or daily, for ultimate throat help and protection!) and you will feel so much better in the morning! So many times I have felt a sore throat starting and the morning after I drink this, I feel so much better. Not to mention it’s marshmallow-y goodness is delicious!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Traditional Medicinals
Description

Slippery elm or Ulmus rubra (Latin for “red elm,” so called for its lovely reddish bark) is a beautiful, native North American elm tree. It’s the inner bark of this tree that is actually called “slippery elm” due to its, yes, slippery, smooth, and slimy-in-a-good-way properties. Combined with licorice and marshmallow root, we think this tea blend is like taking your voice to the spa—because we all need a little comfort sometimes so we can get back to being our best.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Liquorice & Peppermint from Tea Pigs. . . .

I am a sucker for (well, lots, but let’s just focus on the task at hand) two things: cute branding, and licorice tea. Or rather, if you’re non-American, unlike myself: liquorice tea. (Oh, fer cute.) This tea? Has them both in spades.

Now, now– I know licorice can be divisive. It’s naturally sweet– sometimes, even too much– and herby in a way that can be weird. But it’s also warm, comforting, spicy, and frankly, I like the sweetness. Dessert tea without the calories or gobs of sugar/honey/maple syrup? Gimme.

This particular blend has a cult following of tea piglets, and so, has been on my radar for a long time. Recently, a friend handed off some of her stash and I was all too delighted to finally give it a try! This blend is not for the licorice/liquorice hater, but for those fangirls like myself? You’re gonna wanna get you some, and soon. It’s delightfully sweet, but balanced nicely by the cooling freshness of the peppermint, with a golden liquor and a velvety mouthfeel that I kinda can’t enough of. Tea that’s cute AND delicious? Pour me another cup, please and thanks.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Tea Pigs
Description

Sweet, liquorice, mint and sweet again.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!