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Posts tagged 'alternative'

Ayurvedic Medicine: Seeking Wellness Through Tea

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 3 months ago 2567 Views No comments

These days, we face no shortage of health fads and crazes. Although there are new and unfamiliar ones popping up every day, we have also seen a resurgence of old, and even ancient systems of health and wellness management. One such system is Ayurvedic medicine. What is Ayurvedic medicine and what does it have to do your daily tea routine? Let's start with the backstory!

Ayurveda, meaning "life knowledge," is an ancient medical system that originated in India. It consists of many healing treatments, natural remedies, and medicinal products that today, in conjunction with modern medicine, are used to heal the body from the inside out. Ayurveda has many components: meditation, massage, cleansing, spiritual guidance, diet, breathing techniques, and much more. All of this surrounded by the idea that there are imbalances in the body, mind, spirit, and environment, that with the help of this practice, can be regained.

In the Ayurvedic belief, human beings are made up of three doshas, or essential elements; these are fire, air, and water. Each element lends us different abilities, like movement, digestion, or structure; if one of these falls out of balance, it may adversely affect the rest. By incorporating various ideas from the Ayurvedic system into your daily routine, you can help build a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Although Ayurvedic medicine is not a treatment for any specific disease, the goal is to "create balance and harmony, decrease stress," and even help prevent disease or other unwanted health conditions.


So, where does Heavenly tea come in?

A typical Ayurvedic medical assessment includes essential questions about diet and lifestyle, with the ultimate goal of balancing the doshas. Just as important as what we omit from our diet is what we include in it. High-quality tea is one of the items that is definitely recommended to be included in a healthy regimen.

Ayurvedic medicine is about detoxifying your body in a wholesome way that is as close to nature as possible. Certain herbs and spices, often thought to be medicinal, are commonly found in Ayurvedic teas, and especially in chai blends, which have their roots in India. These include cardamom, cumin, turmeric, ginger, arjuna, Indian gooseberry, and many more.

Variations of chai blends by Heavenly Tea Leaves include Turmeric Chili Chai, White Chai, and Rooibos Cream Chai; all of these blends serve to create warmth and feature fiery ingredients like ginger, black and red pepper, and cinnamon. These have been shown to rev up the metabolism and are without a doubt part of a balanced Ayurvedic lifestyle.

Ginger, a super-strong ingredient with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, is also found in Heavenly Tea Leaves' Ginger Jazz and Spiced Turmeric, along with other sought-after herbs like holy basil, and of course, the coveted black tea base itself. A related blend, Turmeric Bliss, contains (aside from the obvious but ultra-powerful turmeric) florals like hibiscus and rose petal, and citrusy orange peel, which both serve to balance the depth of heartier but equally beneficial ingredients like cloves. The final Ayurvedic tea that perhaps encompasses all of the doshas needed for the idea balance is Uplift. This wellness-centered blend even contains mint, guarana seed, and chili!

With the goal of detoxifying, balancing, and enriching our everyday lives through how we move and consume things, tea can become a central component in the dedicated practice of Ayurvedic medicine. Alongside these wellness goals, tea has the secondary benefit of uniting loved ones and facilitating a sense of community, which is also a key component in an Ayurvedic lifestyle. Having a number of delicious, exciting, and wholesome Heavenly Tea Leaves teas to choose from, we say dive right in.


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*Disclaimer*

According to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine: "Many Ayurvedic materials have not been thoroughly studied in either Western or Indian research. Some of the products used in Ayurvedic medicine contain herbs, metals, minerals, or other materials that may be harmful if used improperly or without the direction of a trained practitioner. Ayurvedic medicines are regulated as dietary supplements rather than as drugs in the United States, so they are not required to meet the safety and efficacy standards for conventional medicines. These medicines can interact, or work against, the effects of Western medicines. Investigate the training and background of Ayurvedic practitioners whom you intend to use . . . It's important to discuss any Ayurvedic treatments that you use with your doctor. Women who are pregnant or nursing, or people who are thinking of using Ayurvedic therapy to treat a child, should consult their healthcare provider. It is important to make sure that any diagnosis of a disease or condition has been made by a healthcare provider who has substantial conventional medical training and experience with managing that disease or condition. While Ayurveda can have positive effects when used as a complementary therapy in combination with standard, conventional medical care, it should not replace standard, conventional medical care, especially when treating serious conditions."

​Tea as Alternative Medicine (Health Benefits of Tea)

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 2 years ago 10363 Views No comments

For as long as tea has been around (millennia, that is), the drink has gone hand-in-hand with healing. Eastern medicine has prized various teas for their natural healing abilities.

Of course, while we love to take tea with a lump of sugar, we must also be careful to take its curative abilities with a grain of salt. Alternative medical remedies may help alleviate or even prevent certain conditions, but it may never act as a full replacement to scientifically validated Western medicine.

Holistic and integrative practitioners like Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy prefer to take a "whole person" approach to medicine – that is, never using exclusively one treatment or prevention method, but rather, using all of them. In establishing Heavenly Tea Leaves, our founder, Noushin Ebrani, has found that drinking tea on a regular basis is one of the many choices you can make to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. While a number of studies have linked tea to preventative and even curative benefits, we simply see tea as a piece of the puzzle in healing.


Though no single method can work miracles, the powerful components in tea have been shown to help combat the first signs of bodily damage. Here are a few tea types to add into your regimen of a natural diet and frequent exercise:

Chamomile:

This tea is a famous bedtime relaxation remedy, but a secondary and equally important benefit is digestion. Chamomile has long been used to treat colic in infants and is also a common remedy to alleviate diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome along with upset stomach, ulcers, flatulence, and more. But the chief digestive benefit to chamomile seems to be for the relief of acid reflux and other gastroesophageal disorders. Because of its natural anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, the tea (or the extract) serves as a natural antacid. In addition, chamomile's calming properties contribute to stress relief, which is a huge component in reducing acid reflux flare-ups.

Beyond digestive aid, chamomile is suggested to provide anti-inflammatory benefits. It has also been shown to help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in certain cases. Try our Chamomile for the smooth, relaxing whole leaf tea you've been looking for.

Lavender:

In the realm of herbal teas, perhaps the best-known aid for relaxation and de-stressing is lavender. One whiff of its lovely floral scent will transport you to the rural lavender fields of France. Lavender has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years thanks to its large amounts of vitamins and minerals not often found in a single plant. Because of those ingredients plus its phenolic compounds and terpenes, lavender packs a powerful punch. Whether in the form of a tea, an essential oil, a capsule, or otherwise, lavender's calming character is undeniable. The primary oil found in lavender, called lavandin, has been demonstrated to lend sedating and muscle relaxing effects. The flower has also been used to reduce muscle spasms and headaches, balance mood, aid sleep, treat anxiety by offsetting stress hormones, and suppress pain. No wonder it's known as a relaxant! Other benefits of drinking lavender include antibacterial and antifungal powers. Heavenly Tea Leaves' Chamomile Lavender is definitely a customer favorite!

Green Tea:

Perhaps the most lauded tea in terms of health benefits is the vegetal, antioxidant-rich green tea. The tea's bioactive compounds help reduce inflammation, which in turn may contribute to cancer prevention. Green tea contains about 30% polyphenols (specifically catechins like EGCG), which makes it a very rich source of powerful antioxidants. While these antioxidants fight free radical formation in the body, they also help ward off many diseases, including the most pernicious, like cancer. Further, a number of studies that have specifically focused on breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers have shown that drinking more green tea was inversely related to the development of cancer cells in participants. This is not to say that green tea alone is a prevention or a cure, but it may certainly contribute. But remember: Always choose a high quality green tea. Lower quality green teas often contain excessive fluoride, and possibly other additives, making it likely more harmful than helpful. Our vast line of green teas gives you plenty of options for a range of flavor profiles and blends.

Oolong Tea:

While many teas have been attributed to helping drinkers lose weight, oolong is king. Consumption of natural oolong tea has been linked in studies to both weight loss and body fat loss according to the LiveStrong foundation; this comes with the caveat that the oolong tea replaces higher calorie beverages and is part of a healthy diet. The specific compounds in oolong tea, polyphenols (and again, catechins), are responsible for this weight and fat loss property, even effective in high-sugar diets in some instances. Not to mention, oolong contains caffeine, a metabolic stimulant and possible weight loss aid and appetite suppressant. A note: One 2013 study showed that drinking tea hot contributes to higher levels of weight loss than having it on ice. Tea for thought!

Pu-erh Tea:

Last but not least on our list of suggested medicinal teas, there is pu-erh. Because it is the most oxidized type of tea, it doesn't pack the antioxidant punch of some of its counterparts, but it instead has been viewed as extremely heart-healthy. In addition to a general cardiovascular benefit, pu-erh has been credited for the reduction of serum cholesterol. Because pu-erh is aged and goes through a fermentation process before it is dried, it not only delivers a rich taste, but it is also high in micro-organisms that in turn produce lovastatin, a naturally occuring statin (yes, like the drugs we take to reduce bad cholesterol). So, if keeping your heart super healthy is on your mind, pu-erh is likely a great choice. Our simple, mild, and earthy Royal Pu-erh tastes and feels divine. Why not give it a try?


So, holistic lesson learned – while tea is delicious, it's also a true health food and a powerful form of alternative or integrative medicine. Adding various teas in your daily routine can help you start taking the "whole-person" approach in order to treat or prevent certain ailments and contribute to overall well-being. Health is simply a collection of habits. One day at a time, including tea can be one simple and life-altering habit. Make it yours!



**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Iced Tea: How it All Began (History of Iced Tea)

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 2 years ago 16923 Views No comments

There's no doubt that one of the most refreshing summertime treats is a tall, cold glass of iced tea. Powders and instant mixes can move aside – we prefer the fresh, cold-brewed kind, filled with natural flavor and nourishment.

Today, iced tea in all its varieties is an American staple. It's ubiquitous, everywhere from the supermarket to your local coffee shop, and it's even a standard alternative at lemonade stands. By some accounts, iced tea accounts for about 85% of tea consumption in the U.S. But as hot tea has ancient origins, the story of iced tea's birth is lesser known.

So, where did this satisfying warm-weather beverage come from?

Tea had been grown in America by colonists since the 1600s starting in South Carolina and spreading across the South. The first known published iced tea recipes in the U.S. appeared in The Buckeye Cookbook in 1876 and Housekeeping in Old Virginia in 1877. Even earlier, in 1839, a recipe for a mixed beverage that included alcohol, called tea punch, was circulated. Over the next couple of decades, the popularity of the drink started to explode. At this time, most recipes called for the tea to be brewed hot and chilled later on. Early instructions called for lemon, sugar, and ice to be added to black tea. Although sweet tea is attributed to southern traditions, early accounts of it trace back as far north as Boston (although it probably grew favor in the south thanks to the sweltering heat).

The drink truly took off, however, at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, where Richard Blechynden, the Commissioner of Tea for India and one of the fair's directors, was exhibiting hot black tea. Temperatures were unbearably high and fair visitors were thirsty; hot tea wasn't going to sell, so Blechynden had to improvise. He brewed and chilled the tea, and voilà – it was an instant hit! Restaurants immediately began to jump on the trend, which turned out to be more than just a short-term fix, and by World War I, households were catching on. Until today, iced tea – from bottle to box to pitcher – remains a significant part of the American beverage roster. Today, we see all kinds of variations, from Sparkling Green Iced Tea Lemonade to Thai Iced Tea.


At Heavenly Tea Leaves, we can't get enough of the endless iced tea possibilities, from fruity to earthy to spicy. In order to satisfy all of our iced tea cravings, we turn to our Iced Tea Sampler for the best of all worlds! Choose from Apple Green, Ginger Peach, Blueberry Delight (herbal), and Lemon Black – each with its own distinct characteristics, but all designed for optimal taste when served cold. In order to cold brew tea, simply place the loose tea in tea bags or in an infuser pitcher. Fill with water (one cup of water per teaspoon of tea) and leave to brew in the fridge for 6 to 12 hours. Strain the tea if necessary and pour over ice at serving time to avoid dilution.

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Tea Pairing: Pairing Tea With Food

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 3 years ago 9397 Views No comments

In 2015, NPR reported that tea sommeliers – that is, tea tasting experts – were the "hot new thing" in food pairing. Today, that trend shows no signs of slowing down. Sure, a nice glass of wine with dinner has traditionally been the gourmand's go-to. But what if we could reap the same joy from a pot of darjeeling tea with foie gras as we do from a glass of merlot with a filet mignon?

"The whole idea of pairing tea with food is that you should have a tea that's going to enhance the flavor of the food, or vice versa. What you want to happen in your mouth is to feel the different layers of taste and flavors... It's like a dine sommelier, giving you advice, depending on what kind of tea you want to drink, what time of the day it is, and what you're eating," says Aurelie Bessiere, a tea sommelier. - NPR

In the same vein, Forbes recently wrote of the merits of tea-and-cheese pairings, leaving wine by the wayside. "Similar to wine, tea's qualities can vary dramatically depending on where it's grown—the weather, the soil—as well as how it's processed," mentions writer Megy Karydes. Herbaceous green teas, for example, go well with super creamy cheeses like goat or triple-crème, while pu'erhs work best with bolder varieties like aged gouda. If you'd like to make a night out of it, you can even sign up for private tea-and-cheese tastings.

In order to pair properly, we must start with being able to distinguish common teas from one another. The International Tea Masters Association has come up with a nifty Tea Aroma Wheel to help us figure out whether the herbaceous taste in your cup is lavender, fennel, or sage. The wheel can also help you decipher the flavors that are opposite the one you're consuming, and therefore complementary. From there, sommeliers and casual tea enthusiasts alike can create optimal food pairings.

Tea sites like Teforia and Arbor Teas have great suggestions, and we threw some of our own into the mix, too. Here are a few basic pairings that will unveil the subtle and complex flavors of both the tea and the food you are enjoying:

White tea, such as Pai Mu Tan White – If a tea could be minimalist, this would be it. Pair this light beverage with neutral white cheeses like fresh mozzarella and oaxaca, as well as leafy salads and peaches.

Green tea has a distinct vegetal flavor. Try a pure variety like Hojicha green. Because it's kind of grassy, this tea goes best with flavors that aren't too strong, and sometimes slightly sweet, like mildly seasoned seafood, Basmati rice, chicken, or melon.

Oolong often has depth and complexity of flavor. Floral oolong is no exception, and finishes with a light, honey-like aroma. Duck and other poultry, grilled meats, and savory foods like lobster are strong enough to go head-to-head with most oolong teas – especially highly oxidized ones.

Black tea, like the strongly caffeinated Irish Breakfast, is a classic morning tea originating in India. It goes hand in hand with light breakfast foods, custard, cream, and lemon-flavored confections.

Pu'erh teas, like this one, have been shown to lend digestive benefits. Try it to aid your body's natural processes after eating savory meats, stir-fries, mushrooms, and beets.

Mint, too, is a digestive aid. A peppermint herbal tea is best consumed alongside legumes and nut-based sweets like almond cookies. Plus, it's caffeine free and won't keep you up at night.

If you're going with your gut instinct, just try to think of the basic flavors your tea evokes and pick a food that is equally strong or mild, but with a very different taste. And so, while tea is no replacement for wine, it certainly can serve as a delicious and sophisticated add-on at your next fabulous dinner party. Bon appétit!


Fun fact: Your tea simply isn't supposed to taste bitter. If it does, how did you go wrong? You've either brewed the tea for too long, used water that is too hot, or not used the proper ratio of tea to water. Remember that all of these rules are different based on the type of tea you are drinking. Consult the experts at Heavenly Tea Leaves for proper, custom brewing instructions!