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Posts tagged 'Health'

​Tea as Alternative Medicine (Health Benefits of Tea)

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 1 years ago 7547 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.

The Wonders of Green Tea: Everything You Need To Know

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 2 years ago 16346 Views 1 comment

When it comes to wellness, you can't go wrong with a cup of green tea. Year after year, studies emerge suggesting that this drink, along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, have some serious superpowers. Drinking green tea has been clinically shown to help with everything from cholesterol and weight management to bone health and even free radical delay. (It is thought that free radical proteins in the brain are what lead to diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.)

Wellbeing of the mind and body starts with daily habits. Incorporating a couple of servings of green tea in your everyday regimen can make you start feeling healthier and more vibrant almost immediately. If you're already a heavy coffee drinker and concerned about your caffeine intake, try replacing one of your coffees with green tea. This is a clean alternative at a comparable price and with an awakening result. Why not experiment?

The benefits of green tea seem endless; studies have been conducted for years and scientists continue to examine its role in supporting a balanced lifestyle. A recent Today Show segment dubbed green tea a superfood, rating it an amazing 4 on a 1-5 scale. The hosts pointed out that catechins (EGCG), a type of antioxidant found in green tea, have been shown to 'relax blood vessels' and therefore ease blood pressure. Plus, increased blood flow to the brain means improved overall brain and body function. This is based on just two cups a day!

And then there's the taste. Green tea differs from other teas in its grassy, herbal, earthy flavor profile. It is also unique in that, when mixed with other flavors, it yields a whole new, complex profile that is very different from, say, a black or white–plus herbal concoction. Green tea is far from muted or neutral. Though calming, its taste is distinct and bold. It's a beverage that will make you pause to enjoy each sip. When combined with a drop of honey, it's simply divine.

What most people are surprised to learn is that all green teas come from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis. The processing will make each of these nine distinct types of green tea from Japan different from one another. Elements such as what part of the plant is used, whether the plant is mostly exposed to shade or sun, when the leaf is picked, and how the tea is exposed to heat will affect the taste and characteristic of the tea. Japanese green teas including Gyokuro are very well know for having a mild, sweet, vegetal flavor.

The other famous tea nation – China – has been cultivating tea trees for more than 2,000 years, incorporating it into medicine and cultural practices that remain engrained in the society today. While China grows all types of tea, some of the most famous green teas are Dragonwell, Bi Luo Chun, Chun Mee, Mao Jian.

Of all the green tea varieties and blends to choose from, each has a new character, but all contain the same essential benefits.

To focus the spotlight on green tea's calming properties and richness of flavor, try out Zen Super Green from Kagoshima, Japan. This is a mixture of high-grade sencha tea with its powdered, concentrated cousin, matcha. The combination results in a velvety, umami taste as a result of farming methods that delay the matcha plant growth.

Finally, we suggest another premium grade green tea that provides the energy boost that the beverage is famous for. Mao Feng is a single bud variety grown at high altitudes in the tea-specializing region of Hunan, China. With a well-rounded, straightforward flavor, you can drink this tea with breakfast to cleanse your palette and perk you up for the day!

Once you choose the green tea of your liking, you can bask in some more of its unexpected upsides, like its anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. Jazz up your cup with other superfoods like fresh ginger, or add a natural sweetener like agave to mitigate a strong herbaceous flavor.

Which green tea adventure awaits you?

7 Creative Uses for Tea Besides Drinking It!

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 3 years ago 19960 Views 4 comments

With autumn upon us, shifting back to hot tea from iced is a no-brainer. But how can we explore the lesser-known uses for our favorite leaves and herbal blends? Brewing tea hot or cold and adding new flavors is about as far is we can go with traditional tea making. However, real tea transformations occur with a little extra creativity. If you don't feel like just drinking tea, you can also eat it in foods and baked goods, turn it into a makeshift natural air freshener, add it to compost to bring your garden alive, have it heal minor wounds and reduce inflammation, and even use it to scent personal products. The possibilities are endless, and they all start with that leftover tea bag in the corner of your cabinet. Here are 7 ways you can get the tea party started:

1. Perfume Your Room

Who knew tea could replace that stale potpourri in your foyer or bathroom? Apartment Therapy has discovered that hanging tea bags can give your space a subtle, earthy smell. Plus, it's soothing, compact, and most of all, economical! Lifehacker notes that you can add a sweet-smelling natural oil in order to enhance the perfume:

"Tea is cheap, the scent of most tea is mild and pleasant, and you can easily refresh your little tea-bag sachet by tossing it and putting a new one in or with a drop or two of essential oil."

All you have to do is hang tea sachets or pour your favorite loose tea leaves into a pretty bowl for a feel-good, mini-home makeover!

2. Cool Down a Sunburn (or Another Burn)

To relieve the sting from a day of tanning, a rushed shave, or even a misplaced flat iron, tea might just do the trick! All you have to do is take a used, cool tea-bag and place it on the affected area for instant relief. "This works well for other types of minor burns (i.e., from a teapot or steam iron) too," writes Trish Barber of Reader's Digest. "If the sunburn is too widespread to treat this way, put some tea bags in your bathwater and soak your whole body in the tub." Razor burn, be gone. Bonus: it'll help make poison ivy rashes feel better, too!

3. Make a Gourmet Dinner

While coffee is often used in sophisticated meat marinades, tea marinades are lesser-known but equally delicious. What's great about this concoction from the Today Show is its flexibility; just about any green or black tea will do. Here, the grassy notes of raw tea combine with fresh herbs to complement the acidity and kick of Dijon mustard.

Ingredients for marinade:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooled black or green tea (Try our Assam or
  • 2 teaspoons stone ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

"Whisk the tea, both mustards, marjoram, and oregano together in a bowl or large measuring cup. Whisk in the olive oil until the marinade has the consistency of a very loose vinaigrette.

Pour over red meat or poultry in a large, wide dish or zip-top bag and marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Remove the meat from the marinade and lightly pat dry with paper towels. Discard the marinade.

Grill the meat to your preference."

The organic Chun Mee Green Superior Tea from Heavenly Tea Leaves is a high-quality, neutral green tea perfect for topping beef.

4. Concoct a Divine Dessert

The earthy bergamot flavor that dominates Earl Grey teas (try Heavenly's version) is the perfect balance to the sweetness we crave in a dessert. This recipe for Earl Grey shortbread cookies from Food Network's Claire Robinson uses loose-leaf tea with only five additional ingredients, resulting in a simply satisfying confection.

"In a food processor, pulse together the flour, tea, and salt, until the tea is just spotted throughout the flour. Add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and butter. Pulse together just until a dough is formed. Place dough on a sheet of plastic wrap, and roll into a log, about 2 1/2-inches in diameter. Tightly twist each end of wrap, and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Slice the log into 1/3-inch thick disks. Place on parchment or silpat lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart (2 probably needed depending on size of sheets). Bake until the edges are just brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks and cool to room temperature."

5. De-puff Your Eyes and De-stink Your Feet!

Give your sweaty, smelly feet a 20-minute soak in a sweet-smelling tea bath and they'll be as good as new, according to Reader's Digest. And of course, swollen eye relief is one of the most common uses for that leftover tea bag: "Revitalize tired, achy, or puffy eyes. Soak two tea bags in warm water and place them over your closed eyes for 20 minutes. The tannins in the tea act to reduce puffiness and soothe tired eyes."

6. Tea for Bath & Body

While you may not always have time to make your own personal care products, this soap from DIYer Bonnie Eng is the perfect way to get rid of those last spoons of herbal tea you have left in the cupboard.

Ingredients for tea soap bar:

  • melt & pour soap base
  • essential oils or tea powders
  • leaf teas or herbals
  • soap or silicone molds
  • microwave safe medium or large mixing bowl
  • spoons for stirring
  • dough cutter or knife
  • tea towel
  • parchment paper and twine

For step-by-step instructions, visit Thirsty for Tea.

To perfume your soap to perfection, try fruity or floral flavors from Heavenly Tea Leaves like Mango Passion Fruit Rooibos or Hibiscus.

7. In the Garden

Want to nourish your lush outdoor garden or tiny house plant? The blog Gardening Know How says you're in luck; you may have more fertilizer on-hand than you thought. If your tea bag is biodegradable (like Heavenly Tea Leaves' pyramid sachets!), you can throw a used one directly into your compost to feed your plant and help stave off killer weeds. If not, throw loose tea into the compost instead. The use of tea in this case may help reduce your use of harsher, less environmentally-friendly fertilizers and other plant foods.

And Finally, a Fun Fact!

According to LiveStrong, consuming whole tea leaves (considered here in tablet form) have in some cases been shown to contribute to weight loss and energy increases. But remember, don't eat the soap!