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Natural Awakenings Fairfield Cty/Housatonic Valley, CT

Healing is Just a Cup Away

Nov 03, 2014 05:10PM ● By Kimberly DuBois

Regarded for thousands of years by Native Americans to be a key to good health, medicinal herbal teas can assist you in a myriad of ways. Whether you are treating an acute ailment such as the common cold or seeking long-term benefits such as toning and strengthening the organ systems, an article published by the USDA in 2011 indicated drinking herbal tea is a gentle yet effective way to boost overall health and well-being. Consider creating a daily ritual of drinking an herbal tea blend. Toronto-based herbalist Marcia Dixon supports this idea. “If you drink tea every day, you can make all sorts of significant changes to your mood, your skin, your sense of well-being and energy.”

Herbal teas are rich in nutrients, particularly minerals readily absorbed by the body without stressing the digestive system. It’s much like a super food that can heal the body gently because of the uptake of nutrients. “In a lot of ways, we might get more benefit from a good organic tea than from a vitamin pill,” says Canadian herbalist Marianne Beacon of Elderberry Herbals in Peterborough, Ontario. A great benefit of this is that when you consume a particular blend over time, it can strengthen and tone organ systems creating long-lasting benefits. When an herbal blend is targeting a particular outcome and is prepared properly, a medicinal effect can be achieved.

It is important to have a proper method of infusion to achieve medicinal effects. Use a proper steeping vessel like a French press or a tea maker that allows the herbs to steep loose while staying covered. Cover your brew immediately so the volatile oils from the herbs, valuable toward effectiveness, do not escape into the air. “Otherwise, your room smells nice but you’re not retaining the medicinal properties,” explains Dixon. 

Begin by measuring 1 tbsp. of herb per cup of water into the steeping vessel. To fill an average 16-ounce mug, it generally takes up to be 2 tbsp. of herb for 2 cups water. Pour just-boiled water over herbs, cover to steep for 15-20 minutes and then strain.

As the cooler months of the year approach, we all seem to need extra support. Drinking a medicinal tea can provide just that, while also providing comforting warmth. It is a little known fact that certain organ systems are more vulnerable in each season of the year. During the winter months teas to boost your kidneys and bladder are beneficial, such as a blend of herbs like nettle leaf, alfalfa, chamomile, marshmallow root and oat straw. Targeting herbs to tone and calm your nervous system during the holiday season stress can also be helpful. A suggestion is to blend herbs such as lemon balm, chamomile, skullcap, spearmint, lavender and passionflower.

Something as simple and affordable as brewing up a favorite herbal tea can have great impact on your health. This time-honored medicine has been proven powerful over millennia. Simply choose a single herb, or blend for your particular needs, and a steeping vessel of choice, then enjoy while you do your body good.


Kimberly DuBois is a teacher, healer and reflexologist. She is the creator of Turtle Moon Health, a plant medicine-based company based in Greenwich, offering products for everyday use. For more information, visit or email [email protected]om.