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Healing Benefits of Tea (A Review)

 

You might be getting the idea by now that I’m all about natural remedies and solutions when they can be found. I think drugs and medications are fantastic and have saved me on more than one occasion, but I also think that for many non-life threatening ailments and illnesses that we should seek out natural treatments whenever possible.

I’m famous for travelling with peppermint tea bags in my purse for “emergencies” and I swear it has saved my sanity more times during a bad cold than cold pills ever have! So when I was given the opportunity to get a pre-release copy of The Healing Benefits of Tea: Simple Teas & Tisanes to Remedy and Rejuvenate Your Health I was ready to learn about more teas I should be adding to my purse “emergency kit” ;)

I honestly thought I already knew a lot about different types of herbal tea going into this book but that’s where I was wrong, because herbal teas aren’t even tea. They are herbal infusions. To be considered an actual tea, the leaves have to come from the Camellia sinensis plant meaning that only black, green, white, yellow, oolong and pu-erh teas are true teas. Not that the terminology is probably that important to the average person, but I thought that was interesting (and showed just how little I really know about tea!).

This book starts off by walking you through all of the different types of teas into categories (black, green, white, etc.) and then breaking down the varieties within each type. You guys. I had no clue there were so many different kinds of each variety of tea! I thought there was green tea, and that was all there is too it, but apparently there are 13 common types of green tea alone!

Another interesting thing I learn, that I was able to put into practise immediately was regarding de-caffination of teas. When purchasing a decaffeinated tea (meaning one that has had the caffeine removed) you need to check to see what process was used to decaffeinate the leaves. Some manufacturers remove the caffeine with ethyl acetate which is a highly flammable solvent (you may recognize it as an ingredient in nail polish remover). Even though your exposure to any remnants of ethyl acetate would be limited in the tea, even small amounts can cause sore throat, dizziness, cough, headaches and nausea. Instead look for teas that have been decaffeinated using carbon dioxide and water which is both environmentally friendly and completely safe. The book mentions that Celestial Seasonings is one brand who uses the later method, and I checked our decaffeinated green tea from President’s Choice, and it too uses this method.

The remainder of the book is pretty straight forward, they go through all of the herbal infusions as well as common add-ins (think honey, cinnamon, etc.) and their benefits. I really like that you can search by two different ways – either looking at the infusions/add-ins in one list which lists all of the benefits (and precautions) of each ingredient, or in the back you can look up your ailment and see what is recommended for that problem.

I really enjoyed the educational aspect of this book, as it also goes into great detail on how to properly make tea, infusions and tisanes and has provided me with a wealth of new information to use in natural remedies. My only complaint is that my advanced copy is the e-book version, and I think I would find the physical book more useful as I could quickly and easily flip through the pages finding what I am looking for. But as far as complaints go that is pretty mild! If you are someone interested in natural medicine and herbal teas – I mean infusions ;) this would be a great resource for you!

You can preorder the book online here so when it is released on November 8th it’ll be on it’s way to you immediately!

Disclosure: 

Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. provided me with an advanced copy of this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

This post contains affiliate links.

Cleaning Without The Chemicals

After my post yesterday on reducing chemicals in my personal care routine, I figured I finish it off with a post today talking about what we use to clean at home, because traditional cleansers are certainly another source of endocrine disruptors. There are still a few things we need to switch over to a more natural product, for the most part we do pretty well.

Just recently I got my hand on a few product from Norwex. I’d heard a lot about them and decided it was time to give them a try and I gotta say, I’m a little obsessed with my enviro clothes and polishing cloth!

norwex

The purple window cloth you can use to clean windows and mirrors (and I’m sure a lot more). All you do is spritz a little water on the window or mirror and them clean it with the cloth. That’s it! And when I cleaned my windows (the ones the cats are always pressing their little noses against) I got so much dirt! And like any crazy person, when I had cleaned all my windows and mirrors I ran to my mother’s house in search of more things to clean. And this is the interesting thing. She has a mirror in her living room that my niece had got oily handprints on years ago. Mom had tried everything to get rid of them, she said that she would clean the mirror and the prints would seem to disappear but when the glass dried they would return. But guess what? I used a little water and the window cloth and the dang handprints left for good! Amazing.

As for the enviro cloth, I’ve used that thing (I haven’t used the pink one yet, that’s why it still looks so pretty) all over dusting, cleaning cabinets, walls, whatever and it does such a great job! I really thought that these were nothing more than standard micro fibre clothes but I was wrong. Last week I even took one to my wallet that was getting grungy and look how well it cleaned it up (I’d already cleaned the top left corner before taking the photo).

walletI’m a little obsessed. The other Norwex product I’m really liking is the SpiriSponge. We have one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen. I can’t tell you if it’s good for washing dishes because, well, I don’t do dishes ;) but it’s a dream for cleaning the bathtub!

SpiriSponge

Norwex products are available from independent sales reps and I believe right on their website. If you are local and want to order something, shoot me an email or Facebook message and I’ll hook you up with a local distributor!

I talked about The Honest Company in yesterday’s post and they are making a return today. I really love their products and have switched most of our household cleaning products over to theirs. You can of course make most (or all) of your household cleaning products yourself for next to nothing. I frequently make my own, but sometimes I get lazy and it’s nice to have a pre-made cleaner on hand.

cleanres

surface cleaner

I find they work just as well as the mainstream cleaners, but without the, “don’t breath in or you’ll die from chemical overload” smell ;) We even use their laundry detergent packs

laundry

What do they smell like? Nothing, but your laundry comes out smelling clean. It doesn’t smell super fragrant, nor does it smell like week old laundered sweat (which is certainly a possibility with my laundry!), it just smells clean. I like it!

With our next bundle we are getting a few new (to us) products so hopefully in the next month or two we’ll have evven fewer excess chemicals floating around here! You can sign up for a free trial of their products and just pay the shipping if you want to see what they are like. And then if you decide to get a bundle you can choose which products they send you each time, and you can choose what intervals you have them sent. The default choices on the website are every 4 or 6 weeks, but you can email them to get a longer (or shorter) time frame set up. I only get a bundle once every 2 or 3 months because that’s really all we need.

In full disclosure, The Honest Company does have an affiliate program, so if you should sign up for a bundle using one of these links I will get credit on my account towards a future purchase. However, I wouldn’t be telling you about them if I didn’t really love them, and since I love you guys too it’s only fair that a little love gets sent back to me if I hook you and them up ;) Just kidding, I still heart you even if you don’t buy a thing from them or anyone else!