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This winter has been brutal for many people across the United States. Several of my friends/family are stuck inside their homes because of record low temperatures, record snowfall, and loss of power/utilities. Being stuck inside for an extended period can wreak havoc on anyone, causing what experts have labeled SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Even down here in Texas, the sunshine currently hides behind the
I was feeling blue
After weeks of being stuck inside my home, I began to notice my mood was declining. Without sunshine, fresh air, and a little bit of in-person socialization I was losing my drive and my sunny disposition. I always tend to feel this way by the end of the winter season and decided this year I would try to combat my winter blues using my herbal arsenal.
Herbal tea gently supports
mind and body
One thing I have learned over time is that if your nutrition is out of whack, your mind and body will follow suit. If you are experiencing the winter blues it is important to look to your diet to fill in the nutritional gaps. One of my favorite ways to get the nutrients I need is through drinking herbal tea! Many herbs contain a large number of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help nourish your body and mind and elevate your mood.
Don't have the resources to mix your own?
I love mixing up different loose-leaf tea blends to suit my own needs, but sometimes I don't have the time or the herbs to make the tea that I want! Recently I've been enjoying a delicious Purple Tea Blend (from TeaGuys) that is full of antioxidant-rich herbs, including PURPLE TEA! Purple tea offers low caffeine and 15 times the anthocyanins of blueberries. This loose-leaf tea would be a great way to start your day! In the evening I need a caffeine-free tea that will help me wash away the stressors of the day. This 21st Century Tea (from Mountain Rose Herbs) is the perfect tea to curl up by the fire with a good book!
Herbs to help elevate your mood
When dealing with the winter blues vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are vital in elevating your mood. I picked herbs for this tea that are incredibly nutritious, boost mood levels, help relax the body, and even supports the immune system. For this recipe, I chose not to use one of the most popular mood-enhancing herbs, St. John's wort, because it can interact with medications you may currently be taking.
- Green tea – It is a well-known fact that green tea is rich in antioxidants and is beneficial at increasing brain function. Caffeine has been extensively studied and consistently shows improvements in various aspects of brain function, including improved mood, vigilance, reaction time, and memory.
- Lemon balm – A member of the mint family, this gentle herb is a nervine, antidepressant, and rich in antioxidants. Lemon balm is a wonderfully gentle herb that can help calm the nerves and soothe anxious minds. Used for centuries, even predating the middle ages, lemon balm has been used to soothe anxiety, nervousness, and depression.
- Elderflowers – This popularly famous herb is a well-known immune-stimulant, but did you know that elderflowers are super-rich in antioxidants and a calming nervine that's also been known to help soothe anxiety and depression?
- Red Clover Blossoms – Used for centuries to help cleanse the body and boost the immune system, red clover is also great at relaxing tension and stress. The isoflavones in red clover help balance hormones to reduce depressive and anxiety symptoms.
- Orange Peel – We all love oranges and are well aware of their vitamin and antioxidant powers! Using orange peel in your tea is both nutritious and delicious!
- Hibiscus Flowers – Rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, hibiscus is a great herb to help support cardiovascular health and has even proven to help reduce blood pressure in pre- and mildly hypertensive adults.
- Ginger Root – Many know ginger root for its use in cold/flu herbal concoctions, pain relief salves, and soothing digestive issues, but did you know that ginger is rich in antioxidants, only to be surpassed by pomegranates and other berries? Ginger has also shown reducing cholesterol and can improve cardiovascular health. It's warming capabilities increase blood circulation helping to clear toxins from your system faster. Ginger also adds a delightful hint of spicy flavor to this tea!
DIY Blues Buster Loose Leaf Tea Blend
- 1 part green tea
- 1/2 part lemon balm
- 1/2 part red clover blossoms
- 1/4 part elderflowers
- 1/4 part orange peel
- 1/4 part hibiscus flowers
- 1/8 part ginger root
- Combine herbs in a large glass mixing bowl.
- Store in an airtight container such as a mason jar or a stainless steel tea jar.
SINGLE SERVING HOT TEA DIRECTIONS
- Steep 1-2 Tbsp. of loose leaf tea (using a cotton mesh tea bag or tea press) in 10 to 12 oz. boiling filtered water for 6 minutes.
- Strain herbs from tea
. Sipand enjoy all day long!
1-GALLON ICED TEA DIRECTIONS
- Steep 4-6 Tbsp. of loose leaf tea (using a cotton mesh tea bag, tea press, or iced tea teapot ) in 4 cups boiling filtered water for 10 minutes.
- Strain herbs from tea and add ice to cool. Add more filtered water to fill a 1-gallon tea container
. Drinkover ice and enjoy all day long!
Ginger – may interact with certain medications like warfarin, and medications for diabetes and high blood pressure. Ginger may increase
Red Clover – Hemophiliacs, women with heavy menstrual bleeding, and people on blood thinners should not use red clover regularly as it can exacerbate hemophilia or make blood thinners more potent. Do not use with pharmaceutical blood thinners. The coumarin derivatives in red clover may increase the chance of bleeding and may slow blood clotting, it is advised to stop taking it at least two weeks prior to surgery.