We are living in some pretty overwhelming times in the era of technology. You would think that in such a fast-paced world, we would have more grounding solutions on how to deal with the anxiety that comes with a pandemic, yet it seems like we’re all just trying to keep up.
When things seem out of control, there’s nothing more calming than the tranquility that sipping a hot tea brings forth; the cozy feeling a warm decorative mug gives your palms; and how the steam rising with floral aromas immediately calms the senses. You deserve those moments of clarity. We all do. After all, the key to success starts with a solid self-love routine. So what are the benefits of tea, and how do we achieve a healthy tea-drinking routine?
Let’s take it back to ancient China, almost 5,000 years ago. According to legend, in 2732 B.C. Emperor Shen Nung discovered tea when leaves from a wild tree blew into his boiling water pot. He was immediately interested in the pleasant scent of the resulting brew and drank some. Legend says the Emperor described a warm feeling as he drank the intriguing brew, as if the liquid was investigating every part of his body.
Plant Medicine & Herbs
Plant medicine is one of the original medical systems, and every culture around the world has some version of it. Plants have real effects on us: If you eat this one, you have energy. You eat that one, and you go to sleep. That one, you’re dead—don’t eat that one.
You also likely already take herbs in some capacity. Maybe you drink chamomile tea before bed or chai tea after a meal. Those are herbs. Most spices—like ginger, turmeric, and fenugreek—are herbs as well.
Several studies suggest habitual tea consumption may be considered an overall health-promoting lifestyle behavior. Fortunately, tea has become more popular over the years, growing primarily because of consumer interest in health and wellness. The European Journal of Preventive Cardiology involved more than 100,000 adults in China and found those who regularly drank tea were less likely to develop atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or die prematurely from any particular stroke compared to others during a seven-year follow-up. That’s notably large, considering that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. This is the case in the U.S. and worldwide.
Tea consumption has many benefits. From antioxidants, healthy digestion, boosting the immune system, and even helping with stress.
Antioxidants are in charge of slowing down the aging process; they prevent radical damage and restore your aging body. All these benefits of antioxidants make your skin flawless and glowy, healthy-looking.
The consumption of direct antioxidants such as vitamins C and E are included in many herbs and has shown to help the body reactivate the production of your body’s antioxidants for a more extended period of time. Some of the most common herbal teas full of antioxidants are Ginger root, cinnamon, turmeric, and green tea. According to wellness expert, Stefani Beckerman, Matcha is the only tea where you can ingest the leaf. Most teas are steeped and then thrown away. This is why you get so many benefits from matcha like detoxification, sustained energy and focus, and antioxidants galore.
High amounts of antioxidants in herbal teas help with digestion process, as they help produce more efficiently saliva, bile, and gastric juices in the stomach.
Some of the most common herbal teas for healthy digestion are peppermint, ginger root, gentian root, chamomile, and green tea.
Immune System Boosters
Many herbal teas have antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties tune up immune cells, so they act upon some bacterias.
Some of the most common herbal teas that boost the immune system are olive leaf, elderflower, elderberry and rosehip tea says practising naturopath, herbalist, author of I Am Food and founder of Ovvio Organics Anthia Koullouros.
Some herbal teas may help relieve stress, as some herbs contain sedative properties. Many of the herbs that help with stress relief act from the smell of some herbs that act as aromatherapy, some other herbs act up in the nervous system and help ease tension.
Some of the most effective stress-relieving herbal teas are linden, green, lavender, chamomile, and rosemary tea.
Other than that, it is recommended that you drink lots of water—hydration is important to health in general—and develop a mindfulness practice like meditation or breathwork to maximize the benefits of whatever herbal teas you are drinking.
In order to reap the benefits, we also need to establish a healthy tea-drinking routine. So we reached out to our good friend, tea goddess and tea Chajin (tea server), Tara Benmeleh, aka Mama T or @lightwizardess on IG, to spill the tea on what lead her to her journey and creations. She hosts celestial tea ceremonies that have to some extent changed some of our lives here at CADA. Here’s what she had to say.
A Conversation with Tara Benmeleh
A real life Tea Goddess and founder of conscious jewelry, espiritutara.
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I am the mother of:
Max Aero (A 5-year old), and espiritutara, a conscious and inspired jewelry and lifestyle brand. I am currently designing teaware in collaboration with Kuu Pottery.
My Journey began when:
For as long as I can remember I was having dreams which would either show me what was going to happen or give me signs of how to navigate through life. I studied fashion and fell into the Miami nightlife scene which was a far departure from a spiritual life, but I have clear memories of whispering intuitive advice to my girlfriends in the clubs late at night. Shortly after I got married to my husband, Jack, I launched espiritutara (the spirit of Tara) and I started to really explore spirituality and yoga as a way of life in order to inform my designs. However, once I became pregnant with my son Max Aero, my intuition increased and once he was born I really understood how primal I was as a being walking this earth. I became really connected to nature and wanted to explore the natural world together as he was seeing it for the very first time, I was seeing it from a new perspective. I began sharing in women’s circles and moon rituals. I began connecting to plants as medicine and received my first tea ceremony a few years ago. Immediately upon taking my first sip of tea in ceremony, I had a vision of a pegasus flap open its wings in front of me. I knew there was magic in the tea. I was always a tea drinker but I didn’t know anything about this style of tea or much about tea as a plant. Shortly after receiving tea in this form, I began hosting weekly Kundalini classes in my garden and traditionally tea is served casually after the class so I began to do so. After about a year of this I decided to do an intensive tea training which prepared me to be a chajin (tea server). Almost immediately, the tea sent me on a wild ride, granting me access to serve in the most beautiful places and attracting the most elevated souls. I knew right away that I was on my path sharing my light. I am very much a student of tea and know that the plant is a powerful force. Max Aero calls tea “awakening leaves” and I could not think of a better way to describe it. Tea is a vehicle to allow me to serve my light first to myself every day and next to others. It is a moving meditation as well as an elixir of light and clarity. Tea makes me see. Tea ceremony is a blessing to be able to serve.
I begin my day…
At 6 am, I tongue scrape with a copper scraper, drink a glass of water, journal 3 pages while my water heats and then I set up a chaxi (tea stage) in my garden as the sun rises. I get messages from the animals, depending on who comes to visit each morning. I am really connected to music so i love to incorporate music into my morning ceremony but sometimes also enjoy the sounds of nature. I then do the 5 tibetan rites and if I have time (AKA no one is awake yet) I do kundalini meditations, then I take vitamins and have a green juice. Sometimes Max Aero wakes up early and joins me in ceremony as long as I have honey to add to his bowl. He loves to share the ritual with me and it makes me exercise my patience and not take it so seriously.
I’m currently sipping on:
Shaman’s Drum Puerh Tea from Global Tea Hut
Magical and filled with loaded meanings but with a minimalist aesthetic. I have heard so many stories from clients about the magic it holds. One friend thought she lost a piece and in her dream she was shown where it was and it was exactly where it appeared for her in the dream when she woke up.
I am really into to natural beauty products so I love oil cleansing and guasha morning or night time depending, I set a gratitude alarm at 1:11 pm to make sure I never forget to be grateful, I thank the life force energy and the earth when I collect water into my kettle, I thank the farmers and the earth before eating a meal, I practice kundalini a minimum of once a week but try to do it every day, I do pilates twice a week, I put cream on my feet and into socks before bed and I host a monthly 430 am dance party around the full moon. Additionally, I use collage as a meditation and a way to process what is going on in my subconscicous and often they serve as oracle messages.
I harness my power with:
Self love, self care, and lots and lots of learning.I am always in a workshop of some sort but at the same time my intuition is my biggest teacher.
My spirit animal:
Dragonflies and butterflies. I am constantly metamorphosing and evolving. Recently, I did a tea ceremony in nature where a dragon fly was in front of me and every color butterfly imaginable was surrounding me. I was alone and it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life.
This article is for informational purposes only, even if and regardless of whether it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of CADA.