You can drink that now?

I’ve been completely fascinated recently on finding out the effect that different types of tea have on our body. For a while I only ever had standard tea like English breakfast and I’ve always enjoyed it and still do, I especially love it when I’m sick and it’s only then that I ever add sugar to tea. So where am I going with this, well I’ve moved on to bigger better tea with more variety and flavours. Most of us know by now that drinking chamomile tea has a calming and relaxing effect on us, we know that peppermint tea helps to ease stomach problems, lemon and ginger for a sore throat, but there are so many others out there that are beneficial for the body as well.

While having a chat to my mother about my latest favourite tea (sounds thrilling doesn’t it?) She mentioned she had tried rose tea, I was like “What? You can drink roses now?” My first thought was how is that even remotely beneficial for your body, I don’t know if anyone else feels the same but I honestly thought roses in food were like some sort of decoration, serving no nutritional benefits at all. I was curious though as to what it does, as well as, what it would taste like. I’ve had trouble finding food grade roses to make my own and I wouldn’t use roses from the florist because those will be covered in pesticides, so I tried the next best thing I could find. I purchased a packet of Madame Flavour’s ‘White with Rose’ tea and I’m in love! As I’m typing this I am sipping away on some. I can taste the rose, not as strong as the tea flavour, but it is there and it smells divine. The tea is made up of Pai Mu Tan which is a white tea from China, rose flavouring and rose petals.  There isn’t as many rose petals as I thought that would be in there, maybe one or two petals per bag. Needless to say I still love it and it’s still bursting with nutritional goodness.

I can see it ticking over in your head “What’s so great about it, hurry up and get to the point”. Well here it goes, white tea is said to contain up to 30% more polyphenols than green tea or black tea.  Polyphenols are antioxidants and there are over 4000 different types of them.  Most of the stronger ones are anti-inflammatory and help to neutralise free radicals in the body.  White tea is also known to restore fluid balance in the body, accelerate the metabolism as well as having antibacterial properties. Woo hoo for White Tea!

Rose tea also has wonderful benefits on the body, as well as being anti-inflammatory, it aids in sinus relief, fights against infection as well as relieves bloating, diarrhoea, gastro, depression, insomnia and fatigue. After all that it also aids in pain relief from menstrual cramps! Turns out there is a legitimate reason women like and more importantly need flowers! There are also quite a few scientific studies showing positive results on the body from drinking rose tea. The only warning I have to give is if you drink too much rose tea it will have a laxative effect on the body…. Don’t ask me how I know this……

If you by chance have some food grade rose petals hanging around here’s how you can make your own:

2 cups of fresh fragrant rose petals
3 cups of water
Honey to taste

Clip and discard white bases from the rose petals, rinse thoroughly and dry.
Simmer in water for 5 minutes or until the petals have darkened
Remove from heat and strain into tea cups, add honey to taste.

Let me know if you have tried to make your own rose tea or have a better recipe than mine, I’d love to know!

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It’s itchy knitted jumper time!

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We’re coming into winter now and you know what that means! It’s time to bust out the old itchy knitted jumpers! No? It must be cold and flu season then! Yay sick days…. Hmm… maybe not.

I can pretty much guarantee that come change of seasons, I’ll get a cold. I’m always looking for a home remedy before I turn to antibiotics. There is one thing I always do as soon as I feel something coming on and that’s taking some olive leaf extract.

While for me it doesn’t stop it in its tracks, it does lessen the length and severity of the cold. I had a look online at some more home remedies and here are some I came across.

Echinacea is said to have antiviral and antibiotic effects as well as boosts the immune system, relieves pain and reduces inflammation. Like Olive leaf extract, Echinacea should be taken at the first signs of a cold or flu. I have tried Echinacea in a liquid form before and I thought the taste was pretty foul, so I didn’t take it again after that. Olive leaf extract does the same thing, but when mixed with water is a bit more palatable.

Gargling a mixture of water and salt is said to help anything from a tickle in the throat to a sore and swollen throat. It helps to disinfect the throat membranes or moisten a dry sore throat. While also not very tasty, it does help.

When going to bed with a stuffed nose or chesty cough, try sleeping with an extra pillow or elevating your head. I do this and found it really helps. Working in childcare, we do this for kids who come in with coughs and colds. It helps to keep sinuses and chests from “filling up”.

An old one but a good one is hot tea with lemon and honey. The warm tea helps to soothe a sore throat and warm you up when you have the chills. Honey and lemon are both great for soothing and disinfecting a sore throat. The mixture is pack full of antioxidants and helps to fight the virus. I love this when I’m sick, I find added extra lemon helps to numb my throat as well.

Garlic and ginger are also great. Garlic help to boost your immune system and ginger helps to tame nausea. These can be added to chicken soup which everyone loves when they’re sick. This to helps when suffering from a cold or flu. The salty broth helps to thin mucus and the chicken contains protein to boost your immunity and produce disease fighting antibodies.

Then there is the tried and tested, steam. I always feel better after a hot shower when I’m sick. Steam helps to shrink mucus membranes and encourages them to drain. When I have the chills, I’ve found a hot shower helps to relieve it.

So what doesn’t work? Antibiotics attack bacteria and colds are viruses, so these don’t help.  The only reason you would take antibiotics for a cold is if it turns into an infection. You can take panadol or ibuprofen can help to provide short term relief for the symptoms of a cold and reduces a fever.

At the end of the day it’s best to try to avoid colds but maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle. This means regular exercise, healthy eating and maintaining decent hygiene, especially washing your hands!

Stay warm!