blog

Great-Grandfather Holborow’s afternoon tea

Great-Grandfather Holborow always paused for a mid-afternoon tea break. A busy merchant, he worked long hours, seven days a week, but understood the importantance of taking time away from the stresses of the workday. By combining calming herbs from his garden with green tea, he created his own blend, one that helped sooth both his stress and his digestion, yet left him revitalized for the chores still ahead.  At t’sane we’re excited to have recreated Great-Grandfather’s famous blend just in time for Christmas.  We thought about what Mr. Holborow grew in his English garden and added Linden tree leaf & flower with Chamomile and rose petals to a high quality organic green tea.  I think you’ll love the result – this tea’s a delicate yellow in the cup, aromatic, naturally sweet and pleasing to the palate with just the right touch of green tea for a brew that’s not only tasty – it’s great for people on the go!

MAKING YOUR OWN HERBAL TEAS

BLENDING YOUR OWN SIMPLE TISANES (HERBAL TEAS) By:  Donna Easto, C.H., H.C., H.E. Blending your own herbal teas doesn’t have to be a mystery. First, decide whether you want a drinking tea or a medicinal tea, or a blend of both (in which case the difference lies in the length of the brewing time, not necessarily the ingredients). Next, decide what you want the tea to target, for example hay fever.  Then choose an herb that is primary for hay fever, let’s take Stinging Nettle as a great example, it has immune-stimulating properties as well as being strongly anti-inflammatory. You can then add a complementary herb such as Ginger Root,  which is anti-inflammatory and warms your feet and toes by improving circulation; or Elderflower or Sage.  Since Ginger, Sage, and Elderflower taste really good, you need add nothing else to your tisane.  Your ratio should be 80% Nettle to 20% complementary: Ginger Root (fresh is great) or Elder Flower, if using sage, I’d want to add a bit less. If you have gallstones, don’t use Ginger, and if you have high blood pressure or are pregnant, don’t use Sage. Looking for ways to boost healthy bone minerals?  Consider making a…

THE BIRTH OF RUBY RAINCHILD

Ruby Rainchild was born from my dream to create an herbal tea that is brimming with good properties, and can be enjoyed by all ages. No one was more surprised than me when it also turned out to be the most delicious tea I’ve ever tasted!  It’s robustly beautiful and exquisitely tasty – bright red in the cup with satisfying hints of elderflower; aromatic lemongrass and spearmint kissed by the tartness of hibiscus and  rose hips; the citrusy scent of orange peel, and lightly brushed with the natural sweetness of stevia leaf. Ruby’s name came organically from the tropical beauty of the hibiscus and my vision of creating a pure herbal  tea that is as delightful hot as it is cold. As the “first lady” of my line of certified organic herbal teas, she is now surrounded by a family of equally gorgeous and equally diverse sister teas – Zen Zelda, Dreamy Daisy, and Steamboat Sally.  You’ll want to try all of them, but I suggest you first get acquainted with Ruby, my premier (and best-selling) blend.  Order on-line or find us at select Farmer’s Markets in Alberta and British Columbia. T’sane is a very small family-owned company of tea…

HONEY, AN ANCIENT REMEDY

It takes about 60,000 worker bees travelling up to 55,000 miles to gather enough nectar to make one pound of this wonder substance. Unprocessed, it can treat skin infections, help heal skin lesions, wounds and burns, calm coughs, encourage sleep, and stop the growth of bacteria and fungi. Honey has been used since the beginning of humankind as food and as medicine. In recent times, a whole branch of medicine known as Apitherapy has been developed to promote treatments based on honey that are effective against many diseases including bacterial infections. Manuka, probably the best known of honeys, has a proven deterrent effect on about 60 species of bacteria. The Manuka bush is found throughout New Zealand, and in the states of Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales (NSW) in Australia. Another honey from Australia, Golden Tea Tree or Jellybush honey (not to be confused with Melaleuca alternifolia, the source of tea tree oil), also boasts exceptionally high antibacterial activity. All types of honey help wounds heal, but Manuka, Jellybush, Jambhul from India and Tualang from Malaysia are particularly effective. Why try honey instead of an antibiotic cream or ointment on a wound or burn? World-wide, bacterial resistance to the antibiotics that are…

SMOOTHIES

I confess, I’m seriously addicted to smoothies, not ones with ingredients like ice cream, sugars or sweetened syrups. Those drinks can have upwards of 600 calories, as much saturated fat as a double cheeseburger, and carbohydrate grams in the triple digits. You don’t have to trade taste for healthy! If you’re having a smoothie in place of a meal, look for one with at least 5 grams of protein and a similar amount of fiber. Smoothies can also be powerhouses of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients and still taste great. This refreshing green drink from the Mayo Clinic is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and at only 52 calories per serving, a great in-between meal treat. Ingredients 1 banana 1/2 cup strawberries Juice of 1 lemon (about 4 tablespoons) 1/2 cup other berries such as blackberries or blueberries 2 ounces fresh raw baby spinach (about 2 cups) 1 tablespoon fresh mint or to taste 1 cup cold water or ice Directions Place all ingredients in a blender or juicer and puree. Enjoy. This is my own favourite breakfast smoothie, the ingredients vary from season to season, at times it contains flaxseed, kale, strawberries, plums, avocado…, but it always features pineapple,…

hara hachi bu

I love all kinds of tea, but I have a problem with detox and weight loss teas: classified as dietary supplements, the manufacturers can tell you whatever they want about the wonderful effects of their tea without any hard evidence to support their statements. Many of these “skinny” teas contain laxatives. There’s not much evidence that products with laxative herbs can help in weight loss. In fact, cathartic herbs like Senna can cause stomach troubles, cramps, diarrhea; the continued use of cathartics can lead to abnormal bowel function and changes to electrolytes. The detox craze: why do we think we need some special products to help us detox? Our body has the means to keep us healthy and “detoxed,” that’s what our liver is for! Unfortunately, we don’t treat it well enough to let it perform its job properly. As an alternative, we embark on the latest trend, often because our favorite celebrity is shown holding up some tea. Instead of buying into some new-found fad, which makes claims nobody can hold to, why not opt for an overall healthier lifestyle? Drinking plenty of water is nature’s way to detox your body. Enjoy some organic green tea or Matcha tea…

HERBAL NOTES FROM ALL OVER

From Wales: WORKING WITH ANCIENT RECIPE TO RECREATE “SUPER” MEAD ”Back in the sixteenth century, there was a Welsh drink called metheglin. Metheglin translates into ‘healing liquor’ basically, it’s mead… alcoholic mead that we drink… combined with medicinal herbs. What we are trying to do is identify those medicinal herbs that we could add to the mead to make a drink that was antibacterial.”  – PROF LES BAILLIE, CARDIFF UNIVERSITY From the U.S.: COFFEE – GOOD OR BAD?  “Coffee has a long history of being blamed for many ills,” writes the Mayo Clinic on its website, “from stunting your growth to claims that it causes heart disease and cancer. But recent research indicates that coffee may not be so bad after all. So which is it—good or bad? The best answer may be that for most people the health benefits outweigh the risks.” From the U.S.: BUMBLE BEES ARE PICKY EATERS! Researchers at Penn State found that bumble bees can detect the nutritional quality of pollen, and that this ability helps them selectively forage among plant species to optimize their diets. The plants with highest visitation by bumble bees in this study included American senna, spiderwort and Culver’s root. “Our findings…

Real Hunger Games

THE REAL HUNGER GAMES – PART ONE By: Donna Easto, C.H., H.C., H.E. Is there a hormone that controls hunger? Well, the short answer is yes – there are two hormones that do just that: the “hunger hormones” leptin and ghrelin. Both have their parts to play in controlling body weight. Leptin, a hormone made by fat cells, decreases your appetite. Ghrelin, released primarily in the stomach, signals hunger to the brain, and increases appetite. It also contributes to the accumulation of abdominal fat near the liver. Gherlin levels go up before you eat, letting your brain know you’re hungry, and go down about three hours after the meal. But, while these hormones are a factor in controlling weight, many other hormones and outside influences shape our appetite and hunger. It’s complicated! Unfortunately many obese people have built up a resistance to the appetite-suppressing effects of leptin. Perhaps this is a result of eating refined foods high in sugars, fats, salts, and fructose (especially High Fructose Corn Syrup.) And, now the stage is set for the real hunger games. Round 1: We’re born liking sugar; fat is especially tricky – it has more than twice as many calories per gram…

Dandelions

THOSE DANG DANDELIONS! By: Donna Easto, C.H., H.C., H.E. A dandelion-free lawn or hillside is a rare sight at this time of the year. North Americans are blessed to have access to these cheery yellow flowers growing wild – it’s one of nature’s finest gifts to us. Aside from being a true superstar in the world of medicinal plants, dandelions are among the tastiest, most versatile and most useful of nature’s edible plants. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is rich in vitamins A, C, E, B-complex, iron, calcium and potassium, and is cultivated as an herb in China, France and Germany. Young leaves are picked in the spring for tonic salads. In early summer, before the plant flowers, leaves are harvested for the manufacture of medicinal teas and tinctures. The roots of two-year old plants are dug in the fall for use in tablets and tinctures. For culinary use, the young leaves can be steamed as greens and used in salads. They’re best when collected before the flowers appear, and some of the most tender leaves are found growing in shady areas. The roots can be sliced, cooked and served as a vegetable and make an interesting addition to stews. A caffeine-free…