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When brisk winter weather brings your family indoors, it’s an occasion to warm the tea pot and savor time together. Besides the obvious benefits of slowing down and enjoying the warmth, drinking black, green, or herbal teas can carry with it numerous health benefits from lowering cholesterol levels and protecting against cell damage, to helping you sleep.

When selecting tea to bring about health benefits, it is good to remember that not all teas are created equally. It’s best to choose high quality prepackaged teas, or locally wild crafted herbs. Steeping loose tea leaves allows the herb to remain effective and when steeped for a full three minutes or longer, allows for the antioxidants to wind up in your cup. If winter finds your cupboard low on last summer’s harvest, find a reputable tea company at your local market.

For long term health benefits, drinking tea should become a daily routine. In this manner, your body is nourished consistently with nutrients. It is recommended that you drink 2-4 cups of tea daily, most days of the week. Over a few months you should notice some health benefits, including extra energy, cavity reduction and improved fluid balance. And with the cold and flu season upon us, drinking teas regularly can do your body good! Don’t wait until you or a family member becomes ill. Now is the time to drink a red rooibos tea blend. If you have not tried this South African tea you will enjoy the deep red color that signifies the phytochemicals being released. Phytochemicals are non-nutritive plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties sometimes referred to as phytonutrients. The Celestial Seasonings Company makes this tea available as Madagascar Vanilla Red. It is very tasty!

When preparing the tea always use the highest quality water available, either bottled or filtered tap. While your tea water is heating, warm your ceramic tea pot as well. When using loose tea leaves use about one teaspoon per 8 oz. of water. Once the water comes to a full boil (about 175 degrees Fahrenheit) pour the water into your teapot and let the tea steep until the desire strength. Again, three minutes is the minimum for most health benefits.zorb balls for sale

This winter make it a habit to find comfort in a pot of freshly brewed tea. You and your family will profit from drinking your way to health and happiness with traditional and herbal blends. For more tea ideas read Herb Tea Book by Sheron Buchele or Alexandra Stoddard’s Tea Celebrations, The Way to Serenity.


Karen Pettrone-Keber, M.S.

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