• drnataliesenst_ND

Tea time: a healing ritual

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

I love tea. As an avid tea drinker, I think tea is a wonderful way to sneak healing herbs into your daily life - without feeling like you're having to take a medication or supplement.

If you're also a tea lover, read on to learn more about some of the medicinal tea blends I've created and which ones might be best for you!

The medicinal teas below are carefully blended for taste as well a herbal medicinal value. If a sweetener is desired, I recommend raw honey (unless pregnant or under 1 year old) mixed into the tea after it has cooled to drinking temperature. If the tea is too hot when honey is added, the antibacterial benefits of the honey will be lost!

A long steep time is recommended for all medicinal tea blends (10-15 minutes, covered).

A word of herbal wisdom: many wonderful herbs do not make great medicinal teas because their medicinal properties are not extracted by the hot water infusion (steeping your tea). Examples:

  • Licorice root: works in a tea as a demulcent herb, to soothe irritated membranes - but does not contain any of its more powerful adaptogenic (stress-reducing) qualities

  • Ashwagandha: an incredibly powerful adaptogenic and hormone balancing herb when extracted in alcohol, but the dehydrated root cannot compare medicinally

  • The herbs used in my change of season soup (astragalus, codonopsis, wild yam) are roots that require a longer boil called a 'decoction' - so if you read my post on that medicinal blend, you'll see you cook those herbs quite a long time to extract their medicinal value.

I've mentioned a couple adaptogens above that don't work in tea, but I want to highlight one adaptogen that is incredibly well-suited to a tea: holy basil (ocimum sanctum, or 'tulsi' in Ayurvedic tradition). Holy basil's stress-resilience and cortisol-balancing constituents are in its leaves, which we can get from steeping the herb. This is a versatile herb that also has carminative properties that work to relieve indigestion or bloating, it helps balance your blood sugar, and has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. As a regulator herb it works to create a dynamic balance in your body - drink it in the evening to help you sleep better (lowers the stress-hormone cortisol) and in the morning to help you wake up (gently raises cortisol to give you energy for the day).

Medicinal Teas

Common cold buster - includes elderberries, rosehip, sage, catnip, nettle, ginger

  • Use at onset of any symptoms – all ages (it’s tasty)

Rest & Digest - includes holy basil, chamomile, catnip, fennel, linden flowers, milk thistle, ginger

  • As needed, for tummy soothing, as a sleep aid or calming nerves any time of day – all ages (safe for kids – linden flowers sweeten the flavour)

Daily detox – includes milk thistle seeds, nettle, holy basil, schisandra, ginger, rosehip

  • Gentle & balancing, supports healthy liver and hormone function, with a hint of nuttiness from milk thistle, for any time of day

Sun-Shine - includes holy basil, nettle, milk thistle, chamomile, lemon balm, ginger

  • A variety of anti-histamine herbs support the immune system to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms (if started 2 months prior to usual symptom onset) - also a daily tea for anyone seeking an uplifting, nutritious and calming tea.

Serenity - includes Saint John’s wort, lemon balm, motherwort, milk thistle seeds, nettle, sage

  • A gentle mood balancer, with hormonal support – do not take Saint John's Wort if you are currently taking other medications (unless under professional advice)

Customized Medicinal Teas: custom blends are typically provided as part of a treatment protocol when a patient sees me for a naturopathic visit (if you are interested in a tea, please ask me at or before your next visit!).

If you like a tea above but can't tolerate one of the herbs, I may be able to substitute it for you.

Tea purchases can be made online (please email inhealth@nataliesenst.com with your order and I will provide an invoice you can pay with VISA or etransfer) - right now all teas are pickup only - by appointment! The clinic is located at 804 Bloor St. W. near Christie St in Toronto.

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