07 Mar A Brief Reflection + Tea Recipe for International Women’s Day ~
Can you imagine what the world would be like without us women?
I certainly can’t.
Or, perhaps I can, but it doesn’t look pretty or thriving in the least.
The world is diverse and colorful in many ways and there is a duality that keeps life balanced.
According to ancient theory, this duality is characterized by two forces of nature—yin and yang. One cannot exist without the other. When appreciating one end of the spectrum, the other end comes to mind, reinforcing our reflection by contrast.
Pondering upon the world as we know it inside-out, the breakdown of yin and yang is endless.
Women by nature are fundamentally yin but have yang aspects that make each of us whole. Examples of yin-feminine elements in the natural world include: the moon, coolness, blood, moisture, winter, pre-dawn and post-dusk, gravity, water, earth, ocean depths, and the calm found within the eye of a storm.
A woman’s cycle goes through periods of rising yang and waning yin (and vise versa) throughout her life. From ovulation (yang) to menstruation (yin) to pregnancy (yang) to postpartum (yin) to the wise years of menopause (yang within yin) and so on, her energetic balance flows with what suits her internal needs and external demands best.
This also requires endless introspection to assess what state she is in and how to ground herself in the best way to feel at ease.
An example and one of the best ways to do this is for a woman to understand her monthly cyclical rhythm. There are times when your decision-making sharpens (luteal phase), when you’re more social/playful (ovulation), and when you’re reflectively letting go (menstrual bleed) in order to bring forth more clear and creative space ahead (follicular phase). You might even adjust your workout schedule to sync with your cycle.
(By the way, if this topic interests you, you may want to check out this book. It’s not a perfect science, however, there’s no denying that learning more about your body will help sharpen your unique intuition.)
*pause for reflection*
Being that it’s a time to celebrate women today (and every day, really), I want to share a tea recipe that every woman (or man) can enjoy.
Each of the ingredients serves to benefit the mind and soothe the heart.
And, here’s a quote to sip your tea to:
“A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
WHAT YOU NEED
- 1 tsp dried rosebuds
- 3-4 green cardamom pods
- 2-3 sticks of astragalus root
- 3-4 saffron strands
- 1/3 teaspoon organic ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon chamomile flowers
- 1 pinch of vanilla beans (optional)
- Raw honey to taste (optional)
- 16-32 ounces of purified water depending on the desired strength
WHAT TO DO
- Bring water to a boil.
- Simmer the astragalus and turmeric for 5 minutes. Then add your aromatic ingredients for an additional 2-minute simmer. (This preserves the aromatic goodness in the more sensitive volatile oils and prevents your tea from getting bitter.)
- Remove from heat.
- Steep for about 10 minutes.
- Sweeten (if desired) and enjoy!
- Roses remind us that self-care is crucial and naturally uplifts a withered spirit. Rose petals are also packed with vitamin C and antioxidants such as quercetin and ellagic acid; hello, beauty and immunity!
- Green cardamom is a soothing digestive tonic that is aromatic in nature and relieves stubborn stagnation in the gut.
- Astragalus root is a powerful adaptogen with endless benefits, most notably helping the body manage stress and the sequelae of dis-ease that can linger from chronic stress. It’s also an anti-inflammatory, which has been shown to prevent the growth of tumors, protect the cardiovascular system, heal wounds, and increase insulin sensitivity in diabetics among other benefits.
- Turmeric and saffron work beautifully together to promote circulation and heal the body’s tissues from inflammation. Both also support a healthy heart-easing mood. The benefits of these two colorful and potent powerhouses are endless and require posts of their own.
- Chamomile is well known for its calming benefits, both to the mind and the digestive tract. It is also wonderful for relieving PMS and relaxing muscle spasms.
- Vanilla reduces inflammation and acts as a natural antidepressant. It also lowers blood pressure and can help fight off certain respiratory infections.
..talk about a cup of goodness! As always, modify as you see fit. Lately, I’ve been enjoying simple saffron + vanilla bean tea. If I’m feeling run down, astragalus definitely makes it into the tea though. 🙂
Enjoy with warm sips and pinkies-up ~ a virtual embrace to all you amazing women out there!
Pro-Tips: Getting Ingredients
Don’t be intimidated by the ingredients! They are very easy to purchase online and can even be scouted locally.
In the San Diego area where I live you can purchase some of the ingredients at these herbal pharmacies and grocery stores:
Here are my favorite organic online herbal suppliers:
Have you tried this tea recipe?
I’d love to hear how what you think about this tea and any modifications you enjoy. Comment below!
References & Further Reading:
- Sobhani Z, Nami SR, Emami SA, Sahebkar A, Javadi B. Medicinal plants targeting cardiovascular diseases in view of Avicenna. Curr Pharm Des. 2017 Feb 14. doi: 10.2174/1381612823666170215104101. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28215156
- Nagashree S1, Archana KK1, Srinivas P1, Srinivasan K2, Sowbhagya HB. Anti-hypercholesterolemic influence of the spice cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) in experimental rats. J Sci Food Agric. 2016 Nov 26. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.8165. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27888503
- Rosa PB1, Neis VB1, Ribeiro CM1, Moretti M2, Rodrigues AL3. Antidepressant-like effects of ascorbic acid and ketamine involve modulation of GABAA and GABAB receptors. Pharmacol Rep. 2016 Oct;68(5):996-1001. doi: 10.1016/j.pharep.2016.05.010. Epub 2016 Jul 15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27423525
- Olech M, Nowak R. Multidirectional characterisation of chemical composition and health-promoting potential of Rosa rugosa hips. Nat Prod Res. 2017 Mar;31(6):667-671. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2016.1180601. Epub 2016 May 6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27153984
- Lai X1, Xia W2, Wei J2, Ding X3. Therapeutic Effect of Astragalus Polysaccharides on Hepatocellular Carcinoma H22-Bearing Mice. Dose Response. 2017 Jan 3;15(1):1559325816685182. doi: 10.1177/1559325816685182. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28210201
- Su, et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Dec 1;12:CD011958. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD011958.pub2. Oral Astragalus (Huang qi) for preventing frequent episodes of acute respiratory tract infection in children. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27905672
- Ng QX1, Koh SS2, Chan HW3, Ho CY3. Clinical Use of Curcumin in Depression: A Meta-Analysis. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2017 Feb 21. pii: S1525-8610(16)30675-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2016.12.071 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28236605
- Lopresti AL1, Drummond PD2. Efficacy of curcumin, and a saffron/curcumin combination for the treatment of major depression: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Affect Disord. 2017 Jan 1;207:188-196. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2016.09.047. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27723543