Herbal Tea and Your Peace of Mind: Nature’s Way to Lift Your Spirits U – OrientalTeaBox

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Herbal Tea and Your Peace of Mind: Nature’s Way to Lift Your Spirits Up Quickly in the Most Trying of Times

Herbal Tea and Your Peace of Mind: Nature’s Way to Lift Your Spirits Up Quickly in the Most Trying of Times

Think of a herbal tea as you would a place of solace where you can run to anytime you need to grab some quiet time solely for yourself — to unburden undisturbed. It refreshes you and allows you to get back and face the challenges of the day. At a time when a lot of confusion has been thrown into the workplace due to the virus, the mental health benefits propped up by a timely flower tea are tough to ignore. 


The United Kingdom is no exception.  Surprisingly, suicide rates may not have gone up (and may have dipped) at the height of the pandemic in the nation that was once the centre of an empire where the sun never sets. Yet, don’t be fooled by that cover. Indeed, a slew of mental health issues has shot up these days, disrupting the workplace for many Englishmen. By the last count, it’s a catastrophe that has become the cause of innumerable sick leaves recently and taken billions of pounds off the country’s overall business productivity output. 


Fortunately, there are ways you can effectively cope with all these. While the massive disruption caused by the virus is one you can’t have control of, you can choose your internal response to what’s happening outside. 


Truth be told, this is where herbal tea comes in most handy. For one, carefully-fermented kombucha sits atop this list. Regular sips from the natural drink should help strengthen your mental health quickly to get you ready to face the world in the most trying of times. And that’s just for starters. Read on. 

A Disruptive Virus Alters the Way We Work

To say COVID-19 disrupted the world is a huge understatement. WHO (World Health Organisation) estimates of the number of deaths due to the virus have reached 14.9 million all over the world with the United States taking over a million of those deaths. To date, the American nation tops the global chart in terms of pandemic casualties. It seems America’s ability to respond effectively to the virus threat is thwarted by its “too many freedoms”, experts detail. 

Suicide Rates not Going Up in the UK

Comparatively, the British nation is churning out better numbers but the virus is still a major threat. Though the United Kingdom is not as grossly affected compared to the US, the European nation has suffered nearly 178,000 deaths as of May 2022. The majority of these deaths occurred within 28 days of patients testing positive for the virus. In graph: 

Location Cases Deaths
England 18.7M 155K
Scotland 1.95M 12,344
Wales 874K 7,473
Northern Ireland 713K 3,445

 Table 1: COVID-19 Statistics in the United Kingdom as of May 2022

 

While these numbers are mindblowing indeed, what’s surprising is the suicide rates have not gone up. Many politicians and subject matter experts pointed out that all the lock-downs and the threats posed by the virus, perceived and real, are going to push mental health to the brink. The panoply of stressors brought about by the virus (e.g., loss of job, furlough, loss of a loved one, sickness) should be too much to bear and overwhelm people, experts detailed. 

 

For instance, America’s former president Donald Trump argued that pandemic restrictions would result in “suicides by the thousands.” Daily Mail headlines echoed such gloom-and-doom scenarios. 

 

On the contrary, the number of people dying of suicide has dipped in the UK. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) detailed that as the virus advanced people’s level of anxiety surged, with the rates of depression doubling. 

 

However, all the chaos that the pandemic crisis injected into the picture only meant social cohesion and altruism also rose to the fore. Research showed that in times of crisis, such as during long periods of war, suicides usually fall. It means people tend to band together and feel less isolated as stipulated by a sociological study by French sociologist Emile Durkheim

 

True enough, a study on 21 countries featured in The Lancet showed no suicide rate increase at the onset of the pandemic. In fact, these rates have fallen in 12 of the countries under the study. 

 

Mental Health Sick Leaves Cost Billions

Certainly, you could feel relieved that the virus hasn’t actually caused suicide rates in the UK to rise. It’s a positive note. However, before you jump for joy, know that there are a string of other ways the virus has had a very drastic effect on the British populace. And top of that list is the way we work. 

 

In 2021, a year when we’ve grappled with the realities of the Delta and the Omicron variants of the virus, poor mental health became the leading cause of workers in the UK taking off work for illness. It may seem irrelevant but the economic equivalent of these absences is worrisome, to say the least. 

 

  • 43 billion pounds ($56.9 billion): cost of mental health absences to employers
  •  

    Such data was provided by GoodShape, an outfit that manages absences for a string of companies. Reportedly, there are about 750,000 employee records being overseen by GoodShape. Further, it reported that sick leave costs ballooned to as high as 31% during the pandemic. That overall cost does not even include the cost of hiring and subsequent training or replacement staff. 

     

    Up to November of last year, mental health issues took 19% of all the sick leave absences. The number is even higher than the total number of confirmed cases in the country alone. 

     

    GoodShape went a step further. It combined its data with government statistics to be able to extrapolate needed nationwide figures. The result: 

     

  • Working days lost due to absences totalled 319 million in 2021 while that number was down to 250 million in 2019 before the virus. 
  • These findings are synchronous to the arrival of the Omicron variant and people were once again asked to work from home. Government workers suffered the most in terms of the number of absences due to mental health issues. 

     

    Certainly, the pandemic stresses that it’s never really a good time to be sick mentally and physically. People should therefore be more careful and expect more from themselves and their wallets. 

     Herbal

    Herbal Tea to the Rescue

    As destructive as a negative mental state is to your work, it’s important you take a proactive approach to deal with your wellbeing. That means you need to make an audit of your day-to-day routine and minimise unnecessary stressors in your everyday living. At the same time, you need to find ways to solidify a positive outlook in life. 

     

    For one, tuning in to the news could be a means of staying in touch with the outside world especially in these trying times during the pandemic.  But if you’re too tuned in about the negative things around you, it might trigger a feeling of hopelessness, leading you deep into a rabbit hole of depression. In short, it becomes unhealthy.

     

    Thus, it’s best you focus on the things that could strengthen your mental health. While the prospects of which may seem daunting, there are a host of natural ways you can do to improve your mental state. Being active, finding a hobby and staying connected with your circle of family and friends is top of that list. 

     

    What’s amazing is herbal tea can be just the tool to relax your mind. A good blend can have an immediate effect on minimising anxiety. In this sense, they are notable for their extraordinary properties to help put your mind and body at ease. Towards that goal, you can even bath with them — and go beyond the usual path of drinking them. 

     

    Below are five ways herbal tea can be a shot in the arm when it comes to soothing your nerves. Take note that making a habit of these teas should be a long way to achieving the calmness you desire in the most chaotic of times such as the pandemic). 

     

    1.) The Calming Effect of Camella Sinensis

    First up, a little definition of terms should be timely. Indeed, you’d easily be at a loss if you fail to delineate what herbal tea is. A little misconception can breed chaos.

     

    Generally, when people talk about the tea they’re referring to the concoction that comes from the Camella Sinensis shrub, a species of evergreen shrubs or small trees in the flowering plant family Theaceae

    Trivia: The plant’s scientific name comes from the Latinised version of the name of Moravian Jesuit missionary to the Philippines, Rev. George Kamel. It was how the much-celebrated Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus wanted it. Sinensis refers to China, from which the plant originated thousands of years ago. 

     

    Technically, purists consider only those tea that comes from the Camella Sinensis plant as true tea. These true teas contain caffeine and theanine that can bring about an immediate boost in your mental alertness. Plus, part of the offering of these is its plant antioxidants called polyphenols. 

     

    It’s this amazing array of phytonutrients that sets the tea apart from most drinks. We’re talking about the neuroprotective effects of these drinks: anti-oxidative stress, anti-inflammation and anti-apoptosis.

     

    • True teas (e.g., oolong, green tea, white tea, black tea), studies show, minimise the risk of dementia. That includes preventing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. 

    Overall, true teas should soothe you. For instance, green tea has been a fave drink for Buddhist monks for centuries. These men of cloth use the infusions to calm the stressed mind and overall, relax the body. 

     

    Of course, credit has to be given to the caffeine found in all true tea types. Small wonder why a concoction from the Camella Sinensis is dubbed a nootropic drink. They give you better focus and by extrapolation, greater productivity. 

     

    • On the other hand, herbal teas cover a lot more ground in terms of ingredients. More commonly known as herbal infusions (and less commonly as tisanes), these beverages are made from the infusion or decoction of herbs, spices, or other plant material in hot water. In that sense, these concoctions are still all-natural. 

     

    Now, here’s where things can get a bit confusing. While herbal tea can be used in contrast to the true teas (e.g., oolong, green tea, black tea), some of these herbal blends do contain true teas. In this regard, they harbour the mind-soothing abilities common to tea from the Camella Sinensis shrub. Three examples below:  

    Camella Sinensis based Herbal Tea Characteristics Origin
    Red Jade Tea (Taiwan No.18) A fully fermented with a natural sweet aroma of cinnamon and lemon. Tested to have the highest anti-oxidant element (Chung Shan Medical University). Sun Moon Lake Region (Taiwan
    Dah Yeh Green Tea This pesticide-free, chemical-free, additive-free, all-natural green tea is widely credited for its most antioxidant effects. East Coast Taiwan

    Table 2: Sample of Herbal Teas Based on True Teas

    If you need some peace of mind, drinking these teas should be a great start. Know finding time for yourself would be greatly enhanced when opened up by such a hot drink. However, there are also health benefits associated with a cold brew.

     

    2.) The Power of Herbs for Mental Health

    On the other end of the spectrum, there’s the presence of ingredients other than those from true teas that can effectively give you a mental health boost. While many of these herbs can be infused in true teas, there are herbal teas that stand on their own. A good majority of these herbal drinks have been noted for their ability to lift your mood in a jiffy. 

     

    Indeed, you really can’t underestimate the healing power of herbs in terms of mental resiliency. A great example here is the case for cinnamon. What makes herbal methods strengthen your body and mind is they’ve been tested for centuries with wondrous effects And the same holds true for cinnamon.

     

    As an aromatic condiment, cinnamon is a most sought-after spice that adds flavouring to a wide variety of cuisines. But the aroma-filled all-natural ingredient is an effective anti-depressant. 

     

    • Cinnamon: Studies have shown the anti-anxiety and anti-depressant nature of cinnamon essential oil. For instance, a forced swim test of mice shows a significant increase in mobility of mice that were administered the herbal oil than those that weren’t. 

     

    The same holds true for lemon. For years, lemon balm has been taken to effectively soothe stress symptoms, boost mood and help relax. A 2004 study, for example, showed how those who took lemon balm had reduced feelings of anxiety and increased sense of calmness compared to those who didn’t take one in a controlled stress-induced laboratory test. 

     

     

    Fortunately, you can find a tea drink that incorporates a whole set of these health-inducing herb ingredients. The following shows over a dozen of these herbs rolled into one patented tea drink. Grabbing a cuppa of this herbal tea should be one golden opportunity not to miss.

     

    Herbs in One Powerful Herbal Tea Health Characteristics

     

    Liquorice Root(Gancao)

     

    Lobed Kudzuvine Root (Gegen)
    • Native to several Asian countries and has been used extensively for centuries to treat diabetes, fever, and diarrhoea
    • Reduce alcohol dependence as per extensive study
    • Rich in antioxidants (e.g., isoflavone puerarin) that help treat liver damage
    • Promote heart health
    • Contains phytoestrogens that act like estrogen that help deal with menopausal complaints (e.g., hot flashes, night sweats).

     

    Hairy Uraria(Jiouweitsau)
    • Widely used in medicine
    • Roots possess aphrodisiac properties to increase libido and sexual desire. Maintains stamina and adds to energy
    • antiseptic property best for antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial treatment

     

    Lalang Grass Rhizome (Baimaogen)

     

    Common Selfheal Spike (Xiakucao)

     

    Purslane(Machrshian)

    Table 3: Herbs Found in Pure Kombucha Taiwan Herb Tea



    These are just some of the tons of health benefits that one can get naturally and quickly from herbs. What’s more, a cup of herbal tea can lead you to calmer days ahead. Imagine getting all those benefits from one product. That can certainly spell a lot of difference in your everyday living. 


    Again, it must be remembered that there is an extensive pool of healing experiences attributed to these herbs that could date back centuries. The holistic approach of Chinese Traditional Medicine that’s based on natural methods must be commended here in this regard. By design, these alternative healing methods are designed to stimulate the healing mechanisms of one’s body. 

     

    3.) Superior Processing for a Healthy Mind

    By now, you should be aware of the myriad benefits of drinking herbal tea. But the oasis of wellness can grow even bigger. Superior processing of the green or black tea can come up with even more astounding results. 

     kombucha (Bee Bread, Ashwaganda, Reishi Mushroom & Ginger-cup)

    A glorious example here is kombucha

     

    • As defined, kombucha is a fermented black or green tea drink commonly consumed for its purported health benefits. Usually, the drink is lightly effervescent and sweetened. Juice, spices, fruit or other flavourings are often added.

     

    To create kombucha, producers ferment sugared tea using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). Such a mix is most commonly called a "mother" or "mushroom". Fermentation takes from 10 to 14 days. The resulting culture grows good bacteria and produces beneficial enzymes that can have amazing health benefits to your body. 

     

    For instance, kombucha has been notable in maintaining gut health. More importantly, the unique concoction can help you achieve mental health. Below is a table of five of the possible contributions kombucha can give you: 

    Health Benefits

    How Kombucha Helps


    1.


    Mental Health


    • Kombucha is probiotic-rich. As such, it can help promote positive mental health. Probiotics have been linked to reduced depression

    • In addition, there are strong links between inflammation and depression. As kombucha has anti-inflammatory effects, it could help alleviate symptoms of depression



    2.


    Heart Health



    • Probiotics have been shown to help reduce  risks of cardiovascular disease. 

    3.


    Gut Health



    • Thus, it has been shown to be effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome

    4.


    Liver Health


    • The antioxidants found in kombucha aid in fighting free radicals in the body that damage cell structure.


    5.


    Type 2 Diabetes



    Table 4: Kombucha Tea Greatest Health Benefits

     

    WARNING: You can use green tea/black tea/oolong to make a SCOBY. But you need to observe the process with meticulous eyes. You will not be able to get the desired result if you ferment it too long or fail to prepare a sterile environment. Here’s a quick read to know more if you plan to make one at home. 

     

    Special-Pasta-using-Kombucha-Sauce 

    Sample Recipe to Use Kombucha 

    So, if you want to have your fair share of gut-friendly probiotics and tons of amino acids and antioxidants, then inserting kombucha right into your cooking is spot-on. There are myriad ways to do it. Here’s a sample recipe:

    Special Pasta using Kombucha Sauce (extra creamy)

     

    The Ingredients: 

     

    • 3/4 cup kombucha 
    • Butter: 4 Tbs
    •  cloves garlic (minced): 1 Tsp
    • heavy cream: 1 cup
    • lemon juice: ½ Tbs
    • Parmesan: ½ cup
    • pepper: ½ tsp
    • pink Himalayan salt: ½ Tsp
    • frozen green peas:  ½ cup (soak in cold water before use)
    • Rigatoni pasta: 9 ounces
    • Water: 1 cup

     

    Getting It Done: 

     

    1. Start by melting butter in your choice pot. Use medium heat for best results.
    2. Add garlic. Cook until the aroma becomes obvious. 
    3. Add your lemon and cream juice along with the kombucha; make sure to reduce the heat to properly simmer. 
    4. Add Parmesan. Do it in an orderly manner one tablespoon at a time. Before adding another, stir to melt. 
    5. Next, add water and rigatoni. Simmer. Make sure to stir the combination every 5 minutes.
    6. Next, add your peas. All this time continually stir the pasta to thicken the sauce. Stop when the pasta is firm al dente.
    7. Suit to taste by adding pepper and salt. For added suave, you can also try a pinch of fresh scallops and barley; mix the combo before plating. 
    8. To enjoy this special pasta, serve it while hot. Before doing so, garnish with freshly-shaved parmesan along with cracked pepper. 

     

    NOTE: If you choose to make your kombucha from scratch at home, using true teas is the recommended way to go. Here’s a quick read to get you going. For top-notch ready-to-use kombucha, you can explore choices here

    Wrapping Things Up

    Without a shadow of a doubt, the pandemic has turned the way we work on its head. As a result of the disruption, the way we work has been adversely affected: now you have to adjust to a whole array of new experiences. However, you need not be caught on the shorter end of the stick in all the chaos. A timely tweak to your work approach should be in order. 

    Truth be told, finding needed peace of mind (and putting order to the chaos) should be within your reach. A little lifestyle adjustment should start the ball rolling. Plus, getting your spirits up naturally should be in order with a cup of your choice herbal tea daily. 

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