Tag Archives: herbs

My Herbal First Aid Kit

One of my greatest pastimes is to meander through the halls of history museums and, as a nurse by profession, I always spend a great deal of time in front of the medical exhibits. The archaic tools, the vials of powders, a doctor’s entire practice encased in a small leather bag or wooden crate; it all fascinates me. I could spend hours perusing these items from behind the glass walls.

Recently, I was engrossed in an exhibit from the Civil War period when my daughter pointed out that all our favorite herbs were in the case in front of us. She was tickled pink to see little glass jars of Plantain, Turmeric, Mullein, and Lobelia, as well as two rows of additional herbs. She’s an avid history buff too, and we both were reminded that at home we were using the tools of our great-great-grandparents (and those that came even before them). Here are a few of my favorite ways to use these ancient but modern resources.

My Herbal First Aid Kit from Beeyoutiful

TURMERIC

This beautifully deep yellow powder is rich in benefits. We mainly keep turmeric for culinary uses when we are feeling under the weather, or just for fun because we love spicy Indian food! The main active ingredient is curcumin, which is very rich in antioxidants, making turmeric a great way to boost immunity and soothe your symptoms while sick. We add a teaspoon or two to our soups, especially when struggling with congestion or coughs. We also highly suggest sipping on Liquid Gold Coconut Milk when under the weather; it’s a Beeyoutiful favorite!

Liquid Gold Coconut Milk recipe from Beeyoutiful

Liquid Gold Coconut Milk

  • 1 can of Coconut Milk
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp raw honey or maple syrup (Can substitute with a few drops of Stevia if needed)
  • Tiny piece of fresh, peeled ginger root (or ¼ tsp ginger powder)
  • Tiniest pinch of cayenne pepper (generally omitted for kids, but included in the adult version!)

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan. Use an immersion blender to thoroughly mix all ingredients together while it gently warms on medium heat (or blend at high speed in a regular blender before heating in a pan). Serve and drink immediately.

RED RASPBERRY LEAVES

Another personal favorite! It has long been prized for women, especially those preparing for childbirth, but did you know that red raspberry leaves are also beneficial to your body during periods of colds or flu? While it does not impact the virus directly, the herb has astringent properties which help to soothe throats, aid the body as it clears the mucus, and restore balance. When we’re sick at our house, we limit food intake to fresh fruits and vegetables, and then drink Red Raspberry Leaf Tea liberally throughout the day.  To make it more palatable for littles, I occasionally add a bit of raw honey and some frozen raspberries and blend well.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea Recipe from Beeyoutiful

Yummy Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
1 cup dried Red Raspberry Leaves
1/2 cup Rosehips
1 cup Frozen Raspberries
Honey to taste
Boil 3 quarts of water and pour over Red Raspberry Leaves and Rosehips. Let steep for 5-20 minutes, then strain and add honey and frozen raspberries. Use immersion blender to mix well. (You can also use a traditional blender, once the mixture has cooled.)

PLANTAIN

Plantain is a first rate “First Aid” plant that is usually close at hand, wherever you may be.  While my children love to pick plantain leaves fresh from the yard to chew and then drape over their cuts, scrapes, and insect bites, during the winter months they are not as readily available and the dried leaves come in handy. A cup of strong plantain tea can be drunk to help calm indigestion, and a small wad of the bruised leaf placed next to the gum can have a calming effect on a toothache until it can be attended to by a dentist.

MULLEIN

Mullein‘s gentle nature makes it one of the very best herbs for use with children’s health challenges. Mullein in the wild is absolutely beautiful; its soft lamb’s ear-like quality just begs to be handled, and is another great herb to grow in your yard to have in plenty! It combines wonderfully with Chamomile, Catnip, and Lemon Balm where appropriate, and can be used to soothe a wide variety of childhood ailments.

Mullein has a folk history of use that focuses on respiratory complaints. It has traditionally been used to calm coughs and colds. Mullein is considered the herb of choice for lung ailments; individuals who struggle with ongoing lung issues have reported positively when using Mullein, usually in a tea. Its pleasant taste blends well with others.

And last but not least to round out my favorites:

LOBELIA

Lobelia is one of the most powerful emetics known to the herbal world, and it also has fantastic benefits for respiratory issues and sore throats as well. Used in conjunction with Mullein, it has become one of our family’s favorite remedies to pull out when we first start feeling a ticklish throat. We use it in small amounts in our teas (1/2 part lobelia, 1 part Mullein, and 1 part Spearmint, steeped in 1 cup of hot water, sweetened with honey and taken twice a day), but our favorite way to use Lobelia is with Mullein in a fomentation wrapped around the neck. (A fomentation is something like a tea for the outside of the body: a steeped herb is used to soak a cloth, which in turn carries the herb’s benefits through the skin.)

Soothe the Throat Fomentation from Beeyoutiful

Soothe the Throat Fomentation

Steep both herbs in 8-10 ounces of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain and then take cotton cloth (I have used old cotton diapers and cut them into four inch wide strips lengthwise) and soak them in the strong liquid. Wring out until damp but not dripping and then wrap around the throat. This can be worn for several hours and then switched for a fresh fomentation. This can be used until the discomfort has been eliminated. To protect the clothing or bedding, wrap a piece of plastic wrap over the fomentation to hold it in place, and cover with a soft cloth.

This just barely scratches the surface of the benefits that these herbs bring to our lives. Hopefully even this introductory view will pique your interest! For more in-depth information, I invite you to check out Beeyoutiful’s selection of books about herbs (beginning with Nutritional Herbology) and begin your herbal education journey today.

Spice Up Your Recipes, Perk Up Your Health – Summer 2010 Catalog

Spice Up Your Recipes, Perk Up Your Health

The Two Faces of Rosemary

by Mary Ewing266976_10100645769584420_903335_o

I once made a horrible false accusation. When I was fourteen, I blamed my migraine headaches on an innocent herb. At a resort I visited in California with my family, sweet-scented Rosemary plants grew everywhere and hotel chefs seasoned many house specialties with the tantalizing flavor. While there, I experienced the first migraine headache of my life and accused Rosemary of causing it. For fifteen years, I held a grudge-until I learned the delectable truth.

True Love from False Hate

At a church small group dinner one night, I was enthralled with one particular potluck dish. I raved to the young lady who had made it that I could eat her meal every day and never tire of it. She winked as she told me her secret ingredient was Rosemary-and I nearly melted onto the floor, fearing the onset of a migraine. When no headache attacked, I absolved Rosemary of my misconception and welcomed the spice back into my life!

Once I opened my mind to the truth about Rosemary, I not only looked up every culinary use I could find, but I also started reading about the plant itself and the various ways to use Rosemary in day to day life-especially Rosemary Essential Oil. The first night I discovered the oil, I stayed up four hours past my bedtime because I just could not stop reading. I was fascinated at the vast benefits attributed to this divine-tasting herb.

RosemaryEssentialOilWebSteph

Now there’s nothing much more comforting to my tummy than potatoes au gratin with Rosemary tucked between the layers of potatoes and cheese. Actually, Rosemary in just about any stew or stock is such a delightful earthy addition, that I will not turn it down. And thanks to Beeyoutiful, there is now another wonderful form through which to indulge in the splendors of Rosemary. Rosemary Essential Oil not only captures the cozy, warm feelings that I get when eating my favorite potatoes, it also harnesses the power of the versatile Rosemary plant, putting it in an easy-to-use form. Let me tell you why it’s a must for all households.

How Does It Work?

The Rosemary plant has many different components that combine to produce its basic anti-inflammatory and tonic functions. It strengthens tissues in the body to help them perform normally, and it offers antiseptic and stimulant properties.

A powerful antioxidant, Rosmarinic acid is one of the primary components in the oil. Antioxidants scour your body, finding free radicals (molecules in the body that have lost an important electron). These free radicals are highly unstable and must find a molecular victim from which to “steal” an electron. Retrieving the electron damages the healthy cells in the body but antioxidants bind with free radicals, neutralizing them and eliminating the threat they pose to your healthy cells. The presence of Rosmarinic acid has been said to decrease the risk of cancer, slow the affects of aging, and reduce inflammation in the body.

Another key component in Rosemary is diosmetin. Diosmetin is flavone, also an antioxidant. It is known to help strengthen capillaries as well as other parts of the cardiovascular system and has been reported to increase circulation and possibly increase low blood pressure. Diosmetin seems to target the head and blood vessels that lead to the head. As a result, it is recommended for helping to increase circulation in the brain and surrounding areas. This can have the effect of enhancing memory, decreasing depression, elevating moods, and reducing headaches.

Rosmaricine is the analgesic part of the Rosemary plant. From sore muscles to throbbing headaches to sprains, this powerful ingredient may bring quick relief and, coupled with the increased circulation, it can help in the healing of injuries.

How Do I Use Rosemary?

My research about Rosemary suggests that it can be used for just about everything from antibacterial agent to sore muscle analgesic to headache-reliever to respiratory health-improver to anxiety-reducer to digestive aid. When I received my first order of my new favorite oil, I used it for a horrible sinus infection coupled with lung congestion. I had read that the anti-inflammatory properties can help open inflamed nasal passages and decrease congestion. Also, the antiseptic properties can help the immune system fight off the offending virus or bacteria. So I pulled out my bottle and started mixing (this used to scare my husband, but now he likes the results and no longer trembles at another one of my concoctions).

First, I got my oil-mixing bowl (the rule here is: always use glass, never plastic). I use a small Pyrex bowl that I found at the thrift store but any small mason jar, glass or ceramic bowl, or similar container will work. I prefer a designated container for mixing, in order to avoid accidentally consuming the full strength oils if I were to confuse the containers.

Next, I decided on my recipe and gathered my oils. For a respiratory formula, I used Rosemary Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil, Clary Sage Essential Oil, Eucalyptus and Lemon Essential Oils. I used 10 to 15 drops of each in the bowl. I mixed well to combine all the oils. Then I transferred this mixture into a dark glass jar and labeled it accordingly. It smelled heavenly and I was able to breathe very soon after first inhaling it.

I used my mixture in three ways. First, I diffused it in the room at twenty minute intervals throughout the day. Second, I mixed several drops of it with about a teaspoon of Sweet Almond Oil and rubbed it on my feet, chest, and shoulders. Third, I added about ten drops to a warm bath (this not only helped me breathe, but it also helped relax my sore muscles).

The results? You may be surprised to have me tell you I was disappointed. But it was only because my expectations were wrong. I didn’t understand the wonderful way this Rosemary treatment was meant to work.

I had some fantastic immediate relief from symptoms but, overall, I felt as sick as ever. I was hoping it would knock the opponent I was fighting from here to last Sunday, but it didn’t. Or so I thought. Slowly, I realized what was happening to me. Typically, my colds last a week to ten days with a sore throat at the onset progressing to a runny nose and then a battle of congestion. This time, I had the sore throat and the faucet nose and felt horrible. I was terribly discouraged-until about 36 hours after my Rosemary-based treatment when I woke up completely and utterly well. No congestion, no sore throat, no overall misery. I had been sick for less than three days, rather than the week it usually takes to recover. I was amazed and by the end of the day, I was outside mixing heavy bags of manure, peat moss, and vermiculite for our garden without a single sneeze, sniffle, or sign of a cold. I was convinced!

More Ways to Keep Rosemary Busy

I was even more in love with my new bottle of Rosemary Essential Oil than ever! I could not wait to use it on other ailments. I combined several drops with Jojoba Oil and rubbed it into my shoulders after gardening. The massage oil not only felt great, but it smelled good, too.

In addition to the pain relief for the sore shoulders and the increased blood flow to the brain, it is also said to help relax the user by reducing anxiety and eliminating insomnia. It’s a great before-bedtime massage oil. My youngest, Maggie, loves the smell as much as I do. She begs me to get the bottle out just so she can smell it. I massage her feet and back with it when she is restless. (Note: Never use the oil full strength on your skin, and always test for sensitivity, especially on a child.)

For those of you that suffer from headaches, be sure and keep your bottle close by your side. Dabbing a few drops on your temples can help eliminate the pain immediately. Remember that the oil should never go near your eyes and you should always dilute it with a carrier oil prior to use.

On a dull day, whether due to a cloudy day or a blue temperament, combine several drops of Rosemary Essential Oil with Lemon Essential Oil for a pick me up! You can combine it with a carrier oil and rub it on your wrists, shoulders, temples, and behind your ears. The pleasant aroma doubles as a delightful perfume. Or add it to your infuser for a household mood makeover.

Having Beeyoutiful’s Rosemary Essential Oil has made it so convenient to use in my daily life that I, literally, do not leave home without it. I use an old cloth glasses case inherited from a great grandmother to carry the Rosemary bottle in my purse, ready to pull out if I or any of my friends has need. It also pairs well with many of the other oils that Beeyouitful carries. Obviously, I no longer have any angst about using this wonderful herb. I appreciate the beauty of both faces of my friend, Rosemary.

Winter 2010 Letter from Steph

Hello to all our Beeyoutiful friends!Steph

Another season change has arrived since our last catalog. Winter came nipping at the heels of Fall and took over-all too soon, in my opinion. The gorgeous leaves and vibrant colors are gone, leaving the bare limbs of trees reaching unadorned to the sky. Unlike some of you in other parts of the country, we rarely get snow around here so our winter months can be rather drab and colorless without a beautiful blanket of fluffy white. On the other hand, since we don’t have to deal with muddy slush and other snow-related complications, “drab” is not so bad when I stop to think about it.

Our lives seem to get busier with each passing month. Noelle is talking up a storm and has a strong opinion on just about everything. Her presence is a constant joy and humbling reminder of our shortcomings. One of her new favorite phrases is “I don’t wANt to!” in response to an instruction or request. It’s proving to be a tough lesson for her that life is filled with many things we don’t want to do but must do anyway. The difficult, the dirty, the mundane, and the frustrating are all part of life as well as the fun, exciting and enjoyable. Nevertheless, even though she is only two-and-a-half, Noelle’s learning to help with daily chores. She loves doing anything with water and has become quite the little dishwashing and rinsing marvel. This tops the list of her favorite household duties for which to volunteer. The floor is usually covered in water by the time she’s done, but she cheerfully helps clean it up, and I can count that as an impromptu mopping of the kitchen floor.Noelle

My wonderful husband and Beeyoutiful’s CEO, Steve, facilitated an incredible surprise for me and three ladies on our Beeyoutiful staff. As you may know, we sell the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation. I’ve had a lot of respect for the work of Sally and the WAPF for several years now although I’ve never been able to become a member or attend any WAPF conferences. But in November, Steve surprised us with a trip to Chicago to attend the 2009 WAPF Conference. One of our most valuable take-aways is that we interviewed some of the vendors at the conference who are excellent resources for healthy foods with difficult-to-find quality and safety sources. The interviews are posted on YouTube under the username stephtallent. They can also be found in the Education forum: www.merryheartmedicine.com.

Looking ahead to the next few months: You’ll see various resources become available in several forms, one being articles from experts that participated in the conference.This month we feature an article from one of my favorite vendors: a delightful couple I dubbed “The Sprouted Grain Folks.” Co-owner of To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co. (www.organicsproutedflour.net), Peggy Sutton graciously agreed to write an article for our customers to teach them step-by-step how to sprout grains and prepare them for grinding. We also have a companion article written by my sister-in-law, Stephanie Kuvik-Tallent, sharing her story on soaking (un-sprouted) flour and also her step-by-step recipe with pictures. Articles like this get me excited and make me want to run to the kitchen and create something nutritious for my family!

Someone at the conference asked me who and what Beeyoutiful is as a company and why they should trust us. The question startled me because I frequently take for granted that our customers have a relationship with us and know the work and quality control that goes into each and every product we carry. I also assume people know they can trust us to always try to do the right thing, whether we succeed or not. I realize, though, that both of these assumptions are very wrong. We have new customers coming to our metaphorical doors all the time. Questions about quality control and why a company should be trusted are both trademarks of a wise consumer. I ask them myself before trusting the integrity of a new company or giving my hard earned dollars to purchase a new product.

So, Quality Control: How well is the quality of the manufacturing processes managed for Beeyoutiful products?

I could bombard you with a lot of nitty gritty manufacturing details but in a few paragraphs, your eyes would glaze over, and you would skip to more interesting parts of the catalog. So I’ll stick with the bottom line version.

For any of you who want some particular nit or grit detail that I don’t cover here, please, as always, feel free to write us. We are what the industry calls a “full disclosure company” (the rare breed that seems to be ever more endangered). That means if you ask us, we’ll tell you. It also means that each product label tells exactly what is in the product. The law allows that, if any ingredient is less than 1% of the whole of a product, a company is not required to report it in the nutritional facts. At Beeyoutiful, though, we know that for consumers this is a terrible thing. Sometimes even trace amounts of an ingredient make a difference. So in the spirit of doing unto others what we would like done unto us, we are committed to disclosing every single component of every single product, no matter how tiny the amount may be.

Our supplements are all made at facilities with a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification. GMP is a quality control check of every step of the manufacturing process. It ensures the final product is safe for consumption, is not contaminated, and that every unit is produced with consistent care. What’s more, our primary manufacturer goes above and beyond the basic GMP requirements. The company takes 11 random samples from each individual raw ingredient shipped to their facility and runs them through a mass spectrometer. If there is any trace of a pesticide, heavy metal, or any other harmful compound, the shipment is refused and not even allowed into the facility. The detection capabilities are so refined that in examining the raw materials, they can detect the equivalent of one grain of sand in a five-mile beach. This is significant because, even in certified organic shipments, they’ve found contaminants and refused to use the materials.

We also like to support home businesses. Most of our skincare products are made by cottage industries. We’ve found that large companies often cut corners to reduce expenses, and the quality of the products intended for external use suffers. It can also be difficult for large companies to consistently locate enough high quality ingredients. Small manufacturers, on the other hand, can usually buy raw herbs, beeswax, and other components locally and can personally check out the quality of the sources to ensure purity.

We’ve seen how several “natural” body product companies that we respected changed policies as they grew, letting in what we consider inferior ingredients once they had won the publics’ trust. This is something small, home-based manufacturers do not have the luxury of doing. They see their customers face to face at farmer’s markets and use their products on their own children, family, and friends. This provides a highly personal element of accountability that can be missing in large-scale skincare production.

A last comment on quality control but certainly not the least important: All of our products are manufactured in the US. While quality products can be found overseas, it’s much more difficult to personally check up on the consistency of quality controls. And it’s almost impossible to enforce any special requests. We would be at the mercy of the discretion and trustworthiness of local management, a situation complicated by the potential miscommunications due to language barriers.

Many people wonder how we go about adding products. Do we design them ourselves, or do we have a professional do it? How do we come up with the blends we carry?

Our goal is to make available the most affordable and highest quality products for families that we can. As we learn and expand the range of natural living products we use for ourselves, we try our best to make them available for our customers. Sometimes this means going to the manufacturer/designer of a particular product that we think is amazing and asking if they will allow us to private label it. Other times, this means we come up with the idea of a product and propose it to a formulator and manufacturer, having a custom product made just for us. A classic example is our Organic Red Raspberry leaf capsules.

We’ve always offered a 30-day, 100% satisfaction guarantee to our customers. If you order something and don’t like it for any reason at all, you can return it, and we will refund the full cost of the product (I would say “no questions asked” except that we do usually ask for the reason because feedback helps us learn how to improve our products in the future). Recently, though, we’ve increased the 30-day policy to a 60-day policy in order to give even more time for folks to try a product and decide if it is beneficial or not. It’s another way for us to underscore just how important your satisfaction is to us.

Finally, the most compelling assurance I can offer that we always strive to have the highest quality products is that we take these products ourselves on a daily basis and use them with our children and loved ones. Our personal best interest mandates that we  maintain the integrity of our products.

In a way, we hope that someday a company like Beeyoutiful will no longer be needed. The ideal would be for our society to offer genuinely nourishing, beneficial, and affordable foods as well as education for food preparation methods that deliver the nutrients needed to maintain good health.

In striving to learn for ourselves and pass this knowledge on to others, I recommend an amazing educational resource: the video documentary Food Inc. Request it at your local library, borrow it from a friend, or rent it. The education it provides as to why our nation has reached its current food and nutritional crisis is priceless.

I hope you enjoy this Winter Catalog. Snuggle up in front of a fire, or curl up under a blanket, get a hot cup of whatever beverage makes you happy, and enjoy! May you and your families be warm, well nourished, and healthy this winter.

As always, if there’s anything I can do to help or encourage you or your family, please write to me anytime at steph@beeyoutiful.com

Blessings,

Steph Tallent

Greens- In a Class All Their Own

Greens- In a Class All Their Own

Greens are not ordinary vegetables. Unfortunately, grocery stores lump greens into the vegetable category. Veggies and greens both help our bodies but in different, important ways. Root vegetables like carrots, beets, and turnips are sweet to the taste because they contain sugar and water. By contrast, their green tops taste bitter from the abundance of nutrients in them. While both are necessary for good health, we usually toss out the bitter greens.

Here’s the list Victoria Boutenko provides in Green for Life to make show-stopping smoothies:

Greens: Arugula, asparagus, beet tops, bok choy, broccoli, carrot tops, celery, chard, collard greens, endive, escarole, frisee, kale, mizuna, mustard greens, radicchio, radish tops, Romaine, green and red-leaf lettuce (no Iceberg or light colored leaf), spinach.

Edible Flowers: Clover, elderflowers, dandelions, daylilies, nasturtiums, pansies, violets.

Weeds: Chickweed, clover, dandelion (greens and flowers), lambsquarters, malva, miner’s lettuce, plantain, purslane, stinging nettles.

Herbs: Aloe vera, baby dill, basil, cilantro, fennel, mint, parsley, peppermint leaves, spearmint.

Sprouts: Alfalfa, broccoli, clover, fenugreek, radish, sunflower (use sprouts only 1-2 times per week).

[Lists and recipes are from Victoria Boutenko’s Green for Life-used by permission]

Chicken, Potato, Carrot with Herbs

Lemon-Herb Crock-Pot Chicken

1 roasting chicken (3 – 4 pounds)

Cooking spray or 2 Tbsp butter, melted

1 Tbsp lemon zest

2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped finely

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1 1/2 tsp fresh sage leaves, chopped finely (optional)

1 whole onion

Juice from one lemon

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Place chicken in slow cooker with a small roasting rack underneath if desired. Squeeze juice of the lemon all over the chicken. Save the squeezed-out lemon halves. Put onion and left-over lemon halves inside the cavity of the bird. Mix zest, parsley, salt, pepper, sage and thyme. Sprinkle or rub mixture all over the top of the bird. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours. When meat thermometer reads 180 degrees on inside of thigh, remove chicken and let set for 10 minutes or until cool enough to cut. Strain drippings into a stovetop pan and remove some of the fat with a spoon. Bring to a boil and thicken with flour or cornstarch slurry.

Mustard-Herb Mashed Potatoes

5 lb bag cooking potatoes (Idaho)

salt

4 whole garlic cloves (peels removed)

4 Tbsp butter

1 cup milk

sweet onion mustard OR Dijon mustard

fresh sprigs of dill (at least 1 Tbsp)

fresh sprigs of parsley (at least 1 Tbsp)

pepper to taste

Scrub, peel (if desired) and chop potatoes. Place in large cooking pot and cover with water. Add prepared garlic cloves and onion from cavity of bird. Add salt to water (a few large pinches) and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain cooking liquid, add butter and 1/2 cup of milk, then mash. Add more milk as needed. When you reach desired consistency, add 3 Tbsp of mustard, snip in fresh dill and parsley. Add pepper.

Quick Maple Carrots

1 bag julienne cut frozen carrots

water

real maple syrup

salt

Put carrots in a saucepan and put enough water on the bottom to steam the carrots. Add 2 Tbsp of maple syrup and sprinkle with salt. Bring to a boil and cook until desired tenderness. 7-10 minutes.

I gathered these recipes using herbs from my herb garden. It turned out really good, so I thought I would share! I love making chicken in a crock-pot. The meat turns out so moist and flavorful. You just can’t mess it up! The gravy from the chicken has a lovely tart-lemon flavor that really compliments the herbs and mustard in the mashed potatoes. The carrots lend a sweet flavor to the meal and add a pop of color to the plate. Garnish with lemon wedges and herb sprigs and celebrate spring. Enjoy!

My Cup of Tea 01- Fall 2009 Catalog

My Cup of Tea

By Sharon Tallent

tea time

My love affair with tea began 35 years ago when I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia. This life-changing news required sweeping changes in my diet. I wept. I mourned. I love sweets! One of the most tragic losses was sweet drinks–no more lemonade, no more fruit drinks, no more sodas. Back then, there were few artificial sweeteners and the ones I tried didn’t taste the same as sugar (some were downright terrible!) and weren’t good for me. My solace became drinking tea. I drank lots of it then and I still do.

On cold days, there’s nothing quite as enjoyable as sitting down with a cup of hot tea to feel warmed and comfortable. On hot days, a large glass of iced tea hits the spot! What makes tea-drinking even better nowadays is that, through the years, more and more teas have become readily available. Thirty-five years ago, pretty much the only teas you could buy were black or orange pekoe tea (like Lipton’s) and Chinese Black Tea in specialty stores. Now the selections seem endless! There are herbal teas and tea blends that:

  • Aid in digestion, constipation, detoxing, and cleansing;
  • Help with PMS, pregnancy, and nursing;
  • Relieve the symptoms of colds, flu, bronchitis, and allergies;
  • Relax the body and help us go to sleep;
  • Refresh and provide energy.

Of all the herbal teas I’ve tried, there are very few I don’t like. I marvel at people who research herbs, buy them in bulk, and come up with their own blends. I’ve done that, but mostly I’m happy to leave that work to others and stick to prepackaged bags. Traditional Medicinals is my favorite. They’ve already done the research on which herbal blends really work well, combined the herbs, and then packaged them in serving sizes! Because of their dedication to providing the highest quality organic teas, Traditional Medicinal is a brand I’ve trusted through the years.

gypsy cold careGypsy Cold Care

During the cold and flu season, I rely heavily on several teas from Traditional Medicinals. Gypsy Cold Care may be my favorite herbal tea (even though it’s hard to pick just one). Everyone in our family welcomed a warm cup of Gypsy Cold Care when they were down with a cold or the flu. Even when they didn’t feel like eating or drinking anything, the patient would drink this minty-sweet tea. The healing magic is in the ingredients:

Elder Flower has an anti-mucous effect and it, along with the Yarrow Flower, can lower a fever. Hyssop is a decongestant and expectorant to clear nasal and bronchial passages. Peppermint and ginger can ease nausea, vomiting and digestive upset. Peppermint can help clear congestion and cough. Cinnamon has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic properties. Plus, it helps reduce inflammation. Licorice Root soothes a sore throat and is effective against certain viruses, bronchitis, and stomach ulcers. Rose Hip (high in vita-min C) and safflower boost the immune system.

Organic Throat Coatthroat coat

To especially target a sore throat, I recommend Organic Throat Coat. Unlike other throat-soothing teas I’ve tried, its clinical tests show Organic Throat Coat is truly effective in treating and relieving sore throat pain. And I know from personal experience that it does! It is soothing and good tasting–even without adding sweeteners. However, since the medicinal benefits of honey are well-known, sometimes I add a bit to this and other teas when serving to the rest of my family. Like Gypsy Cold Care, this tea blend includes cinnamon and Licorice Root. Other featured ingredients are:

Marshmallow Root has anti-bacterial and expectorant qualities and also soothes and softens dry, irritated mucous membranes, making it effective in relieving dry coughs and sore throats. Slippery Elm Bark is very soothing and healing to the mucous membranes of the mouth, stomach, and intestines, helping relieve coughs and bronchitis. Wild Cherry Bark relieves dry, nonproductive coughs and asthma-like symptoms. Fennel fights excessive build-up of mucous in the nose and throat. Sweet Orange Peel is an anti-oxidant and aids digestion – plus, it adds a nice flavor to the tea.

Breathe Easy

Breathe Easybreath easy is amazing for allergies, stuffy heads, and chest congestion. During certain times of the year, especially when the pollen or smog count is high, I am miserable, even to the point of not being able to sleep. One cup of this wonderful tea, though, and I can get on with my day–or drop off to sleep. Breathe Easy actually works better and faster for me than the inhaler prescribed for me for my asthma! This slightly sweet tea contains: fennel, licorice, peppermint, and ginger. Plus, it has Eucalyptus Leaf which helps loosen phlegm, open up nasal passages, and reduce fever and inflammation. It also acts as an expectorant. Eucalyptus is anti-bacterial and has antiseptic qualities. Bi Yan Pian is all-natural herbal formulation in Breathe Easy which relieves congestion in the lungs and nasal passages and reduces inflammation. Calendula acts as an inflammatory and an anti-microbial. Pleurisy Root reduces inflammation in the respiratory system, acts as an expectorant, and it is an anti-spasmodic.

Organic Echinacea Elder

Finally, there’s Organic Echinacea Elder, also for relief of colds and flu. Besides Echinacea, which activates and stimulates immune echinaceacells, relieves pain, reduces inflammation and has anti-viral and anti-oxidant effects, this tea contains Spearmint and Lemon Grass, giving it a fresh mint flavor with a hint of citrus.

Spearmint has similar qualities to peppermint but has a milder taste. An anti-spasmodic, it is often more useful than peppermint as a treatment for indigestion, coughs, and hiccups in children. Lemon Grass is effective against bacteria and viruses, is an anti-spasmodic, helps reduce fevers, and much more. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical study, Echinacea Plus was effective in reducing symptoms as well as shortening their duration. I like to add sweetener to this tea–usually the liquid Stevia that Beeyoutiful sells (although lately, I’ve started adding a bag of Beeyoutiful’s Organic Licorice Root to most teas that I drink, just because it is so soothing and adds extra smoothness and natural sweetness).

Being sick with a cold or sore throat is no fun. At those times, perhaps you, like I, can’t stand the thought of food, soup, cough medicine, or anything like that. That’s when you might want to welcome a cup of warm tea. Sometimes I put two or more of the Traditional Medicinals teas in a large container of boiling water to get the full range of benefits offered by each. It works great!SharonTallentBio

Sharon Tallent is the mother of 3 wonderful adult sons and the grandmother of 3 adorable grandchildren. Through the years, she has spent countless hours researching and trying even more natural and healthy ways to take care of her own health and that of her family. She also enjoys scrapbooking, drawing, traveling, and spending time with her loved ones.

Hello from Tennessee- Introductory Letter Fall 2009

Hello From Tennessee

by Stephanie Tallent

Steph

The witty, funny, and informative letter from my husband and Beeyoutiful’s CEO, Steve, usually graces the opening pages of our catalog, but as Beeyoutiful continues to grow, Steve’s responsibilities have been expanding along with it. So, due to the burgeoning load he carries, the honor and privilege of sharing with you something from our lives and work has passed to me.

As I write, I have a cup of hot tea by my side and a blanket around my shoulders. The laptop is gently warming my legs, which are propped comfortably on the couch. It’s late at night and Steve and Noelle, our two-year-old, are asleep. I’m soaking in a few rare moments of peace and solitude.

Although fall is barely upon us, temperatures have dropped just enough at night to let us know cold weather is around the corner. Hot tea is one of the little treats I try to enjoy once or twice a day in the midst of the business of our lives. Noelle also loves tea so herbal teas are perfect for our mommy and daughter tea times. They’re caffeine-free and beneficial to her growing body and immune system. Sometimes Noelle even helps me fix a cup and take it to Daddy in his office as a surprise. Herbal teas are becoming part of our little family’s tradition and culture.stevia

Page 4 of this catalog features a great article about herbal medicinal teas. With medicinal teas being a part of the backbone of our family’s medicine chest, I am especially grateful for the ease and convenience of individually bagged, high-quality herbal tea blends available from folks like Traditional Medicinals. We sweeten our herb teas with a bit of raw honey or with Beeyoutiful’s de-bittered liquid Stevia. Just a couple drops of Stevia is all it takes to gently enhance the flavor of a large mug of tea and the 1-ounce bottle lasts a surprisingly long time considering how much we use it around here.

This week, I reluctantly said goodbye to my summer garden. After a long season, it was time to rip the corn stalks, zucchini, squash, and pumpkin plants out and put them on my wanna-be compost pile. Still very much a novice gardener under some serious restraints- lack of space, not much money to spend on equipment and garden infrastructure, and a 50/50 natural mix of clay and rocks for soil- I routinely face a challenging garden situation. Nevertheless, for our family budget, I’m convinced that the best way for me to get the organic vegetables we need is to grow them ourselves.

Steve braces himself for the coming storm of work whenever I get that gardening-bug look on my face, babble about green houses, as well as soil, and weather conditions, and start pouring over heirloom seed catalogs. Alongside a country road near our house this past spring, we found an intact, abandoned roll of hay that had fallen off the back of someone’s truck. After waiting a couple of weeks to see if the owners would return to get it, we decided it was fair game and hauled the thing home. A $15 ancient tiller got a new lease on life thanks to the brilliant mechanical abilities of my brother. It wheezed out three small plots and churned a thick layer of hay into the top stratum of our rock/clay soil. After two years of doing my best with a measly compost pile and whatever natural, free resources are at hand (mostly leaves gathered from the woods and some grass clippings) I’m delighted to report that I have what can pass as a layer of topsoil. Instead of the pale, gray-toned clay we started with, the soil in snow a nutty brown color and in some places starting to look quite rich.

My summer garden this year had a few successes, some very disappointing failures, and a lovely surprise at the end. The cabbage became the favorite buffet of every worm and bug in the area and the creatures selfishly didn’t leave enough for us humans to enjoy. My tomatoes tried their best but were so poorly maintained (I can’t imagine whose fault that might have been?) they produced little more than some red garnish for a salad here and there. And I suspect the corn was offended over the soil I subjected it to. It grew barely more than three feet tall and produced such scrawny ears that they weren’t even worth the time to harvest.

The major disappointment of the year, though, came from what I thought would be my crowing achievement. In the plot I had set aside for zucchini, squash, pumpkins, watermelons, and cucumbers, a huge jungle grew, completely spilling over its assigned borders and tumbling down the hill through our yard. Pleased at first, I harvested and froze lots and lots of zucchini. Then disaster struck. My ne’er do well pumpkins cross-pollinated with every other plant in the vicinity. Instead of watermelons, we grew a bizarre, seedless hybrid that boasted of the juice and texture of a watermelon with a deceptive watermelon-ish exterior but the color and flavor of pumpkin. While I took solace in the few pumpkins that managed to develop into their intact pumpkin form, I had to banish to the compost pile every one of my weird but lovely amalagmations I dubbed Cantumpkins and Pumkimelons.

My experiment with heirloom Asian pole beans saved the season. Although, it too nearly ended in disaster when my rigged string support system collapsed, the beans themselves were so long they were almost the stuff of science fiction stories!

At Beeyoutiful, we’re always trying to add good products and make the catalog informative, but I’m particularly excited about this issue. Jessica Bischof, the author of a book to help people manage their thyroid and underlying issues, graciously agreed to write a series of articles for our customers. You’ll see from what she reports that millions of Americans have some degree of untreated or under-treated thyroid dysfunction. Even if you don’t have thyroid issues yourself, somebody close to you probably does. I’m starting my own journey towards thyroid and adrenal health and have been looking, not only for a safe thyroid supplement (see page 24), but also for a resource to help me understand health from top to bottom. Jessica’s article has helped me so much!

In an effort to communicate with you more effectively, we’re planning to start a monthly or bi-monthly e-mail newsletter. It will feature articles much like the catalog but also include coupon codes and featured products, as well as information about special package deals. If you want to receive the newsletter, please go to http://www.beeyoutiful.com/newsletter and enter your e-mail address. We promise never to spam your account or sell your e-mail address to anybody else.

The time has come for me to power-down my laptop, and myself, and join Steve and Noelle for some rest. May you and your families be blessed with peace and good health through the coming fall and winter months. Please contact us if there is any way we can help or encourage you and your family.

Until next time,

Steph (steph@beeyoutiful.com)

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