Herbalism, Inspiration
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A Tea for the New Year

teablend.jpgDo you ever let you nose, eyes or hands formulate a tea blend without asking your mind if that “makes sense”?

Sometimes these impromptu, sensual creations may be just what we need.

On New Year’s Day I decided to get to work right away on organizing my dried herbs. I opened one of the three cupboards where bags and jars of herbs are scattered about, pulled out a two bags that occupied me for the rest of the evening. Enough organizing…I’ll have plenty of time to tidy up my herbs later, right? (Note to self: get a label on those bottles and bags…that’s what I said last New Year’s!)

I found about an ounce each of lavender and safflower. The red and purple looked so vibrant together, especially against the backdrop of an overcast Minnesota winter day. Each of the herbs are essentially the flowers of the plant, similarly tubluar yet delicate in shape. I added another flower, one with a slightly bitter, resinous quality to mellow the taste of the blend; calendula. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t mellow that much, after all calendula is another vibrant flower with it’s own sunny qualities.

After admiring the sunny-red-purpleness in the jar, I steeped my tea blend. With beverage blends, I steep for under an hour, but I was still following my intuition and made a medicinal infusion instead. Four hours later I strained and sipped, the taste was both one entity and separate parts that cascaded through my senses. The gritty-sweet lavender was the high note, which I felt in my head, on my palate, in the back of my neck. The moving yet fullness I felt from the safflower was the middle taste. I didn’t feel it in any place in particular, but simply that it was everywhere uniting my limbs to my body. The sip ended with the a calendula slightly bitter centering I could feel on the bottom of my stomach, up through my side body to the lymph nodes in my armpits where it lingered. I tasted calendula in every part of my mouth; between teeth, across the map of the tongue, in the epithelial cells, on the palate.

The overall feeling of the tea was one of cellular cleansing from the center of my body out and emotional peace without much thoughts. I tried to think about how the tea was making me feel and promptly decided to “stop thinking about how I feel, just feel!”. In a way it cleared my mind, not with clarity of thoughts but a reduction of them. A pretty good state of mind to start the new year with…


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