I once read a story about Prince Charles visiting President Reagan in the White House. When it came time for tea, they served it to him in a tea bag. According to Reagan, the prince admitted, “I didn’t know what to do with it.”
This is sort of how I felt, but in the reverse, when I started drinking tea. My whole life I’d only seen it in tea bags, and when my Norwegian friend bought me some loose leaf rhubarb tea from Sweden, I didn’t really know what to do with it.
I was intimidated by these leaves rattling around, free to go wherever they pleased. I could choose whatever amount I wanted. Would I choose correctly? Where exactly do they belong?
I bought a hemp tea bag, but that didn’t really work. It took me a bit but I finally figured out those metal tea strainers work the best. And now, I’m experimenting, making my own teas!
A pleasant side-effect to all this is that I’m learning more about herbology, an interest of mine. Teas can be a powerful medicine, and I’m thrilled to say I’ve already discovered one that helps me every single month.
My advice for the gentlemen readers among us is to keep on reading. Even if you’re never going to experience the pains of childbirth, you’ll most certainly be affected by a female in your life who suffers from PMS. I know. It’s not a sexy topic, but it’s one that keeps coming up month after month.
So fellas, if you’ve got a female friend, girlfriend, wife or sister, you could be a super life-saver and mix her up a batch of this concoction. It’s easy and works wonders. It would be hard not to adore you for it.
And ladies, you won’t believe the difference drinking a few cups every morning will make before and during your menstrual cycle. Waaaay less swelling and bloating, fewer cramps (I have an IUD and even those cramps are pretty much gone!), calmer emotions. What’s not to like?
I’ve adapted it from Make Your Place, a super awesome book I’ve raved about before. You can find all of the ingredients in a natural foods store. If there isn’t one close by, there are plenty of places to buy online.
I’ve made smaller amounts, but I find the last thing I want to do when I’m feeling icky is mix up a batch of tea, not matter how ridiculously easy it is. This makes enough for about three months.
Shark Week Tonic
- 1/2 cup dandelion root
- 1/2 cup chamomile
- 1/2 cup lemon balm
- 2 tablespoons raspberry leaf
- 2 tablespoons cramp bark
- fresh ginger
In large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the ginger. Because they’re all dry ingredients, you can have some fun. Use your hands to sprinkle one on top of the other with a little flair. Mix them together with your fingers. Store in an airtight container.
When you feel PMS symptoms come on, spoon 1 tablespoon for every 2 cups of tea into a tea strainer or whatever you prefer. Cut 1/4-inch slice of fresh ginger. Place the ginger and the tea strainer in a tea pot (or another saucepan) and pour boiling water over the mix.
Let steep for 5-10 minutes. I like mine with a little honey because my sweet tooth is rampant around this time.
Remember ladies, there are plenty of other things that affect your PMS levels, so while this stuff works wonders, it’s not going to undo the four cups of coffee and salty potato chips you’ve been consuming. Trust me, I know.
Are you a tea drinker? Do you have any natural remedies to share with me? I’d love to hear!