When fall rolls around I always find myself wondering what to do with the excess of sage that’s been dutifully growing all summer. I have a plant in my yard that just seems to get bigger and bigger every year so the problem is literally growing.
The herb sage, or Salvia officinalis if you like to be a little nerdy, has actually been revered as a medicinal and culinary plant dating back to ancient times. In the past it was used to ward off evil, for snakebites, increasing women’s fertility and more but recent studies have suggested it has positive effects on brain function. It has antiseptic, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic qualities and is effective against staph and candida. Other past uses have been for hair care, insect bites, and nervous conditions, as a poultice, oral conditions, inflammation and fevers. Its many uses might have you smearing it or tossing it into everything but don’t go too crazy as it can contain a neurotoxin that should not be consumed it great quantities. So don’t eat your whole bush in one sitting.
We have tried many different thermos configurations, and we have learned a great deal about ways to bring your tea with you into the wilderness. To start, many thermoses are insulated with glass, which breaks fairly easily. This is why we began using stainless steel. Not only is steel the safest way to store liquids due to its inert chemical properties, it is possible to actually brew the tea right in the transport container. We began using a single layer steel water bottle designed for hiking, we discovered that the vessel got dangerously hot for a very long period of time. Furthermore, once the container was cool enough to handle, the tea inside was now cold. Then we discovered the Hydro-Flask.
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The kettle whistles, steam rises as you pour the gurgling water. The smell of tea permeates the air as you finally sit and sigh, taking a moment from your day. Life can be busy, swarming about and down right hectic but the moment you finally take that tea break it all melts away. Teatime is when you finally get a chance to take a few minutes from your day and just relax and enjoy the escape with a warm cup of tea. Teatime or afternoon tea is a tradition with deep roots. According to archeologists tea drinking dates back astonishingly, nearly 500,000 years ago. Man could barely mange fire and they were already dipping leaves in hot water to make a primitive infusion.
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Humanity has come a long way and so has the process of making tea. With fermentation, drying and other processes, tea has developed a sophisticated air, but no matter if it’s served in fine china or your favorite mug, the results it has on our mood is the same. Tea makes us feel better. First we relax as we allow the moment to sink in, then as we drink the tea we begin to feel its effects. Herbal tea sooths and lulls us to a state of relaxation with its soft tones, while tea with caffeine brings clarity and a rejuvenating spark as our mind is given a boost. Which ever tea you choose its not necessarily the actual tea that makes the moment but the act of having tea. It’s taking a break from the daily grind and allowing you the few moments of escape.
If you take tea in the afternoon with friends or drink it all day, remember as you sip away that this moment is your time to reflect, relax and enjoy. Taking the time for tea offers us an opportunity to appreciate the moments of life while reaping teas many health benefits. Sit back, sip, sigh and enjoy the moment. You deserve it.
What is your tea ritual? How does a cup of tea make your moment? Please feel free to share.