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In my house we decided to give up coffee for a while to explore any differences in our bodies without it. My husband started making me tea every morning so I figured I'd better find out what in the world I was drinking.I call it "spice tea" he calls it "herb tea."It's akin to Chai (a blend of loose leaf tea, milk and ground spices) but without the loose leaf tea and milk. So it's actually not a tea, per se, it's an herbal drink or "tisane" (tea-like drink made by steeping any of various herbs, flowers, spices, etc. in boiling water).A Simple HOW TO:With an old iron pharmaceutical mortar and pestle, he grinds a concoction of spices, depending on his fancy, choosing from among ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, peppercorn, cumin, anise oil, nutmeg and fennel, occasionally adding orange or lemon peel and even sliced pear. There is no fixed recipe so have fun and create your own.Our favorite combos are:* Ginger, cinnamon and cloves
* Fennel, anise oil and ginger
* Orange peel, cinnamon, fennel, cloves, ginger, cumin and green peppercorns **Spicy!Pouring boiling water over the spices, he steeps his concoction for 10 minutes, strains it and serves (lucky me!).How it makes me feel...Drinking the aromatic spiced tea produces a warming, calming effect and acts as a natural digestive aid. It also fills me with a sense of well-being. It has easily and deliciously taken the place of our morning coffee. Though there is no caffeine, I feel it acts like a brain tonic and definitely makes me less fatigued and more relaxed. The after-taste is pleasant, and makes my mouth and breath feel clean. Cloves and nutmeg, by the way, have been used since antiquity as an analgesic to soothe toothaches and remedy bad breath.What it does for us...These spices are a great overall boost for the body, even if you don't have a specific ailment to cure. In general, most are excellent for the digestive tract, effective for nausea, vomiting, flatulence, indigestion, morning sickness and dyspepsia. In other words it makes your tummy feel good.Both Ayruvedic and Chinese medicine have touted these herbs for their warming effect which increases circulation, improves metabolism and can even promote sweating (particularly ginger, allspice, and cloves).Herbs also have a detox effect both as a diuretic and for the positive effect on the intestines, kidney and liver. Fennel and nutmeg are particularly potent. An antioxidant and anti inflammatory action is produced by most of these spices and all are sources of vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals. This has a positive influence on the whole body, helping to increase immune function, reduce pain, lower cholesterol, blood pressure and possibly lower blood sugar levels.As I was researching our morning blend ingredients, I discovered some anecdotal uses that were interesting.Nutmeg, abused in large doses, is a hallucinogenic that reportedly is torturous as a high, definitely NOT recommended. Anise, cinnamon and cardamom have been rumored to enhance aphrodisiac qualities, nothing wrong with that. Folklore says that sucking on two whole cloves without chewing or swallowing helps curb the desire for alcohol. Cardamom has been reported as an antidote for both snake and scorpion venom, hope you never need that. As a side-note, anise is poisonous to many insects; fleas hate fennel; ants, potato bugs, roaches and moths will take a detour if they come across freshly ground pepper.WHO KNEW?So there you have it - spiced tea - and all the benefits that come with it. Now you just need someone to make it for you. Find more at What is OrganoGold?