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posted by The Bangkok Consultant

Herbalism 101

Herbalism 101: The Spice of life!

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After a recent trip to the Vietnamese Medicine Museum in Saigon, my mind was opened to the healing power of herbs, which many of us have stored in our kitchens at home. After reading an article online about Chai tea, I decided it was time to have a go at knocking up my own blend of flowers and spices in a small Chinese teapot I picked up at the Mai Sai border in Northern Thailand.


After a morning of wandering around the spice markets of Bangkok, I concocted an all-powerful Elixir of Cinnamon, Star Anise, Butterfly Pea and green tea. After letting it steep for ten minutes, I lifted the lid and experienced the most elegant aroma of sweet aniseed and cinnamon. I’ll never forget that first sip. It was kind of like taking a shot of espresso for the first time which blows your brains out, but rather a caffeine hit, I was encountering some refreshing happy chemicals, and I had no idea that herbal tea could give someone such a terrific sense of wellbeing and rejuvenation.


To many people, it may seem like a mystic art, but it is one of the most basic ways to make a positive change to your overall health with minimal effort. Blending herbs and spices to make tea is one of the easiest, most satisfying ways to reconnect with the age-old practice of herbal medicine. Drugs tend only to treat the symptoms of an illness whereas herbal teas may help to re-establish balance throughout the body, which is one of the leading causes of sickness and disease, so adopting a daily ritual of herbaceous tea drinking may help to prevent and even cure some illnesses.


Many of the chemicals found in herbs and spices have treated ailments for thousands of years, and the fact they are so readily available is remarkable. Even something as simple as a couple of slices of ginger in hot water has a multitude of health advantages with new benefits being discovered all the time.


In my opinion, the quantity of the spices used is necessary to have a noticeable effect on brain chemistry. A good strong tea not only tastes good, but it has a positive effect on one's state of mind. Some may call it a placebo; however, I have noticed a positive effect on stress, even when I wasn't expecting to.

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