I love tea.
As a young girl growing up in Czechoslovakia (later Czech republic) my life wasn’t always picture perfect. But I think something wonderful can happen when we go through hardship. Much like working out, when the load you carry becomes heavier, you can either give up or you can become stronger. And I have always been the type of person who gets stronger. I think this is one of the reasons that I had such a vivid imagination as a child. It was one of the strengths I developed, something that made my world more rich and colorful.
When I didn’t feel well my mother would always bring me a steaming mug of tea. She had tea for aches and pains and teas for fevers. There were teas for sore throats and teas to settle a tummy. To me they were magical brews, warming and comforting. In my mind I daydreamed that fairies were the tea makers, gathering dried flowers and leaves and digging roots in the silent, frozen forest.
I’ve kept that tea drinking habit throughout my entire life. I like to select my tea based on my needs and moods. And that’s why I decided to create my own line of three gorgeous loose teas. And to pay homage to that tough little girl daydreaming away in the Czech republic I’ve named my teas, Fairy Blends by Zuzka.
Each tea blend is meant to meet a particular need. Today I want to introduce you to my Energy blend, a fragrant powerhouse tea with a tart and fruity flavor. Energy is made up of yerba mate, lemon grass, hibiscus, ginseng, strawberry leaf, juniper berries, and safflower.
- Yerba Mate is a traditional South American tea made from the dried leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant. It contains more caffeine than black tea but less than an average cup of coffee. Some people describe the burst of energy from drinking yerba mate as “clean”, meaning there are no jitters or post-caffeine crash. Yerba mate is also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Like any caffeinated beverage, yerba mate can improve your energy levels, help you to focus, and heighten your athletic performance. In some animal studies yerba mate has was effective in helping to control blood sugar and regulate insulin levels.
- Lemon Grass is a native Indian grass that is a powerful antioxidant and heart-healthy herb. It has antibacterial qualities and can help to regulate your cholesterol by lowering lipids, or fats, in your blood.
- Hibiscus tea is made from the dried flowers of the African hibiscus plant and helps give this tea blend it’s beautiful deep red color. Also an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, hibiscus tea has been proven in studies to actually lower blood pressure in adults with mild hypertension (high blood pressure).
- Ginseng root has been used medicinally for more than 2000 years, originating from Asia, although it’s now grown all over the world. Studies have shown ginseng to help protect you from getting colds or the flu, improve alertness, increase in athletic performance, help you deal with stress, and is yet another antioxidant.
- Strawberry Leaf tea is made from the dried leaves of wild strawberry plants. It is another powerful antioxidant and has a vasodilatory effect, which means that it causes your blood vessels to dilate. This helps increase blood to and from the heart, enhancing athletic performance, lowering blood pressure, and helping you to breathe easier when exerting yourself. Strawberry leaf also has been proven to fight some types of cancer and treat stomach ills like diarrhea.
- Juniper Berries grow on a small North American evergreen plant in the pine family. The piney flavored berry has been proven to improve digestion, relieve bloating and water retention (and help flush out toxins), has antifungal properties, and is, of course, an antioxidant.
- Safflower tea is made from the dried yellow, orange, and red flower petals of the safflower plant. The flowers also help give this tea its rich color. Originally native to Iran, India, and Africa, safflower is now grown all over the world. Safflower can help lower your cholesterol, calm your nerves, facilitate bowel movements, strengthen your immune system, and even fight some forms of cancer. Some studies have shown safflower tea to help maintain bone health in older women. And, yes! Safflower is an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant.