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Additions for Taste
The mixture of herbs used in your tea will dictate its natural flavour and, therefore, will help determine any additions you choose.
Lemon & Ginger
If a lemony-flavoured tea has been mixed, then it might be nice to enhance the flavour with a slice of lemon or some extra squeezed lemon juice, while a spicy tea on a cold day might be further ‘heated’ by adding freshly grated ginger.
If sweetness is desired then we do not suggest using sugar (it can strip nutrients from the body and affect the immune system, to name but two of its vices); instead we would suggest honey.
Honey is an easily digestible whole food, consisting almost entirely of pure glucose and levulose (fructose), as well as other substances necessary for cell, tissue and normal organ functioning.
Honey is mineral-rich, containing calcium, phosphorus, sulphur, sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, chloride and iodine salts. Some honeys – such as polyfloral and buckwheat – even contain small amounts of manganese, silicon, aluminum, boron, chromium, copper, lithium, nickel, zinc and osmium. All mineral salts are highly important to an efficiently working body.
In addition, honey contains some organic acids such as malic, citric and oxalic acid, which are used in energy production and other processes in the body. Although containing natural acids, honey is basically an alkalising food and helpful, therefore, for the alkaline balance of the body, which normally tends to be over-acidic. This factor ties in with its mineral content, as the higher the mineral content the higher the alkaline value. This can be easily judged when buying honeys as the darker-coloured ones are highest in mineral content. The nutritive and therapeutic qualities of honey are further enhanced by its excellent vitamin content which includes vitamins B2, B6, K, C and biotin. The vitamin content of honey is dependent on the quality of pollen within it and if this is ever filtered out, then all vitamins are lost.
All honey acts as a disinfectant, having strong antibacterial and antimycotic properties (the latter preventing the growth of moulds and fungi). A good quality honey is a great healer of wounds, wonderful for a host of upper respiratory diseases including the common cold, beneficial for heart diseases (improvement of the cardiac muscles can be encouraged by honey), also for gastric and intestinal diseases – generally improving the health of the digestive system and assimilation of food. The liver and its filtering function is aided by honey, while the nervous system is indebted to the natural glucose and its other components. It is a general help to skin diseases, eye diseases and for post-operative care, combining nutrition and healing factors. The list is endless and only a smattering of the curative, rejuvenative properties of honey have been mentioned; however enough, I hope, to persuade any who were doubtful that the best sweet accompaniment is honey.
Taste & particular medicinal qualities
Every honey not only contains the therapeutic qualities previously mentioned but each has particular medicinal qualities of the plant or plants a bee has fed upon. For instance, rosemary honey is highly antiseptic and I particularly enjoy its flavour as it is a naturally bitter herb and, softened with the sweetness, the result is a rather savoury honey. Buckwheat honey ranks high on my list of excellent honeys, because it is very dark and therefore high in mineral salts, but added to this is the fact that buckwheat is specifically good for strengthening arteries and, therefore, ideal for any degenerative diseases. Alfalfa honey can be an almost untouchable complete vitamin source as the alfalfa plant is very rich in vitamins. Clover honey would be excellent added to a tea specifically designed for blood purification and tonic properties, as red clover itself is a blood purifier.
If you are buying from a wholefood or health food store, with all the choice at your fingertips, then it might be nice to take a selection, and match a honey to each tea or tea blend – not only for harmony of taste but also to enhance the brew medicinally.