Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Flower Teas for Beauty and Health

I'm a big believer in flower teas - you know, teas made from real flowers. Of course, the easiest is chrysanthemum tea.

But lately, there's been much interest about other flowers such as rose, lavender, jasmine, rosemary, sweet osmanthus and globe amaranth which can be made into healthy teas. Plus the fact that it helps with detoxing and beautification is another reason why women like me buy into these teas!

Personally I've enjoyed drinking rose tea. Just add a few dried roses into a mug, pour in freshly boiled hot water and let it steep for 10 minutes. Instant rose tea. Add some honey if you want it sweet. Roses naturally add to women's health because it relieves menstrual pains, invigorates the blood and helps rid one of bruises. Rose is essentially the woman's flower!

Globe amaranth tea is also easy to brew. Buy dried globe amaranth (those purple heads of flowers in any good tea shop) and add to a mug of hot water with a slice of dried haw, some cubes of rock sugar and some medlar seeds. This humble purple flower can detoxify your liver, stops coughs, reduces fatigue and more importantly, slows aging!

Rosemary is of course not a flower but a herb that has 101 uses. Dried rosemary can be steeped as a tea and drunk but not too much though. I've experienced giddiness from oversipping this tea. It however is great for calming nerves, improving blood circulation, relieving muscle ache and increasing body resistance. Inhaling fresh rosemary is one good way to start my day - I have a pot of fresh rosemary on my balcony and whenever I need a quick refresher, I go and smell my rosemary! It really freshens the mind and body. And it helps with hair growth too - steep some rosemary in water and use this as a final rinse after you wash your hair. It makes your hair shine!

Jasmine tea is another favourite at Chinese tea houses. But do not take too much as this flower can be quite cooling. It relieves body heatiness and aids in sleeping. It is also best taken after a meal because it can be quite "harsh" on an empty stomach.

Besides flower teas, I love drinking spiced teas as well. Masala tea is one favourite drink whenever I am at my favourite Indian restaurant in downtown Georgetown. Masala tea is milky sweet black tea scented with lovely spices like cardamom, clove and cinnamon. And spices like these are good for health too. Here's where you can find more spiced tea recipes to brew at home.
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