Category Archives: Herbal Tea

Herbal Tea, where to buy, recipes

Easiest Way to Prepare Kava Kava Root

Kava Kava preparation can be a little scary for some people.   Traditionally in the Pacific Islands, Kava Kava was chewed then spat into a water mixture and left to set for awhile.  Obviously, not too many of us really want to go with the traditional method.

Kava Kava Dried Root

I have tried many different ways with both powder form and dried root.  This is what I have found from my own experiences in preparing Kava Kava root:

Kava Kava dried root powder is the form most easily prepared in a blender and only needs to be strained once or twice, depending on if you like the frothy foam that is produced.  Some say there are more Kavalactones in the froth.

Dried root powder is excellent for large batches of Kava Kava brews and smoothies requiring a four or five more ingredients.  However, if you are in a hurry and do not let your brew “soak” in all the ingredients, you mixture will not be very potent.  I personally feel the root powder form of Kava Kava is not has potent, has the Kava Kava dried root form.

Kava Kava root dried and cut is the form I prefer.  I feel the potency is stronger and the taste is more earthy.

When I first tried Kava Kava, I steeped the dried root in a tea infuser just like this one                                         25-oz-glass-tea-pot-infuser-with-stainless-steel-basket

with boiling hot water from my tea kettle.  I then mixed in milk and chocolate syrup.  I was quite happy with the results, however, most Kava Kava sites say that water too hot, will kill the Kavalactones quality in the herb.  There are mixed opinions out there.  You will have to experiment and decide for yourself.

After doing that research, I feared I may be destroying some of the medicinal qualities in the traditional “tea” preparation.

My next try involved letting the dried and cut Kava Kava root sit in a mason jar full of milk.  I had wrapped the Kava Kava in cheesecloth, let it sit in the milk, for a few hours.

I then strained and kneaded the root bag several times, as instructed on the web.  Many sites stress the kneading of the Kava Kava is the most important step because repeated kneading of the root powder is what produces a greater potency effect.

I found this method to be time consuming, messing and did not really produce a brew,  more potent than the other mentioned methods.

Note:  I first used milk, even though many Kava Kava sites stress you must purchase soy lecithin, which is said to heighten the Kava Kava qualities.

Soy lecithin is not easily accessible in my area here in Missouri.  Since soy lecithin was not very accessible for me, I decided to try a brew, using soy milk,  in the vanilla flavor.

It is cheap and contains soy lecithin.

So here is the EASIEST and most EFFECTIVE way of preparing Kava Kava Dried Root:

In a large mason jar with a tight fitting lid,  I put two heaping spoonfuls of dried and cut Kava Kava Root and filled the jar with the soy milk.

I let the jar sit in the refrigerator till the next evening.  I strained the mixture once, through a tight meshed strainer, added some cocoa and chocolate syrup.

The results were amazing!  The mixture had a nice smooth texture, the cocoa and chocolate mixed well, and helped tone down the strong flavor of Kava Kava.  kavachocolatemilk

The easiest, cheapest and simplest way, in my opinion, to prepare Kava Kava root and receive all the qualities and benefits intended, is to simply:

let it sit at least 24 hours in a soy based product.

If you want to add natural flavors to the mixture, such as lemon balm leaves,  peppermint leaves or my personal favorites, chocolate, cinnamon and ginger, just add these to your over night mixture. All of the wonderful herbs will mesh together.

Strain the mixture through a tight meshed strainer, cheese cloth, whatever your have into a blender.  Blend with ice for a wonderful cold, frothy shake or heat up slightly (I recommend on the stove, but if you are not concerned with a microwaves possibly of hindering the mixtures qualities, heat for no more than 30 seconds in the microwave) for a warm, cozy evening beverage.

Use one (1) ounce = 2 tablespoons of root powder or dried root per person.

Kava Kava is a wonderful herb from Mother Nature.  Calming and cozy, awesome for sleeplessness and anxiety, Kava Kava is also a great alternative to alcohol and those suffering from alcohol withdrawal. Although there are mixed opinions on the web concerning this topic, I personally feel it is a wonderful aid for those in detox of alcohol and opiates, based on my research.

I hope you give Kava Kava a try.  Decide for yourself. You can find more easy recipes that I have tried here.   If it is not for you, there are hundreds of wonderful herbs out there for energy, relaxation, anxiety, depression.  Natural remedies are designed by nature, so they have a natural balance and no harsh effects as pharmaceutical remedies tend to have.

LIVE – LOVE – LAUGH – MEDITATE!

Easy Kava Kava Recipes

Kava Kava is a powerful natural herb that produces a euphoric, happy effect, similar to the effects of alcohol.

It’s getting to be Fall weather here in Missouri. Kava Kava drinks are a wonderful adult beverage addition to campfires, night fishing, snuggling up with a good book on cool nights or just to relax and de-stress after a hard day.

kava kava campfire recipeskava kava shakeKava Kava Hot Chocolate

 

Derived from the roots of the plant Piper methysticum.  Used for centuries,  by native islanders in the Pacific and Hawaii in ceremonies and for recreation.   The active ingredient – kavapyrones (kavalactones) is what gives this herb is intoxicating quality.  Note: Kava Kava is to be used sparingly and not for those under age 18.  If you have liver problems or are taking liver medications, it is not recommended to use Kava Kava herb.  Check with your physician if you have concerns.   Also note that effects of Kava Kava can vary from person to person and are not guaranteed, however, the majority of the population does feel the effects.

Click Here to Order Kava Kava:

Kava Kava Dried Root

Here are some Easy Kava Kava recipes, that I have tried, that make a great brew with either powdered Kava Kava or Kava Kava root.  If you would like to submit your own Kava Kava recipe, I would be happy to post.  Just go to Contact Me.

Easy Kava Kava Hot Chocolate Recipe

NOTES: The hot cocoa also has sugars and powered milk in it and it will not be hot enough to hurt any of the kavlactones when the two are mixed together

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons Kava Kava Root Powder
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 packet Hot Cocoa Mix (of your choice or make your own organic cocoa mix)

Directions

Step 1
Mix 2 1/2 cups of the water with the Kava, then strain, soak, massage and squeeze to get the most kavalactones out possible.
Step 2 Heat the remaining 1/2 cup of water just enough to dissolve the cocoa mix, which is about 1 minute in a standard microwave
Step 3
Pour the kava and hot cocoa together
kava kava hot chocolate recipe

Kava Kava Fruit Smoothie Recipe

Yields 2
Infusion Time 10 minutes
Precautions Milk, Soy
Medicinal Qualities Vegan, Vegetarian
Misc Serve Cold
This recipe yields about 2 cups of beverage. To make for more people, just increase the amounts - times x2 - for every two people. You can use any milk of your choice. The fat soluble content helps release the Kava Kava qualities. For a super icy treat. Freeze orange juice into ice cubes and freeze banana. For a frozen treat, pour Kava Kava mixture into a plastic cup and freeze.

Ingredients

  • 1 Banana (sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons Kava Kava Root Powder
  • 1/4 cup Milk/Coconut Milk/Soy Milk
  • 1 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • 5-6 Ice Cubes

Directions

Step 1 Take one sliced up banana and add to blender
Step 2 Add orange juice, milk and ice to blender
Step 3 Add Kava Kava Root Powder
Step 4 Blend for about 5 minutes - Enjoy

Kava Kava Mint and Cinnamon Drink

Yields 4
Infusion Time 1 minute
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 31 minutes
Precautions Milk, Soy
Medicinal Qualities Vegan, Vegetarian
Misc Freezable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Kava Kava drink recipes are soothing and relaxing hot or cold.

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons Kava Kava Root (Use Powdered Root or Shredded Dried Kava Kava Root)
  • 2 cups Water/Distilled/Spring
  • 2 cups Soy/Rice/Coconut Milk (Chocolate is especially tasty)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • Dash dash Ginger (Optional according to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons Mint Sprigs

Directions

Step 1 In a blender add Kava Kava, water, milk/soy and cinnamon
Step 2 Turn on blender for a few seconds, then let mixture sit for 30 minutes to soak up the good stuff (Kavalactones)
Step 3 Turn blender on again for about 3 minutes
Step 4 Add mint and cinnamon, if desired and blend just a little more
Step 5 You can either strain mixture into serving cups using tight mesh strainer, cheesecloth and strainer or muslin bag or just leave the kava kava, unstrained to insure no kavalactones are missed. Kavalactone is what gives Kava Kava it's effect.
Step 6 Enjoy! This drink is good hot or cold. You can heat mixture just slightly on stove or in a microwave

Kava Kava and Coconut

Yields 3-4
Infusion Time 20 minutes
Medicinal Qualities Vegan
Therapeutic Uses Beverage
Misc Freezable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Storage Life Casual Party
Materials Needed Oceanian

Ingredients

  • 1-2oz Kava Kava Root Powder (Depending on taste or 1TBSP of Kava Kava Dried Root)
  • 1 can Coconut Milk (For a twist, you can also add one can of coconut juice w/chunks of coconut)
  • 12oz Water (Fill Coconut can with water)

Directions

Step 1 Blend intermittently in short bursts for about 5 minutes.
Step 2 Pour mixture into tight mesh strainer or nylon stocking and wring out into a bowl. There will be a thick, white emulsion, that is believed to have strong compounds of the kava kava, however, the texture can be a little overwhelming to some.
Step 3 Pour mixture into serving mugs or coconut shell (traditional) and serve. Mixture should be consumed right away or you can store in a jar with tight fitting lid. Mixture will keep about a week.

Note

  1. It is believed the longer you blend the Kava Kava pulp, the more kavalactones are released.
  2. The thick, white emulsion produces when straining Kava Kava is believed to hold strong compounds.  It is however, not to everyone's taste.  Some people choose to scrap off this emulsion and discard, others leave it in the mixture.  It is up to you to decide what you prefer.

Kava Kava Cinnamon Honey Recipe

Yields 2-4
Infusion Time 15 minutes
Medicinal Qualities Vegan, Vegetarian
Therapeutic Uses Beverage
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Materials Needed Oceanian
You can experiment with all of the Kava Kava recipes. There really is no right or wrong way. Kava Kava has a very strong taste. Milk, coconut milk, soy milk, cinnamon, honey, orange juice are all variations. The key to a strong brew is the straining of the mixture.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tablespoons Kava Kava Root Powder (Kava Kava Dried Root also be used)
  • 16oz Water
  • 1-2 tablespoon Organic Honey (Use more or less depending on preference.)
  • 1-2 teaspoon Cinnamon, Organic or Ground (Use more or less depending on preference)
  • 4-8 cubes Ice Cubs (Use more of less depending on preference)

Directions

Step 1 Blend Kava Kava and water together. Duration of blending can vary, depending on your tastes and preference. Anywhere from 2 minutes to 5 minutes, in intervals.
Step 2 Strain Kava Kava mixture using tight mesh strainer or nylon stocking. This step can be repeated if preferred.
Step 3 Add the honey, cinnamon and ice cubes to the strained mixture and blend again.
Step 4 You can now pour and enjoy or strain mixture one more time, pour and enjoy

 

 

If you can see a Little Green, Your Herb will Survive

Don’t throw out your herbal plant, if you can see Green.

To me, it’s always sad to see the beautiful, vibrant plants and herbs of the summer fade away through the winter months.  For those of us not yet blessed with a greenhouse, special lights, we can only bring our favorites indoors.

100_2291

Tips to remember to keep your herbs healthy during cold, indoor months:

indoor herbs
Pruning Indoor Herbs During Winter


  • Trimming off the old dead branches and leaves helps to stimulate the plant.  The dead stalks also tend to suck the water and nutrients away from the green surviving parts.

 

  • Try not to over water plants in the winter time.  Plants get dormant and slow down, just like some humans do, when it is cold.  Soil should not be bone dry, but if you can feel moisture, wait another day or so and check again.  Over watering will kill plants in a semi dormant state very quickly.
  • Moving plants around to different parts of the home also help.  The sun shifts in the winter and also if you have any sort of weather plastic on the windows, the plants don’t get all the sun rays they need.  Rotating every so often helps promote growth.

I hope you are cozy and warm and drinking herbal tea, wherever you are!.  The older I get, the more I dislike the cold winter months.   Thank goodness for hot tea and bone soothing herbs!

LIVE – LOVE – LAUGH – MEDITATE!

Healthy Summer Cocktail and Cool Drink Ideas

Summer here in Midwest Missouri produces a beautiful bounty of fresh fruits, herbs, vegetables.

Rosemary Tea
Fresh Rosemary

Why not take advantage of these wonderful, delicious summer treasures?  Besides stocking up, canning, making jams and jellies, you can also make healthy, refreshing summertime cocktails and cool drinks for your family and friends.

Herbal Sun Tea
Green Tea, Lemon Balm, Mulberry, Rosemary, Rhodiola
Herbal Sun Tea
Fresh Herbs & Fruit Sun Tea

Add fresh Rosemary, Lemon Balm, Spearmint and Peppermint to any Mojito drink recipe for an awesome boost in flavor and vitamins.

Adding herbs and fresh fruit to any Sun Tea also can make a beautiful display.

 

Add fresh berries (strawberries, mulberries, blackberries, etc) to any drink recipe. You can slice them up or drop them in whole. You can also make a “Shrub”  with fresh fruits and blend this in with all of your favorite summertime cocktails.  You can use a mesh tea ball or I prefer  to use a tied off cheesecloth.

There is something beautiful and right brewing Sun Tea on your porch and relishing in its naturalness.  Research as shown that drinking tea at least twice a day reduces heart disease, lowers cholesterol and helps the ward off and fight cancer.  For more on this research click here:  NHI National Cancer Institute

Herbal Sun Tea - Lemon, Green Tea, Mulberries & Fresh Rosemary
Herbal Sun Tea – Lemon, Green Tea, Mulberries & Fresh Rosemary

Nothing centers the soul like a good cup of Tea! 

LIVE – LOVE – LAUGH – MEDITATE!

 

Alzheimer’s Disease and Medicinal Herbs

Can Certain Herbs Stave Off Alzheimer’s Disease?

All the evidence points to YES!

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – A study in an animal model at Saint Louis University found, enhanced extracts made from special antioxidants in Spearmint and Rosemary improve learning and memory.older-woman-drinking-tea-alzheimers

“We found that these proprietary compounds reduce deficits caused by mild cognitive impairment, which can be a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease,” said Susan Farr, Ph.D., research professor geriatrics at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

Farr presented the early findings at Neuroscience 2013, a meeting of 32,000 on Monday, Nov. 11. She tested a novel antioxidant-based ingredient made from spearmint extract and two different doses of a similar antioxidant made from rosemary extract on mice that have age-related cognitive decline. She found that the higher dose compound was the most powerful in improving memory and learning in three tested behaviors. The lower dose rosemary extract improved memory in two of the behavioral tests, as did the compound made from spearmint extract.  

Further, there were signs of reduced oxidative stress, which is considered a hallmark of age-related decline, in the part of the brain that controls learning and memory.

“Our research suggests these extracts made from herbs might have beneficial effects in altering the course of age-associated cognitive decline,” Farr said. ”

Five Powerful Natural Herbs for Memory:

Ashwagandha, Ginseng, Gotu Kola, Rhodiola, Rosemary