I just spent the past weekend in the beautiful wilds of Oregon dancing the days and nights away with magickal creatures of all varieties at the amazing Faerieworlds art and music festival! I came back to my seaside city feeling inspired and with some extra dirt and glitter packed in my bags (and, to be honest, tangled in my hair and between my toes). As some of us celebrate the week of the First Harvest in the Northern Hemisphere and late winter / early spring fire festivals in the Southern Hemisphere, I’m filling up on summer’s glow as the promise of fall is just around the corner.
One of the ways I like to celebrate the early mornings and long, lazy nights of summer is with pots of chai. Chai is simply the word for tea in a number of cultures, though many of us are familiar with the Masala chai of South Asian fame. I love to make chai blends based on local flora, culturally-entwined spices, and my own take on whatever tea drinking culture I may find myself in. Some of my chai blends are created with longing-in-the-heart, as I dream of places I look forward to visiting. Sweden has captured my imagination in recent years and so I created a Swedish chai in exploratory tea anticipation of future journeys. The recipe is below along with some insight into the spices and herbs included in the blend. Enjoy!
Books have been written espousing the greatness of healing spices and what many consider dusty kitchen condiments are actually earthy jewels of wellness delight. Spices are healing foods that are easy to add to any meal and act as a fragrant passage for medicine to find its way through our mind, body, and spirit.
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) is an excellent spice for indigestion and calming upset stomachs. Like many spices, Cardamom also has aphrodisiac qualities.
Clove (Syzygium aromaticum), like many spices, aids with indigestion, but also has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anesthetic qualities.
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.) is a delicious blood sugar balancer and is also heart-healing, promoting healthy circulation, reducing hypertension, and possessing anti-clotting properties.
You can learn more about Elder, the Tree of Medicine + fiery Ginger in previous posts!
Posted by Alexis J. Cunningfolk on August 8, 2013
The Witches be cacklin’ tonight! As black as night with a purple glow, our Cauldron Polish Cold Care Elixir is your ally when it comes to charming away colds. Take at the first sign of a cold or ‘flu and our Cauldron Polish’s anti-viral enchantments will prevent tricky colds and ‘flu from taking hold. Cauldron Polish has a sweet taste with a bit of tang and just a bit of Ginger bite, making our Cold Care Elixir a delicious addition to your home wellness repertoire.
Posted by Alexis J. Cunningfolk on September 24, 2011
There is no lack of love for Harry Potter at the Apothecary and with the first of the two last movies coming out this week, we thought we would explore the herbal side of Harry Potter world. Making potions is a common activity amongst the students at Hogwarts (with some being more talented than others) and there are many unusual ingredients in their brews – but many are quite mundane! (more…)
Posted by Alexis J. Cunningfolk on November 17, 2010
Consistency is good – and consistent variety even better! When I began to create a blend to support the needs of a growing pregnant body, I created birthed three. Triplets! While each tea can be enjoyed at any time during your pregnancy, I crafted them to build upon each other and to address specific issues that tend to happen during different parts of pregnancy. Budding pays special attention to building up nutrients in the body and relieving morning sickness. Blooming brings in herbs that are especially strengthening and tonifying to the uterus, as well as calming herbs like Chamomile, to regulate and sustain energy levels. Blossoming continues to tonify the uterus and also includes herbs to help bring milk and the development of colostrum.
Posted by Alexis J. Cunningfolk on October 7, 2010
We are social creatures who continuously build relationships through family ties, exchange of resources, passionate pursuits, and common cultures. The pursuit of relationships bound together by romantic love seems often to be of particular interest to our species. Herbalists have been keen on finding green allies that act as aphrodisiacs – bringing out hidden love, stoking the fires of mature love, and helping desire reside fully in the body.
Pictorial History of Ancient Pharmacy. 3rd ed.
Chicago: G. P. Englehard, 1902, c.1899.
Ebling Library call number RS 61 P48
Posted by Alexis J. Cunningfolk on August 20, 2010