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Benefits and History of Slippery Elm Bark + Tea Recipe

Slippery elm (Ulmus rubra) is one of the best known medicinal tree barks. It has a history of use that goes back thousands of years—North American First Nations people utilized slippery elm for a variety of health issues and introduced it to European colonists, who quickly incorporated it into their pharmacopoeia. As cited in Henry H. Gibson’s American Forest Trees, published in 1913, it became a household remedy which most families in the country provided and kept in store along with catnip, mandrake, sage, dogwood blossoms, and other rural remedies which were depended upon to rout diseases in the days when physicians were few..... Today, when physicians are more plentiful, it continues to be a profoundly effective mucilaginous demulcent that is a standard in western herbalism. Let’s take a moment to talk about this ancient ally. 

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Posted by Heidi

Forgotten Cookie Recipe With Yaupon Tea

“Forgotten cookies” are an American classic and a perfect vehicle for America’s “forgotten” tea. If you’ve been reading along with my blogs here at Mountain Rose Herbs, you know I got seriously into yaupon tea this year. As a bonafide history nerd, I first became fascinated with the story of America's only native tea plant and then, of course, I had to try it. I’ll spare you the history lesson, but yaupon is an excellent caffeinated tea choice for me because it isn’t bitter, it can be re-steeped more than once without a change in flavor, and it provides a gentle caffeine boost and increased focus without the jitteriness I sometimes get from coffee or Camellia sinensis based teas. It’s also loaded with theophylline, theobromine, and a plethora of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc. I’ve been experimenting with multiple ways to bring it into my diet to replace other caffeine. This summer I brewed it with cooling hibiscus, sweetened it with a little honey, and kept it in the refrigerator to have delicious hibiscus-yaupon iced tea on hand. And then, one evening when I was in a cookie baking mood and perusing some of my favorite recipes, I thought of forgotten cookies and had the quintessential lightbulb moment: forgotten cookies + forgotten tea = pure joy.

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Posted by Heidi

How to Make a Warming Herbal Cocktail with Tinctures

I notice winter first when the leaves begin to dry, fade, and fall. I imagine the life force of the tree receding back into its trunk and underground roots. I feel a bit melancholic at first—not wanting to have to follow nature’s lead in hunkering down and going in. But I’ve come to love Fall as a season as full as any other, with its own flavors, rhythms, and herbal remedies.

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Posted by Rachelle Robinett

How to Make Smreka: A Fermented Juniper Berry Drink

I’m always looking to expand my palate and learn new recipes from across the globe. Bonus points if they’re simple, and extra bonus points if they’re fermented. I was beyond delighted to discover a recipe for the Bosnian fermented beverage “smreka” which fits both of those specs. I first learned about this recipe from Sandor Katz’s classic (and must have) book The Art of Fermentation. Fermented foods are known to have a beneficial effect on your gut health, and thus, your overall health. In short, the good bacteria found in fermented food assists in the digestion process. As they say, “You aren’t what you eat, you’re what you digest."

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Posted by Mason

Loose Leaf Tea vs. Tea Bags

I love a good cup of tea and I love that there is literally a tea for any circumstance I may find myself in. Thus, my tea collection is just as varied as the many different experiences that I go through each day. When I first began drinking tea, I knew it mainly as something to ease my cold symptoms. I remember standing in the tea aisle in the grocery store, all stuffed up, staring blearily (and somewhat blankly) at the various tea boxes. Since then, I have learned a lot about the wonderful world of tea. I have tried them all bright and fruity, deep and sultry, and nutritive and soothing, each offering something uniquely wonderful. My biggest tea lesson to date came when I tried loose leaf tea for the first time. There was no comparison in flavor. After that, it was not long before the boxed teas disappeared from my shelves at home and were replaced by meticulously hand-labeled jars filled with all my favorite teas.

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Posted by Maia

Summer Cocktail: A Refreshing Herbal Highball

It’s hot in Oregon this summer. Really, really hot. Which means it’s time for my favorite cooling herbal cocktail. When the thermometer is pushing uncomfortably into the 90s (and just don’t even get me started on our recent 111 day here in Eugene), I start thinking about a good hibiscus highball. The beauty of this highball is that it uses ingredients I always have on hand and gives me easy options to customize flavors for different people with my choices of tea and ginger beer. I like to use our Hibiscus High Tea because it is full of some of my favorite herbal allies and I love the cooling power and gorgeous, deep red of hibiscus. Sometimes I also brew up a Lemon Tea or Vanilla Rooibos for a delicious change of pace. Enjoy!

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Posted by Shawn

Understanding Herbal Actions and How They Support the Microbiome

We now know that microflorae in our gut, which have evolved in a symbiotic relationship with us over time, directly influence—either positively or negatively—every aspect of our health and wellbeing, including our digestion, immune functions, neurological and emotional health, hormonal balance, cardiovascular strength, and more. Attracting beneficial microflorae (the ones that flip the genetic switches toward health and balance) is a matter of making healthy food and lifestyle choices. In other words, what we eat tips the scales towards wellbeing or dis-ease. When we choose to eat an organic plant-based diet high in phytonutrients, antioxidants, and dietary fiber, we attract a much more diverse, healthy, and resilient microbiome, which in turn strengthens our defenses against illness and unhealthy aging. In this line of defense, carminative, nervine, bitter, and demulcent herbs can be leveraged much like secret agents who step in to fend off undesirable effects.

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Homemade Hop Ginger Brew

To me, there aren’t many drinks more refreshing than a well-crafted ginger beer, especially during these hot summer months. There’s something so delightful about the balance between the ever-so-slight sweetness, the spicy zing of ginger, and the carbonation. Ever on a quest to try new DIY culinary experiments, I thought it’d be fun to attempt a homemade version of this soda.

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Posted by Mason

Berry Summer Mocktail Recipe with Cooling Herbs

My husband recently went on a summer-mocktail quest. It started because he made homemade ginger beer, which was good, but lacked some important refreshing element; it was a bit “much” on a hot day. Still, it was inspirational. The delicious, summery, layered mocktail that my honey ultimately came up with utilizes ginger beer (homemade or store-bought) and some of the most refreshing, cooling herbal allies. It also celebrates both summer berries and the beautiful roses of the season with a berry and rose simple syrup. Make tea and simple syrup the evening before so all you have to do is find some shade and settle in for a revitalizing, enjoyable day. Bring on the sun, we’re ready!

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Posted by Heidi

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee + 3 Herbal Additions

Now that summer has arrived, I find myself constantly craving cold brew coffee. This beverage is not simply a traditionally hot brewed coffee, with ice added to it. It’s even simpler than that! Basically, it’s coarse ground coffee beans steeped in room temperature water, overnight. However, as per usual, I will complicate the process by adding a bunch of herbs and spices to the recipe. I can’t help myself; herbalism infuses so many aspects of my life. I’m sure you can relate.

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Posted by Mason

Apple Spice Tea- Now on Sale!

 

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