The power in a cuppa.
After years of big Pharma (which of course has its place) it's easy to assume that medicine comes in the form of a pill, in a little white bottle with a slip of side-effects as long as my arm.
But is there something to be said for simple cup of tea? I imagine women of old, and I'm sure there are still many now including myself, who nip out to the garden or edge of a wood to pick a flower or leaf and brew up a pot of tea to heal a wounded heart. To soothe an aching belly. To calm a troubled mind.
In the beginning of my herbal journey I remember flipping through pages of thick reference books, looking for the real medicine. Looking only at the tinctures and herbal pills. I skimmed over all the suggestions for teas, the compresses and especially the chapters on 'sitting with plants' as medicine. How silly of me.
Is the power in a cup partly to do with the soothing warmth of a it? Or the conversations shared between sips? Or simply the act of caring for oneself or being cared for? I wonder too about the thoughts we have as we tend to brewing a pot, as we look for the right blend of herbs and think of all the goodness we want to imbue in it. And then of course there is the plant itself. Let us not forget what potent medicine is carried in a leaf or flower or root.
Now I linger a little longer on the pages delving into tea blends, on plant energetics and on the power of 'sitting with the plants'.
Chamomile, Catnip and Lemon balm. This has long been a favourite blend of mine, especially in the summer when the herbs are fresh and I gather just enough for each fresh pot. The comforting calm of the chamomile, the musk of catnip and the bright lemony sent of the lemon balm. Like a grandmother's hug, it is familiar and comforting, it pulls on my sensory memories and bring me back to lazy summer nights of years before.