Nostalgia permeates the atmosphere this time of year. Childhood memories of anticipated joy, family get-togethers. Memories of when the kids were little and discovered the changing seasons. Music. Fires in the fireplace. Good food lavishly adorned and slowly enjoyed. A chance to rest and take refuge in the blessings of home and hearth.
I absolutely love November. The cool weather, the visits with family, the colors of the changing seasons. All of it. I just love it.
One if my favorite ways to enjoy this season is to curl up on the couch with a big cup of tea and a good book, looking out the window occasionally at the autumn colored trees and gray sky. Who doesn’t love that? Unfortunately, even though I try to keep unnecessary distractions and time drains to a minimum, things are still quite busy and hectic when you’re teaching and raising 4 kids in a little house and I know I am not alone in that dilemma.
This November I find myself in a new home; in an environment that sometimes seems completely foreign to me. Having left our home in the Texas Hill Country to move here to the South Carolina Lowcountry in January, we’ve had to make a lot of adjustments. Things have been hard and that is putting it very mildly.
The past year has brought untold heartache, tragedy, uncertainty, and lingering pain as well as joy and a renewed sense of wonder in the continual and ever-deepening blessing of friends old and new. No matter how bad things got, we were never left bereft of joy.
But this past year and its trials have truly taken a toll on my body. I knew it was coming for a while and it finally came crashing down a few weeks back. The tremendous stress, my abuse of coffee and months of poor diet (very much NOT the nourishing, whole foods diet I was accustomed to in Texas) compounded by anger, fear, anxiety, and many sleepless nights inevitably led to my current condition — thyroid and adrenal crash with a touch of spleen distress. To be honest, it was expected and it could have been a lot worse.
Now that my family and I are in a better place –in a safe home, surrounded by good friends, enjoying a healthier diet and with some serious joys on the way, I am working on healing the damage done to my thyroid, adrenals and spleen.
It’s pretty obvious, but I’ll go ahead and say it — one of the first steps in my healing process is to get the coffee out of my diet. I like coffee but it doesn’t like me. I believe that coffee in moderation has its place in a healthful diet for many people and even in herbal medicine — I am not coffee hater, but I can no longer partake of the java. Fortunately, I have a palate for tea and ever since Rishi stopped making my beloved Plum Oolong blend years ago, I have learned how to blend my own teas for enjoyment, nutrition and healing.
Enter my new secret elixir — Bulletproof Tea! I’m sure many of your have heard about Bulletproof Coffee (it’s quite popular with the Paleo/Ketogenic diet set) and I can’t say that I have a problem with it (other than the fact that it should not be used as a regular breakfast replacement) but, as stated above, coffee is verboten for me.
I’ll go ahead and dive into the details of my Bulletproof Tea recipe and why each ingredient has its place in my regimen and it will also become clear why this tea blend can be beneficial for pretty much anyone. In the text below, I’ve included some links to a few articles and websites with deeper explanations in case you’re eager to go down the rabbit hole of Eclectic herbalism.
Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention one thing — the name LowcountryEclectic was chosen for our shop because I (Amanda) am training to be an herbalist and my philosophy regarding natural healthcare is definitely that of the Eclectic school. And I live in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, so there ya have it. I’ll be writing more on the Eclectic approach to healing and health maintenance very soon so stay tuned!
Okay, back to our Bulletproof Tea post!
The base herb of the tea is the tulsi. Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is a fantastic adaptogenic herb. Adaptogens are, simply put, a class of herbs that help the body adjust to stress. Given that my adrenal/thyroid crash is largely stress induced, it’s easy to see why adaptogens are important for me.
The next ingredient is rosehips. Rosehips are one of the highest concentrated sources of Vitamin C found in nature. When the thyroid/adrenal system crashes, a body is undoubtedly immunocomprimised thus a real, whole food source of Vitamin C is essential for immune system support. I also like to include elder berries (not pictured in the photos here) in my tea to guard against the viruses that an immunocomprimised person is especially susceptible to.
Then there’s the green tea– which is optional. Because of the thyroid/adrenal issue and the need to avoid caffeine, I usually omit the green tea, but when I am healthy I enjoy the green tea and its cancer fighting abilities due to its high EGCG content.
Now for the spices — y’all, hear me on this, you don’t want to leave the spices out! The ginger is wonderful for the spleen and cinnamon has a myriad of documented health benefits. Not to mention the delicious aroma and flavor that the spices bring to the tea. Seriously, don’t leave them out!
Okay, now here’s the part that will seem odd to many people: I also put high quality butter from grass fed cows into the tea. I know, I know.. if you are not already familiar with Bullet Proof Coffee then the addition of the butter may seem very weird but trust me on this one; this is where the a good deal of the healing power of the Bulletproof Tea and the wonderful wassail-like richness of the tea come from. The butter, if it is from grass fed cows, is high in vitamins A and K2. The vitamin A is especially important in the case of thyroid dysfunction/impairment and the vitamin K2 are essential for numerous functions and most people in this country are dangerously low in vitamins A and K2. The grass fed butter (and yes, it does have to be GRASS FED to have the nutrients) is a primary agent for healing in this recipe. The butter brings a substantiality and creaminess to the tea that may sound unappealing but tastes amazing. If you are not able to obtain butter from grass fed cows (or even Kerrygold butter) or if you choose not to consume butter for other reasons, coconut oil or coconut butter can be an adequate substitute, though the actual function of the tea will be different but still very healthful and healing.
Lastly, the organic maple syrup. Mmmm…maple syrup….it adds a touch of sweetness but is much gentler on the body than refined sweeteners. I’m going to assume you already know how toxic artificial sweeteners are. Raw honey can also be used in this recipe but since the boiling water used to steep the tea will kill the beneficial enzymes in the honey, I prefer to save my raw honey for room temperature consumption. When it comes to maple syrup, a little goes a long way. Just a teaspoon or two will sweeten a whole 32oz teapot or french press of this tea.
I really love this healing tea and I hope that you try it out sometime. Below is the recipe for the tea with links to the websites where I purchase the ingredients.
In a 32 oz tea pot or french press place:
–1 heaping Tablespoon of Organic Tulsi aka Holy Basil (I use this one)
–1 heaping Tablespoon of Organic Hibiscus (find it here)
–1 Tablespoon of Grass Fed Butter (from your Famer’s Market, local GF dairy or unsalted Kerrygold from the grocery or health food store)
–1/2-1 teaspoon ginger
–1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon
Optional — 1 Tablespoon Organic Green Tea (like this one)
Boil filtered water (seriously, it needs to be filtered unless you want to upset your lymphatic system by starting a halogen war between the iodine you are hopefully getting in your diet and the fluoride in most tap water. Invest in a Berkey, you won’t regret it. Or at least a ZeroWater filter — read more about the ZeroWater filter here)
Pour boiling filtered water into tea pot or french press with all ingredients in it. Allow it to steep for 5 minutes. Lift lid and stir contents. Strain and pour into tea cup or mug. This will make 3 good sized mugs or about 6 tea cups full. Why so many servings? If your adrenals/thyroid are in crisis you need to be drinking about two mugs of this tea twice a day and if you are not dealing with thyroid/adrenal issues, this tea is still great for the whole family, so pass the teapot and share the health!
This tea recipe is a great example of how herbalism and nutrition go hand-in-hand and are some of the most powerful methods of healing that any healer, Eclectic or otherwise, has available.