Friday, February 5, 2010

On tea....

It is very strange, this domination of our intellect by our digestive organs. We cannot work, we cannot think, unless our stomach wills so. It dictates to us our emotions, our passions. After eggs and bacon it says, "Work!" After beefsteak and porter, it says, "Sleep!" After a cup of tea (two spoonfuls for each cup, and don't let it stand for more than three minutes), it says to the brain,
"Now rise, and show your strength. Be eloquent, and deep, and tender; see, with a clear eye, into Nature, and into life: spread your white wings of quivering thought, and soar, a god-like spirit, over the whirling world beneath you, up through long lanes of flaming stars to the gates of eternity!"

Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat


I was thinking as I woke today that I would like to share more here in this space. With a full plate, endless deadlines, wonderful chaos and dots connecting like you would hardly believe (thank you, thank you, thank you!), my time has become precious...rather... I am learning to realize just how precious it has always been and to appreciate the moments I do take for myself more thoroughly.

I have a new morning ritual.

I have been starting each day with a mug of tea. This simple act alone stops the swirling of the world for a moment, provides the much needed motivation to just sit in silence and begin from neutral rather than pulling myself out of bed and catapulting frantically into my day, attacking to-do lists and endless emails and phone calls and responsibility without thought to what climbing these mountains actually means to me; why I live so big and fast and dispense all my energy with such relentless passion.

I believe there is power in stillness and silence, yet I struggle to embrace either. Wrapped up in my mug of tea, I somehow remember to breathe.


Now for what you really want to know.
Tea is a real treat for the skin!

The skin’s appearance is determined by its exposure to potentially harmful environmental influences such as sunlight and air pollution, in combination with diet and topical care.

Red, green, white, and black teas from around the world have been used for centuries in various medicinal remedies. There have been a number of encouraging studies of the skin benefits of green tea. Animal studies showed protection from skin cancer. Both animal and human studies have credibly demonstrated that topical green tea formulations reduce sun damage. Green tea appears to exert sun damage protection by quenching free radicals and reducing inflammation rather than by blocking UV rays.

Considering their well-documented antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, topical green tea polyphenols are likely to slow down the development of some signs of aging. Green tea's gentle but powerful action is of immense relief particularly for those with skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, dandruff,and acne - all of which are exacerbated by inflammation.

The simple how to:
1. Brew yourself a cup of your favorite tea. I highly suggest organic green or white tea for their antioxidant goodness, but chamomile, rose and lavender are favorites of mine and lovely as well, particularly for calming sensitive skin.

2. Sip and think good thoughts. Yes, this is required. :)

3. Remove tea bag (warm, not HOT) and gently swipe over your entire face, neck and decollete for an incredible natural toner. This simple step calms skin, reduces inflammation and general puffiness, soothes tired eyes, balances excess oil and sweeps away any dry skin or flakiness. Did I mention it feels incredible and costs practically pennies?

- If you are feeling particularly in need of an emergency fix, keep a tray of green tea ice cubes in your freezer and slide over your face on especially puffy days when you need serious and fast acting relief.

Remember the tea kettle - it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it still sings!
~Author Unknown