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It’s a bright Sunday morning at the market and the breeze invigorates your lungs with aromas from every corner. Over 200 years ago, you would have followed the scents of cinnamon, anise — hmm, is that clove? — down the crowded alley to the apothecary’s shop.

The owner would have reminded you to eat fewer nightshades for your acid reflux, and suggested a sage tea to soothe your stomach and nerves. “Take this dried turmeric root, too. You don’t want your hands to gnarl like an old witch’s by the time you’re 40…”

Today, you can supercharge your body without…

Photo Credits to Carolyn Christine

Dear Gentle Reader,

I simply have to do it. Every tea aficionado, such as yourself, deserves to hold in their hands a FREE guide to the wonders of tea. Not the kind that you see in bookshop windows, with the yawn-inducing feeling of a medical textbook. We all secretly long for a guide that feels as warming to the heart as a cup of tea does when raised to the lips. At last, you’ll watch this guide come to life with the 111 Moods of Herbal Tea Writing Challenge.

For the next 111 days, I will post an article about…

9 Alternatives to Reading

Originally published at on January 24, 2021.

So you want to learn about the world, boost your income, acquire new skills, or become well-respected. Only…however set you are on developing yourself, you simply don’t have the time or patience to read more than a couple of book chapters.

That’s okay!

Books are a beautiful tool to learn things, but they should not be an obstacle to learning. Not when there are so many ways to take your life to the next level.

In fact, there are so many alternatives to improve your vocabulary, to polish new skills, to become…

Fig fruit in a bowl surrounded by fig leaves
Photo Credits to Kamran Aydinov

Dear Gentle Reader,

Wolves, Rome, murder, and bread make up the history of this tea. Need I say more to lure you in? Promenade with me to collect the fig leaves from a tree so large that it resembles a small forest from afar.

We have a wolf to thank for the founding of the great city of Rome. According to Roman mythology, the twin babies, Remus and Romulus, drifted around the Tiber until their basket touched land by a Fig tree. Under that same tree, a wolf suckled the babies until they grew strong.

After founding Rome, Romulus killed…

turmeric root and powder
Photo Credits to Alexander Ruiz

From one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Turmeric Root conceals under its rustic appearance the gold of legends. Oh, that we could savor the rich benefits of Turmeric tea at the balconies of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon…

The health benefits of Turmeric Root are so widely spread that it has become the star ingredient for face masks, hair masks, herbal supplements, juices, teeth whitening pastes, and — of course — seasonings. Any Nani in India will tell you that to withdraw Turmeric from your diet is to invoke death.

In fact, as a way to protect…

Photo Credits to Ellen Montgomery

Dear Gentle Reader,

Only by dragging his men back to the ship and locking them up, did Odysseus get them off the island of Lotus eaters. You will have to ship your guests off, too, if you ever want them to leave your home after serving them Lotus Flower tea.

There are stories for each of the thousand petals of the lotus, but today I will only share three with you.

Did you ever wonder why the lotus flower is used as the symbol of enlightenment? According to folklore, the Sun God, Ra, created himself by emerging from a lotus…

gotu kola stalks
Photo Credits to Steven Alley

Dear Gentle Reader,

Drink generously from the fountain of life. High up the Himalayan mountains, yogis integrate the health benefits of Gotu Kola with the benefits of their practice. They use the tea to increase clarity of mind, support their poses and meditation, as well as to relax the body. However, Ayurvedic medicine tells us there is much more to the lily-pad shaped leaves that taste similar to parsley…

One of the oldest teacher for the yoga group is said to have lived nearly 250 years, outliving 12 wives. The mountaineers said he drank a cup of Gotu Kola tea…

Photo Credits to Artem Podrez

Dear Gentle Reader,

The Sagra dell’arancia rossa will welcome us with bright colors on every side of the village of Palagonia, in Palermo, Sicily. The Sagra, or village food festival, takes place every year in February. That is where we will find our “red gold” tea.

On each side of the streets, the villagers will set all kinds of foods made with the highly-valued blood oranges. Some stalls offer juices, salads, chocolates, dried fruits — anything you can imagine besides loose leaves and rinds.

As if they wanted us to stay here forever, the villagers also play folk music, perform…

Pata de Vaca leaves
Photo Credits to Sandro Solomon

Dear Gentle Reader,

It is in simple things that we find the answer to complex issues. Often times, these answers come to us in curious ways. After thousands of scientific experiments and decades of research, you wouldn’t expect the milkman to discover the potential cure for diabetes, would you?

In my travels around Buenos Aires, Argentina, where the herb grows profusely, I could not find a tea house that served “cow’s foot” tea. Argentinians use the tea strictly as medicine. But, this wouldn’t be a tea challenge if I settled for that, right? The problem was easily solved when I…

Photo Credits to Catheryn Montes

Dear Gentle Reader,

This herb did for me on my fifteenth spring everything, but one thing — the one thing I truly wanted back then. Silly, right? Fennel leaves cured and prevented every possible ailment a young lady or gentleman could have, yet that ceased to be enough. It only took five words out of my cousin’s grandmother’s mouth.

The old woman saw me in my bathing suit and practically shouted, “drink fennel leaf tea everyday.” In an ever louder voice, she added, “ it will enlarge your breasts, like your cousins.” Darling…I tried this for a year for the…


Oh, the words you need help to write! I’m here for you now.

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