Friday, December 23, 2011

Healing Teas!

When I began the macrobiotic diet, the thing that was possibly the strangest to me was the notion of "healing tea."*

*When I say "tea," I don't mean camillea sinensis, or black/green tea. I mean an herbal/vegetable infusion in hot water.

During my Residential Program with Ginny, she gave me what seemed like a constant stream of teas. There was umeboshi plum tea for my nausea, a special herbal tea to combat the side effects I was suffering from phenergan, and tea for sleeping. On top of that, there was the sweet vegetable drink (which seems a lot like a macrobiotic tea, being hot and made of veggies), and ume sho kuzu tea.

These teas were totally foreign to me. This isn't just Lipton we're talking about! Many of these teas take half an hour or more to make, and involve both fresh and foreign ingredients. One of my favorite teas that she gave me when I had a sinus infection was lotus root tea to clear out my lungs. It has a wonderful sweet, almost floral taste to it.

My family has weak kidney issues, and December-February are particularly challenging months for us. Three members of my family have suffered serious kidney ailments in the deep winter (myself included), and having already suffered the pain and discomfort once already, I wasn't eager to do it again!

Ginny has me drinking Aduki Bean Tea, which has been amazing in its efficacy. I can already feel the weakness in my kidneys strengthening. The puffiness under my eyes, an indication of kidney weakness, has already begun to shrink. I know that when the skin around my eyes clears from the breakout I have, my system will be in great shape. I use my skin like a barometer... when I have a breakout, it means that there's an imbalance internally. When it clears, I will feel confident that I'm in a place of good health.

The only side effect I'm having from the tea is some nausea and stomach weakness on the days I drink the tea. The Great Book of Macro said that some thinness or weakness of constitution can be expected with a strong tea like this, and to add a few drops of tamari if it bothers me, so I'm going to do this tomorrow. My stomach is none too happy at the moment.

I've also decided to drink this tea in the morning. I had it before bed last night and it was a disaster. But the benefits to my kidneys are so valuable, I've decided that a little discomfort is worthwhile. In the mean time, I'm eating the leftover beans from the tea with some plain daikon, and pushing the deep greens!

One last note, I am SO EXCITED about what my cousin and I have planned for Christmas. We're doing a macro Christmas meal of kale and bean soup, and sushi rolls. I'm remaking my old stand-by, beef negimaki, macro style. Beef negimaki is teriyaki beef with bright scallions. I'm doing a teriyaki shiitake mushroom maki with raw scallions, and I'm SO EXCITED! Pictures will, of course, be forthcoming :)

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