If you would have asked me many years ago if I’d rely on herbal remedies to make myself feel better, I probably would have scoffed. I grew up in a family where Advil is king. I would pop a pill every time I felt something wrong with me without any hesitation.
Then, in the last couple years, I started hearing about problems related to popping Advil all the time. An old colleague of mine told me how she did it for years to put up with aches and pains, and it ended up destroying the lining of her stomach. A good friend of mine now has responded better to herbal remedies than pills when it comes to things like inflammation and cramps.
I’m not saying that Advil is the devil. I’m just saying that there are other remedies out there that work. Sometimes, you can even make them into a tea.
Which brings me to Forest & Meadow Apothecary and Herbal Clinic. I first discovered them at the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market in St. Louis when I was browsing around last summer. I bought a packet of tea from them because, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m addicted to tea, and their blends looked beautiful in the bag. Admittedly, my only reason for buying the tea was superficial.
But then I tried the rose blend tea. It automatically calmed me. Yeah, yeah, you might say. It’s just in your head. But is it in my head if it calms me every time I have a cup? I think not. Full disclosure: Sometimes I have trouble sleeping, and if I have chamomile tea from Forest & Meadow, it automatically relaxes me and helps me go to sleep.
Yesterday I stopped by Forest & Meadow’s brick and mortar location for the first time. It was exactly what I hoped it would be and more: There’s a beautiful oriental rug in the front, and brightly-colored glass bottles filled with herbs sit on shelves at the back of the store. Everything is beautifully displayed. I wandered around slowly, taking everything in and trying not to buy everything in the store.
I settled on a packet of Chaga Chai tea and a clay face mask (am I the only person who suffers from dry winter skin?). I’m a big fan of chaga lately. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, it’s a mushroom that can boost immunity and overall health. I’ve had it a few times in lattes or wellness drinks, but I’ve never brewed it in tea.
This blend is exactly what you need for winter. It has the fragrant aroma of chai with notes of cinnamon and spice, and it’s earthy and rich. It warms you and supports you at the same time, so you’re ready to face terrible weather, long days without sunshine, or whatever else winter throws your way.
I’ve had two pots full of the tea since I bought it. Yesterday, I sat down with a pot and sipped it slowly as I journaled. I’d recommend adding a splash of milk (I used almond milk) to the tea and some honey or maple syrup. That will take the tea further into chai territory. It’s delicious.
Here’s a song to get you started on your Forest & Meadow journey.