After Christmas, Kevin’s birthday, New Years, and all the parties in between, I’m pretty much ready to run my liver through a deep soak cycle or two in the washer when January rolls around. By now I’ve consumed a small vineyard’s worth of wine, several varieties of bacon-wrapped-cheese-stuffed-what-have-yous, and one metric ton of sugar (and I rarely eat dessert). Don’t get me wrong; I love all of it. But after the marathon piggy session that is the holiday season, my body is ready to lighten the hell up.
That probably explains why I’ve been craving hot tea. And by tea I mean actual tea (green, black, white) and more often herbal tea or tisane (any combo of dried leaves, roots, stems, and flowers steeped in hot water). Sitting down with a cup can feel like a little healing ritual. It’s a private aromatherapy session to hang your face over hot tea, letting its floral or citrusy or heady scents ride the steam up to your nose. Fingers get a welcome warm-up wrapped around the mug. The body is heated from within as the first cleansing sip travels to your belly. Most teas, especially herbal ones, are a collection of natural ingredients that many cultures around the world believe to be saturated with healing properties – licorice root to soothe a sore throat, lavender to relieve tension, echinacea to ward off illness, valerian root to promote sleep. You can sip it all afternoon and not spin your nerves into a caffeinated spasm. You can’t hurry with tea like you can with coffee, and that makes it good for the soul.
Aren’t these little potpourris so pretty to look at?