The tea blend I'm sharing today is right in line for the season of love! This blend is meant to open your heart, but also support the physical heart, the cardiovascular system, the nervous system, and the reproductive system.
Damiana is a yang nourishing plant, a nervine (supports the nervous system), antidepressant, anxiolytic (reduces anxiety), stimulant, balances hormones, a reproductive tonic, and an aphrodisiac. For the skin, ingesting damiana can improve glow as it is rich in vitamin C which is a co-enzyme for collagen product, and a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce and prevent damage from the sun, modern living, stress, poor diet and more.
Rose Hips are the fruit or the seed pod of the rose plant found just below the petals and are a rich source of vitamin C (again this is essential in the production of collagen). Much like marshmallow root, when used in tea rose hips are mucilaginous and coat the mucous membranes with internal moisture and hydration. They are supportive to the cardiovascular system as they tone and enhance the integrity.
Hawthorn Berry also comes from the rose family and is beneficial to treat a broken heart, depression, and anxiety, but are is also know for its cardioprotective properties. It is know to help support the heart and used in cases of high blood pressure , heart attacks, familial history of heart problems.
Oat straw is another powerful nervous system supportive herb filled with vitamins and minerals. This has been added to balance the astringent (tissue tightening) properties of the other herbs, and to nourish the body and spirit. Used over time this gentle herb is helpful for mental health, and to rebuild the nervous system. (This had been a great plant ally to me during tumultuous times)!
Rose petals, cinnamon, and orange peel give this tea a beautiful bright, floral, citrusy, and spicy flavor!
Red Hot Valentine’s Tea Blend
2 parts organic dried damiana
2 parts organic dried rose hips
2 parts organic dried hawthorn berry
1 park organic dried oat straw
1 part organic dried rose petals
½ part organic dried cinnamon chips
½ part organic fresh or dried orange peel (I used fresh diced peel)
½ part organic dried licorice root (for a slight sweetness, if you dislike licorice flavor, omit and add a small amount of honey after steeping)
Mix together. (If you are using fresh orange peel as I did, add this to the next step, do not store with the dried herbs as this will create mold).
Add 2 TBSP to a french press, muslin bag, or tea infuser (giving the tea room to expand).
Add 2 cups of boiling water.
Steep for 15-20 minutes.
*note that damiana is a stimulant and a diuretic so it is best not to drink immediately before sleep.
Avoiding Inflammatory Triggers
Inflammation is a precursor to just about every skin condition whether it be aging, pigment, sensitivity, acne, rosacea, eczema and more! Avoiding inflammatory foods is your first step to the skin of your dreams!
Dairy: Dairy is one of the most inflammatory foods that you can eat and for many, dairy can be a trigger for acne, eczema, psoriasis, and a multitude of other skin concerns. Dairy is packed with natural hormones which can affect acne, not only that but it affects our natural hormones and can lead to more serious disease.
Sugar I heard in a lecture once that sugar ages us just as much if not more than the sun.Sugar increases inflammation throughout your entire body by spiking insulin. Sugar is dehydrating and increases oil production. In addition, sugar releases enzymes that break down collagen and elastin. Sugar actually attaches to collagen fibers and weakens them, making you more susceptible to sun damage!
Alcohol Alcohol consumption impairs your sleep, causes inflammation, is dehydrating, wreaks havoc on your liver and more. Drinking can also deprive your skin of vital vitamins and nutrients that it needs to function properly!
Gluten The effect of gluten on different people is a highly debated topic in the nutrition community. For those sensitive to gluten and those with celiac disease, gluten can have a negative effect on gut health and can be an instigator for leaky gut. The gut-skin connection has been studied extensively and has shown to be directly linked.
Supporting Skin Integrity with
Probiotics and PrebioticsA healthy gut microbiome supports healthy skin in more ways than one, a healthy gut supports a healthy immune system, hormone function, stress response, healing response, and even response to sun exposure! Both probiotics like those found in fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha and prebiotics like garlic, onion, asparagus, honey, apples yams, and bananas work together to optimally support the gut microbiome!
Essential Fatty Acids Called essential because they are essential to get in your diet as the body does not produce them naturally, EFAs are really important for hydrated vibrant skin. Omega 3 fatty acids are especially important to incorporate into the diet for healthy skin. They actually fortify the skin cell to prevent water loss/dehydration. Great sources of Omega 3’s are fatty fish, nuts and seeds such as walnut, chia, HEMP, and flaxseed, and vegetables such as brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, and watercress!
Fiber Fiber helps keep the gut healthy and digestion regular. If food is not properly digested, toxins and waste accumulate in the body and lead to inflammation as well as improper nutrient absorption.Great skin healthy sources of fiber include, avocado, chia seeds, apples, broccoli, butternut squash, and oats.
AntioxidantsAnti-oxidants fight oxidative stress also known as free radicals. Your body makes free radicals as it processes food, sunlight, and toxins like smoke, pollution, and alcohol. Free radicals are unstable cells that attach to and damage healthy cells. This damage to cells can lead to wrinkles, pigment spots,
Antioxidants bind to the unstable free radicals, making them unavailable to bind to healthy cells in the body. Antioxidant rich foods include blueberries, strawberries, beets, kale, spinach, peppers, raspberries, red peppers, goji berries.
Minerals Minerals are like the unsung heros of skin nutrients. Minerals like zinc, copper, selenium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and silica support wound healing, protect from UV radiation, maintaining and building collagen and elastin, regulating hydration levels in the body, calming and healing acne. Minerals can be consumed through supplements, but the best sources of mineral rich foods are nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, sea weed, mushrooms, and more!
Take it from an esthetician who has an obsession with nutrition, the food you eat affects your whole body. Your skin is not a separate organ running on its own, it is intertwined with everything else, Make sure to avoid inflammatory foods for an optimally glowing complexion and eat your way to vibrant vivacious skin with plenty of organic nuts seeds, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables!
Emily Davis is the owner of Stratum Aesthetics and has been a licensed esthetician since 2007. She is a holistic esthetician specializing in cannabis skin care.