• By: Jane Staples

Traditional Medicinals are More Than Just a Cup of Tea

Enjoy Self-Care With Delicious Herbal Teas

The beginning of March is an excellent time for self-care, a good time to renew our resolution to get in better shape, follow better eating habits and be more conscious about alcohol consumption.

We’re somewhere between winter and spring in Ottawa for a few more weeks. A cup of non-caffeinated tea can be a very pleasant way to take a warm break, and it provides an alternative to coffee. I recently discovered a line of herbal teas that provide a great adjunct to self-care.

About Traditional Medicinals Teas

Founded in 1974, Traditional Medicinals is an independent company that embraces sustainability and ingredient purity, along with social and environmental activism and herbal education. They are the leading seller of wellness tea in the U.S. and a pioneer of the wellness tea category in the U.S. and Canada. Their herbalists have crafted over thirty high-quality herbal teas, with nine wellness collections: detox, digestive, green, herbal, laxative, relaxation, seasonal, tonic, and women’s. All of the teas are organic, non-GMO, kosher and B Corporation certified.

Traditional Medicinals Co-owner, Nioma Sadler, travels to their source communities around the world. She developed a particularly strong relationship with a senna farming community in Rajasthan, India. Water is a scarce resource in this area. Girls are often pulled out of school at a young age in order to assist in the collection of water for their families, and sometimes walk several hours a day to accomplish this. Sadler founded the nonprofit WomenServe with the mission to improve the potential of women and girls by increasing access to water, education, health, hygiene and economic empowerment.


I tasted five Traditional Medicinals teas, and here’s what I learned:

1. Belly Comfort Tea, for digestive wellness, is a type of Peppermint Tea. Sometimes on holidays or a night out, we eat just a little too much during a special meal. This tea also contains ginger, fennel, alfalfa, papaya leaf, cinnamon and lemon balm in a delicate blend that is very pleasant and soothing. I would definitely buy it again.

2. Hibiscus Daily Herbal Tea is a delightful blend of hibiscus flower, blackberry leaf and lemongrass with tart, fruity flavours. This was a big hit and it’s versatile, because you can enjoy it hot in the winter or cool in the spring and summer. It can also be used to make a delightful mocktail. (see recipe below) Mindful consumption and non-alcoholic beverages are a growing trend across Canada.

3. We all have stressful days. Organic Stress Soother is a soothing tea crafted using cinnamon bark, licorice root and skullcap herb (from the mint family). Drink this tea when you want to ease stress or muscle tension and to assist a restful sleep. It has subtle mint and cinnamon flavours.

4. Organic Reishi Mushroom Tea has been traditionally used in Herbal Medicine to support the immune system. I was fascinated by what I learned about reishi mushrooms. The compounds in reishi mushrooms reduce skin oxidation (a source of wrinkles and skin aging) and also protect your cellular DNA and mitochondria from oxidative damage, thus helping you to stay energized and alert. As well, they contain a substance that improves circulation, which improves every bodily function.

5. Ginger has long been associated with the relief of nausea and indigestion, as well as being soothing for colds and coughs. Lemon Ginger is a fragrant, zesty tea made with ginger rhizome, lemongrass leaf, lemon peel, rooibos herb and hibiscus flower. Definitely a favourite! In the summer, this could make a delightful mocktail, simply by letting the tea cool and adding a splash of sparkling water. Garnish with a slice of lemon or lime.

How to brew a perfect cup of tea

It’s easy to brew tea, but there is an art to it. All of the Traditional Medicinal tea blends are infusions, or tisanes, which are hot water extractions of herbs. When brewed correctly, you receive the full benefits from the plant power. Traditional Medicinals uses compostable, non-GMO verified tea bags and strings. Here’s a simple and effective method for brewing well:

• Read the instructions on your Traditional Medicinals tea box because each tea has a suggested steeping time, which depends greatly on the herbs inside. These practices often improve the taste of the tea and the effectiveness of the herbs. There might also be suggestions, such as adding milk or sugar.

•  Take out your favourite cup and place the tea bag inside it. Boil water and pour it into the cup.

•  Cover your tea cup and allow the herbs to steep. This is where it gets interesting . . . after a few minutes, it’s not just water that is acting on the herbs. The water itself changes as the herbs infuse into it. Fun fact: Depending on what compounds are first released, the water can become a mild acid or base, which in turn affects the release of other compounds in the herbs. Covering your tea ensures warmth, a full extraction and allows the essential oils of the herbs (which are very beneficial) to stay in your cup. This is why the recommended steeping times on the tea boxes range from 5 to 15 minutes for full potency.

•  Tea time is an opportunity to take a break and enjoy self-care, so as your tea steeps, take a minute to stretch, meditate or put on some favourite relaxing music.

•  When the tea has finished steeping, squeeze the bag to get every bit of plant power and flavour.

Now, sit back with your tea and enjoy a moment for yourself.


Strawberry Hibiscus Shrub Recipe
Serves 2

6 bags of Traditional Medicinals Organic Hibiscus tea
1 cup boiling water
½ cup apple cider vinegar (ACV)
½ cup honey
½ cup berries, chopped
Club soda
Berries and lemon for garnish
Basil or mint for garnish

1. Brew a concentrated tea with the tea bags + boiling water. Cover and let cool. Remove tea bags, squeezing out excess tea and compost the bags.
2. Combine tea concentrate, ACV and honey in a jar, then stir well to combine.
3. Gently mash berries in a medium bowl with a fork and equally divide between two glasses with ice.
4. Divide the ACV + honey + hibiscus tea into each glass. Top with club soda and garnishes.
5. Enjoy immediately and drink in good health!

For a wealth of information about Traditional Medicinals products, visit their excellent website: Traditional Medicinals

For wine and food discovery from Jane Staples, visit www.bellovinoj.com

Header image: iStock, Central Alliance