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I’m a gut health expert – here’s what I drink every day…

So – let’s talk about caffeine.

It’s one of those things, isn’t it? Seems like a different study is published every six months or so, telling you that caffeine is ok…it’s not ok….coffee is good for you but not too much of it…coffee is fine but no more than 5 cups a day….???

What’s a girl to conclude?

Me, I love a good cup of coffee. Once-upon-a-different-career, when I was working on the radio from 10 pm to 1 am FIVE NIGHTS A WEEK (I did all my shopping at the 24-hour Safeway for many, many years…) I would drink an eye-watering three triple lattes per night. I’m not proud of it. But it did the trick.

These days however, older, sadder and hopefully a bit wiser, I try to be less aggressive towards my own nervous system. I tend to just have one cup of really good coffee a day. I admit, I’ve become a bit of a snob about it. Cafetiere, little coffee grinder, fresh beans, the lot. I enjoy it. But more than one cup just ends up making me feel jittery and weird.

So what am I supposed to drink the rest of the time? Taking a break and having a cup of something, or brewing myself something nice to drink at the beginning of a long stint of zoom meetings, is a must.

I decided to design something that I would be happy to drink every day, all day. Something that would boost my morale without caffeine, keep me healthy, sharpen my mental faculties and taste ok without sugar. I call it my “Get Me Through the Day” Tea.

After giving it a lot of thought, here are the the ingredients on which I finally settled:

  1. Vervain. I reckon vervain is very undervalued and under-celebrated. It’s a little herb that packs a big punch mood-wise, and the science behind it is groovy: It has anti-anxiety effects. A study published in 2016 suggested that vervain may have similar effects to anti-anxiety drugs like diazepam.1 Research has also indicated that vervain may possess antidepressant effects2 and it has has been used as a nervine, a herb that supports the nervous system by helping to reduce stress and alleviate mood swings. This traditional use has been corroborated by its calming effects, which make it beneficial for mood disorders​.
  2. Rosemary. Rosemary may actually makes you (temporarily!) smarter: research has found that the aroma of rosemary can significantly enhance cognitive performance. In a study, participants exposed to the scent of rosemary demonstrated improved speed and accuracy in cognitive tasks, suggesting that rosemary aroma can boost memory function and mental clarity.3 A study on older adults indicated that even a low dose of dried rosemary powder was associated with improved memory speed. Additionally, the aroma of rosemary has been linked to better performance in memory tasks among school-aged children and adults​.4 Yes, please!
  3. Peppermint. Besides the fact that it tastes nice and smells good, peppermint has also been shown to improve performance in various cognitive tasks; participants in a study who consumed peppermint tea exhibited enhanced long-term memory, working memory, and overall alertness.5
  4. Mugwort. I got the idea to include mugwort while reading about some Blue Zone centenarians who drank mugwort tea every day. Turns out they had the right idea – the combined antibacterial and antifungal properties of mugwort give it broad-spectrum antimicrobial potential, making it a valuable aid for preventing and treating microbial infections. So basically, if you’re drinking it every day, you’re continuously zapping any bad bugs as soon as they show up.6

I made up the first batch of Get Me Through the Day Tea, just for myself and my grown-up daughters. Experimenting with herbs is really fun, even the grandkids love it! Here’s my grandson Elis, making his own “Magic Garden Tea,” which he later drank and declared delicious…

Soon people on the team began to notice and started to ask to share the GMTTD tea. I passed bags of it around. And when I realised that I was repeat-buying large amounts of the ingredients, I decided to go ahead and add it to the CG website. (This, by the way, has been the road to market for most of our products. I don’t sell anything until I’m actually losing money because I’m passing so much of it around to all my friends and family.)

And – I’m still drinking my GMTTD today! If you want to give it a go for yourself, you can check it out here. We even have a lovely clear glass teapot that lets you zone out and watch while the herbs gradually colour the tea. Take a breather. Just for a minute. Ahhh…..

Kettle on, anyone?




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