Tea

Samurai means “to serve.”

Tamurai means “to serve through tea.”

AT TAMURAI TEA OUR GOAL IS TO HONOR THE SPIRIT OF HEALTH AND WELL-BEING.

We begin with the selection and consumption of high quality tea. Through the consumption of tea, we make the connection to the earth and the sun. As our astronauts and NASA researchers continue to learn, only the connection to our earth, our atmospherically filtered sunlight, and that which they produce can sustain life as we know it.   Through this connection and creation, our mind, body, and soul are supplied with a cascade of life sustaining nutrients and antioxidants. Certain combinations of these nutrients are found only in the various teas created by our wonderful planet. The teas we support and supply are organic due to the fact tea is one of the few consumable products which makes its way directly from field to cup without any cleaning or washing. If a tea plant or tea field is sprayed with toxic harmful chemicals or fertilizers, they are consumed with the tea.  An additional consideration is that when consuming the highest quality of tea: the first growth, the earliest picking; the highest concentration of nutrients are consumed.  Older tea leaves are found to be out of balance, with higher concentrations of minerals that may be harmful to our health.

Nature designs tea to be consumed at a slower pace, so we encourage tea to explore the internal universe within each of us. As we unfold the discoveries within, we can then make the peaceful and harmonious connections with those we encounter in life. These connections whether individual or shared bring much satisfaction and joy. It is with this spirit of joy we thank you for sharing your journey of tea, spirit, and life. It is with great honor that we recommend and make available the products and services contained within.

 “I have three treasures, which I guard and keep.  The first is compassion.  The second is economy.  The third is humility.  From compassion comes courage.  From economy comes the means to be generous.  From humility comes responsible leadership.”  —Lao-Tse

Once we are on the journey of balance, we are then ready to seek the harmony of the “me/we” relationship that allows the healing of our world and those of its inhabitants.  We learn of how we connect and influence community.  We learn and share the vibrations that are so subtle, but yet so powerful.  These vibrations can only be felt with the heart and measured by the health and harmony of our internal and external environments.

We begin our quest with tea, share it through meditation & prayer, and grow it through our understanding and developing awareness as keys to unlock the secrets within.  Meditation & prayer unfolds Lao Tse’s compassionate courage, tea flowers the economy of generosity, and our growing humility through understanding allows us to lead others by example.


 

Tea and Enlightenment by Andy Ferguson

How Tea Became the Symbol of Enlightenment

What’s the story behind Chinese Zen and tea culture’s intimate relationship?

By Andy Ferguson

How Tea Became the Symbol of Enlightenment
Photo by Kim MyoungSung http://tricy.cl/2e2AJnG

The great Zen master Zhaozhou (Joshu)’s advice to seekers of the Way was “Go drink tea.” Zhaozhou’s contemporary, Zen Master Jiashan Shanhui, famously uttered, “Tea, Zen: one taste,” a phrase that adorns countless tea houses in China. 

Both Zen and tea gained widespread popularity around the same time in ancient China. Historical records reveal that around the year 713, a certain Zen master named Xiangmo allowed his monks to drink tea in order to stay awake while meditating. Monks and laypeople throughout China then enthusiastically adopted this practice. Yet this alone is not the reason why tea came to symbolize enlightenment. It is also because drinking tea was seen as an ordinary, “signless” activity—just like enlightenment itself.

Years ago I visited Jiashan Shanhui’s temple, the famous Lingquan (“Spiritual Springs”) monastery in Hunan that was home to both Jiashan and the great master Foguo, composer of the koan collection Blue Cliff Record. In the abbot’s quarters hung a couplet, written by Jiashan upon his enlightenment:

The gibbon clutches her baby and returns to the mountain
Birds drop flowers on the Blue Cliff Spring

I worked with this for a long time before I understood it. As with many koans, the fundamental Zen teaching of signlessness provides the key. To understand this couplet, it is first necessary to know that the clear-flowing waters of the Blue Cliff Spring were renowned as an excellent source of water for tea.

“The gibbon clutches her baby and returns to the mountain” represents Jiashan’s signless enlightenment. Jiashan gave birth (in a sense), but there is no sign left from the experience (the ape “disappeared” into the mountain). The birds dropping flowers on the Blue Cliff Spring refers to a story about the Oxhead Master of Zen History, Niutou Farong, who was said to be so holy prior to his complete enlightenment that birds dropped flowers on his house. After his complete (signless) enlightenment, the birds stopped, because there was no sign left by which he could be seen as holy. So when the birds drop flowers on the Blue Cliff Spring, they pay homage not directly to Jiashan, but to the tea that represents his enlightenment.

This post is part of author and scholar Andy Ferguson’s new “Consider the Source” series. As an old Chinese saying goes, “When drinking water, consider the source.” In the coming weeks, Ferguson will ask and answer seemingly simple (but in the end, profound) questions about the “source” of East Asian Buddhism, weaving a tale of both spiritual inspiration and political intrigue.

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Herbs for Healthy Teas by culinarynutrition.com

20 Healing Herbs for Tea and 3 Healing Tea Recipes

Tea is one of our favourite beverages. On a cold, blustery day, a hot cup of tea is warm and soothing, while in the throes of summer you can pour it over ice for a thirst-quenching refresher. There are many powerful healing herbs for tea that can transform it from a tasty beverage into a health-supportive drink, which is why we are sharing our favourite 20 Healing Herbs for Tea  with you.

Teas are very versatile.

20 HEALING HERBS FOR TEA

Peppermint

Why It’s Powerful:  Helps to relax the muscles of the digestive tract and reduce spasms.

Recipe to Try: Detox Tea

Chaga

Why It’s Powerful: The king of mushrooms, it’s a powerful immune-booster that has anti-cancer and anti-oxidant properties. 

Recipe to Try: Chaga Chai

Medicinal Mushrooms - 20 Healing Herbs for Tea

Reishi

Reishi

Why It’s Powerful:  The queen of mushrooms, soothes and calms the nervous system and has immune-modulating compounds.

Recipe to Try: Reishi Chocolate Milk

Chamomile

Why It’s Powerful:  Calming and great for digestion.

Recipe to Try: Secret Garden Relaxation Tea

Ginger

Why It’s Powerful:  Anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting and great for nausea.

Recipe to Try: Get Well Ginger Root Tea

Turmeric - 20 Healing Herbs for Tea

Turmeric

Turmeric

Why It’s Powerful:  Strongly anti-inflammatory and rich in anti-cancer properties.

Recipe to Try: Simple Turmeric Tea

Passionflower

Why It’s Powerful:  Promotes sleep and relaxation, lowers blood pressure.

Recipe to Try: How to Make Passionflower Tea

Lemon Balm

Why It’s Powerful:  Soothes the nerves, calms the mind and body.

Recipe to Try: Homemade Lemon Balm Tea

Spices - Kitchen Detox - 20 Healing Herbs for Tea

Cinnamon

Cinnamon

Why It’s Powerful:  Great for balancing blood sugar. Cinnamon also offers a natural sweetness.

Recipe to Try: Yogi Tea

Fennel

Why It’s Powerful:  Reduces digestive spasms and gas, eases symptoms of coughs and colds.

Recipe to Try: Cumin, Coriander + Fennel Tea

Lemon

Why It’s Powerful:  High in Vitamin C, stimulates digestion and detoxes the liver.

Recipe to Try: Lemon + Sage Tea

Maca Root - 20 Healing Herbs for Tea

Maca

Maca

Why It’s Powerful:  Helps relieve stress, boost energy levels, balance hormones and increase sex drive.

Recipe to Try: Heavenly Maca Latte

Ashwagandha

Why It’s Powerful:  Relieves stress, calms the mind, boosts energy levels and reduces inflammation. Also supports thyroid health.

Recipe to TryStress-Busting Adaptogen Latte

Licorice

Why It’s Powerful:  A great digestive aid, and it’s anti-microbial and anti-bacterial.

Recipe to Try: Licorice Tea

Marshmallow

Why It’s Powerful:  A mucilaginous herb that soothes the mucus membranes of the digestive system, respiratory tract and urinary tract.

Recipe to Try: Marshmallow Root Tea Recipe

Lemongrass

Why It’s Powerful:  Reduces digestive discomfort and helps soothe pain, lowers cholesterol levels

Recipe to Try: Lemongrass Ginger Tea

Kitchen Hacks Lavender - 20 Healing Herbs for Tea

Lavender

Lavender

Why It’s Powerful:  Has a calming and sedative effect, helps to relax the muscles.

Recipe to Try: Lavender Chamomile Mint Tea

Matcha

Why It’s Powerful:  Rich in antioxidants, boosts energy levels, contains l-theanine – an amino acid that increases focus and concentration.

Recipe to Try: Coconut Cashew Matcha Latte

Jasmine

Why It’s Powerful:  Reduces inflammation, promotes sleep and relaxation, anti-bacterial and anti-viral.

Recipe to Try: Iced Jasmine Green Mint Tea

Echinacea

Why It’s Powerful:  Stimulates the immune system and has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anticancer effects.

Recipe to Try: Echinacea, Mint + Lime Iced Tea

 

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20 Healing Herbs for Tea

 

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Humble Grumble Tea – The Health Benefits of Lemongrass by Meenakshi Nagdeve & youtube.com

Humble Grumble Tea

Ingredients:  Organic Ginger – Organic Hibiscus Flowers – Organic Licorice Root – Organic Cinnamon – Organic Currants – Organic Lemongrass – Organic Turmeric – Essential Orange – Essential Lemon – Natural Plum Flavor

25 Surprising Benefits Of Lemongrass

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated – 

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The health benefits of lemongrass include relief from stomach disorders, insomnia, respiratory disorders, fever, aches, infections, rheumatism, and edema. The defensive antioxidant activity of the lemongrass herb protects against antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and helps in maintaining optimum cholesterol levels, cellular health, nervous system, healthy skin, and the immune system. It is also effective in treating type 2 diabetescancer, and obesity, while also aiding in detoxification. It is extensively used in aromatherapy and helps combat fatigue, anxiety, and body odor.

Lemongrass – An Aromatic Healer

Cymbopogon citratus, also known as lemongrass, is an herb which belongs to the grass family of Poaceae. [1] It is utilized for its distinct lemon flavor and citrusy aroma. It is a tall, perennial grass which is native to India and tropical regions of Asia. It is a rough and tufted plant with linear leaves that grows in thick bunches, emerging from a strong base and standing for about 3 meters in height with a meter-wide stretch.

In addition to its culinary usage, this herb offers an array of medicinal benefits and is in extensive demand due to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties across Southeast Asia, as well as the African and American continents. [2]

The genus Cymbopogon comprises 55 species of grasses, two of which are referred to as lemongrass. [3] These are Cymbopogon citratus,which is famously preferred for culinary use and Cymbopogon flexuosus, which is used in the manufacturing of fragrances because of its extended shelf life, owing to the low amount of myrcene in that variety.

Watch Video: 10 Benefits Of Lemongrass

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Nutrition Facts

Lemon grass (citronella), raw
Serving Size : 
Nutrient Value
Water [g] 70.58
Energy [kcal] 99
Protein [g] 1.82
Total lipid (fat) [g] 0.49
Carbohydrate, by difference [g] 25.31
Calcium, Ca [mg] 65
Iron, Fe [mg] 8.17
Magnesium, Mg [mg] 60
Phosphorus, P [mg] 101
Potassium, K [mg] 723
Sodium, Na [mg] 6
Zinc, Zn [mg] 2.23
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg] 2.6
Thiamin [mg] 0.07
Riboflavin [mg] 0.14
Niacin [mg] 1.1
Vitamin B-6 [mg] 0.08
Folate, DFE [µg] 75
Vitamin B-12 [µg] 0
Vitamin A, RAE [µg] 0
Vitamin A, IU [IU] 6
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) [µg] 0
Vitamin D [IU] 0
Fatty acids, total saturated [g] 0.12
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g] 0.05
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g] 0.17
Fatty acids, total trans [g] 0
Cholesterol [mg] 0
Sources include : USDA [4]

Lemongrass Nutrition Facts

Lemongrass contains antioxidants, flavonoids and phenolic compounds such as luteolin, glycosides, quercetin, kaempferol, elemicin, catechol, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid, all of which help in providing an impressive range of medicinal aids. [1] The main component of this fragrant herb is lemonal or citral, which has anti-fungal and anti-microbial qualities, while also providing a distinct lemony smell. [5]

Lemongrass is an aromatic storehouse of essential nutrients providing an array of health benefits. The USDA National Nutrient Database shows that it is a source of essential vitamins such as vitamin Avitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), folate, and vitamin C. [4] It also provides essential minerals such as potassiumcalciummagnesium, phosphorous, manganesecopperzinc, and iron, which are required for the healthy functioning of the human body. It offers no harmful cholesterol or fats.

Health Benefits of Lemongrass

Let us look, in details, at some of the most well-known health benefits [6] of lemongrass:

Lowers Cholesterol

Research published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology journal in the year 2011 revealed that lemongrass possesses anti-hyperlipidemic and anti-hypercholesterolemic properties that support healthy cholesterol levels. [7] Studies have also shown that the regular consumption helps in sustaining healthy levels of triglycerides and reducing the LDL cholesterol in the body. [8] This helps in preventing the accumulation of lipids in the blood vessels and promotes an unobstructed flow of blood in the arteries, preventing various cardiac disorders such as atherosclerosis.

Detoxifies the Body

According to a 2003 study, lemongrass helps in cleansing and flushing harmful toxic wastes out of the body, as a result of its diuretic properties. [9] Detoxification helps in the regulation of various organs of the body, including the liver and kidney, while also helping to lower the levels of uric acid. The diuretic effect of the herb helps in increasing the quantity and frequency of urination, which helps in maintaining digestive health, eliminating accrued fats, and assisting in maintaining a clean system.

Prevents Cancer

Lemongrass is effective in preventing the growth of cancer cells without affecting the healthy cells of the body. Research conducted to prove the anti-cancerous activity of lemongrass has shown promising outcomes in the prevention of skin cancer. [10] This is mainly because the presence of a chemical compound called citral in it.

A research conducted on the effects of citral on cancer cells shows that it helps in inhibiting the growth of hepatic cancer cells during the initial phase and prevents any further growth of cancerous cells. [11] Another study provides supporting evidence regarding the anti-proliferative effect of citral in impeding the growth of human breast cancer cells and the induction of apoptosis. [12]

Staphylococcus aureus

Research conducted at the School of Health, The University of Northampton, UK and published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology has shown that lemongrass essential oil has an anti-biofilm capacity and is beneficial against the infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus. [13]It contains phenols which possess the capability to spread quickly through the body tissues and cure biofilms located anywhere in the body. [14] It disrupts the growth and communication of germs, which helps in inhibiting the formation of the biofilms. [5] The herb’s essential oil is used for application, both topically as well as internally to cure the diseases diagnosed with biofilms, such as Lyme disease.

Stomach Disorders

Studies have shown that lemongrass essential oil has anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties which help in fighting the infections caused by various pathogens such as Helicobacter pylori and Escherichia coli. [15] It is beneficial in the prevention of gastrointestinal disorders such as gastric ulcers, helps in stimulating the bowel function, and improves digestion. [16] The anti-inflammatory property of the herb is beneficial for treating constipation, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, nausea and stomach aches.

Treats Insomnia

Lemongrass aids in calming muscles and nerves, which helps in inducing deep sleep. Research has shown that its herbal tea has sedative and hypnotic properties which help in increasing the duration of sleep. [17]

Respiratory Disorders

Lemongrass is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine for its healing effects in treating cough and cold. [18] Along with other beneficial components, the vitamin C content present in it helps in providing relief from nasal blockages, flu and other respiratory disorders such as bronchial asthma. [19]

Cures Fever

Lemongrass is a febrifuge and is also known as the ‘fever grass’, owing to its beneficial effects in lowering fever. [20] The anti-pyretic and diaphoretic effect is extensively used in Ayurvedic medicine for curing fevers by inducing sweating.

Treats Infections

Lemongrass works as an antiseptic and is effective in treating infections such as ringworm, sores, Athlete’s Foot, scabies, and urinary tract infections (UTI) because of its antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. [21] Studies have shown that the herb exerts healing effects on dermatological infections, such as yeast infections, by inhibiting the growth of pathogens. Another study provides supporting evidence that demonstrated the efficacy of lemongrass over thyme, patchouli, and cedarwood oil in the treatment of various diseases such as oral or vaginal candidiasis. [22]

Reduces Aches

Lemongrass alleviates the pain and discomfort caused by headaches and migraines due to its analgesic properties. [23] The phytonutrientspresent in it improve blood circulation and help in relieving spasms, muscle cramps, sprains, and backaches. It is valuable in treating sportswounds, including dislocations, internal injuries, and bruises.

Nervous System

Lemongrass is nervine and has been proven to be a tonic for the nervous system. It stimulates the mind and helps in combating convulsions, nervousness, vertigo, and various neuronal disorders. It is used in therapeutic baths, which assist in calming the nerves and alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and fatigue caused by stress.

Type-2 Diabetes

Lemongrass has been proven beneficial in treating type-2 diabetes. Studies have shown that the citral present in it help maintain optimum levels of insulin and improve the tolerance of glucose in the body. [24]

Prevents Rheumatism

Lemongrass is effective in relieving the pain and discomfort caused by rheumatism. [25] It can be applied topically on both lumbago and sprains and helps in relieving neuralgia.

Boosts Immunity

Lemongrass helps in restoring the vital systems which are operational in the body, including digestion, respiration, excretion, and the nervous system. This assists in the better absorption of nutrients and strengthening of the immune defense mechanism of the body. Lemongrass extracts have a beneficial effect on the inflammatory actions of cytokines, which are the signaling molecules through which the cells communicate and respond to the body. Studies have shown that lemongrass exerts anti-inflammatory action and its constituent, citral, may be the cause of its inhibitory effect on cytokine production. [26]

Skin Care

Lemongrass has been treasured as a skin tonic and makes an effective cleanser for oily or acne-prone skin, due to its astringent and antiseptic qualities. [27] It helps in strengthening the skin tissues and toning up the pores while also sterilizing them. Care should be taken while using lemongrass products, as the undiluted application might lead to dermal irritation in some cases.

Cellular Health

Lemongrass possesses antioxidant qualities and helps in protecting the body cells from oxygen-derived free radicals. It also helps in the cleansing of blood and strengthening the spleen to discard the tarnished red blood cells. It supports the function of the thymus glands which helps produce white blood cells. It helps in stimulating the regeneration of cells. The folate and potassium content in the stem and leaves of lemongrass aids in DNA synthesis and promotes cell division.

Treats Edema

Lemongrass is effective in curing the condition of water retention or edema. It has a cleansing effect on lymphatic congestion and helps soothe the swelling.

Aromatherapy

Lemongrass consists of the beneficial ingredients of essential oils such as neroli, citronellol, myrcene, dipentene, geraniol and methyl heptenone which possess anti-fungal, insecticidal, and antiseptic properties. [28] Lemongrass oil is extensively used in aromatherapy, due to its therapeutic effects, which help in revitalizing the body. The cooling effect of lemongrass oil is beneficial for the body during hot weather and promotes the revival of both the mind and soul. [29] This oil possesses natural astringent and toning qualities which help in stimulating blood circulation and tones up the dermal tissues. [30] It also helps in tightening, uplifting and firming lethargic or sagging skin.

Obesity

Lemongrass contains citral, which has been proven to be effective in combating obesity. [24] It prevents the accumulation of abdominal fat and promotes the use of stored energy, which helps in preventing diet-induced weight gain. It aids in healthy metabolism and enhances the oxidation of fatty acids in the body.

Body Odor

Lemongrass is used in the manufacturing of deodorants due to its cleansing and antibacterial properties which help combat unpleasant body-odor and prevent fungal and bacterial infections. [31] It can also be added to footbaths for sanitizing sore and odorous feet.

Insect Repellent

Lemongrass is used as a natural insect repellent and helps in preventing the occurrence of insect-borne diseases such as malariadengue, and Lyme disease. [32] Studies have provided supporting evidence regarding the anti-malarial and anti-protozoan properties of lemongrass, which makes its oil an effective ingredient in mosquito repellents. [32]

Culinary Usage

Apart from folk medicines, lemongrass is commonly used in Asian cuisines, especially those of Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. It is used for adding flavor to beverages such as teas, curries, and soups, and also finds extensive use in the preparation of pudding, meat products, candies, and baked goods.

Other Uses 

Lemongrass is used in the manufacturing of perfumes, deodorants, polishes, candles, and waxes. [28] It is also used to add fragrance to soaps and cosmetic products.

It is used to lure and attract honey bees for various commercial purposes. [33]

Hydrophobic Properties: Lemongrass is used for preserving ancient palm leaf manuscripts and protects them from the damage caused by microorganisms. [34] It strengthens the leaves by providing the required moisture to the fragile palm leaves without letting the humidity cause any loss to the stored text. This protective effect can be attributed to the hydrophobic properties of lemongrass oil.

Pet Products: Lemongrass is used in the manufacturing of shampoos and grooming products for pets due to its repellent effects on lice and ticks.

Word of Caution

Although considered safe, the topical use of lemongrass oil or the ingestion of herbal tea can result in allergic reactions in some people. [35]In the event of any allergic symptoms, it is always advisable to discontinue the use of its essential oil and seek immediate medical attention.

Undiluted or concentrated lemongrass oil should not be applied directly on the body as it may result in harmful reactions. It is always advisable to keep the pure essential oil out of the reach of children.

It is also strongly recommended to consult a health professional before considering lemongrass oil for therapeutic usage; especially during pregnancy, when trying to conceive, breastfeeding, and during the course of any ongoing medical treatments.

Lemongrass has galactagogic properties, which promote the formation of milk in breasts. [36] It is also effective in stimulating menstrual flow and helps in soothing menstrual cramps and discomfort. It helps in soothing the swelling and its effects on the conditions of varicosity. Used cautiously, it can prove extremely valuable in providing a range of medicinal relief!

Add a refreshing and healthy aroma to your lifestyle with lemongrass!

 
 References
About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve is a health and wellness enthusiast and started working on Organic Facts since 2012 and is currently responsible for managing it. She follows naturopathy and believes in healing with foods. She is currently pursuing Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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