I would like to use this space to highlight benefits of natural remedies to life’s health problems. My name is Tish and I am a 200-hour certified yoga teacher with additional trainings from institutions and organizations operating around the United States. I received this training and am writing this article because I have a passion for finding ways to not only help ailments in my own life through the mindset of yoga, but to also help my community.
Let me briefly explain what I mean by the mindset of yoga. I am aware of the misconception that yoga is simply a repetitive physical activity found in sweaty hot rooms where you get to have a guilt free nap at the end. Asana, or the physical movement of one’s body into and out of poses, is only one aspect of practicing yoga. For example, there is a part of the practice, called pranayama, which focuses on one’s breathing practices, while other parts focus more on mental practices. When an individual is immersed in their own practice these aspects work together and bolster one’s overall wellbeing. After all, isn’t life one big practice session where we are constantly faced with opportunities to alter our approach for even better outcomes? This is my yoga mindset at work — where I see an opportunity for more awareness and I have designated areas in my physical and mental life to utilize in embracing those opportunities.
Now, on to the work we can do on the ground to be aware of our ailments and recognize there is always more we can do to address areas of pain and suffering in our lives. One of my biggest realizations has been how important hydration is to one’s health! I mean really important. I’m sure like many of you, I have found it difficult to drink enough water each day, every day. No matter how much I tell myself I need to, it’s simply not enough. I have to find a way to build it into my life and respect its purpose in order to set aside time in my busiest and laziest of days. I have found making water more interesting and using the “killing two birds with one stone” idea, an effective method.
One amazing drink I have come across recently has been Black or Tart Cherry Juice. The juice can be diluted to taste and I have found it to have two different kinds of benefits. It is important to note that I am recommending 100 percent cherry juice, not cocktail mixes. If you suffer from arthritis or gout (like me) you may have already heard of the anti-inflammatory agents available in cherry juice. It is rich in potassium and iron, both very important minerals to strong health. In fact, potassium helps retain hydration in the body so you get a double whammy if you drink diluted cherry juice throughout the day. I prefer the tart cherry juices, because they help with anti-inflammatory processes more than black cherry juice and because of a secondary effect. The tartness jolts my mouth and brain just enough to wake me up and re-energize me into a second, third, or even a ninth wind. The awakening effect does not wear off for me, because it is a physical reaction to the tartness that provides the jolt and not a reaction to caffeine like I have sought in coffee most of my life. Much like coffee, please consider how much sugar and calorie intake is appropriate for you and your lifestyle when deciding how much cherry juice you want to, or should drink.
Speaking of coffee, a second drink I’d like to discuss is the black tea alternative: Chai Tea. We may choose to drink our coffee and tea differently; with creamer and two sugars, black, hot or cold. However the caffeine content of both is a popular ingredient I think we can all agree we want in our morning pick-me-up. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it can dehydrate the body. That’s no good! Luckily black tea has about one-third the caffeine found in coffee. Black tea is a main component of chai tea, but chai tea is also infused with various spices which can boost your body’s health so much more than coffee. These spices are typically ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, clove, and black pepper. I prefer to get these spices from our local spice shop, Savory Spice Shop, located in the Old Mill District.
Please join me on the HomeSpun Magazine website next month for a more in-depth discussion about the health benefits of Chai Tea and a few recipes so you can prepare it at home just in time for the holiday season!