This is one of my favorite teas, which I have been making for the past year. I drank 1-2 cups daily over fall and winter to bolster my immune system.
It worked! I felt great and I didn’t get any colds. I am now using it for spring to help bolster my immune system against the allergens.
I must admit however that I initially picked these herbs after attending an Ayurvedic class on skin care. Vitamin C was touted as a superb herb for the skin. Amongst the claims attributed to this water-soluble vitamin is that it’s a natural anti-oxidant which improves skin elasticity and connective tissue.
I was sold and set off on a research adventure into the world of natural Vitamin C sources. Along the way I learned that this herb has a long use and modern research attests that its benefits may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.
I have picked from both Ayurvedic and Western herbs known for their high Vitamin C content. The best way to take this tea is to make a strong decoction. The rule of thumb is 1oz herb (approximately 4 tablespoons powder) to 32 oz of water (or 4 x 8oz cups).
This results in 3 cups of tea. Bring the kettle or pot to a boil. Turn off the heat, add 1oz tea mixture, stir well, cover, and let steep one hour. Better still make it in the evening and allow the tea to decoct overnight for maximum strength. The next morning, strain the tea. You will have a lot of sediment which you should discard. The mixture can be refrigerated and is good for 2 days. I don't reheat my tea. I let the tea come to room temperature and then drink.
Enjoy it tastes great!
Oh, and my skin looks great!
The Herbs - Vitamin C Tea
- 2 TBS Rose Hip Seed Powder
- 1TBS Amalaki powder
- OR 1TBS Acerola powder
- 1 TBS cinnamon chips
- 4 cups filtered water
Provide one of the best natural and freshly available sources of Vitamin C (1) They are the edible, ripe fruit of the rose plant collected in the fall. They’re an excellent source of vitamin C and the entire vitamin C complex. They contain up to 60 x the vitamin C of citrus fruit, along with the bioflavonoids that aid in the absorption of Vitamin C. They are used to fight infection and curb stress.
Rose hips provide exceptional antioxidant and free radical scavenging effects mainly due to their polyphenolic compounds.
Rose hips demonstrate anti-ulcer activity, collagen stabilizing effects, improved wound healing ability, improve immunity and have anti allergenic effects.
Their cardiovascular benefits are seen through their oxidative- scavenging effects. They are anti-inflammatory, lipid lowering and inhibit platelet aggregation all of which contribute to atherosclerosis (2)
Rose hips are 4 % natural Vitamin C. This is very different from synthetic ascorbic acid, in that our bodies absorb the natural form better.
Rose hips have no toxicity and an excellent safety profile. They can be enjoyed by children as well as adults.
Therapeutic dosing range
- Ground dried fruit 2-8gms daily as tea
- Fresh fruit or jam or syrup 1-2oz daily
- (1) The complete illustrated Holistic Herbal D Hoffman: 135
- (2) Adaptogens in medical herbalism. Donald Yance. 563-565
Amalaki is an Ayurvedic herb with a long history of use. Amla literally means sour. It also means mother or nurse indicating that Amalaki is the ultimate carer and healer.
Amalaki reduces inflammation in the digestive tract, assisting the bowels and strengthening the heart.
Its Vitamin C content is one of the highest in the vegetable kingdom 20x that of an orange and 30 x more bioavailable. Its Tannins make it heat stable. (1)
Constituents: Amla is rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants, flavonoids, and polyphenols. Because of these compounds its anti-inflammatory and helps stabilize connective tissue, blood vessels, bones, and eyes.
Amla is one of the most commonly used rejuvenate herbs in Ayurveda. The classical text Caraka Samhita states that Amla is the best medicine to promote resistance to disease, nourish the blood, heal fractures, and prevent aging (2)
- Dose: 1/2-1tsp daily
- Safety; caution with insulin/hypoglycemic medicines.
- Tannins may reduce absorption of iron and minerals.
- (1) Ayurvedic medicine S Pole
(2) Adaptogens, D Winston & S. Maines 134-8
Acerola cherry is plant that grows in tropical Mexico and Northern South America. Its rich in Vitamin C, flavonoids, and carotenoids. It has powerful antioxidants and is rich in protein and mineral salts, principally iron, calcium and phosphorous. It helps prevent cellular aging and chronic acute disease (1)
Acerola powder has been used in many topical skin treatments and medications, due to its high vitamin C content. Topical vitamin C may help in the formation of collagen, fibrous tissue that makes up healthy skin. Vitamin C also helps promote the growth of skin cells, as well as increasing the healing rate of scars. Acerola powder may also block the production of melanin, which may enhance the appearance of healthy skin.
- Dosage: powder 3-10 gmssafe no toxicity
- (1)Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism D Yance 346
- (2)Livestrong website
Cinnamon or Twak, as it is known in Sanskrit means skin or bark. The bark of the cinnamon tree is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a major digestive herb. As a bark protects a tree, cinnamon protects and strengthens the intestines. Like ginger it’s a universal medicine and less likely to aggravate pitta or heat.
Here it’s used to sweeten the tea and for its digestive and circulatory properties that help take the formula into the deeper tissues.
Its ayurvedic actions are: it’s a digestive in that it increases digestive and metabolic capacity. It dispels gas, relieves spasms, and destroys digestive toxins. It’s a warming herb and is used for colds, sinus congestion, bronchitis. It clears mucous and encourages circulation throughout the respiratory system and in cold extremities like fingers and toes making it useful in Raynaud’s syndrome and arthritis.