Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a breastfeeding milk tea consumed by mothers for thousands of years. As an herbal galactagogue, fennel stimulates lactation and increases milk production during breastfeeding. Mothers with low milk supply who drink tea containing fennel seeds can experience an increase in the volume and fat content of their milk. As a result, their infants can gain weight. Fennel also supports the digestive health of mother and infant. The herb is beneficial in moderation, which is why it constitutes 25% of NutraMother, our carefully-crafted tea blend that supports healthy breastfeeding. Mothers should always consult with their doctor about lactation problems.

Science Behind Fennel as a Breastfeeding Milk Tea

Anethole is responsible for fennel’s positive effect on lactation. It’s the monoterpene that gives fennel and other plants like anise and star anise their distinct, licorice-like fragrance and flavor. Anethole is a phytoestrogen, which means it’s a plant-based compound with an estrogen-like effect in the body. Like estrogen, anethole signals the pituitary gland to increase prolactin. Prolactin is the hormone responsible for stimulating milk production.

Fennel seeds

Fennel seeds

A Good Pregnancy Tea

Even before the infant is born and lactation begins, fennel can be beneficial for mothers. Digestion issues like bloating and gas are common during pregnancy. Fennel seed tea aids digestion and relieves gas. With its healthy dose of fiber, fennel firms loose bowel movements. The seeds have an antibacterial effect which decreases the bacteria that cause gas. Their anti-inflammatory effect decreases inflammation in the bowels. Fennel can also have a relaxing effect on intestinal muscles, which relieves constipation.

Fennel for Infant Colic

Infants receive the same digestive benefits of fennel through breastmilk. Colic is a common condition in which a healthy baby is fussy and cries for no obvious reason for more than three hours a day. It’s characterized by gassiness, constipation, and tight muscles. Fennel can relieve the gas and constipation that cause colic, reducing an infant’s discomfort and decreasing crying time. The herb was often included in gripe water, a traditional folk remedy for colic.

Fennel flowers

Fennel in bloom

Fast Fennel Facts

Fennel belongs to the Apiaceae family. If mother or infant is allergic to carrots, celery, or other plants in the Apiaceae family, fennel should be avoided. The aromatic herb is a hardy perennial with a white bulb, succulent, hollow stalks, and green, feathery foliage. It has bright golden blossoms and grows five to seven feet tall with a deep tap root. In Greek mythology, Prometheus brought humanity fire from Mount Olympus by hiding the flame in a stalk of fennel. This myth reflects fennel’s importance to the ancient Greeks. Native to the Mediterranean, fennel has spread around the world as a culinary delicacy with a range of medicinal, nutritious constituents.

Fennel contains:

  • Vitamin A, B, and C
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Copper

NutraMother Tea Supports Lactation

Herbalists at NutraTea created NutraMother, a blend of Fennel 25%, Chamomile 20% (matricaria recutita), Fenugreek 10% (Trigonella foenum-graecum), Shatavari Root 10% (Asparagus racemosus), Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus), Caraway (Carum carvi), Nettle (Urtica dioica), and Blessed Thistle (Centaurea benedicta). NutraMother supports healthy breastfeeding for mother and infant. It contains the optimal amount of fennel to increase breastmilk volume and fat content for healthy baby weight, and supports digestive function of mother and infant. The herbs in NutraMother synergize in support of the entire genito-reproductive system. Pour a cup and nourish your amazing, life-giving body.

Acerola (Malpighia Emarginata) produces a sweet, fragrant, red berry that is the richest source of vitamin C in the entire plant kingdom! The pink-blossomed evergreen shrub is native to South America, Mexico, the West Indies, and the Caribbean. Acerola’s common names include ‘Barbados cherry’ and ‘West Indian cherry.’ Supplementing with acerola can shorten and reduce severity of the common cold, kill bacteria that cause urinary tract infections, alleviate and prevent diarrhea, tighten prematurely aging skin, and improve memory.

Besides vitamin C, acerola contains:

  • Vitamin A
  • Antioxidants
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Niacin (vitamin B-3)
  • Phosphorus
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B-2)
  • Thiamine (vitamin B-1)

Shortening the Common Cold

Infections and stress cause a decline in vitamin C levels in white blood cells. Regular vitamin C supplementation helps the body fight infection, and slightly reduces a cold’s duration and symptom severity. Acerola is the richest source of vitamin C in nature, containing 50-100 times more vitamin C than a lemon or an orange. As a dietary source of vitamin C, it confers additional health benefits that synthetic isolates lack. For instance, the antioxidant phytonutrients present in acerola potentiate the bioavailability of vitamin C in the human body.

Preventing Urinary Tract Infection

UTIs are common infections that occur when bacteria, usually E. Coli, enter the urethra and infect the urinary tract. Vitamin C appears to have a bacteriostatic effect on urine. It prevents the growth of bacteria in urine by reducing urinary nitrites to reactive nitrogen oxides. This helps prevent urinary tract infections. That’s why we include acerola in NutraFlow, a tea blend that supports healthy urinary tract function.

Preventing Diarrhea

Acerola has astringent properties, meaning it causes skin cells and bodily tissues to contract. In cases of diarrhea, the herb contracts mucus membranes to limit fluid loss, decrease secretions, and reduce the gut wall’s permeability. This relieves diarrhea symptoms and prevents dehydration. Acerola’s high vitamin C concentration can also alleviate diarrhea symptomsPectin in acerola acts as a dietary fiber which acts as a prebiotic, supporting health gut microbiota and preventing diarrhea. If excess vitamin C is causing your diarrhea, you should reduce your intake of acerola.

Boosting Skin Health

Thanks to its astringent and antimicrobial properties, acerola is an effective topical cream that promotes skin health. It tightens pores and kills acne-causing bacteria. Its high vitamin C content supports healthy collagen production and fights free radicals that cause premature aging.

Preventing Memory Loss

Anthocyanins are phytonutrients, or antioxidant plant pigment compounds found in blue, red, and purple fruits. Anthocyanins prevent inflammation and offer neuroprotective benefits. As you can see from its bright red color, acerola is rich in anthocyanins. Supplementing with anthocyanin-rich acerola can help prevent cognitive decline. An animal study concluded that acerola juice offset some detrimental brain effects of an obesity-associated diet by reducing oxidative stress and reversing inhibition of energy metabolism.

Processing Acerola

Mature acerola berries are red. They are also soft and fragile because they’re composed of 80% juice! Acerola berries are not shelf-stable; once harvested, they’re good for only five days, and so cannot be sold fresh. The vitamin C content declines as the berry ripens, with highest levels recorded while the berry is still green and lowest when the fruit is red and fully ripe. However, in powder form, acerola’s nutrition and medicinal benefits are preserved and can be incorporated into tea blends, smoothies, and more. Our tea blend NutraFlow contains dried and powdered acerola berry.

NutraFlow

NutraTea herbalists blended herbs that collectively support healthy urinary tract function to create NutraFlow. 15% of the blend is composed of acerola berry powder! The sweet berry’s high vitamin C concentration enables it to eliminate UTI-causing bacteria in urine. Help your body fight off urinary tract infections by welcoming acerola into your life.

 

Licorice (Glycrrhiza glabra) is a rhizome used for thousands of years in herbal medicine. Licorice supports adrenal and hormonal health. It also reduces symptoms of the common cold and stomach ulcers, and potentiates other herbs. It’s an adaptogen, meaning it promotes a healthy stress response and corrects imbalances in the body. Its Greek name glykos (“sweet”) rhiza (“root”) relates to its major active component, glycyrrhizin, a triterpene saponin fifty times sweeter than sugar. Its powerful anti-inflammatory, harmonizing effect is the work of over 20 triterpenes and 300 flavonoids. 

Adrenals and Stress Response

How does Licorice support a healthy stress response? The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) is the main stress response system – the link between perceived stress and physiological reactions to stress. Saponins in licorice promote neurogenesis and protect the HPA axis from acute and long-term stress. Also, saponins restore tone to monoaminergic neurotransmitters, which transmit serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and histamine. These might be the primary neural basis for emotional health. The adrenals make cortisol, your main stress hormone, which is responsible for:

  • Boosting energy to respond to stress, and balancing afterward
  • Lowering inflammation
  • Regulating blood pressure
  • Increasing blood sugar
  • Controlling sleeping/waking
  • Managing use of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats

Low cortisol can cause symptoms like fatigue, muscle weakness, low blood pressure, and loss of appetite. Glycrrhizin acts directly on the adrenal cortex and increases blood corticoids in patents with suppressed pituitary adrenocorticotropin. In other words, it restores normal cortisol metabolism when adrenal insufficiency causes low cortisol levels. Licorice will not elevate cortisol if it’s already at a healthy level.

Hormonal Health

Flavonoids in licorice account for the herb’s hormone modulatory actions, which are estrogenic or anti-androgen, depending on the target issue. Licorice mildly increases estrogen levels when they are low, as often occurs during menopause. It can reduce symptoms of low estrogen like hot flashes, mood changes, and vaginal dryness more effectively than hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Licorice can also alleviate symptoms of elevated androgens in conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Common Cold

Licorice acts as a demulcent, and is a famous remedy for a sore throat. Its polysaccharides soothe and coat mucus membranes by forming a protective film. Saponins give licorice expectorant powers that thin and loosen mucus in the airway, making coughs more productive. Flavonoids like isoliquiritigenin lessen lung inflammation.

Stomach Lining

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) can cause heartburn. Licorice soothes heartburn by increasing mucus production, which forms a barrier to acid in the stomach and esophagus. This also makes it an effective remedy for peptic ulcers. Peptic ulcers are painful sores that develop on the inside lining of the stomach and upper portion of the small intestine, usually caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium.

History

Licorice is a flowering member of the bean family. Roots are soft and flexible, and grow to a little over three feet long and half an inch wide. Their bright yellow inner color reveals high levels of flavonoids. Herbalists dry and powder the roots, or boil them into a thick juice to make candy. Licorice is one of the world’s oldest remedies. Traditional Chinese, Greek, and Middle Eastern medicine use it in an astounding number of herbal blends. It has a synergistic ability to enhance the efficacy of other herbs in a formula, and glycyrrhizin’s incredible sweetness masks the taste of more bitter herbs.

Licorice and Cinnamon

Nutratea herbalists combined equal amounts of licorice and cinnamon to create a tea that supports healthy, consistent energy levels. Licorice supports adrenal and hormonal health, while cinnamon prevents blood sugar spikes. They further complement each other because licorice cools irritated tissue while cinnamon warms the body. Pour yourself a hot, sweet cup of this licorice and cinnamon to restore normal energy levels or soothe a cold.

Guaraná is an ancient drink made from the powdered seeds of Paullinia cupana. It supports healthy weight-management, energy, and cardiovascular function. Drinking guaraná reduces fatigue and hunger, increases metabolic rate, and prevents atherosclerosis. Its seeds contain up to five times more caffeine than coffee beans! Theobromine and theophylline team up with caffeine to provide a stronger, smoother, longer-lasting energy boost than caffeine alone provides.

The name ‘guaraná’ came from the Guaraní word ‘waraná’ meaning “fruit like the eyes of the people.”

Energy

Drinking guaraná temporarily reduces mental and physical fatigue. Caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline are xanthine alkaloids responsible for the way guaraná stimulates the central nervous system. Guaraná seeds have a 2-8% concentration of caffeine, compared to only 1-3% in coffee beans. That’s the highest caffeine concentration observed in nature! Theophylline is an even stronger stimulant than caffeine. Theobromine (“the food of the gods”) delivers a more relaxed, longer-lasting energy boost than caffeine, without the crash.

Cognition

Adenosine is a compound that relaxes the brain. When caffeine binds to adenosine receptors in the central nervous system, it prevents them from activating and delays fatigue. Drinking guaraná slightly increases mental response time without affecting accuracy, thanks to caffeine. Avoiding memory problems is another cognitive perk of drinking guaraná. The plant dilates blood vessels and reduces oxidation of low-density lipoproteins, preventing or improving hyperlipidemia, atherosclerosis, and related memory impairment. Finally, folk medicine and anecdotal evidence recommend guaraná as a remedy for migraines.

Weight Control

In the short term, caffeine increases metabolic rate and fat-burning. It also curbs appetite and prevents weight gain and insulin resistance. Guaraná’s caffeine content explains its efficacy in healthy weight-management. Also, guaraná appears to prevent metabolic disorders. Researchers observed smaller waist circumference and reduced hunger in people who drink guaraná often.

Guaraná powder is not only made into drinks, but also baked into bread.

Cardiovascular

Guaraná is a cardiotonic, meaning it’s safe to drink often to support heart health. Drinking guaraná reduces the likelihood of developing atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the buildup of cholesterol plaque in the artery walls which obstructs blood flow. Guaraná supplies antioxidants and improves lipid metabolism by lowering oxidation of low-density lipoproteins. Oxidation of LDLs is an important event leading to atherosclerosis. Theobromine lowers blood pressure and improves circulation. Theophylline stimulates the heart muscle and improves circulation.

Guaraná’s antioxidants promote longevity.

Cancer

High levels of free radicals cause oxidative stress, which leads to cancers. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals. Guarana is rich in antioxidants, to a similar degree as green tea. It also helps reduce fatigue in people undergoing cancer treatments like chemotherapy.

History

Guaraná is a woody vine native to the Amazon. Its clusters of reddish-orange fruit contain black seeds with thick, white arils. Indigenous Brazilian tribes like the Sateré Mawé and the Guaraní say when the fruit splits it resembles an eyeball. In their mythology, a murdered child was buried, and the first guarana plant grew from the child’s eyeball. The plant itself then gave birth to a child from whom all Mawé are descended. The Sateré Mawé tribe domesticated guaraná and cultivate it in their ancestral forests today as they have for millennia. They call guaraná “the beginning of all knowledge” and value it not only for energy, but also for treating migraines, atherosclerosis, and dysentery. To process guarana, people roast and pulverize the seeds. Traditionally, they mix the powder with cassava (Manihot esculenta) to make the drink çapó. Mawé hunters drink çapó for energy before embarking on a hunt. It’s also ceremonial. During the twenty-day festival, Festa de Tocandira, the whole tribe drinks çapó, dances, and tells stories. The festival culminates in an initiation ritual for Mawé boys, who prove their bravery by donning gloves filled with biting ants.

NutraTrim

NutraTea herbalists crafted NutraTrim, a blend of guaraná and other herbs that support healthy weight, stimulate metabolism, remove toxins, and control blood sugar and cravings. NutraTrim contains guaraná, green tea, fennel, nettle, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, senna, dandelion root, burdock root, garcinia cambogia, juniper berry, hibiscus, couch grass, black pepper, and kelp. Begin your relationship with guaraná, an ancient source of energy and metabolic balance.

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a species of easily cultivated thistle with profound health benefits. Veins in its leaves are filled with a milky white sap that is released when the leaves are crushed. The purple-flowered milk thistle heals liver and kidney diseases. It specifically aids in detoxification from alcohol, recreational drugs, adverse effects from medications, viral hepatitis, and toxic exposures. There are no reported herb-drug interactions from use of milk thistle, so you can safely combine it with medications, especially to offset those that may damage the liver and kidneys. Milk thistle supports healthy digestion and alleviates gallbladder dysfunction. The fresh leaves are traditionally eaten to support healthy breast milk production during lactation.

Silymarin

Silymarin is the major active constituent of milk thistle responsible for its liver-protecting powers. Fruits or achenes of milk thistle contain 4-6% silymarin. Silymarin is a complex of related flavonolignan (flavonoid and lignin molecules bonded together) and strongly antioxidant and hepatoprotective constituents, including silybin, silydianin, and silychristin. These flavolignan stabilize cell membranes, preventing viruses and hepatotoxins from binding to cell walls. Milk thistle (administered quickly, ideally as a purified I.V. drip of silybin extract) is the only known effective antidote to Amanita phalloides mushroom poisoning to prevent liver and kidney damage and eventual death.

Liver

Milk thistle prevents and potentially reverses liver damage and disease from an array of causes, including alcohol, recreational drugs, viral infection, toxic exposure and poisoning from solvents, pesticides and heavy metals, and adverse effects from medications like Tylenol. Many medications can potentially harm the liver; milk thistle can mitigate this risk. Because there are no reported herb-drug interactions from use of milk thistle, you can safely combine it with medications.

Cirrhosis of the liver means healthy liver cells are damaged and replaced by scar tissue. Alcohol abuse can cause liver cirrhosis. In these cases, the liver can’t filter drugs and toxins, metabolize, produce proteins, or properly clot blood. Milk thistle improves Phase II liver metabolism. When Phase II detox is sluggish it results in toxicity and free radical damage. Symptoms of poor liver metabolism include elevated bilirubin, jaundice, clay-colored stools, and skin that is dry and scaly. While milk thistle will not reverse scarification of the liver, it does protect new liver cells from damage and promotes healthy tissue proliferation and blood flow. Luckily, fatty liver disease can be reversed by supplementing with milk thistle.

Kidneys

When the tissue of the kidneys becomes inflamed and unable to filter waste from the blood, it’s called nephritis. Milk thistle can protect kidneys against nephrotoxic damage by preventing uptake of toxins and is useful as an adjunct therapy in nephropathies. Diseases like diabetes and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) can damage the kidneys; milk thistle seeds can improve and stabilize kidney function in such cases.

Digestion

As a digestive tonic, milk thistle increases bile production and secretion. This alleviates loss of appetite, biliousness, nausea, constipation, and indigestion. For this reason, milk thistle is often used to treat ailments of the gallbladder.

Cancer

Milk thistle mitigates liver damage from chemotherapy and may even work synergistically with chemotherapy. Although the anti-cancer effects of milk thistle are still being studied, early evidence is promising.

Cholesterol

Blood lipid profiles can be improved by supplementing with milk thistle. Milk thistle aids in normalizing blood lipid profile by lowering “bad cholesterol (LDL) and raising “good cholesterol” (HDL).

Viral Hepatitis

Milk thistle can improve symptoms and quality of life for people with viral hepatitis, especially viral hepatitis C (HCV). Silymarin’s healing and anti-inflammatory effect on the liver alleviates liver damage caused by HCV. In one study of 16 patients who didn’t respond to interferon and ribavirin therapy, milk thistle significantly reduced the viral load of hepatitis C. In 7 of the subjects the virus decreased to undetectable levels after 14 days of therapy.

Lactation

Traditionally, milk thistle is taken to support abundant production of breast milk during lactation. The tender young leaves are the first choice for this purpose.

Contraindications

Milk thistle is safe to combine with other medications. However, it may mildly alter blood glucose levels, so caution is advised when using hypoglycemic medications.

NutraLiver Tea

NutraLiver is a special tea blend of milk thistle, licorice (Glycrrhiza glabra), peppermint (Mentha piperita), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), and turmeric (Curcuma longa). These herbs all support liver health, detoxification, and digestion. Whether you’re recovering from overindulgence in alcohol, supporting your natural detoxification channels, or experiencing indigestion, find regenerative support in a mug of NutraLiver tea.

After a meal in Asia, Africa, Australia, or the Caribbean, someone might offer you a comforting, aromatic mug of lemongrass tea. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) soothes frayed nerves, calms an upset stomach, lowers high fevers, reduces pain, and supports collagen production. It is highly anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Consumed regularly, lemongrass tea helps prevent chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Also called citronella, its citrusy essential oils are anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and repel bugs.

Constituents

Lemongrass contains:

Citral

Citral is one of the primary mechanisms of lemongrass’s healing powers. It’s a pale-yellow, liquid terpene with a strong, lemony scent. Citral is antimicrobial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anticancer, and insecticidal. It helps the body synthesize Vitamin A, which is essential for healthy vision, immunity, reproduction, growth, development, and organ function.

Lemongrass tea

Calming

The aroma of lemongrass reduces anxiety. The tea can also promote sleep in cases of insomnia by relaxing tense muscles and nerves.

Digestion

Lemongrass is a traditional cure for stomachache, thanks to the actions of citral, borneol, geraniol, and saponins. Citral reduces intestinal spasms and vomiting by neutralizing bacterial infections in the digestive tract. Borneol stimulates digestion and exerts a calming, anti-spasmodic effect. Geraniol is antiseptic. Saponins are antimicrobial and antifungal.

Furthermore, lemongrass is diuretic, increasing urination volume and frequency and supporting the body’s natural detoxification channels. For this reason, it supports lymphatic drainage and treats edema (excess fluid retention in tissues). This all explains why lemongrass tea is often served after a meal.

Fever

Caribbean healers call lemongrass “fever grass.” They administer tea from the perennial grass species to reduce a high fever. The tea induces sweating, which helps the body release impurities and regulate its temperature.

Cancer and Heart Disease

A powerful free radical scavenger, lemongrass lowers inflammation and oxidative stress associated with cancer and heart disease. Pure citral show antitumor potential, particularly by reducing viability of breast cancer cells. Quercetin is a flavonoid in lemongrass with anti-inflammatory properties that inhibit cancer cell growth and prevent heart disease. Clinical trials support using lemongrass to lower elevated cholesterol. It reduces blood platelet aggregation. Lemongrass has secondary metabolites like quercetin that it uses to defend itself from inflammation and oxidative stress. You harness these by drinking the tea. They include the phenolic compounds luteolin, glycosides, kaempferol, elimicin, catecol, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid.

Collagen

Silica helps form the building blocks of collagen, a protein found in the skin, muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and blood. Collagen supports healthy wound healing with minimal scarring and protects joint health. Lemongrass thrives in silica-rich soils. The plant pulls the mineral in and metabolizes silica into a form that humans can process.

Antimicrobial, Antifungal, Anti-biofilm, Anti-viral

Topically, lemongrass essential oil is antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, and anti-biofilm. Thanks to these qualities, it effectively treats infections caused by disharmonious bacteria like Escherichia coli (E. Coli), Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori. The tea successfully treats stubborn Candida Albincans (yeast) infections, including oral thrush. In vitro (outside a living organism) when multiple pathogens form polymicrobial biofilms, lemongrass essential oil disrupts the biofilm matrix and treats the infection more effectively than conventional antibiotics. Also in vitro, lemongrass essential oil inhibits replication of herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1). Some people use the tea to treat fungal acne, and its astringent properties also promote firm skin.

Insecticidal

Bugs flee the scene when they smell lemongrass, which is why lemongrass essential oil makes a great natural insect repellant.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Applied topically as a compress, lemongrass tea reduces joint and nerve pain from rheumatoid arthritis, thanks to the anti-inflammatory effects of citral and borneol.

Contraindications

Avoid large doses of lemongrass tea when pregnant, as it can stimulate uterine contractions.

NutraTea Lemongrass Ginger Tea

NutraTea herbalists crafted our Lemongrass Ginger tea to lower inflammation and oxidative stress, helping prevent cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Half lemongrass leaves and half ginger root, this tea blend promotes healthy digestion and strengthens immunity. Relax with a cup after a meal. Breathe in lemongrass’s calming citrus scent and enjoy smooth digestion.

 

Pigment is Bilberry’s Power

Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) is the wild, European relative of the blueberry (Vaccinium sect. cyanococcus). It’s a darker blue than blueberry, its inner flesh is red, not green, and it has a stronger, more acidic taste. Bilberry’s intense coloration is due to its extremely high anthocyanin content, the highest of any berry; Bilberry has 300-700 mg of anthocyanin per 100 g of berries, compared to blueberry’s 82.4 mg per 100 g. Anthocyanins improve blood circulation around the eye, scavenge free radicals, and lower inflammation. Thanks to its abundant anthocyanins and vitamin C, bilberry protects vision and can help treat retinopathy, macular degeneration, cataracts, normal tension glaucoma, chronic dry eye, screen-related eye fatigue, and diabetic eye diseases.

Anthocyanins

Improve Circulation

Anthocyanins are plant pigment compounds that build healthy blood vessels and improve blood circulation throughout the body.

From the Greek anthos for flower and kyanose for blue, anthocyanins can appear red, purple, blue, or black. They have an affinity for eye and vascular tissue, and effectively protect the retina and improve the flow of oxygen-rich blood around the eye. Bilberries can prevent and improve visual function in people with normal tension glaucoma (NTG). NTG is characterized by damage to the optic nerve and visual field despite normal intraocular pressure. No one is positive what causes NTG, but many ophthalmologists theorize that damage to blood vessels leading to poor circulation is a major cause.

Bilberry

Absorb Free Radicals

Bilberries contain two antioxidants: anthocyanins and vitamin C. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals. Cataracts and macular degeneration have been traced to damage from free radicals. So, it makes sense that bilberries prevent and reverse cataracts and macular degeneration. In a study on office workers with eye fatigue from prolonged staring at computer screens, symptoms like ocular pain, eye heaviness, discomfort, and foreign body sensation were alleviated by long-term bilberry supplementation. Bilberry relieves chronic dry eye by improving the aqueous layer of the tear film and increasing tear secretion. Furthermore, by increasing production of rhodopsin, a pigment that improves night vision, anthocyanins help the eye adapt to changes in light.

 

Benefits for People with Diabetes

Having high blood glucose levels that induce oxidative stress and inflammation is the leading cause of diabetes. Diabetes is associated with a group of eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma. Bilberries are anti-hyperglycemic, lowering blood glucose levels. They also exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory activity. Thanks to these properties, bilberry can help prevent and treat diabetes-related eye diseases.

 

NutraVision Tea Blend 

Herbalists at NutraTea created NutraVision: a blend of bilberries with eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) and green tea (Camellia sinensis). These three herbs work together to support healthy vision. Eyebright is a traditional anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial remedy for eye infections. Green tea has powerful antioxidant activity. This blend helps sustain optimal sight and facilitates the circulation of oxygen and blood around the eyes while easing irritation and strain from fatigue. Bilberry is a powerful ally in protecting your vision, and anthocyanins are their secret weapon. Enjoy a daily cup and give your eyes some love. NutraTea teabags are of such high-quality that each bag can be reused up to three times daily.

NutraVision tea blend

The Eternal Life of Pine Needles

Pine needles are the fragrant leaves of pine trees (Pinus spp.). Pine defies the harsh and barren winter months by retaining its green leaves year-round. The evergreen needles make a life-protecting tea traditionally relied upon throughout the northern hemisphere. Regularly drinking pine needle tea supports the immune system, prevents and shortens colds, lowers high blood pressure, and slows the aging process. The tea’s taste is light and pleasantly piney. Pine symbolizes eternal life in many cultures for good reason…

Pine needles contain:

  • A wealth of vitamin C and smaller amounts of vitamins A, D, E, and K.
  • Antioxidants
  • Pinene
  • Pine branch

    A cluster of pine needles is called a fascicle. There are many fascicles on this branch.

    Arginine, and other amino acids.

Perfect Cold Remedy

Pine needles contain five times more vitamin C than lemons! No wonder the tea was vital to surviving the winter, when most plants are dormant. Vitamin C helps the body ward off illness and fight infection. Pine needle tea is an expectorant, helping you cough up phlegm and mucus and relieve chest congestion. Pinene, the terpene responsible for pine’s relaxing fragrance, supports respiratory health by widening the bronchi and relaxing the muscles in the lungs. Furthermore, pinene eases pain and is antiviral and antibacterial. This explains how the tea eases coughing and soothes a sore throat.

Supports Longevity

Chronic inflammation accelerates aging. The vitamin C and pinene in pine needles slows aging by fighting inflammation. High levels of antioxidants in pine needles absorb and neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. Vitamins A, D, E, and K support healthy eye, skin, and bone health. It may also support a healthy metabolism, preventing obesity. Pine needle tea protects the brain; thanks to its bountiful vitamin C, it supports production of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine and wards off Alzheimer’s disease. Mental health is key to aging with grace and strength, like the pine species which can grow tall for hundreds and even thousands of years. Pine retains its green year-round, and those who imbibe its essence in tea will also share in its vibrant longevity.

Vasodilator

Pine needles contain arginine, an amino acid that helps the body build protein. It is a vasodilator, meaning it dilates constricted blood vessels. This property makes it useful in treating heart disease, as it lowers blood pressure and increases blood flow to the heart muscle. It also remedies erectile dysfunction by improving blood circulation.

Diuretic

The lymphatic system transports destroyed bacteria and waste into the blood stream, where they are removed by the liver and kidneys. The dead bacteria and waste products are then flushed from the body via urination and defecation. Pine needles are diuretic, meaning they increase urination. This supports the body’s natural detoxification processes. It also helps eliminate excess fluid, which can be helpful in cases of heart disease and kidney failure.

Pine forests are troves of biodiversity.

 

A story about pine

French explorer Jacque Cartier’s crew was dying of scurvy, caused by vitamin C deficiency, when they reached Canada in the winter of 1536. The native Iroquois tribe understood their condition and saved the crews’ lives with infusions of pine needles and bark. The vitamin C and arginine in pine rapidly reversed the ravages of scurvy. The crew thereafter referred to the pine as the tree of life. The conifer was brought back to France, where recognition of the tree’s medicinal value contributed to the resurrection of botany in Europe’s Age of Reason.

 

Pine Needle and Rose Hip Tea

NutraTea herbalists blended rose hips with pine needles to create a tea that supports the immune system and supplies plenty of vitamin C through the changing seasons. The pine tree’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, painkilling, neuroprotective, vasodilating properties are yours when you regularly drink pine needle infusions. Take a deep breath and smell the pine forest as you enjoy your own cup of the tree of life.

Heart-Healing Hawthorn

Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) is a small thorny tree or shrub in the family Rosaceae. A traditional medicinal food, the berries safely and effectively treat heart disease by lowering both high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Hawthorn berry tea dilates blood vessels, nourishing the heart muscle. It reduces heart pain and slows and regulates fast, irregular pulses. Furthermore, it lowers inflammation and absorbs free radicals. Hawthorn can also ease panic attacks, anxiety, insomnia, and ADHD. The berries have a sweet and sour flavor profile with an astringent, mildly warming effect on the body.

Fresh haw berries

Flavonoids and Vitamin C

The most studied bioactive constituents of hawthorn are flavonoids, the two triterpenes oleanolic acid and ursolic acid, and phenols. The fruit or “haw berries” are high in Vitamin C. Fresh haw berries taste like a very ripe apple.

Improves Lipid Metabolism

Hawthorn berry tea reduces blood lipid levels. Lipids are necessary fatty compounds. Cholesterol and triglycerides are types of lipids. To transport cholesterol and triglycerides around the body in blood, your liver packages them with protein to form lipoproteins, which can be very low-density (VLDLs), low-density (LDLs), or high-density (HDLs). VLDLs and LDLs are “bad cholesterol” because they cause plaque to accumulate in blood vessels, narrowing blood vessels and slowing blood circulation. HDLs are “good” because they carry cholesterol back to the liver to be metabolized and flushed out of the body. High LDLs and low HDLs increase total cholesterol (TC) and total triglyceride (TG), leading to high blood lipid levels. When blood lipid levels are too high, it’s called hyperlipidemia. Hyperlipidemia can lead to atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. The triterpenes oleanolic acid and ursolic acid give Hawthorn an anti-hyperlipidemia effect, improving lipid metabolism and lowering TC and TG.

Hawthorn Berries Ease Physical and Emotional Heart Pain

Over time, hawthorn gently nourishes and strengthens the heart muscle. It reduces and relieves heart pain (angina). Its flavonoids mildly lower high blood pressure (hypertension) by relaxing and dilating blood vessels and strengthening the integrity of their walls. Hawthorn dilates the coronary arteries and increases the heart’s oxygen supply and blood circulation. It also reduces platelet aggregation. Hawthorn’s antioxidant phenols scavenge free radicals, reducing the cardiovascular risks of oxidative stress. Inflammation can throw off the heart muscle’s healthy rhythms, causing irregular or intermittent pulse (arrythmia) and heart palpitations (tachycardia). Hawthorn fights inflammation and strengthens, slows, and regulates heart contractions. Hawthorn is a very safe and effective herb for heart disease, but if you take hypotensive drugs, particularly beta blockers, have your doctor monitor how they interact with hawthorn.

Hawthorn’s fragrant white flowers

Soothes Anxiety

As a nervine and anxiolytic, hawthorn calms the central nervous system. It eases anxiety that comes with panic attacks, a racing heart, emotional stress, and insomnia, particularly when these are caused by grief and life transitions. It also helps with ADHD.

Improves Blood Flow

By strengthening coronary arteries over time, hawthorn can reduce hemorrhoids and varicose veins. It increases blood flow to the limbs, and can help the bedridden.

NutraLipid Tea Soothes the Heart

NutraTea herbalists created NutraLipid: Cholesterol and Lipoprotein Balance tea blend to help combat high cholesterol and encourage the excretion of cholesterol and formation of deposits on arterial walls, while improving blood pressure balance within the body. Let your heart be eased… relax with a mug of hot tea made from hawthorn’s bright, wondrous red berries.

 

Bladderwrack, A Very Special Kelp

Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus) is a variety of kelp in the brown seaweed family. Vast kelp forests grow along rocky shores in the northern hemisphere. Coastal peoples have always prized kelp as a medicinal food. Adding a little Bladderwrack kelp to your diet can offer health benefits and prevent and treat thyroid dysfunction, digestion issues, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some hormonal imbalances.

Bladderwrack Kelp Before Harvest

Spring harvest of bladderwrack.

Nutrients

Kelp contains calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, folate, zinc, trace elements, enzymes, nucleic acids, amino acids, and vitamins K, A, C, E, B12, B6, B5, B3, B2, and B1.

Thyroid Dysfunction

Bladderwrack is uniquely rich in iodine, a trace element our body cannot produce on its own but needs to make thyroid hormones. Iodine is scarce in other foods, so it’s easy to be deficient, leading to thyroid dysfunction. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck, under the voice box, that releases the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Thyroid hormones regulate your weight, metabolism, energy levels, endocrine system, internal temperature, and growth of bones, skin, hair, and nails.

Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of an underactive thyroid, leading to hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism often runs in families and is more common in women. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, dry skin, constipation, tiredness, depression, feeling cold, and menstrual irregularity. Sometimes the whole thyroid gland becomes enlarged and sometimes individual lumps called nodules grow in the gland. It is important to see a doctor if you notice any changes in your thyroid gland. If you suspect you have thyroid dysfunction, have your doctor check your levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), T3, and T4. Discuss with your doctor whether supplementing with kelp is right for you.

Diabetes

Bladderwrack can help regulate blood sugar thanks to:

All of these fight diabetes and obesity by reducing blood glucose levels and increasing insulin sensitivity.

Indigestion

The brown alga is full of dietary fiber in the form of the polysaccharides alginic acid, fucoidans, phlorotannins, and laminarin. All four are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and promote digestion and a healthy gut microbiome. Alginic acid acts as a demulcent, easing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn, and indigestion. Kelp helps resolve gastric and duodenal ulcers, ulcerated colon, colitis, constipation, and diarrhea.

Cancer

Supplementing with kelp can help prevent cancers, particularly breast and colon cancer, by enhancing immunity, inducing cancer cell apoptosis, inhibiting cancer cell invasion and metastasis, or directly scavenging oxidative free radicals that induce cancer cell changes. This is thanks to the actions of fucoidans, phlorotannins, laminarin and fucoxanthin. Phlorotannins even protect healthy tissue in people undergoing radiation therapy.

High Blood Pressure

The sea vegetable strengthens circulation, encourages healthy cardiac contractile force and rhythms, and lowers blood pressure and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Kelp’s sodium doesn’t cause high blood pressure; sodium chloride (table salt) does. Kelp’s high

potassium content balances out table salt’s effect on blood pressure. Some people substitute table salt with dried and granulated kelp, which has a similar salty taste. Fucoidans are anti-coagulant and have the same structure as Heparin, a blood-thinning medication that’s been used for over fifty years. Laminarin also helps reduce cholesterol uptake.

Kelp Botanical Illustration

Kelp frond.

Hormonal Changes

Kelp is a gift for women of all ages. Regular consumption of kelp is linked to decreased risk of estrogen-related cancers in Japanese populations. It balances sex hormones during all phases of the menstrual cycle and helps stabilize hormonal mood swings. Pregnant women benefit from its iodine content because the element is crucial for proper bone and brain development in babies during gestation and infancy. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, new mothers are given kelp (called Kun Bu) to support lactation, though many doctors now discourage this practice. Perimenopause and menopause usher in big changes to the body that produce free radicals. Kelp scavenges free radicals, preventing oxidative stress. Kelp’s high levels of calcium, magnesium, and iron keep bones strong and ward off osteoporosis in older women.

Our Kelp Tea

NutraTea herbalists created NutraThyroid: Kelp and Nettle tea blend to help you harness kelp’s healing powers. We blended Bladderwrack with Nettle (Uritca dioica), Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis), Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea), Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococus senticosus), Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Black Walnut (Juglans nigra), and Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri). These ancient healing herbs all work synergistically with kelp to support balance and vitality. When you drink our Kelp and Nettle tea blend, envision nourishing your inner ocean with all the nutritious riches of the seaweed forest.