Wednesday, November 30, 2011

~ Holiday Cheer ~

 Wishing you a Joyous Holiday Season

 ~ Holiday Cheer  Tea ~

~Bringing Good Cheer to all!

With a twinkle in his eye and a sparkle in his heart the Merry Little Elf rings in the magic of the season with a cup of Holiday Cheer!

Holiday Cheer Tea© comes bearing the gift's of Peppermint - cool as the glistening snow, the ancient root of Sarsaparilla,Cinnamon, Clove and Ginger to warm the Hearth of your Heart, the chocolaty rich notes of Cacao, sweet and fruity notes of Tibetan Goji Berries, a bit of zest of Orange Peel, the treasured spices of Nutmeg and Cardamom, tied all together with the sweetness of Vanilla Bean and Honey! 

~Click here to order your Holiday Cheer Tea~ 

With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.
~William Wordsworth~ 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

~ A Cup Of Gratitude ~

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. --Melody Beattie

~Handcrafted Tea Cups~

These handcrafted tea cups are made exclusively for Love & Tea by a New England Potter. To view our collection click here

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.  ~W.T. Purkiser

Sunday, October 9, 2011

~Nourishing Mama~

As we settle into the rhythm of fall and celebrate all it has to offer, it's also a good time to nourishing ourselves, Especially new mama's!

  I will briefly discuss some aspects of nourishing the new mama.

"Lactation is the nutritional equivalent to running 10 miles a day" My Ayurvedic post-partum teacher would remind us. Special nourishment is required to assist for all the extra needs of the body, transitions and healing for the new mama.

 Healing foods:

 * Eating  3 Full meal & nutrient rich snacks. When a meal is skipped our  bodies automatically produce an abundance of stress hormones. Stress hormones inhibit milk production and can lead to reflux.
* Eating organic & chemical free foods not only supports your entire body, but your baby's health too.

* Water and proper hyrdation: Getting enough water into your body helps heal and rejuvenate. Herbals teas are another way to keep properly hydrated.

Lactation support can be found through beneficial foods and herbs;
Foods and herbs to support and increase lactation~
* Roasted Cumin seeds
* Dill seeds
* Anise seeds
* Caraway seeds
* Coriander
* Red Beets

In Ayurvedic post-partum care, it is stressed to avoid cold/raw foods during post-partum stage. This helps reduce gas, bloating for mama & baby among other things. Avoiding iced drinks is also advised.

* Proper fats, Yes FATS!!!
Healthy fats play a crucial role in the body. They are used as building blocks to create cell walls, nerves, tissues and hormonal balance.
 Healthy fats keep and stabilize blood sugars-which help protect against mood swings.

Organic Coconut oil, cold pressed & traditional veggie oils have a long shelf life due to the high levels of Monounsaturated acids and naturally occurring Vitamin E. You can find sources of these fats through organic avocados, olive oil, sesame seeds & raw nuts.
Hydrogenated oils change the chemical structure of fatty acids, making them very harmful to the body.

EFA'S or (essential Fatty Acids) play an essential role in brain & body functions. EFA's are metabolized into a hormones like substance called prostaglandins, that inhibit or promote inflammation in cells.
The nerves in the brain are comprised of EFA's. Un-healthy fats congest the nerves. What we eat literally affects how we think and feel!

Foods containing EFA's:
* Eggs
* Whole Fat dairy ( whole milk, butter, cream yogurt))
* Dark leafy greens
* Legumes (beans)
* Nuts & Seeds
* Seaweeds
* Fish ***FISH IS NOT RECOMMENDED***  for pregnant or lactating women due to the high levels of Mercury & other contaminates.

EfA's are divided into 2 structures; Omega 3 & 6. Our bodies require both. Our bodies do not make these fatty acids, so it's crucial to ingest these through the proper foods.

Some food sources that contain Omega 6:
* Whole Fat dairy (butter, milk, cream yogurt)
* Leafy Greens
* Nuts
 * Hemp seeds have Both Omega 6 & Omega 3.

Some food sources that contain Omega 3:
* Leafy greens
* Flax oil
* Walnut oil
* Legumes (beans)
* Hemp seeds have Both Omega 6 & Omega 3.

Nourishing Grains: 
* Barley, Oatmeal, Corn Meal, Buckwheat, Brown Rice, Quiona and Amaranth.

 Some Anti-Lactogenic foods that will decrease milk supply and can cause reflux and other issues in the infant):
* Soft-drinks & carbonated beverages
* Coffee, green & black tea
* Chocolate
* Citric Acids in foods & juice (tomato etc)
* Aspartame  (should be avoided in any case as it is highly toxic)

Potentially Anti-Lactogenic herbs: 
(will dry up breast milk )

* Parsley
* Sage
* Rosemary
* Thyme
* Mints; Peppermint & Spearmint

For the Well Being of Mama:
~New Mama Rejuvenation~

* Herbs to support the New Mama:
 This tea was formulated to nourish, re-store and re-vitalize mama's after giving birth.

~New Mama Rejuvenation~

A bit behind this blend, The New Mama Rejuvenation tea:

*Nettles: High in Vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting. Especially useful with post-partum bleeding. Used traditionally to increase and enrich breast milk.  The minerals and vitamins provide excellent support is restoring and rebuilding the energy levels following birth.

*Dandelion: This little yellow flower is packed full of essential minerals and vitamins very beneficial for new mamas!  High in Vitamin A, Calcium and rich in Iron to name just a few. Dandelion aids in exhaustion and fatigue.

*Lemon Balm: Relaxes and calms the nervous system.  Lemon Balm has been used traditionally for depression and insomnia. Lemon Balms add it's hint of lemon taste to uplift and refresh.  Lemon Balm is considered specific to help one cope with new life situations, IE: a new baby!!!

* Lady's Mantle: Revered as an herb for female system,  Lady's Mantle has an affinity to regulate and decrease post-partum bleeding.

* Jasmine Flowers: Have an affinity for the entire female system as well. Energetically these flowers increase compassion and love. They make the mind receptive, aid and receive and radiate vibrations of mantras.

 To order our New Mama Tea click here

 I couldn't pass up to add this fantastic article :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Summer Lovin' : Tea Granitas!

Cooling, Refreshing and Delicious!
~ Tea Infused Granitas to please your palate

I'll discuss a little history of granita's, some tea talk including nutritional aspects and, the recipe's to make your own.

Watermelon Jasmine Granita
Sparkling Mojito
Strawberry Ceylon Granita

For thousands of years people saved ice to satisfy their desire for cool drinks, traditionally served in Europe.  this is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings. Originally from Sicily.

The word granita comes from the Italian word referring to  "water ice" but with a more granular texture.

Water ices or granitas may be served as a stand-alone refreshment, as a dessert, or as a means of refreshing the palate about halfway through a meal of many courses.

Classic Sicilian granitas are almond and coffee flavours which are served with a brioche like bun called a brioscia used to scoop up coffee flavored ice cream and a glass of coffee granita.
 Traditional Sicilian granitas are made with wild berries, when in season.

The great advantage of granita over other forms of frozen dessert is that they are very easy to make and you don't need special equipment. All you need is a pan, a tray, a fork and a freezer.

 As a small child I have fond memories of eating "Italian ice, hence granitas! Later I traveled to Europe, where I was served granitas in between meals, to cleanse and refresh one's palate.

A few tips to keep in mind when making your granita;
* Granitas tend to melt rather quickly, you can chill your serving dish or cup prior to serving.
* Fork Fluffing ;)  .... fluffing with a fork gives it the snow like consistency. 

* Watermelon Jasmine Granita:
 ~Sweet, juicy watermelon paired with the aromatic, floral  jasmine green tea~

Watermelon said to be first introduced among the Hopi's. Revered for it's therapeutic health benefits, watermelon is said to help the weak and ill and one who is recovering from surgery. Watermelon is said to give energy and strength, especially useful for elderly people. Watermelon is said to flush acid from the system and cleanse and renew the blood.

Jasmine Green tea is a scented green tea, rich in antioxidants. Jasmine tea can help protect your body against damage from free radicals.

Jasmine green tea has aromatherapy benefits due to fragrance of jasmine. The fragrance of jasmine tea has calming and soothing effect. The odor of this tea has anti-anxiety effects and is said to be effective than the medications used for treating anxiety.
  • Drinking jasmine green tea can boost immune system, prevent allergies and avoids tooth decay.
  • Jasmine green tea contains antibacterial properties that helps to kill harmful bacterias like those causing food poisoning and promotes growth of useful bacterias for digestion.
  • Gargling with jasmine green tea helps in preventing viral infections like influenza.
  • Consuming jasmine green tea can help in avoiding health problems like cholera, dysentery, gastric ulcers, etc. 
Click here to order your Jasmine Green tea

Watermelon-Jasmine Granita

    * Watermelon  Jasmine Granita: (we used organic ingredients and raw sugar. These provide more minerals and vitamins with NO toxic pesticides)

    *  2- 1/2 cups  organic watermelon
    *  1/4 cup  raw sugar or org. sweetener's like agave may be used
    *  1 Tbsp. Fresh squeezed lime juice
    *  1/2  cup jasmine green tea

    Puree all ingredients in blender until smooth. Pour mixture into a 9x9  metal baking pan. Freeze for an hour, then stir and fluff the mixture with a fork. The mixture will be slush like.  Cover, place back into freezer and for 1-2 hours.  Using a fork with create more icy flakes.
    **Make you set a timer for the 1st hour, if you leave it longer it will become a solid block**

    * Strawberry Ceylon -Rose Granita:

    ~A flavorful infusion of fresh strawberries with our Ceylon Rose Tea~

    Strawberries have been noted for their high content of minerals and vitamins. Strawberries are high in potassium, a key mineral in successfully controlling high blood pressure problems. Strawberries contain the naturally occurring substance Ellagic acid.  Properties of ellagic acid  directly inhibit the DNA binding of certain carcinogens. Ellagic acid may play a role in decreasing cancer.

    Strawberries are also rich in Iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and phosphorus. These vitamins and minerals are key to keeping bones and teeth firm, keeping the heart and skin healthy. Strawberries are exceptionally high in trace minerals. Trace minerals are vital for many body functions but extremely important to the glandular's (pineals, thyroid, thymus and adrenals
    Strawberries are said to help improve weak vision. The juice eliminates toxins circulating in the blood.

    Ceylon Tea:
    Ceylon tea was born as the result of a coffee blight in the country that led to tea being introduced as a replacement crop.
     Ceylon Tea contains powerful antioxidants, vitamins that are an important reason to start your day drinking this tea!
    Ceylon tea contains poly phenols which give this drink its antioxidant properties. Regular drinking of Ceylon tea may lower the risk of developing cancer, prevents high blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attack, strengthens the immune system and helps reduce stress and anxiety.

      Click here order your Ceylon Rose tea

    Strawberry Ceylon Granita

    * Strawberry Ceylon -Rose Granita: (we used organic ingredients and organic raw sugar, these provide more minerals and vitamins with NO toxic pesticides)

    *  2- 1/2 cups  organic strawberries
    *  1/4 cup  raw sugar or org. sweetener's like agave
    *  1 Tbsp. org. Vanilla extract
    *  2/3  cup Ceylon Rose tea

    Puree all ingredients in blender until smooth. Pour mixture into a 9x9  metal baking pan. Freeze for an hour, then stir and fluff the mixture with a fork. The mixture will be slush like.  Cover, place back into freezer and for 1-2 hours.  Using a fork with create more icy flakes.
    **Make you set a timer for the 1st hour, if you leave it longer it will become a solid block**

    * Sparkling Mojito: 

    ~White tea infused with fresh Lime & mint~

    The mojito is a traditional Cuban cocktail. A mojito is traditionally made of five ingredients: spearmint, rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice), lime, and carbonated water. The drink gets its name from the African word mojo, which means "to cast a spell".

    White tea: One of the main health benefits of white tea is that this tea is packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants are power packed compounds that help to combat and reduce free radicals, which are capable of causing damage to the skin cells and the body. White tea is also said to boost the immune system and is said to also have mild antibacterial and antiviral properties.

    White tea is rich in fluoride. Fluoride helps in preventing tooth decay, as it replaces the lost calcium and forms even stronger bonds in the tooth, preventing cavities from occurring.

    Click here to order your White tea

    Sparkling Mojito Granita

    Sparkling Mojito Granita: 

    ~White tea infused with fresh Lime & mint~

      (we used organic ingredients and organic raw sugar, these provide more minerals and vitamins with NO toxic pesticides)

    *  1- cup White Tea
    *  2 TBS.  raw sugar or org. sweetener's like agave
    *  1 Juice and Zest of a fresh Lime
    *  1/4 Fresh Mint leaves, off stem and chopped

    Puree all ingredients in blender until smooth. Pour mixture into a 9x9  metal baking pan. Freeze for an hour, then stir and fluff the mixture with a fork. The mixture will be slush like.  Cover, place back into freezer and for 1-2 hours.  Using a fork with create more icy flakes.
    **Make you set a timer for the 1st hour, if you leave it longer it will become a solid block**

    Happy Granita making!

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Celebrating World Breast Feeding Week!

    As a mama of four little ones, I've learned a lot along the journey of breast feeding!

    I was fortunate to be able to nurse all my children.  I can relate to the challenges of nursing while pregnant, the toll that nursing takes on your body and mind through multiple children and, not to mention dealing with mastitis.  I'm proud to say four kids later, I'm still nursing my youngest who is almost one.

    One remarkable book that came into my life centered around breastfeeding is: "Mother Food" by Hilary Jacobson. This is the first book I've seen to really address issues of nutrition, herbs and mother's health specific to nursing.  She also touches on colic, depression, allergy's and many supply issues. I highly recommend this book to every mama!

    Being a nursing mother is one of my inspirations behind these teas and the compress that I created: Mama's Milk Tea, Tandem Tea for Pregnancy and Nursing Mama's Compress. 

    This week we honor Mama's and World Breast Feeding Week by doing a giveaway on our Facebook Fan Page: click here to join

    We are gifting one lucky Love & Tea Facebook Fan: one Mama's Milk Tea and one Nursing Mama's Compress. Click here to join and leave a comment.

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    Fairy Celebration!

    Celebrating Fairy Magic:

    We are celebrating summer sun and new art work on our Fairy Celebration Tea!  join us and enter a chance to win one. Tell us some fairy magic in your life, enter your comment below. Entries will close Tuesday, July 26th EST, winner will be selected via random number generator.

    About the art :

    After a very exhausting day, I sat down to relax and have some long awaited space to paint, here's what I came up with.....

    Come walk with me into the magical and enchanted fairy world. Amidst the tall, green grass is a glistening world.  Tall, curling ferns lead the way up to the brilliant blue sky. The world is alive with color;  glistening sliver, pink, yellow and gold. Sliver clouds dance above, star seeds sparkle with joy, plant life radiates.  Fairy Magic is all around!

    To order click here

    And the winner  (chosen from random number generator is) :  Valerie, please e-mail us so we can send your tea!

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Teething Tea: Tiger Power!

    This is a gentle and supportive tea, to help ease the pain and discomfort associated with teething.

    About the art ;

    When I first sat down to feel out what would be appropriate for this label, I had few animals that came to mind, but one that I kept coming back to was the Tiger.  I was also reflecting on some things in my personal life, like the journey of mothering and my tea business: holding my ground and voicing up my power.  One animal that really stood out to me, was the Tiger.

      "The Tiger power"

    The tiger represents power, force, and the nurturing /gentle aspect of  mothering and tending to cubs.  The tiger is strong and very powerful,  they are able to be still and calm, carry through chaos and be fierce when she needs to defend her cubs and or her territory.

    As a mother of 4 little ones, I can't count how many sleepless nights I've spent awake easing and supporting my children through teething.

    Teething can make a baby howl, moan and most mama's feel like this after a couple straight nights of being sleep deprived!

    Eastern culture is filled with myth and legends associated with tiger lore. I found this except very interesting, especially pertaining to my life and even applied to a new babe teething!

     From the book Animal Speaks by Ted Andrews

    "When a tiger has entered your life, you can expect new adventures. It will awaken new passion and power within. Expect it to begin within 6-8 weeks and last for a year and a half. If the Tiger has shown up in your life, there will begin to manifest new adventures and renewed devotion and passion for life"

    This tea is especially relaxing for mama as well.  I've made my self many cups of this blend to relax and be more calm.  And if you are nursing, your babe will also get the benefits of this tea through your milk :)

    Let the adventures begin!

    Click here to order some Tiger Teething Power

    Friday, July 8, 2011

    Could the common tea bag be hazardous to your health?

    The Potential Toxicity of Tea Bags:

    By Kristie Leong MD
    Although tea appears to have a variety of health benefits, the same can’t be said for some of the tea bags used to hold it. Here’s what you need to know about the health risks of tea bags made of paper.

    If you enjoy sipping a hot cup of tea, you’re not alone. Tea has a long history of being enjoyed for its pleasing taste and aroma. Not only is tea a tasty drink to enjoy, the health benefits are being increasingly recognized. The catechin polyphenols found in green and white teas, are being studied for their potential to not only reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases, but also as a metabolism booster. While a cup of black, white, or green tea provides a healthy alternative to soft drinks, there may be good reason to brew your next cup of tea from loose leaf tea leaves rather than tea bags. Why? It appears that the paper used in the manufacture of commercial tea bags may be a source of a cancer causing chemical known as epichlorohydrin.

    The Potential Toxicity of Tea Bags:

    Many people choose to brew their own tea from loose leaf tea leaves simply because it produces a better tasting cup of tea. The tea leaves packed into commercial tea bags are usually tea fragments and dustings of inferior quality and produce a cup of tea that lacks the full-bodied taste of tea produced from loose leaves. Not only is the taste compromised when tea bags are used, but the health benefits may be reduced by the toxicity of the bag itself.
    Many tea bags made of paper are manufactured with a chemical known as epichlorohydrin, a compound used in the manufacture of plastics and used as an insecticide. When this chemical comes into contact with water it forms a chemical called 3-MCPD, a known cancer causing agent. Not only is epichlorohydrin found in paper tea bags, it’s also used in the manufacture of paper coffee filters. While this chemical in and of itself is troubling, when it comes into contact with water as when steeping tea, it becomes of even greater concern because of the cancer causing 3-MCPD it produces.

    How to Avoid Epichlorohydrin

    While not all tea bags made of paper contain epichlorohydrin, many of them do. The best way to find out if your particular brand of tea uses tea bags manufactured with epichlorohydrin is to call and ask. One tea company that states that they don’t is Bigelow Tea Company. Hopefully, in the future, other tea manufacturers will also eliminate this harmful chemical from their tea bags so that the health benefits of tea can be enjoyed without exposure to cancer causing chemicals. Until then, it may be best to enjoy tea in its loose leaf form.

     Read more:


    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    Annoucing Our NEW Organic Mango Tea!

    Our New Organic Mango tea is simply delightful!

    Organic, fair-trade black tea is infused with the fruity essence of natural mango.

    This tea is super iced! 

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    Two NEW Teas to celebrate summer fun!

    Announcing our two NEW teas for summer celebrations. Both of these make superb iced teas! Great for any picnic, barbecue or celebration!

    Introducing our NEW Organic Blackberry:

    A Smooth, Sensational, Aromatic Tea!

    Organic Black Tea infused with the subtle tart sweetness of natural blackberry. A fruity-floral tea with a velvety finish.

    Click here to order your Blackberry

    *Announcing our NEW White Peony Tea:

    This delicate, light refreshing tea is harvested from the Fijian province of China. White tea is the delicate buds and leafs allowed to be sun-ripened, a unique characteristic of white tea.  This tea may also be called "white cloud tea", originally grown by Buddhist monks.
    Fine, silvery hairs develop on the tea leaf thus called "white tea". A mellow, sweet, non-astringent flavor, with mild floral/nutty notes.

    Click here to order your White Peony

    Get 15 % off when you enter the code "sunfun" from June 17-24th

    Sunday, June 12, 2011

    Rooibos Fizzy's~ African Red Tea

    Warm weather is finally upon us, and here in New England we created these fabulously, refreshing, energizing, caffeine free drinks for the whole family to ENJOY!!!!  A perfect drink for any picnic or everyday celebration!

    Rooibos Fizzy's:

    2 teaspoons rooibos (red bush tea)
    2 cups boiling water
    1 tablespoon honey
    2 cups Fruit juice blend (100% fruit juice)
    2 cups sparkling water

    Put loose tea in a tea pot or pan and cover with boiling water.  Let steep 5-7 minutes.  Add honey and stir.  Allow tea to cool.  Combine strained tea with juice and sparkling water in a pitcher; serve cold.

    Makes 1 quart


    A little bit about African Red Tea:

    African Red tea, or commonly refereed to as Rooibos (pronounced roy-boss) The leaves are actually green but turn red when oxidized potent antioxidant content protects the body from free radicals. The antioxidants in red bush tea are called poly-phenols. And it’s the catechins in the poly-phenols that support your overall health and boost your immune system

    Some Health Benefits of Rooibos:

    • Red Tea contains magnesium, which is necessary for a healthy nervous system.

    • Red Tea increases the absorption of iron in the body.

    • Red Tea contains potassium and copper minerals that are necessary for several metabolic functions.

    • Red Tea is often prescribed for nervous tension and mild depression as it makes a relaxing sedative.

    A Healthy Tea for Children:

    Red Tea is excellent for hyperactive children and relieves insomnia, as it contains no caffeine.  A good source of vitamins and minerals. It can be used as a natural supplement as it contains calcium, magnesium and fluoride, which are essential for the development of strong teeth and bones. The minerals build healthy strong blood vessels, aid digestion and prevent tooth decay.
    Red Tea is also an excellent thirst quencher for school children and can be drunk throughout the day.

    In 1968, South African mother  fortuitously stumbled across Rooibos teas' ability to calm her baby, relieving the infant of colic and insomnia. Traditionally, given infants suffering from colic, sleeping problems or stomach cramps. Simply add some milk to the tea. (*Please note: it is NOT RECOMMENDED TO GIVE HONEY TO CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 1)

    Tea for your skin:

    Red Tea contains alpha hydroxyl acid and zinc for healthy, smooth skin. This wonder tea is especially useful when applied to skin irritations like itchy skin, eczema, and sunburns, diaper rash and acne.

    Tea for your body:

    * Rooibos contains similar amounts of polyphenols and has been shown to be anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral activity.  Rooibos contains calcium, manganese and fluoride to help build strong teeth and bones.

    * People with kidney stones can drink it because there’s no oxalic acid.
    Full of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, copper, calcium, manganese, magnesium, potassium.

    *Even more alluring, unconfirmed studies are showing that these flavinoids may be up to 50 times more effective than those found in Green tea.

    (*These statements have not been evaluated by FDA and are not intended to cure, diagnose, treat, or mitigate disease.*)

     To order your Rooibos click here

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Furo Season

    Furo Season by Donna D'Orio

    In the world of tea May 1ST marks the beginning of the summer season called Furo Season, which lasts until October, 31ST.  At the end of October the season for tea returns to winter and is known as Ro Season. During Ro, the hearth which is called Ro is sunken; snug in its underground cove near the center of the room the kettle simmers water for tea while providing heat for the chilly tea room.  In summer, the hearth is raised above ground and moved to the edge of the tea room providing an open cool atmosphere. The summer hearths, known as Furo, are the portable braziers used in the tea room to heat the hot water kettle or kama to make the tea. The moving of the hearth is symbolic of the changing season and celebrated as Hatsuburo or first tea. The tatami mats are renewed, summer utensils brought out of hiding and Wagashi (bean paste sweets) are served in celebration of good health.

    The first (hatsu) harvesting of Camellia tips for Matcha.

    Our Teishu (host) graces the tea room with her delightful spring Kimono held snug by a bright and cheery Obi (the sash worn with the kimono).  Soft steps brushing against tatami, the ring of Hishaku (bamboo ladle) against the Futa-Oki (ladle rest), and the delicate song of steam rising from the iron kettle joined in chorus with squeaky Obi (squeaky Obi are of fine quality). The sounds of the tea room, each unique meld together creating an atmosphere the guests grow to crave as part of tea. I relax into the quiet song of the Chashitsu (tea room) and with a calm grace anticipate a flavorful bowl of Usucha, thin tea.

    One of my favorite moments in tea is when the Teishu places the utensils. I am always curious and excited to see the Chawan (tea bowl). Tonight’s bowl held the theme of the willow tree. It is a happy tree in Japan, symbolizing respect and the joy of being blessed. Strong and yielding, it sways in the gentle breeze and withstands the fierce wind, offering itself for the practical and aesthetic needs of man. How appropriate that it be honored as decoration for Chawan.

    Two scoops of Matcha, a half dipper of water whisked together with the spirit of the willow, tea is made and we are satisfied.

    I enjoyed the beginning of tea summer, the fresh sweet taste of frothy green Matcha whisked to perfection by the teishu. A perfect ending to a long, long day.

    A bow to you…

    About Donna D'Orio: A Colorado native residing in Western Oregon (the land of rain) as I study Chado, Zen and participate actively with my grandchildren as I continue to pursue my artistic path. I hold a BA in Art and Cultural Studies. I am currently building a body of work to show and make available through my upcoming blog and website currently under construction and hope to see you there in the future.


    Check out our new spring glazes for our handcrafted tea cups, click here

    Sunday, May 8, 2011

    Spring Renewal Tea

    Spring, a time of renewal and growth to welcome in the new energies for the coming year.

    We shed the old, and make room the new.

    As we embark upon this season, we welcome and celebrate our newest creation, Spring Renewal Tea

    This tea was formulated to assist in cleansing and renewing.

    Below is a bit information on some of the herbs in our Spring Renewal Tea, including plant energetics, spiritual properties and color therapy of the plants.

    * Dandelion :  One of the best natural sources of potassium! Dandelion is a valuable tonic for the liver, it's bitter action also aids in digestion. Dandelion increases the mineral assimilation (absorption) from foods. Stimulates blood cleansing and flow. Dandelion is traditionally one of the best herbs for toning the liver. Dandelion aids in exhaustion and fatigue. Dandelion is high in Vitamin A, Calcium and Iron.

    The flower of the dandelion is colored yellow which is related to the sun. Yellow is associated with the solar plexus chakra, which is concerned with intellect and judgment. Yellow stimulates mental ability and concentration, and aids detachment.

    Yellow activates the motor nerves. It generates energy for the muscles. .

    Yellow affects the digestive system, gastrointestinal tract, adrenal activity and the left hemisphere brain activity.

    Yellow is excellent for the nerves and the brain; It is a motor stimulant and a nerve builder.

    Yellow rays strengthen the nerves and aid the brain.

    Yellow has a stimulating, cleansing, and eliminating action on the liver, intestines, and the skin.

    Yellow purifies the blood stream. It activates the lymphatic system.

    Yellow is a spleen depressant, cathartic, cholegogue, antheimintic.

    * Burdock Root : Aids in digestion and kidney function. Moves the body into a balance of greater health. Traditionally used a nourishing herb for the liver and blood. Burdock is high in minerals and vitamins.

    The color of Burdock root when dried is brown.

    Brown is an earthy color. It grounds, stabilizes and neutralizes. It is an effective color in healing.

    Brown is especially effective in stabilizing overexcited states. It calms and grounds emotions and extreme mental conditions. Brown can help awaken common sense and discrimination. It brings us back down to earth.

    Brown is effective for any kind of spaciness.

    * Oat Straw : Contains high levels of Silica Acid, Vitamin B, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous. Oat Straw calms the nervous system, builds healthy teeth and strong bones. Oat Straw is nourishing to the thyroid strengthens the adrenals. A nourishing herbs for the ovaries and uterus. Oat Straw is an exception herb for the skin.

    The color of dried Oat Straw is golden, a color energy for the navel chakra healing, nurturing, soothing.

    * Red Clover : A beneficial herb to restore and maintain wellness. Red Clover is nourishing to whole system but has a affinity to the blood.  Red Clover improves functions of the liver, gall bladder and circulatory system. The spiritual properties allow emotions to be more conscious, a deeper sense of a purpose toward emotions. The throat chakra energy is released. Clovers focus is also on the root chakra.

    The fragrance of Red clover is inciting, you can imagine your self lying in a field of clovers, inhaling it to know it. there is a deep sense of letting go that often results from the fragrance of red clover. The color of the flower is reddish- pink. Pink is a color energy for your root & Heart Chakra; self acceptance, unconditional love, gentleness.

    * Nettle :  Contains one of the most natural sources of chlorophyll. Nettles is nourishing to the kidneys. Nettles is an overall tonic for the entire system. Nettles restores and builds energy levels. Nettles is high in Vitamins A, C, D and K. Nettles is also high in Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron and Sulfur. 

    Nettles is a deep green color. The color green is energy for the Heart Chakra  comfort, balance, love.   Green is cooling, soothing, and calming. Green acts upon the sympathetic nervous system. It relieves tension in the blood vessels and lowers the blood pressure. It acts upon the nervous system as a sedative and is helpful in sleeplessness, exhaustion, and irritability.

    * Peppermint :  Improves digestion and  is a tonic for the stomach. Peppermint removes mucous build up. Peppermint has an affinity for the plasma, blood, marrow and nervous system. It's mildly soothing action relaxes the body, creates a clear mind.

     There is an ability and strong tendency for cleansing of the etheric physical being with Peppermint, so that the vibrations of each chakra and subtle bodies draw energy from the soul and higher self.

    The color of peppermint is green; green strongly affects the heart chakra, and it is balancing to the autonomic nervous system. It can be applied beneficially in cardiac conditions, high blood pressure, ulcers, exhaustion, and headaches.

    Green harmonizes, life-giving, calms the mind, nerves, fever, and acidity; balances the metabolism, stabilizes the weight, tones liver and spleen; and benefits the pituitary gland.

    Green awakens greater friendliness, hope, faith, and peace.

    Green is restful and revitalizing to overtaxed mental conditions. It is emotionally soothing.

    Green loosens and equalizes the etheric body.

    Green is the color of energy, youth, growth, inexperience, fertility, hope, and new life.

    Green is an emotional stabilizer and pituitary stimulant.

    Start your Spring Renewal Now: Click here to order

    Happy Spring!!!

    *3-Meditation colors for Spring Detoxing click here to learn*

     To learn more about chakra balancing, color therapy and chakra aromatherapy products please visit this website:



    The Ultimate Cleanse for Women with Busy Lives!

    Learn more about spring cleansing by visiting :

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Celebrating Earth Day!

    Come Celebrate Earth Day with us!

    Did you know, our packaging is made using recyclable paper and is reusable, recyclable and compost-able ! All of our teas and herbs support organic farmers and the earth!!

    To honor Earth Day, we are giving you 10% off your entire order! Enter the code "earth" at check out. valid April 22-April 23rd. 
    Come celebrate the earth and good teas!

    Happy Earth day !

    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    Importance of Natural Play

     This month we would like to introduce Daria Gosset of Nobby Organics, who shares our commitment to natural, mindful parenting. 

    Nobby Organics offers some of the healthiest and most natural childrens products that stimulate the creative imagination of children. Everything you find at Nobby Organics is 100% Natural, handmade and toxin free.

    Importance of Natural Play
    By Daira Gosset of Nobby Organics

    Born into an artistic family, I have, from an early age, learned to love and cherish the creative process with its ups and downs and often surprising results. Having only a limited number of ready-made toys, my family would use different materials found all around our house to make our own toys. My grandmother would collect scraps of cloth and sew dolls for me and my brother, while old shoeboxes and drawers would serve as doll house furniture. As I grew up, I began to make toys myself, transforming old woolen sweaters into blankets and capes for my dolls and digging up clay from our backyard to make figurines and beads. Looking back, I am very grateful to my grandmother for teaching us to view even the tiniest and seemingly useless piece of cloth as a possible prompt for exploration and inspiring us to follow our own fantastic imaginations in our play.

    Today everything aims at providing the most realistic experience, with mass-produced toys overflowing with life-like details, thus, totally dismissing the need for imagination. Toys with specific pre-determined functions utilize electronic features such as light, sound, and motors to engage the child, usually making him or her the passive spectator. But, as research has shown, it is very important for the child to actively participate in his own play, to complete a toy using his own imagination, which, in turn, plays a key factor in his social, moral, and physical development. Thus, for example, tying a silk scarf around the shoulders as a cape or placing it on the floor and playing among its folds as if it were a river allow the child to explore the world around him and communicate his feelings in a stress-free environment. Such open-ended toys also allow the child to adapt the toy to whatever game or situation he most relates to at that moment, again aiding in the development of not only his imagination but also his relationship with the adult world.

    Natural materials such as silk, wool, and wood also provide a very different tactile experience from the plastic usually used for manufactured toys. Besides the comfort and warmth afforded by the natural materials, there is a great variety of textures available for the child to explore, further aiding his development, as opposed to the relatively uniform texture and unnatural coolness of plastic. Moreover, natural toys minimize the child’s exposure to harmful toxins which are abundant in mass-produced plastic toys. Especially dangerous are the dioxins contained in #3 PVC plastics, the Bisphenol-A (BPA) added to #7 plastics to make them rigid, and the synthetic dyes, containing heavy metals, used to produce bright, saturated colors. All of these are considered to be some of the most toxic poisons known to man, and now imagine the harm such chemicals can inflict on the developing body and brain of a child at this especially critical stage of his life.

    We as parents should try to resist this new technological impulse, not giving into the temptation of using television and computers to keep our children busy but encouraging natural play. Encourage them to spend more time outside, maybe even helping you with yard-work such as raking and gardening, which provides them with inspiration for their own future games and symbolic play. Chose simple toys and teach them various crafts, all of which develop their imagination as well as offer loads of fun. 

    With Easter and springtime approaching, a wonderful activity could be dyeing eggs. I still cherish those fond childhood memories of my mother collecting dried onion skins in a basket on the kitchen table and then using them, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, to dye our Easter eggs. Not only does this creative process result in beautiful Easter decorations and presents, but it also teaches the children about the power and beauty of simple nature. Natural ingredients like spices, herbs and vegetables offer an endless variety of hues for dyeing eggs.

    To get a beautiful mahogany color, place 10-12 eggs in a single layer in a pan. Add water until the eggs are covered and add the skins of 12-15 yellow onions. Bring to a gentle boil, then lower heat, and allow the eggs to simmer for 20-30 minutes. The longer you leave the eggs to boil, the deeper the color will be. Remove eggs, rinse in lukewarm water and cool them. If you’d like to add a soft sheen to your eggs, coat them lightly with vegetable oil and polish with a cloth.

    If you’d like a more delicate decoration, try tying fresh small leaves to the egg with string. Then follow the previous directions. This process takes a little bit more patience, but the results are stunning!

    Happy Spring!

    About Daria,  
    Mother to five children and the owner of NobbyOrganics. Born in Russia, I moved to the U.S. with my husband, and have been living in Westchester County, NY in a setting surrounded by trees, flowers and lakes for almost half of my life. There’s a lot of creativity and play in our family, and we’re passionate about the environment, brestfeeding, mindful parenting, traveling, crafting and exploring the world.  Having started my business venture less than a year ago, I am very excited about it and carefully choose the products made with only eco-friendly and organic materials such as wood, cotton, wool, and non-toxic dyes from around the globe. I believe that nature provides everything for keeping us comfortable and healthy. 

    Visit Daria's shop Nobby Organics to find a fantastic selection of natural, organic products.

    Visit our web site to browse our entire collection of teas!

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    A Bow, A View, A Bowl of Tea

    By Donna D’Orio

    I was happy to receive my invitation to be a part of Love & Tea through the sharing of my experiences in the practice of Chado. I study the Uresenke tradition with the Waiki Association in Portland Oregon. It is my hope that my posts serve to inform and inspire making more possible an authentic and joyful relationship for the readers with the traditional Chanoyu.
    The objective of the Japanese tea ceremony is to purify the soul by becoming one with nature through a ritual that employs the attributes of grace, gentleness, compassion, acceptance and respect of imperfection, regard for all things and also to pay homage to the aesthetic of austere simplicity and refined poverty.  The tea ceremony is part of the spiritual practice of Zen.

    Uresenke tradition holds as its father the Zen monk Sen Rikyu (1522-1591). A monk and student of Zen Rikyu brought this influence into his discipline of tea. He emphasized direct experience and held to the principals that are the foundational principals in Chado today. The four main principals in Chado are:

    Wa or Harmony
    Kei or Respect
    Sei or Purity
    Jaku or Tranquility

    This lovely poem by Fujiwara Ietaka reflects Rikyu’s philosophy nicely.

     “To those who long only for flowers in full bloom, I would show the spring of young shoots pushing through snow in a mountain village.”  by Fujiwara Ietaka.

    The spring birds are darting through the woods, lighting on rain soaked branches as the season reaches it climax. The cherry blossoms signal the fullness of spring and become the theme of
    April tea. The hearth-pit season comes to a close and the sunken hearth will remain covered until November. I thought this would be a symbolic month to begin the writings for this blog.

    The fresh smell of aired tatami mat greets me as I bow (signifying all are equal) and enter the Chashitsu (tea room) on my knees. The Tokonoma (raised alcove) serves as the focal point and houses the hanging scroll holding a calligraphy poem or phrase written with brush strokes and chosen carefully to reflect a theme chosen by the Teishu (host) for this occasion. A  bamboo Chabana holds the delicate display of Camillia. I bow, pause and reflect on the scroll, admire the flower arrangement and then take my place as guest. Practice begins. It is the perfect compliment to sitting practice in the Zen tradition.

    The Teishu enters carrying the Chawan (tea bowl) which holds the Chasen (tea whisk), the Chakin (tea cloth) and Chashaku (tea scoop). The bowl represents the moon (yin) and is placed next to the water jar which represents the sun (yang). Placed perfectly the Teishu returns to the Myzuaya (preparation room) to get the Kensui (waste water bowl), Hishaku (bamboo water ladle) and the Futaoki (rest for Kama or kettle lid). It is a lovely procession of beautiful utensils all finding their place under the most gentle direction. The outside world falls away and we are in the grace of direct experience. It is so incredibly nurturing, the most basic acts refined and implemented into a moving meditation, a physical interaction that is tangible and designed to reconnect us to the joy of being. There is no use for the internet or other forms of modern technology here, those things would not serve the fundamental purpose this direct experience fosters. I am so relieved and profoundly grateful for this time in the Chashitsu.
    See you next month…A Bow.


    In the hazy field of springtime,
    The scent of the flower…
    Is it the blossoming cherry?
                                    From the Manyoshu

    A bit about Donna D'Orio: a Colorado native residing in Western Oregon (the land of rain) as I study Chado, Zen and participate actively with my grandchildren as I continue to pursue my artistic path. I hold a BA in Art and Cultural Studies. I am currently building a body of work to show and make available through my upcoming blog and website currently under construction and hope to see you there in the future.

    Saturday, March 19, 2011

    Know what's in YOUR cup!

    What's In Your Green Tea?
    By Frances Cerra Whittelsey

    Hope Nemiroff thought she was living the healthiest lifestyle possible. After being diagnosed with cancer in 1995 and having a tiny tumor removed from her breast, she had changed her ways. She walked. She went for hypnosis and did yoga to help reduce her stress levels. She switched to a mostly organic, vegetable-based diet. She drank a dozen cups of green tea every day.
    Determined to learn everything she could about her disease, Nemiroff, now 58, also became president of the Mid-Hudson Breast Health Action Project, an advocacy group in New York. Impressed by her efforts, her oncologist hired her to help with a study of the relationship between DDT and breast cancer. Although she was not a subject of the study, Nemiroff says, "I got curious. I wanted to see what [the blood] of somebody like me would look like who was living a healthy lifestyle."
    Her blood, it turned out, contained traces of DDT. And when she later investigated what part of her diet might be contaminated with the pesticide, the answer jolted her. A laboratory analysis found DDT in her green tea.
    This finding was especially shocking because green tea has become the unofficial beverage of choice for breast cancer survivors. Both laboratory science and low breast cancer rates in Japan, a land of green-tea drinkers, suggest that substances in the tea might play a role in preventing breast cancer. Tea manufacturers have capitalized on those theories, labeling their boxes with statements like "Ancient Healing Formula Teas with Organic Ingredients" (The Yogi Tea Company) or noting the presence of anti-oxidants that "help neutralize free radicals ... molecules which can damage cells" (Lipton). While overall tea sales in the United States have remained flat during the past decade, cancer concern has propelled the wholesale value of green tea consumed here from $2 million in 1990 to $25 million in 1999.
    DDT, on the other hand, is a synonym for environmental poison. It is the pesticide that was banned by the United States in 1972, 10 years after publication of Rachel Carson's landmark book, Silent Spring. Carson
    Hope Nemiroff. Credit: Andrea Barrist Stern.
    exposed the pesticide as a terminator, a man-made plague that wiped out populations of songbirds, trout and salmon, killing them outright or rendering them sterile. Introduced to the world during World War II as a public health measure to kill body lice and mosquitoes, DDT was sprayed with abandon for decades by government agencies and a trusting public who never suspected it would remain in the environment long afterward. Many now believe that exposure to DDT is a cause of cancer. Carson herself endured a radical mastectomy while writing Silent Spring, and she died of breast cancer two years after the book was published Finding DDT in Nemiroff's tea raises a number of urgent questions: Was the finding an isolated case? How did it get there? Did the DDT threaten Nemiroff's health, that of other breast cancer survivors, or other American consumers? Should people stop drinking green tea?
    An In These Times investigation has found that Nemiroff's contaminated tea was clearly not an isolated or rare case. In These Times purchased 10 boxes of different brands of green tea at a suburban New York supermarket and health food store, and had them analyzed by Toxicology International of Fairfax, Virginia. Analysis of the tea samples showed that two of the 10 brands were contaminated with DDT, in violation of Environmental Protection Agency rules. The one with the highest levels was produced by the Yogi Tea Company, and included the herbs echinacea and kombucha. However, a new sample of Alvita Chinese Green Tea, the brand Nemiroff had been drinking, showed no traces of DDT.
    In addition, five of the tea samples contained chlorpyrifos, also known as Dursban, which the EPA banned from consumer products last June because of its health risk, particularly to children. Chlorpyrifos is an organochlorine, putting it in the same chemical family as DDT. Under its recent action, the EPA reduced the allowable residues of chlorpyrifos in many fruits and vegetables. But tea is not supposed to contain any of the pesticide, making any amount of it an illegal adulteration.
    These test results mean that consumers can have no assurance that green tea - or any tea made from leaves of the camellia sinensis plant - is free of pesticide contamination. But the importance of the findings, say experts informed of the test results, is that they show the widespread contamination of our food supply and the environment.
    The pesticides were found in tiny amounts, in parts per billion, and pose no imminent health danger. DDT accumulates in our bodies and is carried in breast tissue, so ingesting contaminated tea is certainly undesirable. But the experts say that the benefits of drinking green tea probably outweigh the risks.
    How did the DDT get in the tea? Surprise: DDT is still being manufactured in China and India and used in more than two dozen Third World countries in Africa and Asia. China is the source of most of the green tea imported into the United States. Finding DDT in tea imported from China would not surprise Janice Jensen, a senior environmental chemist in the EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs. "They're still producing DDT in China," she says, "and there is still some use of DDT there. DDT is caught in the atmosphere, and can be redeposited far from its use site - that's one of the arguments for the global treaty on persistent organic pollutants."
    This proposed international treaty is the focus of intensive efforts by the United Nations and environmental organizations, and it is still being negotiated. (The United States government says it supports the treaty, but environmentalists have criticized U.S. efforts to water down provisions that they and the European Union support.) The overall goal is to reduce the use of, or eliminate entirely, 12 particularly hazardous chemicals called "persistent organic pollutants," or POPs, including DDT. But several developing countries are balking at a DDT ban because until effective and affordable alternatives are available it is their best weapon against mosquitoes that transmit malaria, one of the world's top public health problems. Although environmentalists urge the use of safer alternatives, DDT is cheap and readily available. The affected countries simply cannot afford other control methods, and the United States has not made combating malaria a top spending priority.
    But it turns out that the actions of people in China and Africa, taken to protect their health from an immediate and deadly threat, have a direct impact on the purity of the American food supply. According to Clifton Curtis, director of the World Wildlife Fund's Global Toxics Initiative, "DDT is such a potent chemical that as long as it is used anywhere in the world, nobody is safe."
    Six billion pounds of DDT have been produced and used since its introduction in 1942, more than any other pesticide. In years past, it was sprayed, often in a sticky oil mixture, on farmlands, forests, rivers, estuaries and even the Long Island suburbs of New York City (which today have very high rates of breast cancer). The purpose of that suburban spraying effort was to wipe out the gypsy moth, and it was a failure; the insects periodically re-appear in the Northeast in numbers so large that you can hear them eating the oak trees bare.
    Because DDT persists in the environment for decades, it is literally everywhere and in everybody. The average level of the pesticide in human fat is seven parts per million. DDT and its metabolite, DDE, have been found in every sample of breast milk tested, from the Arctic to South Africa - where children receive DDT in their mothers' milk at rates five to 18 times higher than recommended by the World Health Organization. The fact that the WHO even has calculated an "acceptable" daily intake of DDT testifies to the extent of DDT pollution.
    In the United States, a 1992-1993 study by the Food and Drug Administration found that 5.6 percent of commonly consumed fruits and vegetables that it tested were contaminated with illegal pesticides. Todd Hettenbach, a pesticide policy analyst with the Environmental Working Group, says that even crops grown in the United States, where DDT use stopped almost 30 years ago, continue to show DDT contamination. Squash and root crops like carrots are a particular concern, he says.
    With imported food, the situation is worse. A 1994 report to Congress on food safety by the General Accounting Office (GAO) noted that countries which export food to the United States need not, except in the case of meat and poultry, have monitoring systems equivalent to ours, and that U.S. agencies often lack information on chemicals used by exporting countries.
    Richard Liroff, director of the World Wildlife Fund's Alternatives to DDT Project, says his organization had queried the Chinese government to find out how much DDT is both produced and used there. "We got no response," he says, adding, "Even though it is widely believed that there is diversion [of DDT intended for public health purposes] to agriculture, we have nothing more than anecdotal evidence."
    Technically, EPA rules make the presence of any DDT in food illegal. But recognizing the reality of worldwide contamination, the agency has set "action" levels for the presence of DDT in meat, fruits and vegetables. These levels are in parts per million, amounts far higher than those found in the tea. Only when the action levels are exceeded do either the U.S. Department of Agriculture or FDA take steps to find the source of the DDT and try to retrieve the food before it gets to market.
    In 1994 the GAO reported that 3 percent of the imported food shipments tested by the FDA contained prohibited pesticides. It said that even when detected, about one-third of the contaminated food probably found its way to store shelves. "It is very hard to seize contaminated products once they leave the border, very hard to track them down," says Jay Feldman of the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides.
    Devra Lee Davis, an epidemiologist and toxicologist who was a presidential appointee to a government chemical safety board, says that "having been in the government, I understand that this is too big a problem for the government to solve. It will take the private sector organizing itself to provide assurance to the public" that imported food is pesticide-free by testing their products. The Environmental Working Group has suggested that food importers adopt an approach to food safety that would establish critical control points for quality testing. The private sector would do the testing, and the FDA would police that process.
    But tea manufacturers insist they do test. "This is the first time anyone has found anything in our tea," says Jagat Joti Khalsa, director of communications for Yogi Tea, upon learning the results of the tea analysis. He describes a systematic and elaborate process of constant testing of tea and herbs bought from 40 or 50 vendors, which he says costs the company more than 5 percent of its profit margin. Most of the company's green tea, he says, comes from organic tea estates, primarily in India.
    The other tea contaminated with DDT was Stash Premium Green Tea. Joy Edlund, a spokeswoman for Stash, calls the finding "really strange." She says the company's premium green tea is grown in Brazil on virgin land never before used for agriculture, "so DDT was never used on it." She adds that the company's farming practices are so natural that it has been contemplating marketing the tea as organic. She says Stash does not test its tea for purity itself; they import the tea from Brazil.
    Both Edlund and Khalsa asked for the tea used in the tests to be sent to them for their own analysis.
    Among many breast cancer activists and some scientists, there is a strong belief that past and present small-scale exposure to DDT is the cause of at least some breast, prostate and other kinds of cancer. But not all the evidence is clear. A 1993 study showed that women with malignant breast cancer had higher blood levels of DDT than women without the disease, but it has been difficult to really nail down cause and effect. A May 1994 toxicological profile of the chemical prepared for the U.S. Public Health Service noted that studies of workers exposed to DDT in the workplace "do not indicate conclusively an association" between DDT exposure and cancer.
    Yet the same document notes that studies "suggest that DDT may cause damage to human chromosomes" and that studies in rats show it to have "estrogen-like" effects. This is of particular concern because one of the few generally accepted risk factors for breast cancer is exposure to estrogen or estrogen-mimicking substances, called xenoestrogens. Studies show that estrogen and xenoestrogens bind with receptors in mammary glands, and in the lab xenoestrogens have been shown to make human breast cancer cells grow. The longer a woman is exposed to estrogen - either naturally, through early menstruation or late menopause, or, it is theorized, from exposure to estrogen-mimickers - the higher her risk of breast cancer.
    It is on the basis of its estrogenic properties that Janette Sherman, a physician and author of Life's Delicate Balance: Causes and Prevention of Breast Cancer, is convinced that DDT is a cause of that disease. "You [eat] one part per billion today," she says, "and one tomorrow, and at the end of the month you have 30 parts - these chemicals accumulate in the fat. DDT breaks down into DDE, which has been shown to be estrogenic in multiple animal tests going back to the '60s." She adds: "It's nice to call [the studies] equivocal, but it's not that way at all."
    Because she knew about these studies, Hope Nemiroff decided to act after her blood test showed higher than average levels of DDT. She spent 22 days undergoing a detoxification regimen designed to purge chemical poisons from the body. The regimen included a run followed by more than four hours a day of sweating in a relatively low-temperature sauna. The regimen seemed to work. Her DDT blood levels fell from 0.9 parts per billion before the regimen to 0.3 parts per billion after.
    But six months later - during which time she had been eating her organic diet and drinking green tea-she was rocked by the results of another blood test: Her DDT levels had risen to 1.1 parts per billion. When a test of her water found it clear, she had the tea tested and discovered that it was, indeed, contaminated.
    Should people stop drinking green tea because of these findings? Green tea is no different from other teas in that it comes from the camellia sinensis plant, which grows best in the tropics at high altitude, where the days are warm, rain is ample, and the nights are cool. What makes the final product green tea, as opposed to black tea, is only the manner of processing. Black tea leaves are subjected to a period of high heat and humidity, during which the tea oxidizes and turns from green to brown. Leaves for green tea are subjected to a shorter or somewhat different heating process. As a result, green tea retains a class of chemicals called catechins, which may play a role in cancer prevention and be part of the explanation for lower breast cancer rates in Japan.
    Davis, who has written extensively on breast cancer and the environment and expects to publish Nemiroff's case in a scientific journal, did not advise her to stop drinking green tea. Davis would not recommend other women give up the beverage either. "There is a lot of benefit to drinking green tea that has been shown experimentally," she says.
    Sherman, author of books on breast cancer and chemical exposure, agrees that people should not stop drinking potentially beneficial green tea because of the DDT findings. What those results illustrate, she says, "is that our entire food supply is now contaminated worldwide because of massive use of pesticides."
    As Nemiroff has done, consumers can try to avoid drinking pesticides in their tea by switching to brands certified as organic, although this is not an absolute guarantee of purity. Eating organically grown fruits and vegetables - which are more expensive than non-organic - can also help minimize pesticide exposure. Losing weight also releases pesticide residues stored in fat, eliminating them from the body.
    But Nemiroff's story illustrates that it is virtually impossible to completely avoid food contaminated with pesticides even when someone goes out of her way to try. Pesticides, wrote Carson three decades ago, are "as crude a weapon as the cave man's club," a chemical barrage "hurled against the fabric of life."
    "The contamination of our world," she continued, "is not alone a matter of mass spraying. Indeed, for most of us this is of less importance than the innumerable small-scale exposures to which we are subjected day by day, year after year. Like the constant dripping of water that in turn wears away the hardest stone, this birth-to-death contact with dangerous chemicals may in the end prove disastrous."

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