The Healing Benefits of Tea
For me tea has always been much more than just an enjoyable beverage but is something that has really become a part of my life. Since I was a young child, I’ve always enjoyed a cup of tea in the afternoon; however it wasn’t until college that I really began to experience new blends and flavors, and learn about the amazing properties of tea. It was during this time that I began to study about eating and using organic products, holistic living, and sustainability. I began to realize that what we put in and on our bodies has a major effect not only on our physical but mental and emotional state.
I found this out first hand when I began to use a special blend of tea to help get me through my anxiety, during my early twenties. After enjoying a cup of coffee with breakfast in the morning I would whip up a cup of lavender honey tea to take with me to work, that I would then sip throughout the rest of the day. This special blend of tea is something that I still enjoy though usually at the end of the day, before bed. Along with drinking it, I’ll rest the cup of tea under my nose (as a sort of aromatherapy) and even against my chest. The effect is incredibly soothing.
This is just one of the many effects and benefits that tea can have on you. Others include a boost to the immune system, a decrease in your risk of heart attack or stroke, and a kick of caffeine minus those nasty jitters that you’ll often experience with coffee. The healing benefits of tea are amazing and something that I recently met up to discuss with Mai-Anh of Discover Teas. Along with getting into the nourishing properties of tea, we also talked about the story of Discover Teas, about women supporting women, and the importance of community.
The Healing Benefits of Tea
While many people drink tea simply for pleasure, tea is an incredible some incredibly healing benefits:
Tea is full of antioxidants which help to promote vitality and to fight against pollution.
Tea has less caffeine than coffee (good-bye caffeine shakes!). Herbal blends have no caffeine, whereas traditional black teas have less than 50 percent of what is typically found in coffee. If your looking to make the switch from coffee to tea, try chicory root or dandelion tea.
Tea may decrease your risk of a heart attack and stroke. A recent study noted that those who drank four or more cups of green tea a day have a 32 percent reduced risk in having a heart attack and lower levels of LDL chloesterol.
Drinking tea (particularly that which includes holy basil and tulsi) can boost your immune system.
Tea may help battle cancer. More research is needed on this point but some studies suggest that drinking tea can help.
Calms your digestive system. Ginger tea and Discover Tea’s DigesTea are great for promoting a happy digestive system.
Discover Teas’ WellTEAing line offers a wide range of masterfully blended herbal formulas that can assist with one’s mind, body and spirit. Mai-Anh and I discussed that while tea cannot necessarily cure a disease or illness, it can provide some short-term healing and long-term positive effects. For those dealing with anxiety, you might find some peace in the Anxie Tea, the Peacepathways or the Lavender Lemonade blend; where as those looking to cleanse their kidneys and liver would benefit from the Gentle Cleanse or the DermaTea. With those dealing with depression, Mai-Anh suggests that since depression generally doesn’t manifest itself physically (i.e. with anxiety) where you have to really begin is in creating a ritual that brings peace. For example, it might help you “to create a space where for the time that you are there drinking your tea, you are there and you are present. This is my permission to hold this space for myself and to understand that yes, there are other things on my plate but that it’s going to be okay. You build yourself up during that time.” There are a lot of ways in which you incorporate tea into healing rituals.
The story of Discover Teas
Discover Teas was started in 2011 by Chris Farishon who saw that there was a need for quality tea in the Hampton Roads Area. The first brick and mortar shop opened in Kingsmill shopping center in Williamsburg, VA in 2011, followed by their second shop which opened up in Port Warwick Newport News, a year later. Current co-owner Mai-Anh Tran came on board in 2014 after having moved to the area from Richmond in 2008.
“Technically I came on board in 2013, when I was still teaching. During this time, I was so burnt out and was looking for a way to recharge and to refresh. I had just moved down here from Richmond and it just kind of has a different feel… it’s more suburban and yet has less of a community feel.”
I defiantly understand what you mean! I have the hardest time describing this area to people… it’s so beautiful and relaxing but to me, it’s lacking that centralized community feel. You really have to drive to reach community hubs.
“Yeah, it’s something that I defiantly missed because you have that sense of community all over Richmond. So during this time, I was actively looking for community and that’s what I found in Discover Teas. You really felt a sense of caring and togetherness there. Everyone was more interested in educating about tea verses just selling you tea. There was a very personalized experience, where it was like, ‘hey, I want to know what you like.’ During this time, I quickly became a regular at Discover Teas, where I got to know the staff and their product; eventually becoming an official team member. Emily Kamp, the second co-owner of Discover Teas joined the team a year later.”
Fast forward to last year, Chris asked Mai-Anh if they could chat before a staff meeting. Chris shared with Mai-Anh that while it had been an incredible ride starting up Discover Teas, she was ready for her next venture, and was wondering if Mai-Anh would like to take ownership of the business. Excited Mai-Anh said “yes” but not before asking Emily if she would go in on it together. A year later, the two brick and mortar stores are closed but the Discover Teas community is going strong via their thriving online store and in-person workshops and events that they host on a regular basis.
How did you feel when you first took over the reigns of Discover Teas?
"I thought to myself, ‘I’ve never owned a store or a business but I know a great community of really passionate and dedicated women who I can rely on and trust because I’ve formed relationships with them over the years. I’ve heard a lot of stories of first time business owners who share that when they were first starting out they were scared and didn’t know who to trust. I never felt that way for a minute."
Yeah, and even those times where as a business owner you get burned, it’s a learning opportunity. It’s like, “okay, lesson learned I’m just going to that different next time.”
Community is clearly something is valued here at Discover Teas.
“It’s just all about community. When you put your trust in the community, that trust tends to be rewarded. You can really go out there and support each other. I mean, why do you do anything if it’s not about people?”
“People have said to me, ‘oh, you must really love tea’, but it’s not even about ‘I really love this beverage’ but is about what tea has done for me, our community and the changes it’s made through something as a humble as tea.”
Is Tea Good for You? Today.