Teas for Healing
A trip to the tea aisle at any grocery store will give you an idea of how popular tea has become. You’ll find teas from all kinds leaves – white, green, black – herbal teas, teas of many different blends and flavors and even teas labeled as medicinal. There are so many to choose from and we enjoy sipping on them to relax and soothe us when we are stress, ill or just want to feel comforted.
But did you know that all teas are filled with medicinal properties that can heal us in body, mind and spirit? I often make a pot of tea with as many as 5 or 6 different kinds and sip it throughout the day. I feel so good knowing that I am providing support and healing for myself. I also pour it over ice in the warmer months. It’s so refreshing!
As I expanded my collection of loose leaf tea and trained in zoopharmacognosy, the practice of animal’s self-selecting medicinal plants and extracts, I began offering teas to my dogs based on their health, their ailments or the season at any given time. I did not expect that they would drink it, but boy was I wrong.
I found my dogs lapping up various teas for conditions such as pain, liver and kidney support, infections and skin issues. Of course, I never mixed it in with their food. I allowed them the choice of drinking a single tea or not. I discuss how this works in my article “How Animals Heal Themselves with Plants.” In it I explain the process of self-selection by animals for the purpose of their own healing.
Here are some herbs that you can use to make a healing tea to offer to your pet along with their uses. Below I describe how to select and brew them so your tea is infused with optimal healing properties.
Calendula – Calendula is one of the earliest medicinal plants and was considered sacred and a symbol of luxury by many cultures. It holds a variety of healing properties for your pets, including as a remedy for itchy skin (sweet itch in equids), cuts, and wounds. It can be offered for your pet to drink or can be used as a rinse or as a compress.
Chamomile – Chamomile is a tea familiar to many, as it is used to soothe and reduce stress and to help us sleep at night. Just as it can calm us, it is also soothing for your pets. There are many types of chamomile but the two with the most beneficial healing properties are Roman and German chamomile. For your pets’ healing it can be offered following trauma, for anxiety, nausea and vomiting, for burns and to increase mobility. It too can be offered for drinking or used as a wash or compress.
Mint – I was most surprised when I offered mint tea to my dogs one afternoon. Of all the herbs they had selected in various ways, I did not expect them to choose mint because of its menthol taste and aroma. Mint is beneficial for stomach upset, as stress and tension and also for pain relief.
Milk Thistle – This is one of my favorite teas to have on hand for first aid and for general health. It supports the liver and spleen and is a remedy for toxicity and poisoning. I always offered this tea to my “kids” after they received what few vaccinations I gave them or following a course of prescription drugs. I recommend it to all my clients whose pets are on regular medications for chronic ailments or during catastrophic care, such as chemotherapy. It helps rid their system of toxins, improves their vitality and boosts immunity. Offer for as many as 30 days for optimal benefit.
Plantain – This versatile healing herb is one you’ve probably seen growing along country roads. Before I knew the plant I mistook it for a weed since it seemed to be everywhere I didn’t want foliage, such as in my driveway or at the edge of my garden. It, too, is a medicinal plant used for centuries and once thought to be a cure all. It is chosen when animals need a blood tonic, for lung support during respiratory ailments, as an antidote for poisoning from plants, spiders and snakes, and to deter skin infections and heal wounds.
Herbs with the most robust healing properties are those that are wildcrafted, meaning they are harvested from their natural habitat. Herb farms and greenhouses are another good source of medicinal herbs, provided they are organically grown. Natural food markets that offer products in bulk often have a wide selection of organic herbs and teas. If you are really into convenience, many herbs for tea are easily grown in an herb garden at home. How lovely to be able to cultivate and harvest herbs straight from your own garden. I have also found one of the most convenient ways to stock your organic teas is through the many quality suppliers online.
My least favorite source is to buy tea at the supermarket in tea bags. These are typically substandard herbs, often packaged in tea bags that are processed with toxic chemicals. If you are in a bind and must buy tea at the supermarket, be sure to select organic tea.
Brewing Medicinal Tea
To brew tea with most potent healing properties and to optimize benefit for your pet, always select a single tea (do not blend teas for selection, see this post for explanation) and use two teaspoons per eight ounce cup. Place the tea into a stainless steel tea ball or infuser or a teapot with a stainless steel infuser. Bring fresh distilled, filtered, reverse osmosis or bottled water to just below boiling. Pour over the tea leaves and let steep for at least 10 minutes. Remove the leaves and let cool before offering to your pet. Offer up to twice a day and allow them to drink as much as they want.
Fresh tea can be kept up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Most pets prefer it at room temperature so remove from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. Never microwave tea as it degrades the molecules and can cause harmful free radicals to form.
Self-selection of medicinal plants and extracts is one of the services that I offer my clients worldwide. While teas are a natural healing remedy you can easily use at home for your pets, dried and powdered herbs extracts, essential, nutritional and macerated oils, along with other compounds should only be offered by a practitioner trained in this modality. I’d be happy to discuss this with you. Just contact me here for your complimentary consultation to see if this service is right for your pet.
Why not share your cup of healing tea with your beloved pet today?
In love and light,
“Christine changed Mika’s outlook on life and healed her emotional scars.
What Christine can do for your pet is as essential as food and water.”
– Heidi B.