A cup of tea

By Wendell Fowler

“Hello, my name is Wendell, and I’m a tea-A-holic.”

A hot mug-O-tea is my constant companion since I discovered the magical, health-creating and sustainable benefits of the world’s second most popular leverage next to water. In America, meh, we’ve been successfully trained to prefer toxic fizzy health-destroying crap in a can that trashes temple health and wellbeing; but boy, it tastes good!

Really, that’s the reason you consume drinks loaded with toxic aspartame, HFCS, artificial coloring, preservatives and no nutritional value? We’ve been dumbed down sweet gullible friends.

America has, nevertheless, gradually become a nation of tea drinkers. Some 80 percent of U.S. households have tea in their kitchens, and more than half drinks tea on a daily basis, according to the U.S. Tea Association. Studies reveal many teas may help with cancer, heart disease, diabetes and encourage weight loss, lower cholesterol, have anti-microbial qualities and increase mental alertness.

What I’m talking about is much more than just generic tea bags that have been thrust upon as the only tea on earth. Through the lens of my mind, tea can be from herbs, roots and mushrooms, too. There’s black and green tea, tulsi (holy basil), oolong, antioxidant chai, chamomile, stinging nettle, hibiscus, green Rooibos, ginger, dandelion, echinacea, a garden of herbs, lion’s mane (my favorite) and reiki mushroom tea, and the list goes on and on. Instant tea? You should be flogged with a used teabag!

Tulsi tea or holy basil that’s hot right now has anti-microbial properties and is rich in antioxidants that fight free radicals responsible for causing various chronic degenerative diseases.

“There doesn’t seem to be a downside to tea,” says American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Katherine Tallmadge. “I think it’s a great alternative to coffee drinking. First, tea has less caffeine. It’s pretty well established the compounds in tea – their flavonoids – are good for the heart and may reduce cancer.”

Many brand-name teas contain dubious ingredients and we need to be aware before making the next purchase. Be mindful most major brands contain fluoride, the leaves are sprayed with carcinogenic pesticides and bleach is used to whiten the bags. Ugh!

Become a tea-A-holic and reduce America’s soaring rates of chronic disease, widespread vitamin deficiency, the federal budget deficit, and decrease healthcare spending. Make tea, not war.