Guest Blog Post: Benefits of Tea by Rhiannon Brunner

As a novelist, tea is one of my best friends. If I want a boost, to warm my fingers, something tasty and healthy yet free of calories (given how writing involves little physical energy), or during the moments I want to commune with others (making a story can be like cooking,  the ingredients being actually living).

Tea is infinitely varied — hot or cold, fruity or robust, earthy or sweet, and on and on — there’s a tea for everyone. Blogger Rhiannon Brunner lives in Vienna, Austria. She’s written a pile of books about subjects that interest her in German, which she’s planning to soon translate into English.

What’s your favorite tea? Here she describes hers…

Photo of Rhiannon Brunner
Author and blogger Rhiannon Brunner.

Tea offers extremely valuable properties. Many minor physical pains can be easily relieved with the right one.

If you take a look at my tea box, you will find some herbs that serve healing purposes. The classics (rosehip, chamomile, and fennel) are of course included. However, I would like to present here two varieties that I have long considered to be absolutely essential:

Damiana is a healthy and good tea.
Damiana is a healthy and good tea.

Damiana

Damiana tea tastes like dried hay.

Its positive effects include stress relief (it makes one slightly euphoric), relief of menstrual pain, and it has anti-inflammatory properties. 

Many people find it helps relieve stomach problems, acts as an aphrodisiac, aids sleep, and strengthens the heart and general circulation.

Bitter gourd is another great tea.
Bitter gourd is another great tea.

Bitter Gourd

If you don’t like the bitter taste, sweeten it with honey, because it tastes really bitter!

Above all, diabetics and health-conscious people enjoy its positive effects. If you want to lose weight, you are well advised to use it, since the usual diet does not need to be changed at all.  

I have experienced this on my own body — although I did not even intend to. It includes saponins, which helps the body to break down dangerous abdominal fat (visceral fat). Bitter gourd helps to get rid of the type of fat that not even the most restrictive diets can get to. To check the results, I asked a couple of friends to drink the tea as well. Their results were like mine.

Bitter gourd is rich in iron, calcium, phosphorus, copper, potassium and the vitamins A, B1, B2, and C. Therefore, it is optimally suited for a health-conscious lifestyle.

Caution is advised only for pregnant women and people with low blood pressure.

My personal favorite way to take bitter gourd is this one, Trà Khổ Qua. It is a combination that also contains Reishi mushrooms, which makes the bitter gourd less bitter, as well as additionally healthy.

I highly recommend anyone to engage in tea and be open to a variety of impressions.

Good tea is like a beloved friend. And so — let me say — it is tea time.

 

Alice is Rhiannon Brunner's lovely cat.
Alice is Rhiannon Brunner’s lovely cat.

Visit Rhiannon Brunner’s blog, where she discusses her projects, cats and daily life.

More about good tea.

Interested in the classical tea ceremony?

Guest Blog Post: “Sleep Disorders In Dogs And What To Do About Them,” in Jimmy Aki’s exact words

My dogs snore up a storm. They definitely have no trouble getting to sleep. Read on, however, for Jimmy Aki’s enlightening post about how some dogs do!…

There might be times when your dog finds it hard to sleep and it is quite noticeable when this happens. An adult dog sleeps about 8 to 14 hours daily – this combines naptime during the day and sleeps at night. Sleep is very key to your dog’s overall health as it keeps them refreshed and energetic to get on with the next day.

No one wants a canine that whines, becomes disoriented during the day, or disturbs you through the night. Sleep deprivation is a big problem in dogs and due to how easy it is for their stress hormones to build up when they are deprived of sleep, you might start noticing a change in behavior from your dog as time goes on.

Here are some common types of sleep disorders in dogs and ways you can nip it in the bud when it occurs.

1. Canine Insomnia

This is more common in older dogs and while dogs don’t suffer from it too often, it is normal to find your dog getting sleepless nights from time to time but when this trend continues for several days, then you need to check your dog as he could be suffering from insomnia. Visiting a veterinarian will help you identify the underlying problem for insomnia as it often underlines a bigger problem that you’re probably not aware of. Problems such as pent-up energy, itchy skin caused by fleas or even arthritis. Some proven methods of relieving insomnia include changing diet, acupuncture, and aromatherapy. The first stage, however, is to find out what the underlying problem is before deciding on the best solution for your dog.

2. Sleep Apnea

If your dog is constantly being overfed, there is a possibility that it could suffer from sleep apnea. This sleep disorder is common in obese dogs such as pugs and bulldogs. With sleep apnea, the excessive fat that has been stored up in the body narrows the airway, temporarily which ends up keeping the dog wide awake during the night. These constant interruptions could be mild and sometimes, it could be really severe. When it becomes severe, you will notice tiredness and chronic snoring from your dog. Treating this is important as if left untreated, it could lead to loss of life. One easy way of treating sleep apnea in dogs is through a weight loss program. These include creating a weight loss diet for your dog, limit in access to current food or in the quantity being feed, reduction in treats and table scraps. The first step here, however, is a veterinary examination. Medical examination ensures your dog is checked for any underlying cause or if there are other medical conditions that might hinder weight reduction.

3. Narcolepsy

This sleep disorder affects younger dogs and it is a nervous sleep disorder. Just as it is in humans, narcolepsy occurs when a dog suffers from excessive lack of energy and daytime sleepiness. If your dog suddenly collapses on its side and falls asleep during the day, you might have a dog that is suffering from narcolepsy. Check the muscles; are they slacking? If your dog also appears to fall into a deep sleep with rapid eye movement during this period, it’s time for you to visit the vet. As with most sleep disorders, narcolepsy has an underlying problem which is muscle paralysis otherwise known as cataplexy. Currently, this sleep disorder is not curable but it can be managed to reduce the severity and the number of narcoleptic episodes your dog suffers from.

About the writer of this post: Jimmy Aki is a professional writer that lives with his partner and a 3-year old cat called Oscar. You can find his articles on Medium as well as answers on issues relating to pets on Quora. He also spends time crafting content strategies for websites that he manages such as Reviewdots.com