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?

Enchanting Espelette, France, by da-AL

After a weekend of beautiful Barcelona, we drove towards French Basque country. We lunched in wonderful Huesca and overnighted in pretty Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.

The sun shone and we were back on the road. What better way to relax than to stop in the enchanting Basque town of Espelette?

We sipped hot chocolate at a sidewalk cafe…

We shopped for edible gifts from a kindly shopkeeper, including the special not-too-hot red pepper power the city is known for…

da-AL and her honey shopping in Espelette, France

And we strolled, admiring the town’s typically red-accented white buildings…

Everything, everyone, the weather — it was all so charming, that I could easily have stayed for a nap…

…but we had more places to visit! We were headed further into phenomenal French Basque Country (Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Bayonne, and Biarritz).

Then, back in Spain (after all, my upcoming novel is titled “Flamenco & the Sitting Cat”), we’d marvel at the food and seaside dogs of San Sebastián, Spain and breathtaking Bilbao

Guest Blog Post: “Connected,” in Viola Bleu’s exact words

photo of milky tea and sandwich cookies
Viola Bleu invites us to tea!

Getting us to laugh is fellow blogger Viola Bleu’s mission. Photo of the back of Viola Blue's head, her mullticolored braidToday she invites us to share Earl Gray tea and custard cream sandwich cookies (simply called ‘custard creams’ in Viola’s London, where biscuits are what gringos call cookies) while she ruminates on publishing, friendship, and helping each other …

IdeasBecomeWords

A quickie today because I have a to-do list as long as my leg (usually they say arm but I prefer to think outside the box and it’s a bloody long list).

I have a children’s book to type up for a friend, about which I am starting to think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew because she’d like her words interwoven between her Enid Blyton-style illustrations 😬 (and there was me thinking I was merely typing up a rough draft. This amazing 83 year old lady and friend of 24 years has written it out on random pieces of paper. In pencil.)

She feels is it her final chance to get something in print before she is “too old” (her words not mine) and I am delighted to pause in my own humble writing efforts in order to assist in any way I can. All being well…

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