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Ode to Mrs C

health benefits of tea

The importance of our Mums (my lovely Mum pictured above) in our lives has been brought to forefront for me this month.  Of course it is the month when we celebrate Mothers day and acknowledge all the things that our Mums do for us. 

Sadly, it was also a time I had to say goodbye to a special lady in my life, Mrs C.

Mrs. C was the Mum of one of my dear friends.  My friend and I met when we were 17, and so Mrs. C had been in my life for quite a number of years.  Whenever I went to her house, Mrs. C was always there with a big hug and a nice cup of tea… loose leaf of course!! And Mrs. C was an avid baker, and no visit was complete without a tasty sweet treat!! Over the years, she imparted lots of words of wisdom to us girls.  Many hours were spent drinking tea with us and teaching us how to make perfect scones. In fact, her scones were infamous, and I still use her scone recipe today!!  

Have you ever noticed that when you hug your Mum, or any special woman in your life, you get overwhelmed with feelings of love, warmth, and wellbeing?  This is due to the release of a hormone called ‘Oxytocin’. This hormone not only plays a key role in the relationship between a mother and her child, it also has a vital role to play in the functioning of our brain and nervous system.  It effects on day to day emotions is well documented, and low levels have been associated with anxiety and depression, among other things.

In his article “How to increase Oxytocin levels in the brain”, Jordan Fallis writes that research suggests that increasing our levels of Oxytocin, can benefit us by:

  • Increasing our feelings of calmness and security, thus reducing stress and anxiety
  • Improving our mood and feelings of contentment
  • Reducing the release of our bodies stress hormone Cortisol
  • Reducing inflammation and stimulate healing
  • Increasing our pain threshold
  • Increasing positive personality traits, such as empathy, trust, and openness

So, apart from hugging lots of women, how can we ensure that we keep our Oxytocin levels high?  In his article, Fallis outlines 25 steps by which we can naturally increase our levels.  A couple of them are of particular interest to me.  The first is caffeine.  Fallis states “researchers have found that caffeine significantly increases the release of oxytocin”.  He talks about drinking coffee, but of course, tea also contains caffeine, especially black tea, which contains nearly as much caffeine as coffee.  

Drinking Camomile tea is another way of increasing your Oxytocin levels.  This medicinal herb has long been used for its calming properties, and as Fallis says, it “contains substances that act on the same part of the brain and nervous system as antidepressant drugs”.  It is of little wonder that having a cup of tea can make us feel relaxed and calm.  

It is of no surprise that touch is a quick way to boost your oxytocin levels.  We all know how good it feels to hug the special people in our lives.  From his research, Fallis has discovered that “a 10-second hug every day can help boost your immune system, fight infection, increase dopaminereduce depression, and lessen fatigue”.   And this effect extends to cuddling our pets as well!!

So what do we need to do every day to keep our oxytocin levels high?

  • Drink tea
  • Hug our Mums or other special people 
  • Cuddle our pets

Sounds perfect to me!!

Happy Sipping!

Crazy Tea Lady

xx

MRS C’S SCONE RECIPE

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups SR flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons powdered milk
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • ¾ cup water
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 230° c
  2. Beat butter and icing sugar. 
  3. Add egg, then flour and milk alternately until the mixture becomes soft. 
  4. Divide into scones.  
  5. Bake 10 minutes.

To read the full article “How to increase Oxytocin levels in the brain” by Jordan Fallis 30 March 2019, go to:

https://www.optimallivingdynamics.com/blog/25-effective-ways-to-increase-oxytocin-levels-in-the-brain

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Back to Basics

tea facts about tea plant


For years, I never knew that white, green and black tea all came from the same plant!  I thought that they grew three types of plants, in order to provide tea lovers with the different tea varieties!  And I was amazed to learn that tea comes from a bush that is a cousin to the Camellia plant, Camellia japonica regularly found growing in gardens around the world!   It wasn’t until I began my Crazy Tea Lady journey, that I began to discover some amazing facts about my favourite beverage!

The tea tree is an evergreen that grows to a height of 5 to 15 metres.  Its leaves measure between 5mm and 25cms are characterized by a shiny upper surface, with a lighter matt underside.  The plant is cultivated, not for its fruit or seeds, but for the bud and two new leaves below it.  The bud and new leaves are plucked regularly, making up the harvest.

There are two main varieties:

  • Camellia senensis sinensis
  • Camellia senensis assamica

They are mostly grown between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.  The plant itself requires temperatures of 10-30 degrees centigrade, and 1000-1250mm rain per year.  This means that most of the tea production in the world occurs in China and India, but also Japan, Africa, South & Central America, Sri Lanka, Taiwan.   Australia does have several tea growing regions, in Queensland and Victoria.  And yes, we even have tea grown right here in WA, at a plantation in Northcliffe near Manjimup.  And I am lucky enough to be a stockiest of this beautiful green tea.  

Go to http://www.southernforestgreentea.com.au and check out the pictures of this beautiful plantation!

locally grown green tea

Types of Tea

There are three main types of tea, all derived from the Camellia senensis plant.

  1. White

This is the least processed and oxidized.

It is withered and dried immediately after plucking – which prevents oxidation

Because the leaves undergo the least processing, they are the most delicate of all.

White tea is high in antioxidents, as it contains high levels of polyphenols that stop free radicals

  • Green

The leaves are steamed or fired (dried) after plucking to prevent oxidation, then rolled. 

  • Black

The leaves are heavily processed, which includes withering, rolling, and oxidation.  The result is one hundred per cent oxidized leaves, with the characteristic black colour.

Processing and Caffeine Levels

Although white, green and black tea originates from the same plant, their caffeine levels are considerably different.  The more processed the leaves, the greater the caffeine level.

Beverage
Caffeine Per 250ml Serve
White Tea
30-55 mg
Green Tea
35-70 mg
Oolong Tea (between 25% and 75% oxidised)
50-75 mg
Black Tea
60-90 mg
Coffee100 mg

It is interesting to note that your average chocolate bar contains approximately 10 mg of caffeine!

However the caffeine in tea acts differently from coffee

  • It is not as fast releasing
  • You don’t get that sharp high
  • The caffeine interacts with the amino acids in tea, so that when it hits our brains, it sends us into relaxation mode!!

It is little wonder that it is the second most consumed beverage in the world!

Happy sipping!

Crazy Tea Lady

Reference: “The Tea Drinkers Handbook” by Francois-Xavier Delmas, Mathias Minet and Christine Barbaste

green tea Western Australia
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Proudly Supplying Southern Forest Sencha Green Tea

AN EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT FROM CRAZY TEA LADY!

We are now the proud stockists of the only teas grown right here in WA! And it is one of the sweetest green teas around!

Meerup tea Estate is a family run farm, and they do it all – from growing and processing to packaging the tea. Originally cattle and avocado farmers, they embarked on their tea journey in 2007. After patiently nurturing the tea plants, and finding the right processing plant, they finally started selling tea for the first time in 2016.

They are committed to zero use of pesticides, herbicides, fungisides and all the things that are put in food to prolong its shelf life.

The Southern Forest Sencha green tea has a slightly sweet, astringent, grassy flavour. It has all the freshness of WA, and the more you drink the tea the sweeter it begins to taste.

Available now, we have 100gram packets of this wonderful loose leaf tea for $12.50.