Tag Archives: headaches

Living Well: the benefits of herbal tea

So, this is something I’ve never mentioned here in this blog in the three years I’ve run it. It’s not a new discovery for me – but as part of my “getting healthy” journey, I have rediscovered my love for herbal teas.

As the granddaughter of a proud British man, I learned early on in life, that tea was the staple drink in our house. I still remember the smell of freshly brewed Red Rose tea when he came over for visits. I wasn’t a fan of black tea and didn’t start drinking coffee until I was in my mid-20’s. But after mum died, we marveled at how amazing tea was if made in her favorite tea pot.

Is it weird to say that drinking tea sometimes makes me feel closer to her now? I always think of her sipping tea out of her favorite blue tea cups with a smile.

Coffee for me is a must have morning drink. But in an effort to cut back on caffeinated drinks, I switched to drinking at least one or two cups of herbal teas before bed. But the real reason that I switched back to drinking herbal teas is two-fold.

I’m tired of being sick. All medications have stopped working for the migraines and nausea. I got tired of popping pills every night which are often hard on the stomach. And so, about two weeks ago, I started drinking herbal teas. And thankfully, it has really helped with the nausea.

Years ago, when I studied Wiccan practices and rituals out of pure curiosity, I discovered a love for herbs and herbal remedies. I learned that most herbs could be used for medicinal purposes. And the easiest way to ingest these herbs safely – was through drinking tea.

Today, I’m going to share some of my favorite herbal teas with you and why I believe they can be beneficial to your overall health.

Chamomile Tea

At the top of my list is chamomile. I have a pot of chamomile trying to grow in my kitchen right now. The plant isn’t doing so well. I love the smell of chamomile. It’s like a combination of apples and flowers.

Chamomile has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. It’s main use has been to calm anxiety, induce sleep, and settle upset stomach. The easiest way to ingest chamomile is by brewing or steeping as a tea.

The reason I started drinking chamomile tea again was two-fold. I thought it might help with the nausea I’ve been struggling with, but it also helps with relaxation. The medications stopped working for my insomnia, so I’ve switched to taking a ginger gravol in combination with a cup of chamomile tea before bed. And I sleep like a baby.

If you suffer from skin issues like dry and itchy skin or eczema, you can take a chamomile tea bath or use ice cold tea on your skin as a rinse.

Be careful not to drink too much chamomile tea. 1 to 2 cups daily should suffice to help aid with stomach issues. If you take sedatives or blood thinners, there is a small chance that chamomile could interact with them. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor.

I would recommend buying tea bags like Twinings or Tetley as these can be safer to drink than brewing the tea yourself.

8 benefits of chamomile tea
Chamomile Tea – Medical News Today

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint is a popular herb used as flavouring in breath mints, candy and some recipes. It contains menthol, menthone and limonene. Not only does peppermint tea taste delicious, but it also has several health benefits.

If you’re a fellow IBS sufferer, then peppermint can help aid in easing gassy pain, bloating and digestive issues. In addition to helping with digestive problems, this tea can provide some relief to migraines and headaches. This was a huge bonus for me and I can’t help but wonder if it’s the reason I’ve experienced less migraines this week. And not to be a bragger, but peppermint tea has also been said to help with menstrual cramps and pain.

Plugged up with a stuffy nose or got the sniffles? Peppermint can also be used to help relieve clogged sinuses. Now that allergy season is in full bloom, you might want to keep a stash of peppermint tea on hand along with broth or clear soup.

The list of benefits that comes with peppermint tea ranges from sleep, migraines, reduction in cramps, but it doesn’t stop there. This glorious and refreshing tea has also been known to aid in weight loss and to help boost your concentration and memory.

Peppermint tea might just be the tea of all herbal teas. And it’s definitely on the top of my tea list! I actually tried to order a peppermint plant but the plant shop was out 😦

Peppermint Tea – Pexels.com

Lemon Tea

Lemon trees are small evergreen plants that predominately grow in southern Asian countries. However, lemons are also grown in southern US states like Florida and California. Lemons are part of the citrus fruit family like oranges and grapefruits.

Like oranges, lemons are packed with vitamin C which helps boost the body’s defense against infections. They are also loaded with calcium and magnesium which are essential nutrients.

Vitamin C is known to boost immunity and helps improve reproductive health. Lemon teas are usually paired with ginger, which can also promote healthy digestion.

Lemon tea can also help boost your digestive function, battle infections, reduce inflammation (joint pain or stiffness), enhance skin health, and heart health.

If you struggle with inflamed gums, lemon can help reduce the inflammation in between your dental visits. Other benefits include reduction of migraines, regulating blood sugar levels, alleviating depression and anxiety.

Not only does lemon tea provide you with all these great health benefits, but adding lemon juice to your favorite recipes gives it that extra punch for flavour. So, it makes sense that lemon tea is so popular!

Clear Glass Bowl With Brown Liquid
Pexel Library

Green Tea

Green tea is one of the most popular teas in North America and can found in many forms and flavours. It’s loaded with antioxidants that have an abundance of health benefits.

This tea is named for its color as unlike other teas – it becomes a beautiful shade of green when brewed. Steamed green teas taste bittersweet while other teas come out sweet. It could be why I like it so much. There is a science behind getting the right flavour for green tea – and it’s all about hitting the right temperature and sleeping time.

Like peppermint tea, green tea has a multitude of health benefits. It’s been proven that green tea can help improve brain function, speed up fat loss, protect the body against cancer and aid in lowering the risk for heart disease.

Green tea contains healthy bioactive compounds like polyphenols which is useful in reducing inflammation and fighting cancer. Other antioxidants can help prevent cells and molecules from damage.

This tea contains caffeine so it is not recommended to drink at night time. If you’re not a fan of coffee, consider drinking green tea in the morning to start your day. It is said that green tea can help improve brain function, and can improve your mood, reaction time and even memory. But one of the more popular benefits of green tea is that it can speed up the process for fat loss which is great if you’re trying to lose weight.

So for me, green tea is delicious but I’m placing it in the fourth spot of this list because it does contain caffeine.

Green Tea – WallPaperAccess.com

Popular Herbal Teas

These are just a few of my favorite teas. Other popular tea flavours include:

  • Matcha Green
  • Ginger
  • Hibiscus
  • Echinacea
  • Sage
  • Lemon Balm
  • Rooibos
  • Rosehip
  • Licorice Root
  • Sleepy Time Tea

I haven’t tried these teas yet. I’m shopping on Amazon for tea samplers so I can have a variety of tea flavours on hand. Many of my friends are tea drinkers so it is the right thing to do!

I can tell you that my cupboards are now stocked with green tea, peppermint tea, lemon tea, earl grey, chamomile and now – matcha tea. Which I think I brewed wrong because I was not a fan of the flavour.

Popular Brand Teas

I’m partial to brands like Twining and Tetly. If I can’t find something in Twinning packaging, then I’ll go with Tetly. These are definitely my top choices. When it comes to tea, I try to get the “good stuff” and not cheap out.

David’s Tea is a popular store to visit at Christmas time and for birthdays in our family. Everyone loves the gift of tea. And everyone loves a good tea sampler.

Peppermint, Peppermint Tea, Mint, Tee

What are your favorite herbal teas? Have you tried them cold as a summer drink? If so, let me know in the comments!

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Love this kind of content? Then stay tuned. Mostly Single is transitioning into a health and wellness blog with a strong focus on herbal, and natural remedies. Join me as I embark on this chapter of my life – that I call spiritual awakening.

Living with chronic migraines – but you don’t look sick!

It’s nearly 8:00 am and I’m showered, dressed, have a cup of coffee and a load of laundry in the washing machine. I wish this could be the case everyday. I love early mornings. But alas, another migraine kept in bed most of the day yesterday. It’s not even the migraines anymore. It’s the dizzy spells and nausea that come with it. It literally comes and goes. One moment I’m sick as a dog, the next, I’m ready to get my day going.

This is the part I have trouble explaining to doctors. I did some research and migraines have now been declared to be as debilitating if not more so, than strokes or heart attacks. That gives me a bit of relief to know that I’m not alone in the struggle. I see my doctor next week for a follow up. I’m hoping we can go back to the drawing board on what medications to try. The mirtazapine does nothing for me. I gave that up a couple of weeks ago. It just made me sleep 18 hours a day. And who can be productive on that schedule? I also read one side effect is weight gain. Which is the opposite of what I want.

I think I’d like to try the amitriptyline again. It’s one of those drugs you can take as needed and you don’t need to constantly increase the dosage. The Zomig has stopped working. I can’t stomach the Cambia powder. And before you even suggest it…

Nope. I’m not going to be talked into Botox injections. For one, even with 80% coverage of benefits, it would cost $200 every twelve weeks. And that’s money I just don’t have right now. Or like ever in my current line of employment. My rent went up. So did the power bill. And it seems, everything else like the cost of food is on the rise too. Does it ever really end?

One the reasons I’m still off work is that my former doctor had requested that I work from home on a permanent basis. WCB disagreed with this decision. I was put back on the employer’s benefit plan. But that will run out soon. If I don’t get on long term disability, I’ll have no choice but to return to work. The caveat?

My employer refuses to let their staff work from home on a permanent basis. Our Premier is pushing people to go back to work as soon as possible. There’s just no compassion really. People don’t care if you’re sick or living with a disability. They’ll cite performance issues to push you out.

So, I’m looking at all options to carry me through while I figure things out. In a simple world, if I could just find work I could do on my own schedule from home, that would be amazing. The hardest part in the world right now is keeping to some kind of regular schedule.

Last night for example, I wound up getting out of bed around 1 am and I’ve been up since. I lazed in bed most of yesterday. Sometimes a migraine can feel like a stroke. When you lift your head or open your eyes, you instantly feel sick or fall right back into bed. I think the vertigo might be the worst part of it.

Part of the problem with migraines is the whole “you don’t look sick” or “you’re not sick 60% of the time”. But what people don’t realize is that even you’re not in migraine state, the rest of the time, you’re in that fog or hangover state. Sometimes that part is even worse than the migraine itself.

My worst migraine in my life happened after a trip with my friend to Calgary to see a concert. I wound up in the hospital with what I thought were stroke like symptoms. Every time I lifted my head up, or opened my eyes, I got sick. I mean, I had to call 911. I could the look of the paramedics face when they said, “Oh, it’s just a migraine.”

I felt validated when I nearly puked on the guy’s shoe. They finally believed me when I said I “got sick every time I opened my eyes.”

Good days have been far and few in between. And even though it’s dark and dreary outside, I feel like I can get a lot accomplished today. I forgot how much I love early mornings. Watching the sun rise. The world is quiet. There’s very little traffic. It’s serene. We have lots of trees around which means lots of birds. Even the gulls don’t get up that early in the morning.

And so, this is where I am this Thursday morning. Thinking about the future. Trying to reach out to former colleagues, friends and network as much as I can on the good days. And asking you, my dear readers, to pass on the word that I’m looking for work in marketing that I could do from home.

Do you live with migraines? If so, what have you found that works for you for treatment?

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Thursday mood: wallowing in self pity, care to join me?

It’s Thursday. The last few days have flown by. I’ve had nothing but phone calls, emails to send, letters to write – and not even for good stuff. When you have chronic medical conditions, this has a huge impact on your overall quality of life. A lot of time is spent writing medical reports, sending faxes to doctors, making phone calls to medical offices, calling up your pharmacists and getting up to date information on medications.

It’s draining. Having a chronic medical condition is bad on its own, but having to do all the paperwork for treatments and benefits it almost a full time job. Especially when you have to continuously prove that you are ill.

The system is flawed. It’s not that I don’t want to work. It’s that there days where I feel good. And other days that just suck the life out of me.

And this migraine. I’ve had it for almost sixteen days now and counting. I’m basically shooting up $24 into my nose. This must be how coke addicts feel. To get rid of a migraine, it costs $24 CDN to shoot meds up my nose. It hurts. It’s unpleasant. I don’t recommend it. Maybe I’m glad I’m not a coke addict for that reason. But I’m guessing by that point, they don’t feel the pain much anymore.

Migraines suck the life right out of you. It makes it hard to focus on any one task.

I’ve spent the last two days sending out faxes and emails to introduce myself to new doctors who might accept me as a patient. It’s like online dating. It’s a lot of talking about yourself and making yourself sound good. But even that’s hard.

And so – here we are. So close to Christmas. But even with the tree it doesn’t feel like Christmas. It won’t be much of a Christmas as I sit here alone missing my family.

And so that’s where are on this self-pity kind of day. It’s a pity party for one. Anyone care to join me in self-wallowing and loathing?

Maybe it’s time to say migraine be damned. It’s time for a glass of rum and coke.

Happy Thursday.