A little more tea history

Photo by JanneM

My work is as a homeopath and educator on healthy lifestyles, teaching the interconnectedness of mind, body and soul. All three are integrated and effect your choices about food, speech and actions. Significant research of the patient is required before prescribing the correct remedy that leads to a complete healing.

To offer a good cup of tea for relaxation and healing is a simple supportive solution. Tea has incredible healing properties and many cultures around the world use tea as an integral part of their healing art.  In Japan there is a tea made from the Umeboshi plum that is beneficial for a healthy digestive system.

Umeboshi (Japanese: ; literally “dried ume“) are pickled ume fruits common in Japan. Ume (Prunus mume) is a species of fruit-bearing tree in the genus Prunus, which is often called a plum but is actually more closely related to the apricot. Umeboshi are a popular kind of tsukemono (pickles) and are extremely sour and salty. They are usually served as side dishes for rice or eaten on rice balls (sometimes without removing their seeds inside) for breakfast and lunch. They are occasionally served boiled or seasoned for dinner.

This Japanese-style traditional pickle is considered good for digestion, prevention of nausea, and for systemic toxicity, including hangovers. Green ume extract is even used as a tonic in Japan. The citric acid is claimed to act as an antibacterial, helps to increase saliva production and assists in the digestion of rice. Additionally, umeboshi is claimed to combat fatigue (historically given as part of a samurai’s field ration) and protect against aging.

Umboshi Tea

The Umeboshi plum cleanses your digestive organs, colon, spleen, and liver.

Steep two to three plums overnight in hot water.

Next day add hot water, a few drops of lemon and sip slowly.

Visualize the bitter sweet liquid refreshing your organism while absorbing it’s cleansing effects.

A little tea history

The 15th century saw Japan enoble tea into a religion of aestheticism, tea-ism.  Tea-ism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence.  No student of Japanese culture could ever ignore the presence of tea.  It has permeated the elegance of noble boudoirs, of homes and habits, costume and cuisine. Porcelain and lacquer painting and literature have been influenced.  We speak of the man with “no tea in him,” if not affected by personal “drama,” or “too much tea in him” when too emotional, hysterical, overly refined.  The proportions of a Japanese tea room go back to Jowa, a 15th century tea master.  Its simplicity invites your heart and mind to empty from daily stress, small or petty thoughts and experiences.  Tea expresses, jointly with ethics and religion, our whole point of view about man and religion.

The ceremony of the tea preparation enforces calm and focus, which leads to harmony. There is purity in the simplicity.  Movements are like a dance when the bamboo whisk brushes the tea powder, preparing the measurements of tea and water–all movements to take your mind off daily stress and into the ritual of a cup of tea–to enjoy life and relax with focus.

Kimono Dreams

Not my kimono but still pretty

As a girl I would work after school in the potato fields. I would  dig out potatos with my bare hands and  beet roots at harvest time. This work was essential because it gave me the chance to make some pocket money as a ten-year-old girl.   From a mail catalogue I ordered a Japanese kimono embroidered with a golden dragon on the back, a pair of embroidered red satin shoes from China and an assortment of teas from India with a porcelain tea pot and four small bowls.  That started my travels around the world in my fantasy-loving mind.  And slurping the teas on a cold, dark winter night, the dancing snow flakes in front of my window were guiding me to far away shores where I could talk and dance and sing just as much as I wanted.

Tea around the World

Photo by Dimi

Let me tell you a little more about myself.  I was a war baby and I grew up in postwar Germany.  Like many other children of this time I had very vivid experiences.  I remember the grand house–a castle, really–belonging to my mother’s family, where I spent my early childhood.  I remember the gardens and the trees, the fairies I was convinced lived with me and the joy of being outside.

I also remember the sadness and the fear of that time.  Loss was a common thread in all of our postwar lives.  We left that beautiful home and moved to a much smaller one.  As our world changed and shrank my world grew bigger. I knew that there were places out in the world that were colorful and happy and different.  This thinking did not make my family understand me, but it did make me yearn to see the world.

I hope you enjoy this trip with me. It’s a trip of healing, helping, love, laughter, life and tea.  I hope to hear your stories also. The joy of tea is that one rarely runs out of tea.  There is always room for another cup.

Welcome to TeaSympathy

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TeaSympathy is about tea, travel, life and adventure.  Tea is one of the oldest beverages on earth and is consumed in practically every culture.  I’ve had beautiful formal teas, creative and thoughtful healing teas in Japan and in Europe, tea with monks in Tibet, tea with jazz musicians in smoky clubs, tea on planes and mule trains.

Sharing a cup of tea with someone means sharing a moment of your life.  Tea has been part of my adventure and I bet it’s been part of yours.  Join me on this journey through past, present and future tea-filled escapades.  We’ll go around the world, meeting unusual and interesting people, seeing amazing and transforming things and of course having lots of tea.

Make sure to chime in and comment and feel free to send me your own tea stories at teasympathy1@gmail.com