The first "tea" I ever had was Honey Lemon Tea that my mom would make when I had a sore throat or cough. It was just lemon juice, honey, and warm water. Nothing fancy. I remembered exactly how she made it and I learned to replicate it simply by scent. Being in the kitchen with southern women who don't use measurements other than "a scoop," "a sprinkle," or "a handful" forced me to learn things with my nose. Since I didn't get sick often, this tea (and Children's Motrin) were a treat even though I felt miserable.
The first time I had tea and appreciated it: I was in middle school. My Aunt Toya sent my mom some dried chamomile and a little tea infuser for her birthday. The kind you have to squeeze to open and put the leaves in. Now that I've been drinking tea for awhile, that infuser was absolutely horrible! It doesn't allow the plants to breathe and move in the water at all. But when you know better, you do better. And we didn't know better at the time. I tasted it with some honey and it became a shared experience with my mom. We became tea obsessed. Celestial Seasonings was a staple in my house until we upgraded to loose leaf tea. Yes, I know. It hurts my soul to write that sentence. But we have grown as a people.
The act of making tea and drinking it has always felt like a community activity. Even if that community was just my mom and I, sitting in the living room, watching TLC wedding shows on Saturday afternoons when I came home from college. Then I learned how teas could help you. Chamomile for relaxing, peppermint for waking up, ginger for nausea, black tea for a boost of energy, green tea for antioxidants. Naturally, my interest was peaked. A few years later, I would become interested in herbal medicine, become more aware of my holistic health, find a Black woman herbalist-owned tea company (I talk about Ivy's Tea Company on the regular), and enroll in an herbal medicine course that teaches me how to tie all of this together.
I drink tea/plants as a part of my daily practice. In the summer, my teas are iced. As soon as I pull out my first hoodie, my tea becomes warm again. Plants can affect your mind, body, and spirit. Now that I understand how plants can affect the mind, body, and spirit, my work with plants is the purest way to sit and interact with myself. Most of my self check-ins involve me, some tea, and my yoga mat (I'm a couple months overdue for this, by the way). My best days start with me drinking some formula of grounding tea involving cinnamon and stillness. I feel antsy, irritable, and anxious when I haven't had these moments for a few days. Tea and stillness are crucial for my mental health.
Hey! I am Lynona Alette, a food and holistic blogger born and raised in Daytona Beach, FL. "Holistic" meaning mind, body, and spirit. We aren't taught how to care for the whole person, just to manage the physical body. The purpose of my blog is to make these things easier to understand and integrate for people like my peers, parents, and grandparnts. My interests include herbalism, plant based lifestyles (and how to realistically maintain them), Zora Neale Hurston, plant medicine, painting, and asking my family to taste any random thing I just made without telling them what is in it. You will most likely find me at home, drinking tea, researching plants, and watching food documentaries and/or competition shows.