I am lovin’ me some mulling this winter! Enjoying the comforting fragrance of spices simmering and imbuing the house with a cozy expectant feeling. The best news is that instead of the calories of a baked muffin or gingerbread, which I have been stuffed to bursting with this past month or so, this delightful little tea has no calories and a plethora of healing properties. It also tastes so incredibly sweet and tasty that it’s hard to believe there is not a drop of sweetener or sugar in it!

I found a great little brewing teapot, with a stainless steel strainer that holds whatever tea leaves or spices that I’m using, right within the hot water. It’s about 3 cups and is the perfect amount to fill my mug twice in the morning. Make sure that the “basket” for holding the tea or mulling spices is made of either glass or stainless, so that you are not leaching plastic compounds into your hot tea.

The spices that I used in brewing the tea have many healing properties:

Cinnamon is great for relieving nausea, gas, bloating, indigestion, vomiting and diarrhea. It has been shown in studies to reduce blood pressure, and to just about double insulin’s ability to metabolize blood sugar. Doses of cinnamon tincture have been used historically to control uterine bleeding. Cinnamon has been shown to be useful against liver cancer and melanoma. A fungus that grows on the bark has been found effective against leukemia cells in animal testing. Cinnamon is also a potent antifungal, especially useful when yeast medications, such as Diflucan, have failed. It works wonders for fungus-induced sinus infections caused by Aspergillus niger, and combats gingivitis and thrush. Propanoic acid, a compound found in cinnamon, stops the formation of stomach ulcers without interfering with the production of gastric acid, necessary for the breakdown of foods to ensure proper nutritional absorption. Additionally, compounds in cinnamon upregulate glutathione production and protect the epithelial cells of the colon. The myristicin that cinnamon contains has been found to be anti-inflammatory.

Cloves are protective against stomach cancer, are antifungal, antibacterial and analgesic. Clove oil has literally saved my life when it comes to exposure to food poisoning bacteria, along with oregano oil. Cloves are antiparasitical, interrupting the egg cycle of many parasites. Cloves can reduce the feeling of bloating for people with peptic ulcers.

Anise is an herb that stimulates the body to secrete fluids to clear out congestion and normalize digestion. Anise is useful for taming bad breath, stimulating the production of breast milk in nursing mothers, increasing libido, reducing colic and spasmodic gas pain, calming asthma and unproductive coughs. Anise seeds are chewed traditionally after meals in India, and bottles of anisette, such as sambuca, are typically put on the table after a large dinner as a digestif.

Nutmeg‘s distinctive flavor and fragrance are derived from myristicin. Nutmeg as a functional food, has been found to reduce dental caries, reduce gas, aid digestion, improve appetite, treat nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and reduce inflammation. Nutmeg is also anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-cancer.

So enjoy a spot of tea yourself this afternoon, or serve it when your family comes in the door from work or school for an extra boost of health and comfort!

Sources:

The Epicentre Encyclopedia of Spices

Prescription for Dietary Wellness, by Phyllis A. Balch

Prescription for Herbal Healing, by Phyllis A. Balch

Molecules, 2010, The cinnamon-derived dietary factor cinnamic aldehyde activates the Nrf2-dependent antioxidant response in human epithelial colon cells.

Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 2011, Food components with anticaries activity.

Molecules, 2011, Anti-inflammatory effect of myristicin on RAW 264.7 macrophages stimulated with polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid.

Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, 2007, Myristica fragrans Houtt. methanolic extract induces apoptosis in a human leukemia cell line through SIRT1 mRNA downregulation.