Today we talk about the healing properties of herbal tea and infusions derived from powerful plant extracts because even science acknowledges that nature is a powerful healer and source of much goodness and well being. We present a guide on what plants help urbans in different walks of life be healthy and happy.
We live in cities surrounded by stress, pollution, lack of time, unhealthy lifestyle, insomnia and more pollution. Did we just describe urban life or the trailer of the latest horror blockbuster URBAN NIGHTMARE 7?! Hitchcock sure would’ve been proud! But worry not city slickers because your ghost busters are here- UrbanMeisters brings to you tried, tested and approved solutions for no pollution! As always we have selected the best Meisters of their art to help you ‘meister’ pollution and the challenges of urban life with ease and efficiency. And in today’s guide we bring to you the Founder and team of Le Benefique– the makers of herbal teas and infusions that are extremely beneficial for health and lifestyle. We particularly love this little guide, because it relies on the power of nature, the purest and most beautiful power of all, and we bring this to you in the form of herbal teas.
Don’t dismiss herbal teas and infusions as just something pleasurable to do during the day or just your grandma’s remedy for a bad cold. These are not mere ‘concoctions’ but actual health boosters that can be utilised by urbans to lead a more fit life. All you need to know is what infusion(plant extract) is suited to your urban lifestyle and teas can really help you clear your mind, bring you back to balance and make you happy. They can even help purify and detox your body from pollution. And you don’t have to be a botanist to know match that plant to your profile, we bring you the herbal tea experts from Le Benefique to give you a crash course in this!
Meet the Meisters – LE BÉNÉFIQUE
LE BÉNÉFIQUE is « beneficial » or « good for you » in French. The power woman behind LE BÉNÉFIQUE is Sylvie Courcol. Sylvie created the brand in Paris in 2013 to introduce herbal infusions that are made from wild organic plants to urbans . The brand makes natural products using ancient recipes and know how from plants gathered in mountainous areas.
Sylvie Courcol- the Founder
Preserving and using the power and purity of nature is really the essence of LE BÉNÉFIQUE:
- This is very evident in the way the herbal infusions are presented. The wild plant is served as it grows, with its leaves, its blossoms and its stem intact so as to not destroy it’s natural form and to harness its full properties and benefits. But Sylvie goes a step further with a zero waste concept. She attaches a simple small craft paper flag to the stem on which she introduces the plant. You then place the stem in a cup with hot water and the plant develops its properties once it is hydrated. What is cute is that you do not even need a spoon as you can use the stem to steer in the cup. The benefits of the plant are fully preserved and the taste remains intact. I met the team at their temporary infusions bar in Paris. During our working sessions I tasted their Thyme Herbal Tea and I can tell you the delicious smell entered my nose while the tea was not even close to me. So amazingly soothing and you can actually feel the power of the plant!
- The power of nature lies in its biodiversity and LE BÉNÉFIQUE takes advantage of that. Endemic (grown only in special areas) wild plants are the flagship varieties for LE BÉNÉFIQUE infusions. These plants and their many benefits have been known since antiquity. They are gathered according to ancient harvesting methods born of nomadic tradition. Their endemic nature gives the plants great intrinsic value as they can be found only in a specific region of the world, though in large quantities. The areas where these plants grow are ‘hot spots’ of biodiversity and the use of the plants highlights the need to protect these zones as being essential to mankind. LE BÉNÉFIQUE is thus implementing a project to protect the vegetal biodiversity of sensitive regions by establishing reasoned and organic modes of harvest. The team works directly with pickers in France and in Turkey.
Which urban type are you?
Now let’s come to our guide. What type of an urban are you? Select form the list below and note the recommendations of plant infusions suitable to your lifestyle. Of course these plants are not medicine, but they can play an essential role in the prevention and maintenance of your health.
Are you a workaholic? An insomniac?
You just had a wonderful promotion, but since then it’s been nothing but work, work, work! In fact, you are addicted to the adrenalin and thrill your job provides you. Of course, there are negative aspects: you sleep less, you lack quality time, you live constantly with stress, and sometimes you can’t manage. This situation encourages you to smoke and sometimes makes you a bit down and depressed.
What if you switch your never ending cups of coffee for a LAVENDER FLOWER infusion? Pacifying & anti-stress, Lavender strengthens your nerves and prevents depression. It boosts your health by strengthening your heart. Also it is very beneficial in combating blood circulation problems, high or low blood pressure and those headaches you get when your brainstorming just does not advance. The plant is also helpful when you want to stop smoking, because it combats stress and anxiety that smoking cessation could bring. Obviously, it will help you with insomnia at night and will relax you in the day.
This is one of the reasons why at LE BÉNÉFIQUE the Lavender is also their superstar. Their blue tea version – Lavandula Stoechas – is particularly beautiful. The color is because of its period of harvest: Lavender Flower can be picked only a week to 10 days time in a year which infuses the blue colour into the water (minimum PH 7.2).
Are you a fast-food Junkie? Or maybe you just don’t have the time to cook?
Of course you know that organic, local food freshly prepared at home is the best. You have read the UrbanMeisters articles that even organic food is good but pollution-free is best. You also know the super foods for urbanits that detox the body and mind from the rough pressures of urban life. But you just do not have the time for all of it and you end up buying a quick sandwich and eat it in front of your never ending to-do list.
Infusion of RED CLOVER is for you- perfect detox goodie for the body. When you eat fast-food, you have no control of the ingredients and in particular the bad fat you ingest that leads to cardiovascular diseases. Red clover helps in increasing good cholesterol that is essential for good cardiac health. It also stimulates the liver and gall bladder and has a centuries old reputation for cleaning the blood. This helps you to detox from pollution and even slim down your urban body.
Another herbal friend for your is THYME, as it is a good antiseptic against all infections of the organs that make up the digestive system. It is very good against stomach pains and gout and also helps lose weight.
Are you the dedicated daily commuter?
You use public transports every day to go to work or to university. It’s cheaper than a car, ecofriendly and you can read while you commute. It’s convenient sure but it’s also crammed full of people, infections, dirt, disease. Just imagined someone sneezing without hand on their mouth in a bus packed to capacity? Then indoor pollution is a hard hitting reality of public transport systems. Studies claim that air pollution in the subway is higher than outside. You can read here on air quality in the French subway system.
THYME infusion to the rescue again. Le Benefique recommends wild thyme for commuters to prevent illness. Fortifying & anti-cold, highly curative against all microbiological diseases because of its antiseptic characteristics thyme is used in treatment of chest, asthma and bronchitis. Thanks to its antiseptic characteristics thyme prevents from a great number of infections, like flu. Finally the plant is known to detox the lungs and overall strenghten the immune system.
Are you an outdoor junkie?
Sunday, 7AM. You’re up while the city is still snoozing after Saturday night. A big green smoothie and you’re on your way out for that run or hike in the outdoors. How many hours did you spend out there? Does it matter? Sounds like you fitness and sports junkie?
At UrbanMeisters we have explained before the bad effects of running in city air for your body. We have also explained that some experts see an increased risk of respiratory diseases and free radicals in urban runners. Free radicals are responsible for premature ageing of body tissues and even cancer. The good news is that you can help to fight these problems with the consumption of two plants.
Sideritis congesta, commonly called SAGE in Turkey(and other parts of world) and mountain tea in Greece, is good for respiratory disease. This plant was used by nomadic people to calm asthma, for example. Sage’s power against lung problems and common respiratory issues lies in its essential oils. It is also a treatment for sore throats and coughs.
LINDEN or LIME TREE helps to reduce free radicals with its phenolic acid, an antioxidant. This plant is great for relaxation too- you’ll see it’s calming effects.
Are you Moms & Dads-to-bee?
In cities we live surrounded by objects made of materials that are known to be endocrine disruptors and this is particularly a problem when you have kids or want to have kids. Even if we try to have a safe living environment, there still some hormone disrupting products that we can’t easily live without such as furniture treated to be fire-proof. This treatment (PBDE) can cause endocrine disruption and more specifically can cause decline in human sperm count, ovaries alteration and for children learning disabilities and attention deficit problems.
Even more disturbing is the fact that there are plenty of products that have similar hazardous effects on our health that we don’t even suspect like wet wipes, after shave colognes, music instruments, DVDs, perfumes, crystal glass or even dental floss! These objects often contains PFC, lead, phthalates, BPA alkyl phenols which can all lead to genital malformation, fertility problems, miscarriage, fetus nervous systeme alteration, etc.
Fortunately, if you are a mom or a dad (to be) you can drink THYME infusions. This plant can help regulate the endocrine function. You can also give thyme to your kids, but make sure it’s not too hot! As Le Benefique’s infusions do not contain caffeine unlike regular tea, everyone can enjoy the benefits of their plants.
Are you an urban beauty?
You know it’s important to use organic cosmetics and skincare. You drink lots of water and eat well to keep your skin and your body healthy and beautiful. But do you know that living in the city can accelerate the aging of your skin? Living an urban life means stress and pollution- the biggest two mean free radicals. As all of you beauty-geeks know, free radicals are responsible for premature ageing of the skin. It definitely can ruin all your efforts to look healthy and young. Tilia Tementosa, commonly known as LINDEN or LIME TREE, helps to reduce free radicals with its phenolic acid, an antioxidant. Only antioxidants can stop free radicals in your body. You can also use the concoction to wash you face and get rid of impurities and spots.
So did you find your plant infusion or not? We would love to hear form you if you have tried the infusions and have felt the power of nature boost your body and mind first hand. Do share your suggestions, comments below or write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org
We thank our dear Meisters and friends from LE BÉNÉFIQUE for sharing your secrets and expertise. You can check under this link LE BÉNÉFIQUE STORE-LOCATOR where there is a store nearby you. They have the finest and coolest stores in France, Germany, UK and even South-Korea and Japan. For all others you can visit their LE BENEFIQUE ONLINE STORE.
Let’s feel the power of nature heal and soothe our bodies and mind!