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Teas for your Health

Chinese emperors valued their rare teas as they did their magical potions, jade, and other essentials. Tibetans call tea "the water of life." But tea is not just about health. A simple cup of tea is delicious. Rich with an ancient history of cultural use, a wealth of variety, and warmth--it delicately soothes the body and soul.

All the different teas boil down to three types: fermented (black), semi-fermented (oolong) and unfermented (green). Delicious and flowery white tea is actually a subcategory of green tea.

Tea is a pleasurable way to reinforce the types of essential oils you are already using throughout the day. I generally prefer green unless I really need the caffeine buzz. I've learned that some teas improve through a second and even third steeping. I keep my tea bags and sometimes throw them in a bath or use them as a refreshing eye mask after chilling them in the refrigerator. Then I dig them into my organic garden.

The most important healthy life style change that tea has made in my life is that brewing Chai and other favorites I happily drink 8 cups of water every day which so many heath experts recommend.

For a fuller discussion of teas visit any of your favorite tea suppliers like Stash Tea, or Republic of Tea. There are also a number of bath and beauty treatments that use tea.

Chai: A blend of black tea with various spices and steamed milk as commonly drunk in India.

8 Cups of Water a Day is a Myth

Don't worry about having to count to 8!

The vast majority of healthy people adequately meet their daily hydration needs by letting thirst be their guide, says the newest report on nutrient recommendations from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The report set general recommendations for water intake based on detailed national data, which showed that women who appear to be adequately hydrated consume an average of approximately 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of total water -- from all beverages and foods -- each day, and men average approximately 3.7 liters (125 ounces) daily. These values represent adequate intake levels, the panel said; those who are very physically active or who live in hot climates may need to consume more water. About 80 percent of people's total water comes from drinking water and beverages -- including caffeinated beverages -- and the other 20 percent is derived from food.

"We don't offer any rule of thumb based on how many glasses of water people should drink each day because our hydration needs can be met through a variety of sources in addition to drinking water," said Lawrence Appel, chair of the panel that wrote the report and professor of medicine, epidemiology, and international health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. "While drinking water is a frequent choice for hydration, people also get water from juice, milk, coffee, tea, soda, fruits, vegetables, and other foods and beverages as well. Moreover, we concluded that on a daily basis, people get adequate amounts of water from normal drinking behavior -- consumption of beverages at meals and in other social situations -- and by letting their thirst guide them."

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