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Garlic is nature’s antibiotics.

It’s a common herb used in the kitchen for adding flavor in cooking, on the other hand, it is also one of the most effective herb for fighting colds and respiratory infections.

There are many ways of using garlic to relieve coughing. Here I share one of them which I just used today for relieving my child’s (3-year-old) coughing.

Photo Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Opened_garlic_bulb_with_garlic_clove.jpg


1. garlic cloves, 30g (approximately 1 whole garlic bulb) 2. brown sugar, 10g (approximately 1 big spoonful) 3. water, 200ml (approximately 1 small coffee cup)


1. Put all the ingredients together into a kettle. 2. Boil the water, then let it simmer for 5 minutes.

That’s it! Simple, isn’t it? After the tea is slightly cooled, serve it warm for the coughing kid. In no time you will notice the difference!

This morning upon waking up my kid kept having some dry coughs from his cold, after drinking this simple garlic tea, suddenly he just coughed much less! The sweet taste of brown sugar balances well with garlic so there is no difficulties to temp little kid to drink it.

Besides, brown sugar has often been used to warm up body’s circulation system in Chinese medicine theory to fight against colds, by combining brown sugar and garlic, you get the most natural remedy from kitchen for fighting cold and relieve coughing.


Tea is not just a refreshing drink. For thousands of years it has been used as a remedy for all sorts of ailments. To get the very best out of your tea you should know the basics of various tea varieties. However it doesn’t end there as you can enrich and add new qualities to your tea by the use of herbs, flowers or other edible organic products.

One aspect of holistic health is the basic body nature, which is different from person to person. We react differently when for example the same food is given to a group of people. This tea series presents astrology as a reference to your choice of enriching your tea experience with natural additives. The base for several suggestions here comes from the long astrology tradition and should be considered as suggestions not medical information but I believe many of you will find suggested herbs very suitable to your palate when mixed with your favorite tea.


Bittersweet is one of the herbs associated with Geminians. The plant is beautiful to watch and dangerous to eat. Although it has been used as a herbal medicine it is better to steer away from it as a herbal tea ingredient.

Luckily this is not the only Geminian herb in town as they also include aniseed, marjoram AKA oregano, caraway and balm. These are all herbs with strong taste and commonly found in kitchen use. Aniseed has probably the widest range of uses and if used sparingly makes a nice addition for a black tea blend.


Trees bring some more options because Geminian trees include all trees that bear nuts. I’d say that nuts can be used to give some flavor for some selected teas, for example smoky Lapsang Souchong could benefit from a hint of walnut.

Lily-of-the-valley, Lavender and Myrtle are flowers, which are usually connected with Geminians. Lavender is the most famous of the lot and it is being used in all sorts of edible and inedible products and can be combined with various tea blends.


Aniseed and Lavender rise above other Geminian herbs. Aniseed can be used to ease digestion and Lavender eases all sorts of aches. Looks like Gemini is rather troubled astrological sign. To all who are somewhat familiar with astrology the duality of these plant does look pretty Geminian. I think that astrological tradition has this one mapped correctly.


Remember to check our other astrology related tea and infusion articles:



Original images: feature image and content image.

This is my way of steeping a nice pot of bilberry powder based drink. To maximize the taste I use powder which is made of berries without any stems or leaves. After trying this drink for the first time one can naturally tune proportions according ones taste.


One tablespoonful of berry powder for one liter of water is a good starting point for a person who hasn’t done this before to give a basis for future infusions. We all have our taste preferences and I will not mind if you find it necessary to add some brown sugar into the mix.

Pour the boiled water on the powder and let it steep for a while. It is simple as that and you’ll learn more with every single infusion. For health enthusiast the temperature of the water is of importance as boiling hot water will destroy some nutrients in the bilberry powder. The best result can be achieved with cold brewing and using the infusion as a refreshing summer drink. But how about that  basic infusion?

You can make bilberry infusion by placing some bilberry powder into a cup and pouring hot water on or you can steep a whole pot.


From the photo you can see the depth of the color. I tried to take a shot of a cup filled to the brim but it just didn’t work. Tone is so deep and dark that in a photo infusion looks like a pudding. So here you have a photo with nearly finished cup and another on side with just bilberry powder on the bottom.



Not so long ago I wrote about the price bubble of Chinese Pu’er tea. It seemed that Pu’er market had all but withered but this following video does paint much more optimistic image of the situation.


I am sure that base demand for Pu’er hasn’t disappeared so it was only a matter of time that overly large stockpiles of Pu’er have been consumed by this static demand. Also it helps that the most flimsy tea growing and trading operations of Pu’er have folded and quality is once again going up. Enjoy this CNN video.

Imagine pristine dewy hills with rolling tea plantations and smiling women picking leaves at their leisure – beautiful, is it not? Trouble is that just about everything in this image is wrong if you just bought your tea from any supermarket. Supermarket teas are the most viciously competed market segment within tea industry and pushing down the price is the most important competitive advantage. So why the low price of supermarket tea is such a bad thing?

Walmart is a market just as the rest of them


Growing tea has been labor intensive from the start. For this reason it has remained dominant farming industry in countries what have very low salaries. However, consumers demand ever cheaper teas and markets are consuming more and more tea, supermarket chains have massive bargaining power over tea farmers and farmers have no way but to cut the costs. Even in low-cost countries this had resulted in the use of machinery and chemicals in tea growing and tea processing as well as the use of pesticides and fertilizers.

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As a person, I have always been interested in healing as a subject. However, never had I been running into several conditions in a relatively short period of time (the past two years), that have made me feel that I do need to devote some time and action into this subject, personally.

During the past two years, for different reasons, I have heard doctors (namely from traditional western medicine) from different field, saying to me about certain “diseases”: “there is no special cure for this, it might just get well by itself” or “this can not be prevented, the cause is unknown”.

First of all, my son developed some atopic skin rashes when he turned 6 months old. Luckily by he turned one his skin condition has largely improved, and it had never been seriously bad either. Now he has been basically just fine. However I always remember what kind of struggles there had been during that half year and how many times doctors and nurses had said to me: “just use regularly the cortisone or a lot of creams.” no other ways, and no causes can be found. Later on fortunately his skin gets well by itself with some help of traditional Chinese medicine and natural therapy, well of course I believe that it mainly contributes to the immune system that gets stronger by age. (I can tell more of the story in the future in other posts in the healing category)

Then, it was me. After I gave birth to my son, the doctor found that I had a few fibromyoma in my uterus. Fortunately, they are not big and unlikely to cause any harm. However, what’s the reason that has caused this? no idea. How can I prevent it from happening in the future? no idea.  At least no idea from western medicine tradition. Later on my condition also improves, the myomas became smaller naturally when the uterus starts to get back to its originally shape, as well as by combining different alternative methods. Again, I can tell you more on this in other posts later.

Just about 10 months ago I went to a regular eye check, and surprinsingly found that my eye pressure is too high. The normal range should be under 21, but mine was about 22.-23. How to help with this? no idea, what’s the cause, no idea. I forgot it (or more honestly, don’t want to think much about this) for quite a long time, until 1 month ago I again got chance to check it, and it has got bit worse! 25! Now I know, it’s time to take some real actions! As there is no effective way from western sceience but to give you some eye drops to lower the pressure (which to me this is the same as using cortisone, suppressing the syndrome temporarily but not curing the source), I decided to try combining acupressure points, massage and exercise, as well as herb tea to help with it. Whether it will work is still yet to be seen, but at least I am strongly beliving in it. Now that there is no cause from outside, the reason has to come from within me, my thoughts patterns, my behaviour haibts etc. Which means, I AM the one who can heal the condition. If necessary, I might also seek help from acupuncture which has been said to be quite effective, but I know that I play a role in my own healing.

Just to add a small example to this: 1 month ago a cyst developed under my skin. It just came suddenly as a big one. At that time I thought, well, let’s see if it will go away by itself. It didn’t go away, but it got smaller, and no pain either, therefore I almost forgot about it. Until a few days ago I realised that it is still here, just for clearing my worries I asked a gynecologist to check it out. The result? no idea. It might be the type of cyst called “sarveisontelo”, which has no special cause, no way to prevent (sounds familiar again?), and usually just can be absorbed by itself. I was relieved to hear that this is quite likely “nothing”, at the very same day I also happened to release some angers that have been piling inside of me for a long time without my even noticing it. Then guess what? just on the very same night, the cyst obviously shrinked to even smaller in its size, and now within two days I can almost confidently say that, soon it will be completely gone. I can’t help thinking that this cyst might really have something to do with the angers inside of me. The more I clean it away, the less this kind of things “for unknown reason” will stay with me , or come to me.

Today when I am washing dishes, I keep thinking about the so called “no cure, no cause” diseases. Suddenly a thought struck me which echoed what I have been believing:

if a disease has practically “no explanerary cause” by any obvious outer factors, then it also means that it can be recovered by itself WITHOUT any external interference of outside factor such as medicines.

We really can, and have to heal it by ourself, from inner power, from diet, from utilizing alternative methods that see body, soul and mind as a whole, not as separate entities.

How? let’s explore on this from now.

Photo: Finnish autumn colours, taken by Tea Empress. There is no special relation between the photo and the post, however it is also kind of related. Nature is the best healing power isn’t it? 😉




Autumn, a cold season, I guess many will agree with this.

Luckily, we don’t have to settle with it, there is a special tea that can help us prevent the cold, or if you have already caught one, it will help you relieve the syndrome and possibly recover sooner. The best of it: it’s so incredibly easy to make, and I bet you have already all the ingredients in your closet!

Ginger Black Tea


– 1 black tea bag (any flavour you like, we use the ordinary princess tea)

– 1 tea spoon of ground ginger

– some honey or brown sugar

– some lemon


1. Make ground ginger ready, put them into your tea cup

2. Add black tea bag, pull in boiled water.

3. add in some lemon juice and honey/brown sugar with the amount you prefer.

Remember to drink it all, including the ginger!

You will be surprised to notice that how the cold syndrome relieved after only one cup of ginger black tea, at least that’s what happen to me! Not to say that this tea is actually very tasty!

Drinking ginger black tea as a health promoting/cold fighting method has been promoted by a well-known Japanese doctor 石原結實. According to him, you can drink 3-6 cups of ginger black tea everyday.

p.s In the Japanese doctor 石原結實’s book, he uses brown sugar instead of honey because brown sugar can warm up the body, by raising up the body temperature it will help to fight off diseases or discomfort. I myself use honey simply out of personal habit with tea. I do like brown sugar and use it in various herbal tea too.  

Just not long ago I noticed that some readers have questions about the proportion of ingredients from my previous post on Red Date and Longan tea, sorry that I haven’t got time to write anything on this site so I didn’t answer the questions yet, sorry for that!

I have to admit that since my son was born I have been often of “forgetting everything else but him”, and been spending all day/evening long with him, thus making very little progress (almost nothing at all?) on our Tea Emperor site.

But, better later than never! Here are some ingredients I have often used for this tea. Actually, comparing to this post I skipped one of the ingredients from  for a reason I will explain in the end of this article, also for the day of photo taking I happened to use brown sugar instead of Longan. (in Traditional Chinese Medicine it is said that brown sugar can “warm your body up”, and it is especially good to add them during menstruation days for women) therefore the ingredients in the photo are not exactly, 100% the same as the previous post, though very similar. But as the herb tea goes, you can always freely add what you like and skip those you happen to have not.

In the photo there are three ingredients: Red Date (left), Longan (top), and brown sugar (right)  You could of course replace brown sugar with Longan as shown in the post. If you add both of them (brown sugar and Longan), the taste of tea will be quite sweet and nice, of course you can always lesson the amount.

The propotion is very simple: starting with equal amount of all of them (as shown in the picture on top), then try to adjust accordingly to your preference. There is no absolute standard or “correct” way of doing it.

So, the ingredient that has been intentionally “missing” here, is Astragali radix (HuangQi in Chinese, written as 黃耆). This herb is very good for the health, but personally I can not use them at the moment because it is NOT GOOD for a person who have myoma in the uterus to eat HuangQi (yes, another important wisdom from Traditional Chinese Medicine, and we should get to more of those later)

Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)

Rowan tree in an autumn dress.

Rowan has developed several variations to adapt different conditions and therefore it has been able to spread on a very wide area on the northern hemisphere. Everybody knows how Rowan trees look like when their branches are hanging low for the weight of the berries and leaves are turning golden yellow in the autumn. It is a popular decorative tree in gardens, but people do not choose it because of its fragrant flowers because they have the stuffy smell of a trimethylamine (does a spoiled fish ring a bell?).

Right now I’m looking out the window and in our garden there are crows and magpies flying in and out to our rowan tree. They snap off a whole rachis and fly away with it to more private place to peck off the berries. And now came a bunch of fieldfares and they are making a clean sweep on the tree. Now where is your camera, when you need it?

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Bags of Pu’er tea idly laying around and aging – a sure way to gain value for your tea investment.

Tea has been China’s most famous export product for hundreds of years. Fortunes have been and still are by cultivating and trading this green gold. Green is not the only color of tea money as there are also white teas and black teas not to mention some other even more imaginative colors. With so many colors in tea palette it is no wonder that at times some teas are more desired than others after all fashion does change and tea is no exception of this.


The art of Pu’er tea was mastered during historic Tang Dynasty but it was only during the latter part of modern Bush dynasty when Pu’er price rose tenfold and made Chinese tea farmers to think they are emperors of the world. In similar frantic manner people of the west drank Pu’er up in hopes of lowered cholesterol or curing hangover and were a major cause for the price bubble.

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