It wasn't until just a few years ago that my suspicions about my paternal Grandmother's heritage was confirmed for me and I've often wished that the city in which I grew up in had been one that was more tolerant of different races and heritages - but they weren't and that was the reason that led my grandmother to hide hers.
My grandmother was Native Indian and while growing up it was her that everyone turned to when their children had illnesses that didn't want to respond to conventional medications or treatments. My grandmother was a veritable fountain of information and incredibly effective "solutions" that today, my children literally laugh at and insist they are so unbelievable - how on earth could they possibly work. One such "remedy" that my grandmother passed on to me was one to remove warts. Yes, I was a child who ended up with a wart right on my thumb! It bothered me to no end and one day I approached my grandmother and asked if she knew how to get rid of it for me. Well, of course she did! She proceeded to take me out to her garden where she dug up a very round, perfect potato. Cutting it in half she then told me to rub the white of the potato onto the wart. Then she instructed me to throw the potato over my left shoulder and pay no attention to where it landed. She told me that once Mother Earth reclaimed the potato (it rotted away), so too would my wart and it would be gone. I was eleven at the time and my grandmother was a veritable Goddess of Magic in my eyes and so without hesitation I followed her instructions. I don't know when or even how, but one day a few months later I just happened to realize that my wart was GONE! Now whether it left of its own accord or the potato actually worked, I don't know - but in my view, it was my grandmother's incredibly wondrous remedy that did the trick as I'd had the wart for at least a year and it hadn't gone anywhere in all that time so I doubted it would just wander off my hand in that short period of time. Despite the fact my children think I'm a little loopy, I choose to believe the remedy did work.
So, when I was in the drug store a few months ago I came across a display of Herbal Teas made by a company called the Algonquin Tea Co. These teas are made by following the beliefs of the Algonquin Indians and manufacturing takes place in the vicinity of the Algonquin Indian Reserve that is situated about 35 mintutes from where I use to live as a child. The information on the top of the box states, "We are thankful to be working in harmony with the Earth in sharing the indigenous plants and healing spirit of the Algonquin Region".
"Verified Organic, 100% handpicked organic and ethically wild crafted in the Canadian wilderness this tea contains no caffeine, additives or preservatives." The side of the box indicates, "Peace Tea instills the tranquility, patience and beauty of the Earth. This rich, bittersweet blend grounds us in a flowing meadow of healing herbs. Peace tea is ideal for calming down before, during or after any busy period. Traditional Uses: Sedative, anti-depressant, sleeping aid, irritability, nervous exhaustion." The box includes 20 tea bags.
This tea is definitely a Buckley's in my opinion - it has a very distinctive taste which does leave you wondering whether you really want to drink it - but I found that mixing it with another Herbal tea such as Fennel or Peppermint works very well and the tea itself continues to provide the effect it should.
The ingredients include: Blue Vervain, Lemon Balm, Catnitp (I was a little surprised to see this), Oats straw, red Bergamot, Chamomile, Hops, Motherworth, Valerian, Skullcap and St. John's Wort.
The tea is meant to be steeped in hot, hot water for 6-10 minutes before drinking and you can add sugar, honey or other flavoring if you wish. Although in its natural state it does take some getting use to, the effect it has is absolutely perfect for those who are unable to sleep or who have been stressed for whatever reason. After drinking the tea a warm, tingly sensation can be felt through out the body and you feel very comfortable and relaxed. I don't use this tea all the time but for those times when I want to really relax, this tea is exceptional!
What drew me to it first though was the fact that it is a Tea that represents a part of my heritage of which I am very proud and it also supports the naturalness that is Mother Earth. Inside the box on one of the tabs it reads, "Peace tea has strong cat medicine, the Masters of calmness. We also associate it with our porcupine friend because he was so trusting and gentle, falling asleep at a moments notice in the sun, on Kim's belly or Steven's head!" A couple named Kim and Steve developed and produce this tea in the region of the Golden Lake Algonquin Indian Reserve. When I use this tea, it brings me closer to my heritage that my grandmother did not believe was her right to celebrate as she should, and as it works exceptionally well - it is yet another glass raised to my grandmother who I'm sure would approve of how I have chosen to "heal" my body.