Blog: My Raw Life
by Avocadess

Healing Coffee Substitute!

Getting back in the saddle again, back home from my trip with all the culinary temptations and slippages, and reporting on the beverage that just came together for me last week and appears to be a KEEPER as not only a coffee substitute but is very HEALING and has NO sugar (or dairy)!

Date:   1/19/2010 12:12:20 PM   ( 11 y ) ... viewed 2110 times

It's been really nice to be home again, no longer surrounded by all the food temptations.

I know I make it sound like all I cared about was the food and not the PEOPLE I went to see, but that is not true. I'm just focusing on the food part for the blog donchano. It was GREAT seeing so many old friends and making new friends there as well.

One person who read my first entry here said she just forgives herself when these things happen. I really like that. I was thinking more I was going to ACCEPT it -- but I think FORGIVING it is even better!!

Some good news: Upon the day of the return of my trip I was feeling like I was starting to get sick, but it never really happened beyond a very minor sore throat day before yesterday and tentative cough that lasted about 30 minutes yesterday to a frog in my throat this morning.

I'm doing some pretty cleansing stuff I guess. There is a new BREW that I have just started making and that I am VERY happy about because I have been wishing I could find a beverage I could enjoy on a daily basis, cup after cup, the way I used to enjoy coffee (with cream or milk) (and sugar) for many of the years I spent putting a lot of not-the-best-ever things in my body. Yet I never could seem to find a good replacement -- it was either something too sweet (like fresh fruit juice) or too labor-intensive and/or expensive (like fresh vegetable juice) or just not IT.

But now I think I have found IT...! Besides that it is a healing tea, fun, exotic and inexpensive to make -- I do not find myself wishing I could add cream or sweetener to it. This is HUGE...! (smile)

It's been getting designed slowly over the past 6 months, from the inspiration of David "Avocado" Wolfe and his constant tea making when he is at his home in Ontario, Canada. I learned about pau d'arco being a very good tonic tea (tonic meaning something you can have every day), as well as astragalus (a root), cat's claw (a decalcifying vine which is probably the number one herbal remedy in Peru today), chaga (king of the medicinal tree mushrooms) and of course raw cacao (in this case especially as a delivery system for the other ingredients of the tea as well as adding GREAT flavor). I just use the cacao powder for the tea and stir it into the tea cup since it really does not need to be heated and mixes in so well with hot liquids.

I follow Avocado's lead in not actually boiling these teas, though some (including Daniel Vitalis) contend that boiling is necessary to get all of the beneficial effects from the teas. Avocado says he can really feel a difference between water/tea that has ever been boiled and that which has been heated 2/3 or 3/4 to boiling. He feels the water is still LIVING if not taken to too high a degree and feels he IS getting enough from the teas. Rather than worry myself about it I look at it this way: I am shooting for never boiling the tea, but if it ever accidentally goes to a simmer or boiling I will drink it anyway -- a win-win situation for me!

The other thing I learned from Avocado, Vitalis and others is that especially with some of these Amazonian teas or tree barks made into teas it is actually a GOOD thing to brew the tea for 3-5 DAYS -- but I get to drink of the tea all of those days, and just add water back to the pot. Jessica Malcolm, from whom I get my chaga, pointed out something else that helps me in this arena. She says, "I just keep brewing it until it loses its color." Just drinking the tea myself my tea can easily last to 4 or 5 days and still have lots of color, but maybe if I had a lot of guests and had not compensated by adding more tea to the pot it might last only 2 or 3 days.

Okay, so here is my recipe. I'll call it


1 TBL Pau d'arco
1 TBL Astragalus (shredded is nice but it also comes in slices of dried root that resemble the shape of tongue compressors, haha)
2 tsp. Cat's claw (I put a little less of this than the other ingredients usually because it is so bitter, but I may soon up this to 1 TBL as I am not having any sense of its bitterness in this concoction)
2 TBL Chaga (which has been dried and ground)

Amounts are approximate. I am currently using the smaller sized muslin teabags that can be found at many health food stores for a quarter or less apiece. I put two ingredients in each teabag and tie a bow with the strings at the end of the tea bag so it will be easy to open later when I want to compost the already-brewed ingredients and rinse the bag for re-use. I really like using the teabags. I used to brew these ingredients loose and then have to strain with each cup of tea and that was a LOT more trouble.

Oh! I should mention that I am using a 4.5-quart pot for this recipe, which is about half (or more) filled with water. Soon I will be trading in this 4.5-quart Visions glass pot for a Saladmaster 316 Ti stainless steel 5-quart pot -- the only stainless steel pot which has been shown to have ZERO outgassing, according to reliable sources. I have been using the Visions cookware for a couple of years now because although I know many worry that they MAY leach something bad into the food or water, they seemed a cleaner choice than stainless steel and obviously a better choice than the clearly toxic choices of using Teflon-coated or aluminum pots. I have heard that ceramic pots CAN be very good for tea making, however one needs to be careful even with clay pots to be sure you are getting the non-toxic pots. The reason I went for the (quite expensive) Saladmaster 316 Ti (Ti meaning titanium has been added, which is heat-resistant, corrosion-resistant and incredibly strong) is because I have broken 2 or 3 Visions cookware pans in the past year and realized that in just a few years of that kind of breakage I could lose the amount of money it would cost me to get a Saladmaster that I can expect to last lifetimes. I got mine on eBay (without the lifetime warranty) for half the price of retail.

I just leave this tea brewing at "very hot" but not simmering or boiling all day and at night I turn it down a wee bit more but keep it quite hot all night as well.

I just LOVE this brew, which looks a lot like coffee, tastes GREAT, and has NO caffeine or anything detrimental to my health -- and on the contrary has ingredients that have these qualities:

Chaga - strengthening, supports immune system, endurance, superherb, adaptogen, great tasting

Cat's Claw - superherb, decalcifier of plaque buildup in body, powerful anti-viral, used widely in South America for flus and immune system, quite bitter

Pau d'Arco - superherb, very powerful anti-fungal, great tasting and almost sweet in a way

Astragalus - superherb, anti-fungal, (Japanese knotweed, sarsaparilla and astragalus are specific herbs that are considered really on point against Lyme's disease by the way.)

Raw Cacao - high in magnesium (which most people are deficient in and which is needed along with silica to help build bones and teeth) and a great delivery system, helping "deliver" the healing properties of the other ingredients with which it is ingested where they need to go in the body

Back to my return home from the 3-day weekend out of town, I am also getting back into Sun gazing. I'm just in the early phases of that, following the advice of Hira Ratan Manek (who I will refer to from now on as HRM). He has been Sun gazing for many, many years with fantastic results and of course this is an age-old practice. To keep the practice safe for the masses, he recommends that we look directly at the sun (sun gaze) only during the first hour after sunrise and/or the last hour of Sun before sunset. There is almost no UV at those hours and it is perfectly safe to look directly at the Sun at those times, but we must start slowly (only 10 seconds the first day, adding 10 to 20 seconds a day until we reach 30 minutes a day after 3 months).

Sun gazing is very energizing and is said to decrease the appetite. I feel there is something very spiritual about Sun gazing. It is best to do this practice with bare feet on ground or stone, if possible. HRM feels that standing on grass is less than optimal. This amazes me. I never would have thought grass would be a problem, but he says it weakens the connection quite a bit. Anyhow, I'm happy to say I'm back to my Sun gazing routine (which only started a couple weeks ago). Something about it cheers me up!

Well, until I type your eyes off (like talking your ear off, get it?) next time, here's wishing you the


Michele / Avocadess

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