MORE ABOUT THE HERBS IN THE RENE CAISSE HERBAL TEA
ALL HERBS SUPPLIED BY THE CLOUDS TRUST ARE ORGANIC
Sheep sorrel was regarded by Rene Caisse as having the most direct effect on health and is therefore a vital component of the herbal tea. Known as Gypsy Rhubarb in Southern England, the tangy, slightly astringent leaves have been used traditionally to flavour salads and soups as well as stuffings and fish. And the whole plant has wide ranging therapeutic effects.
At the Clouds Trust, the ground sheep sorrel leaves and stems are bought in from organic herb suppliers in the UK. The roots, however, we harvest ourselves after the first winter frosts, when the plant is dormant. Indeed, it is the root which provided additional, concentrated therapeutic elements and small quantities should always be included in the tea. The Clouds Trust is one of the few, if only, producers of the tea to include the powdered root.
We also package sheep sorrel on its own for use as an enema, gargle or douche, to enhance the healing properties of the tea. Because of the acidic nature of the plant (it has a pH of 4.5), we do not recommend that it is consumed internally.
Burdock forms one of the cornerstones of the Rene Caisse Herbal Tea: more than half of the dried herb mixture consists of ground burdock root. The roots and seeds have a long tradition of use in the herbal pharmacy and burdock is a favourite amongst herbalists, for good reason.
In the tea formula, one-year-old burdock root provides a wide spectrum of therapeutic benefits, including blood cleansing and immune-boosting functions. It has mild anti-bloodclotting activity. The herb also protects the liver and aids digestion and appetite by stimulating the production of bile. It is therefore known to be a mild laxative and diuretic, helping to clear toxins from the body. By supporting the liver, it is particularly helpful for skin conditions such as psoriasis and acne and may be used topically as a poultice.
It is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and also aids kidney function, protecting against cystitis and gout. It can help to reduce coughing and fever as well as regulate blood sugar levels.
The inner bark of the Slippery Elm tree is an essential component of the Rene Caisse Herbal Tea, making up nearly 10% of the dried mixture. Finely ground, the powder has demulcent and anti-inflammatory qualities, helping to soothe the mucous membrane lining the digestive tract, which makes it especially useful during chemotherapy.
It is also useful for gastritis, enteritis, haemorrhoids and gastric and duodenal ulcers, as well as sore throats. The nutritious qualities make it a valuable food during convalescence as it is easily absorbed. It has gentle astringent properties as well, and helps to ease diarrhoea. An excellent source of soluble fibre, Slippery Elm bark may help to reduce cholesterol levels, as well as bulk up the stool when constipated. Externally, the powder may be mixed to a paste with water and applied to boils, ulcers and abscesses.
Because of its demulcent properties, however, it would be best to take it away from any other medication, food or supplement as it may delay or inhibit their absorption. And it's best to avoid Slippery Elm during pregnancy as the bark may stimulate labour.
The dried, powdered root of Turkey Rhubarb constitutes a small but significant part of the Rene Caisse Herbal Tea: only approximately 300mg are used in the 15g monthly pack.
Also known as East India or China rhubarb, it was originally imported from China and Tibet, but can now be grown and harvested locally. It comes from the same family as our native English rhubarb, Rheum rhaponticum, which has similar if milder actions.
Turkey Rubarb has bitter, astringent properties and is known as an effective digestive stimulant and liver tonic. At varying doses it can be used to treat both constipation and diarrhoea and therefore has a regulatory effect on digestion. It stimulates the appetite and promotes the flow of bile from the liver, thus optimising the action of digestive enzymes, reducing liver congestion and preventing the formation of gallstones. However, it is contraindicated in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
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