Recently, I had the pleasure to conduct a short interview with Master Herbalist and Nutritional Consultant, Adela Hasas, who has an inspiring and insightful way of describing the benefits of tea drinking. I am also fan of her blog and appreciate her candid writing style.
While Adela values a holistic approach to wellness and appreciates tea’s role as a healing modality, she is very level-headed and sensible about the advantages of herbal medicine. It may not be a cure-all, but there’s just something to say for a hot cuppa verdant leaves. As Adela so aptly explained, it’s a lot better than a “‘one pill for one ill’ mentality…[it’s] fast and easy medicine right from your pantry!”
You know, you’ve tried it? Right?
When did you become interested in tea and how does it work into your overall concerns with holistic health?
I grew up with herbal tea being ubiquitous, but green tea specifically didn’t figure much into my life until a few years ago. Holistic health is all about the mind-body-spirit connection, about how everything affects everything else, and it’s the total opposite of the ‘one pill for one ill’ mentality. So what I love about green tea is that it brings balance to so many of the body’s systems, including emotions, and it’s not so much a functional thirst-quencher as it is a multi-faceted healing modality. It’s this all-in-one power drink from such a delicate little leaf. I have such respect for it.
When you lived in Romania, did you drink tea there?
Well Romanians love their herbal teas (my mom has an overflowing cupboard of boxes & boxes of bagged & loose-leaf teas), but I didn’t really drink green or black tea until I came to the States. I don’t even know if we had it in Romania! As a kid I don’t even remember having iced tea, ever. I grew up during the Communist regime, so our imports were pretty limited.
What inspired you to attend a natural medicine school? What have learned from the experience?
For years I’d studied nutrition and natural health on my own, so I figured it might be a good idea to have some credentials to back up my knowledge. And honestly, I don’t even remember exactly how I found the school! I’d been researching natural medicine colleges for a couple years, but in general they were too pricey or unaccredited. Somehow I eventually stumbled upon GCNM, and the curriculum (and price!) were right up my alley, so I enrolled that very same day.
As far as what I learned—that’s probably the most interesting part. I went in believing just about everything, but I came out a skeptic. I definitely still believe in herbs and nutrition and a holistic approach to healing, but I am against anything that’s been proven time & again to be nothing beyond a placebo effect. Let’s call it what it is, shall we?
Why should a non-tea drinker consider drinking tea?
It’s interesting; I think from the outside, non-tea drinkers may view green tea as a hippie drink, as something too ‘soft’ and bland. But there’s just something about it that completely changes the pace of your day. If you start your day with green tea rather than coffee, you’re off to a mellow, slow, indulgent start. Or if you’re having a hectic day at work, instead of reaching for a cuppa Joe at 3 p.m. to continue the mad rush & sustain your hectic heartbeat, why not slow down for a bit? Your body wants something comforting, and a nice mug of hot tea is just the thing.
What are the most important concepts, ideas, or skills you have learned as a master herbalist?
Resourcefulness! I am so in awe of the wide range of healing properties of the most basic little plants found all around us. If I have a stomach ache, I don’t need to rush to the store for some Tums; I can just pour some hot water over mint leaves from my mom’s backyard. If I’m anxious and can’t fall asleep, I steep some chamomile flowers that my good friend brought me from the Netherlands. Or if I have a sore throat, I just grab some garlic, vinegar, and honey, and simmer together a quick syrup to soothe the cough. Fast and easy medicine right from your pantry!
Make sure to visit Adela’s blog
*Photo courtesy of PG