March 5, 2013

Secret Weapon: Pukka Tea

Stellar packaging by Pukka Teas.

I've been puzzled about a surge in my GERD symptoms.  Over the past month, I've had daily instances of reflux, the lump in throat feeling, heartburn, belching, and/or nausea, inspiring me to chew Tums on a daily basis.  So frustrating, since my symptoms have been subsiding!   The only cause I can point to is stress.  Since January, my life has been a whirlwind of deadlines, events, late nights, early mornings, galas, blizzards, even a concussion!  No wonder my guts are responding in kind.

To ease my digestive issues, I streamlined my diet this week, reducing caffeine and dairy, and I made a very deliberate effort to eat more slowly, eat smaller portions, and avoid constant "snacking" between meals to give my intestines time to catch up.   (I'm on the fence about whether snacking is good or bad, the "6 small meals a day" plan vs "give your digestive tract a break" plan.  And when I say "snacks" I mean bananas, nuts, homemade granola, oranges, applesauce -- not chips and candy bars.)

After a few days, I felt relief (though I did feel withdrawal from the caffeine).  Yesterday, I enjoyed two cups of dark oolong tea and a few squares of 70% dark chocolate for the first time in days, without problems.   This alternating between herbal tea and non-herbals continues to be a great strategy, allowing me to enjoy my beloved caffeinated teas and happy guts.  

Of note:  I am also filling my head with amusements to replace the stress -- long walks, comics, mindless television programs, music.  I do feel better, mentally and physically!


Herbal tea is still a challenge for me.  I don't like the taste of many herbal teas that are out there, and many have ingredients I don't want to ingest (stevia, ginseng, acai, goji, etc.).   So I was thrilled to discover the array of herbal blends by Pukka Tea at their sample station at this year's NYC Vegetarian Festival.  They have their share of tulsis and ginsengs, but I was delighted to find various chamomiles and lemongrass teas, fennel and licorice blends -- a wealth of options for the troubled digestive tract! 

I bought Pukka's Chamomile Vanilla tea and the Rose, Lavender, Chamomile blend.  Both are wonderful, and I am not a chamomile fan.   (The chamomile tea that is still my favorite is the Chamomile with Lavender blend by Traditional Medicine.  Really good, and organic.)   I also picked up samples of the fennel blend and a rooibus variety.

And, the Pukka packaging alone is worth the purchase.  Visual meditation!

More Pukka packaging.  Aaaaahhhhh!


  1. I bought 6 boxes of Pukka tea at the Boston Veg Festival - they were great! I haven't seen the chamomile varieties, though. I'll need to keep my eyes peeled!

  2. I only bought 2 boxes because I'm attending the NYC Coffee & Tea Expo later this month and am trying to clear my tea larder. Otherwise I would have left with 6 as well! What varieties did you try? Any suggestions for herbal teas to try, brand-wise?

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