While I know that I'm made up of roughly 60 percent water and consuming it on a daily basis is one of the best things for my system, I'll be the first one to say that I'm not the biggest water fan on the planet. To me, drinking "wet air" isn't exactly my idea of a good time). At the same time, something that I will happily consume is tea. I don't just mean syrupy sweet southern sweet tea either. I mean warm herbal tea that only has a bit of honey in it. I think that, more than anything, it's psychological because, anyone who is a tea fan knows that herbal tea isn't too far off from straight-up water (especially if you don't put a lot of "stuff" in it). Still, because I know a lot of the health benefits that come with different varieties of tea, I feel like whenever I drink some, I'm doing a lot for my overall health and well-being.
So today, I'm going to share some teas that I think everyone could benefit from, whether you are a tea connoisseur or you just wanna try something new. I call them "uncommon" because, while they don't get the same kind of attention as say, green tea or rooibos does, they can still hook you and your system up in ways that will make you wonder why you haven't been drinking them all along.
Tastes Like: lemon/lime mint
If you like tea that has a bit of a citrusy taste to it, then you'll really enjoy lemongrass. Because it's got anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial (which means it either kills or significantly slows down the growth of bacteria and viruses) properties, it's the kind of tea that can help to reduce the risk of heart disease while also helping to prevent oral decay. Lemongrass tea is also really good for you because it helps to promote healthy digestion, regulate your cholesterol levels and, can even make PMS symptoms (like cramping and bloating) so much easier to bear.
Tastes Like: sweet/sour/floral
Remember that we're touching on new teas to add to your collection; ones that you quite possibly have never even heard of before. That said, I'd be semi-floored if you're familiar with Pu-erh. It's a caffeinated and fermented tea that is derived from China. Its caffeine helps to give you a bit of an energy boost while its fermentation helps to promote a healthy gut.
Some other benefits of this tea include the fact that it improves the health of your liver, can aid in inhibiting the production of cancer cells, is a great detoxifier, promotes bone health, and, because it's high in Vitamin C and antioxidants, Pu-erh a wonderful tea if you're looking for a way to strengthen your immune system.
Just make sure to keep in mind that, due to its semi-high caffeine content, too much of it could make it hard to sleep or give you dizzy spells (similar to when you consume too much coffee), if you're not careful. A cup a day is more than enough.
3. Sweet Violet
Tastes Like: grass (kinda)
I'll be honest with you, if there is a name for a tea that definitely sounds sweeter than it tastes, it's sweet violet. The best way to describe it is it tastes similar to grass or spinach. Yeah, that's not super-appealing, I know but if you add some lemon and honey to it, you won't even notice. Anyway, this tea makes the list because sweet violet is an herb that contains some absolute bomb medicinal properties. Some people drink it in order to soothe abdominal discomfort or heartburn. Others drink it because they are looking for relief from menopause-related symptoms. And still, other folks appreciate this particular tea because it relieves minor joint discomfort. Sweet violet tea can even help to treat headaches and, it even makes cold and flu symptoms less annoying. So yeah, I bet you can why sipping a tea that has a bit of a grassy taste could still prove to be pretty worth your while, huh?
Tastes Like: sweet thyme
If you enjoy tea that has a bit of an orange and woodsy taste to it, marjoram has totally got you. Aside from drinking it in tea form, marjoram is an herb that's pretty popular when it comes to Mediterranean dishes; in fact, it's oftentimes compared to oregano. It's also a tea that's loaded with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help to reduce bodily inflammation, treat fungal infections, help to heal stomach ulcers, bring balance to your hormones and even help to regulate your period. Something else that's great about marjoram tea is it can increase blood circulation throughout your system too, and that's always a good thing.
5. Juniper Berry
Tastes Like: sweet 'n sour wood
Another tea that has a bit of a woodsy taste is juniper berry; only this time, the "wood" has its own naturally sweet 'n sour taste. Just like its name suggestions, juniper berry tea is made from juniper berries, and since those berries are high in Vitamin C and plant compounds (like camphor and beta-pinene), drinking this tea can help to reduce cellular damage and strengthen your heart. Also, because juniper berries are full of antibacterial and antifungal properties, it's an ideal tea to add to your diet if you happen to have a yeast sensitivity (you tend to get yeast infections often).
Some people also hail this tea's ability to keep kidney stones at bay while naturally helping to clear up urinary tract infections (UTIs) too.
Tastes Like: sweet/light/delicate
White tea is rich in tannins, fluoride and catechins (plant-based molecules that are a kind of antioxidant). If you drink the tea, a couple of times a week, it will help to reduce your risk of heart disease, decrease the bacteria that can lead to oral decay, lower insulin resistance, fight aging signs, make your hair stronger, increase energy levels, improve liver health, reproductive health and even one's memory. Out of all of the teas on this list, this is perhaps that one that you should invest in first.
Tastes Like: Earthy bitterness
If you decide to do any research on yarrow tea, you'll be hard-pressed to find an article that doesn't refer to it as a "medicinal tea". And medicine doesn't always taste the best (hence the "earthly bitterness" reference). Still, it's got to go on this list of must-haves because yarrow tea is a tea that will help to increase the production of connective tissue (so any minor wounds that you might have are able to heal faster). Not only that but the flavonoids and plant-based alkaloids in this particular drink can reduce stress and anxiety, assist in relieving depression-related symptoms and increase brainpower as well. Some folks also like it because they say that it helps to make hay fever issues less of one if seasonal allergies are something that you happen to struggle with.
8. Osmanthus Flower
Tastes like: Fruity/floral/peach
This tea right here has manganese, selenium, and beta-carotene in it. The reason why you might wanna pick some up is that the Osmanthus flower is able to fight off free radicals, reduce oxidative stress, promote both skin and eye health, detox your system, decrease the amount of phlegm that your body produces, prevent bad breath and soothe lungs that may be inflamed due to allergies. All sounds pretty darn good to me.
Tastes Like: muddy/chalky water
I already know. You probably looked at this and was like, who wants to drink anything that tastes like dirt? Even still, I just had to add it because the health benefits are pretty amazing. As a plant that comes from the Pacific Islands, kava tea contains stress-fighting compounds called kavalactones that are able to help to treat insomnia, relieve anxiety-related symptoms, relax your muscles, reduce minor pain discomfort, and put you in an overall better mood. In fact, the sedative effects are so potent that it's best to not mix the tea with alcohol because it could possibly result in liver damage (yep, it's just that strong!). And what can you do to make the taste more tolerable? Pouring some juice or puree into it should do the trick. Again, it's not really a tea that is a favorite because of its taste, so much as what it can do for your overall health and well-being.
10. Bug-Bitten Oolong Tea
Tastes Like: floral/fruity/slightly "grassy"
If you just read the name of this tea and wondered if it was literal, it actually is. Bug-bitten tea is a tea where an insect known as a leafhopper has been feeding on the leaves of the plant, to the point where the leaves' plant chemistry totally changes. As a result, the enzymatic effects of the leaves mean that they become sweeter and more palatable. As far as oolong tea goes, it's a fermented and semi-oxidized tea that is really high in Vitamin C. Some of the health benefits that come with it include that oolong is able to ramp up your metabolism, lower your cholesterol levels, improve the health and quality of your skin and hair, stabilize your blood sugar levels and keep your bones nice and strong. If you want to give this particular kind of tea a shot, I found a loose tea form of it on Etsy for a pretty good price. You can check it out here.
As you can see, there is a world of teas out here that can do real wonders for your health. So, consider treating yourself to a new one over the next couple of weeks. I'm telling you, it's a pretty good alternative to drinking wet air (if wet air ain't your thing).
Featured image by Shutterstock
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After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (email@example.com) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
Chief Mom Officer: 23 Quotes From Working Moms Finding Their Balance
The truth is, Black moms create magic every single day. Whether we're juggling motherhood with a busy 9-5, a thriving business, or staying at home to run a household, no day is short of amazing when you're managing life as a mommy. This Mother's Day, xoNecole is giving flowers to CMOs (Chief Mom Officers) in business who exemplify the strength it takes to balance work with motherhood.
We've commissioned these ladies, who are pillars in their respective industries, for tidbits of advice to get you through the best and worst days of mothering. Here, they share their "secret sauce" and advice for other moms trying to find their rhythm.
Emmelie De La Cruz, Chief Strategist at One Day CMO
"My mom friends and I all laugh and agree: Motherhood is the ghettoest thing you will ever do. It's beautiful and hard all at the same time, but one day you will wake up and feel like 'I got this' and you will get the hang of it. After 4 months, I finally felt like I found my footing to keep my kid and myself alive, but it took vulnerability to take off the cape and be honest about the areas that I didn't have it all together. The healing (physically and emotionally) truly does happen in community - whatever and whoever that looks like for you."
Alizè V. Garcia, Director Of Social & Community Impact at Nike
"I would tell a new mom or a prospective mother that they must give themselves grace, understand and remember there is no right way to do this thing and have fun! When I had my daughter three and a half years ago, I was petrified! I truly had no clue about what to do and how I was going to do it. But with time, my confidence grew and I realized quickly that I have all the tools I need to be the mother I want to be."
Nikki Osei-Barrett, Publicist + Co-Founder of The Momference
"There's no balance. I'm dropping sh*t everywhere! However, my secret sauce is pursuing interests and hobbies outside of what's required of me and finding time to workout. Stronger body equals = stronger mind."
Lauren Grove, Chief Experience Architect, The Grant Access, LLC
"I try to give myself grace. That’s my mantra for this phase of motherhood…grace. I won’t be able to get everything done. To have a spotless house. To not lose my cool after an exhausting day. Those things can’t happen all of the time. But I can take a deep breath and know tomorrow is another day and my blessings are more plentiful than my pitfalls."
Rachel Nicks, Founder & CEO of Birth Queen
"You have the answers within you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Curate your life to work for you. Ask for help."
Tanisha Colon-Bibb, Founder + CEO Rebelle Agency + Rebelle Management
"I know love doesn't pay bills but when I am overwhelmed with work or client demands I take a moment to play with my baby and be reminded of the love, energy, science, and Godliness that went into his birth. I am brightened by his smile and laugh. I remember I am someone's parent and not just a work horse. That at the end of the day everything will work out for the good of my sanity and the love within my life."
Christina Brown, Founder of LoveBrownSugar & BabyBrownSugar
"Learning your rhythm as a mom takes time and can be uncomfortable when you’re in a season of overwhelm. Constantly check in with yourself and assess what’s working and what’s not. Get the help you need without feeling guilty or ashamed of needing it."
Mecca Tartt, Executive Director of Startup Runway Foundation
"I want to be the best for myself, my husband, children and company. However, the reality is you can have it all but not at the same time. My secret sauce is outsourcing and realizing that it’s okay to have help in order for me to perform at the highest level."
Jen Hayes Lee, Head Of Marketing at The Bump (The Knot Worldwide)
"My secret sauce is being direct and honest with everyone around me about what I need to be successful in all of my various "jobs". Setting boundaries is one thing, but if you're the only one who knows they exist, your partners at home and on the job can't help you maintain them. I also talk to my kids like adults and let them know why mommy needs to go to this conference or get this massage...they need to build an appreciation for my needs too!"
Whitney Gayle-Benta, Chief Music Officer JKBX
"What helps me push through each day is the motivation to continue by thinking about my son. All my efforts, though exhausting, are to create a wonderful life for him."
Ezinne Okoro, Global Chief Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity Officer at Wunderman Thompson,
"The advice I received that I’ll pass on is, you will continue to figure it out and find your rhythm as your child grows into new stages. Trust your nurturing intuition, parent on your terms, and listen to your child."
Jovian Zayne, CEO of The OnPurpose Movement
"I live by the personal mantra: 'You can’t be your best self by yourself.' My life feels more balanced when I offer the help I can give and ask for the help I need. This might mean outsourcing housecleaning for my home, or hiring additional project management support for my business."
Simona Noce Wright, Co-Founder of District Motherhued and The Momference
"Each season of motherhood (depending on age, grade, workload) requires a different rhythm. With that said, be open to learning, to change, and understand that what worked for one season may not work the other...and that's okay."
Janaye Ingram, Director of Community Partner Programs and Engagement at Airbnb
"My daughter's smile and sweet spirit help me to feel gratitude when I'm overwhelmed. I want her to see a woman who doesn't quit when things get hard."
Codie Elaine Oliver, CEO & Founder of Black Love
"I try to listen to my body and simply take a break. With 3 kids and a business with 10+ team members, I often feel overwhelmed. I remind myself that I deserve grace for everything I'm juggling, I take a walk or have a snack or even head home to see my kids, and then I get back to whatever I need to get done."
Jewel Burks Solomon, Managing Partner at Collab Capital
"Get comfortable with the word ‘no’. Be very clear about your non-negotiables and communicate them to those around you."
Bridget Bogee, Marketing Lead At Meta
"Ask for help and always prioritize making time for you."
Julee Wilson, Executive Director at BeautyUnited and Beauty Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan
"Understand you can’t do it alone — and that’s ok. Relinquish the need to control everything. Create a village and lean on them."
Salwa Benyaich, Director Of Pricing and Planning at Premion
"Most days I really try to shut my computer off by 6 pm; there are always exceptions of course when it comes to big deals or larger projects but having this as a baseline allows me to be much more present with my kids. I love the fact that I can either help with homework or be the designated driver to at least one afterschool activity. Work can be draining but there is nothing more emotionally draining than when you feel as though you are missing out on moments with your kids."
Brooke Ellis, Head of Global Marketing & Product Launches at Amazon Music
My calendar, prayer, pilates class at Forma, a good playlist, and oatmilk lattes all help get me through any day.
Courtney Beauzile, Global Director of Client and Business Development at Shearman & Sterling
My husband is a partner who steps in when I just can’t. My mom and my MIL come through whenever and however I need. My kids have many uncles and aunts and they will lend an ear, go over homework, teach life lessons, be a presence or a prayer warrior depending on the day.
Robin Snipes, Chief of Staff at Meta
"Enjoy the time you have to yourself because once kids come those times will be few and far between."
Monique Bivens, CEO & Founder at Brazilian Babes LLC.
"For new moms, it is very important that you get back into a habit or routine of something you use to do before you were pregnant. Consider the actives and things that give you the most joy and make the time to do them."
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Featured image by Westend61/Getty Images
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Tracee Ellis Ross On Why She Declined The Idea Of Someone Else Running Her Hair Company
Actress and entrepreneur Tracee Ellis Ross recently revealed the driving force behind her desire to become the owner of her haircare brand, Pattern.
According to its site, Pattern is a haircare company that provides a wide range of products, from shampoos, conditioners, oils, creams, and many more to individuals with curls, coils, and tight hair textures. Although Pattern would launch in 2019, the idea for the company first came to Ross a decade before --in 2008, when her hit show Girlfriends wrapped-- following a brief encounter at a beauty supply store and many wanting to recreate her past looks.
At the time, those individuals couldn't achieve the exact results because limited natural hair products were offered to the public. That instance became a pivotal moment in the star's life because she spent eleven years experimenting with professionals to create products that best suit those within the natural hair community.
In a May conference with Fortune's MPW Next Gen, Ross opened up about the struggles she faced early on as an entrepreneur trying to get Pattern off the ground and why she declined the offer to have the company be run by someone else.
Tracee On Past Struggles And Why She Chose To Run Her Company
During the discussion, the 50-year-old revealed that she is Pattern's "majority owner" because the company's overall mission to cater to those in the natural hair community was built from her "experiential knowledge."
"I'm a majority owner of my company. [Other celebrities with brands] aren't the founders of the company. Often, they join a company that exists," she said. "The mission [at Pattern] is born out of my experience. It's born out of my own experiential knowledge."
Further in the interview, Ross would add that she avoided partnering with an expert for Pattern because she felt she had gained enough knowledge experimenting with products in her bathroom.
"I didn't want to partner with an expert or a 'professional' because I felt—like so many—I had become my own best expert in my bathroom because the beauty industry was not catering to us," she stated.
Despite refusing to have a partner within her company, Ross found creative ways to build it. It includes paying a chemist with her own money to bring her visions of various products to life, and sending those samples to retail stores, ultimately leading to partnerships.
The final piece that helped Ross during her journey was receiving advice from business partners on ways to improve the brand, one of which came from Ulta Beauty CEO and Footlocker CEO Mary Dillon.
The black-ish star claimed that Dillon helped her realize how she could use her celebrity status and journey to promote Pattern, which she did. Because of that, Patten has now become a favorable haircare brand among many.
Tracee On How She Plans To Use Her Company To Create Opportunities For Others
Toward the end of the discussion, Ross disclosed how she plans to use the power of being Pattern's CEO to help others.
The High Note star explained that being an owner of a company has given her access to be around other CEOs interested in what appears to be becoming more profitable, and with that, she wants to expand that access to other people.
"I know that I have access to sit at a table with a CEO in a way that perhaps another founder doesn't. And when I do that, I make sure that those conversations are not only centered around Pattern," she said. "They're centered around creating and expanding the access for all of us."
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