GYNOSTEMMA ICED TEA WILL MAKE YOU FEEL IMMORTAL

The perfect drink pairing for summer in the city? Adaptogenic Gynostemma, a.k.a. The Tea of Immortality, will help you burn the candle at both ends for those long summer nights, says Ysanne Spevack.

Image: Jason Briscoe

 

Want a beverage that helps you burn your candle at both ends? Just say no to coffee, and “Oh hi!” to gynostemma tea!

Known as Jiao-Gu-Lan (the Tea of Immortality) in parts of Southern China, gynostemma is a green leafy adaptogenic plant that’s the go-to for busy urbanites in the know. It’s especially well suited to help us surf summer life in the city, with its fluctuations in the weather (especially this year, what happened, NYC?!) and June’s dawn-to-dusk increased outdoors time.

With the most adaptogenic saponins of any wild-crafted plant in the world (four times the amount of ginseng), this stuff strengthens your natural ability to stabilize blood sugar, supports your immune function, and enhances endurance. And it doesn’t speed you out or crash and burn. It’s all about balancing the nervous system—as with all adaptogens, by definition gynostemma can energize you when you need it, yet help you to relax and sleep at night.

But the real reason it’s known as “The Tea of Immortality” is because of its benefits to liver and cardio function. It supports the body’s production of superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant that protects the liver from free radicals. And it helps arteries, veins, and capillaries release nitric oxide, which helps them to relax.

The taste is a little like the stevia herb, but less sweet—not at all bitter, but an unusual green herby flavor that makes a fantastic base for other drinks and a pleasant iced tea.

And get this … it’s also a beautiful cascading plant that you can grow in a city apartment as a decorative house plant, so long as you have a sunny window. Alternatively, it’s easy to find at stores like Kamwo Meridian Herbs on Grand Street in NYC or in their online shop, which is my go-to for anything to do with Chinese medicine.

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June Gynostemma, Shiso, and Goji Ice Tea 
Don’t smirk at the gojis!!! This is what you’ve been missing all these years. Dry gojis are nasty—but gojis in tea are FABULOUS. And they’re a natural partner to gynostemma, the strange flavors of both combining into a perfect sweet herby balance. And then basil, or if you’re super lucky and can find it, fresh shiso herb. Oh. My. Gosh.

Recipe 
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients: 
1 gynostemma tea bag OR 1 teaspoon dried gynostemma herb
1-2 fresh shies leaves**
10-20 dried goji berries

**Shiso is a kind of basil, so it’s totally possible to switch out shiso for regular Genovese or another type of basil. That said, shiso has flavor magic—it’s the third leg on the stool for this recipe to really stabilize and pop. Find it in Japanese stores, or grow it yourself. It’s easy to grow during summer in New York.

Method:
Bring some water to a rolling boil—not in a microwave, please!

Put the herbs and gojis in a coffee mug.

Pour the freshly boiled water into the mug.

Leave on the counter to steep and cool naturally.

Drink as it is, or if preferred, transfer to a tall glass and add ice.

Discover more about Ysanne Spevack HERE.

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: YOGI SWEATS, AND A SHAMANIC CLOSET CLEAR OUT

Time for another shamanic closet clear out – PLUS sound baths, breathwork, and the latest in the plant-based revolution…

 

:: MONDAY ::
Skype date with beautiful yogini Shona Virtue (above) – a.k.a. one of the main reasons we are RE-LAUNCHING OUR YOGI SWEATSHIRT LINE! Shona picked up a couple of the original (v v limited edition, pretty much sold to friends-and-family only) sweats, and has been on at us to make more ever since. So we listened. And they’re going on sale reeeeeealy soon! The pic is a behind-the-scenes peak from our photo-shoot this week. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when they go on sale – and maybe win one too!

:: TUESDAY ::
I hadn’t actually planned anything special for Eclipse night, and so I figured a last minute invite to a sound bath meditation hosted by Well+Good co-founder Melisse Gelula and her friend Summer Rayne (real name) sounded just about perfect. Plus the sound bath itself was being performed by Sara Auster – whose name had literally crossed my radar three times in the past week. It was beautiful, and a precursor to further group meditations in Summer Rayne’s Brooklyn apartment. So let’s just talk about the apartment for a moment…The girl is plant CRAZY, and has created an actual. Freaking. Urban jungle in her home. Full story (on her basically teaching me how to cure my “black thumb” – since I seem to kill anything green that enters my auric field) + pics to follow in a future post…

Sound bath good to go

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Psychic closet clear-out! I first enlisted the help of a psychic to help me to an energetic blitz on my closet a couple of years ago, and having moved twice since then things had been getting kind of messy again. Enter Colleen McCann, a stylist-turned-shaman, who essentially does this FOR A LIVING. To kick our session off she read my crystals (yes this is a thing), and used my birth chart details to map my Ba Gua – kind of feng-shui-meets-human-design (I know!!) to map the power places in my apartment / wardrobe. Then we hit the rails. Not enough red (my power color), and everything needs to be reorganized by clothes for my behind-the-scenes vs. front-of-camera life (to invite more “front of camera” opportunities in). To finish, Colleen ran her hands over every piece – and anything holding any extra dense energy had to go, to create space for more high-vibe alternatives. Including a pair of McQueen stilettos, beautiful but wicked painful relics from my “old life” (and which are currently sitting in the Eleven Consignment boutique on NYC’s First Avenue, just FYI).

VERY SPECIAL CRYSTALS in Colleen’s Shamanic “mesa” (medicine bag) + neon pink nails #materialgirlmysticalworld

:: THURSDAY ::
JUST YES RAVI DEROSSI – the vegan restaurateur dedicated to bringing plant-based eating to the hipster masses. Like in his East Village tiki bar Mother Of Pearl, where vegan chef Daphne Cheng has just launched an entirely meat-free menu of bar snacks and small plates. I met Daphne there today to talk future Numinous projects (she also hosts supper clubs at her space Exhibit C – sign up for info about what we’ve got planned) and got to sample a ridiculous Edemame Spring Rolls and King Trumpet Mushroom Crudo. #plantpower #futuroffood

:: FRIDAY ::
Date-night with Erin Telford – because, Breathwork. I’ve written many times about how much I love this incredibly healing, vibe-raising, multiple-crygasm inducing pranayama workshop, but it’s not something I do on the regular. Rather, my body will just be like “GO. NOW” whenever some stuff has come up that needs to be breathed out. Like, y’know, the Friday night following a FULL ON Pisces New Moon Solar Eclipse…Click the pic below for Erin’s upcoming Breathwork schedule 

 

FIVE NEW WAYS TO CELEBRATE THE NEW MOON

Looking for some inspiration for ways to celebrate the New Moon? Gabriela Herstik rounds up some unusual ways to work your New Moon magic… Images: Marco Imperatore via Behance.net

Keeping track of the moon is one of the easiest ways to align yourself with the Universal source energy, and the New Moon is the perfect time to harness this to help call in your desires! The energy during the New Moon and consequently the Waxing Moon (while it’s becoming fuller again) is all about growth, abundance and manifestation – aka it really is a truly magickal time. Read on for 5 cool ways to celebrate the New Moon.

Perform a Love (Yourself) Ritual
If there’s any time the moon cycle is all about summoning an extra dose of lovin’, it’s when it’s dark and new. For once in a New Moon though, take a second and focus on loving yourself – i.e. spend some time loving on you and honoring your own spirit. Once your own soul and spirit are fresh and loved, shiny and new, everything else will come to you!

So treat yourself – prepare a meal of all your favorite foods, pour yourself a glass of expensive wine (or whiskey!) and listen to some music that makes you and your spirit dance and sing. Take a bath, adding some salt, crystals and fresh flowers, and relax. Think about how wonderful you are (seriously!) and why you deserve all the things you’re manifesting in the coming month. Because no one deserves your love more than you do.

Align Your New Moon Yoga
Besides the fact that yoga is pretty much a godsend answer to any spiritual crisis, it is also an absolutely perfect way to summon some extra energy on the New Moon. Set an intention at the beginning of your practice – preferably focusing on something in the abundance and manifestation section of your wants and needs list – and get your asana moving!

Cater your practice to what you intend to bring into your life – if you want more love, why not add some heart openers? Need to bring more balance into your world? Think twists and balancing postures. Get creative and remember, your practice on your mat is a reflection of your life off the mat. Own it!

Plant Your Intention
Just to get really literal with the “planting seeds of intention” metaphor – plus the fact that plants are a sweet way to bring in some extra love into your home, and that caring for them is super relaxing and meditative. So hit up your local nursery, see what’s in season and what speaks to you (you can also find out the spiritual meaning of different plants HERE) and prepare to bring home your new best friend!

Get a little planter and decorate it with symbols relating to all the things you’re manifesting in this moon cycle – before long, you’ll probably even find yourself talking to your plant about all the good stuff you’re calling in. But mostly, be inspired to honor the spirit of the plant and grow in abundance with it.

Make some new moon wishes
Writing down your wishes (aka intentions) for the coming two weeks is a really great way to visualizing what you want to manifest. So set aside some time in a sacred space, whether it’s among best girlfriends, sitting under a favorite tree, or cozying up with your pet, and think about what it is you TRULY want. The trick then is to write out your wishes as if you already have them (i.e. “I am so thankful for my incredible job” etc).

Make this a ritual in itself – light some candles, burn some incense, grab a crystal or two, or take a bath. Get creative! Use some pretty stationary and put your wish or intention on an altar with some fresh flowers for an extra, supersonic, moon juice blast. Wait two weeks – at the time of the next Full Moon – to see the results of your wish, and wait two more weeks to finish what you started. (The wonderful ladies at Astrostyle.com have more on moon wishes HERE)

Create an Abundance Altar
This is the perfect exercise for all the spiritual hoarders out there (you know who you are). Sitting on an abundance of dried herbs and flowers, crystals, cards and glitter? Make an altar! Following the theme of intention and manifestation, pick a theme for your little sacred space and decorate accordingly. Find photos that resonate with or symbolize what you want. Your altar should be a visual representation of everything you want – and it should feel good to look at. But most of all, have fun with it, duh!

How do you like to celebrate the New Moon? Connect with us and share your rituals on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!