Oh my dearest moss friends. Did I tell you I have interstitial cystitis (IC)? In brief, IC is a condition where the bladder and/or colon become inflamed and/or damaged. It’s kinda like IBS but for the bladder. It has been worrying me and stressing me out, BUT it has also been a blessing in disguise for my acne research and also a wake up call for making certain lifestyle changes. I will tell you about these in another post. I especially want to tell you about a few supplements I found that are supposed to be miraculous for IC that ALSO help a ton with the skin and with gut issues. Very stoked about these discoveries.
In THIS post, I wanted to tell you about my tea research. I have been a tea connisseuse at certain times in my life, but always eventually revert to my coffee obsession. Well, it turns out it may be time to close the book on coffee for good. (Actually, not true. I plan to still allow myself coffee but only as a special occasion drink – when I’m on my period (sorry to share, but I think of you all as close friends) and when I go out for breakfast. Turns out, IC is aggravated by certain foods and beverages and coffee, alcohol and citrus fruits top the list. Potassium rich foods are also problematic. This has definitely f’ed up my morning beverage choices.
No coffee? I thought: totally doable. I’ll just substitute DandyBlend or Ayurvedic Roast (both of which I STILL highly recommend to clients who find their acne is aggravated by coffee – as mine actually also is). The reason why these amazing beverages don’t work for IC is because of their ingredient list. Most coffee substitutes are made of roasted barley, rye, chicory, beet root and dandelion root. For normal people, these things are amazing and very healthy. Barley and rye are very high in potassium however. And potassium isn’t great for an irritated bladder – it causes more irritation. So UNFORTUNATELY, these perfectly acceptable and delicious coffee sustitutes are a no go for me, but I’m including them because they are FAB for most of you!
I personally love DandyBlend and for a while was making a morning tonic that was 1/4 coffee and 3/4 dandyblend with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of reishi powder. The DB is a powder that dissolves right away in both hot and cold water. Very easy to use.
Ayurvedic Roast is another great option. Less processed than the DB. Takes a bit longer to make/steep. But includes three great system supporting and strengthening Ayurvedic herbs which the DB does not. It also does not contain dandelion root, which the DB is obviously named after.
Ok on to the things that I personally can drink and love. These are not like THE BEST teas for acne, full of liver detoxing herbs that taste bitter and careful formulations that took years for world class naturopaths to perfect. Nope. But make no mistake, all these teas support the skin WAY better than coffee or your typical Celestial Seasonings PLUS they give me the soul comfort that I miss from coffee.
What so often happens when you are given a prognosis that involves restricting or eliminating certain foods, or even something that restricts your life, like being told you can’t run anymore when you love running, or having to give up surfing because your job forced you to go to Chicago, or whatever, you get that woe-is-me feeling. And it seems like all pleasure is drained from life and all you have to look forward to is…nothing. I know it can be hard, but the only thing that works to get over that (at least seems to me) is to find a substitute asap. It might be less than perfect, it might not fill your whole heart, but on the other hand, it might surprise you. You might love it as much as your old thing, maybe even more. It might open up a whole new world of foods, flavors and things you never knew existed.
So these are THOSE teas. The teas that give me hope after I thought all was lost. These teas are flavorful, interesting, satisfying, and I can drink them knowing my bladder won’t get worse and my skin is appreciative. These are the teas that manage to make up for the loss of coffee.
Here are my top 5 healing and delicious teas
I love Lapsang Souchong (an aquired taste for many – be warned. It tastes very, very smoky, like you’re drinking pure woodsmoke) and I LOVE a strong ginger tea. So I was pretty stoked to find this tea, which is a blend of both lapsang and ginger. I like to call it Smoke (the Lapsang) and Fire (the Ginger). I find this to be a great morning tea, and because of the ginger, good for digestion as well. I get it from the Tea Spot.
Another long-time favorite of mine is Yogi Brand Egyptian Licorice. They also make a version that contains Peppermint (Egyptian Licorice Mint). This tea is amazing taste-wise! Spicy and sweet, I could drink this all day! I don’t, though, because while licorice root is anti-inflammatory, liver supporting, gut healing and an anti-depressant, it does have contraindications and should not be over used. (Pregnant women and people on meds should consult a doctor before use since it does interfere with certain meds and can increase risk of miscarriage.)
Morrocan Mint Green
My favorite green tea is a green tea-mint blend. Many brands make a version of this blend, including Morrocan Mint by Republic of Tea and Zen by Tazo. This one from Tea Spot uses spearmint instead of peppermint. Spearmint and peppermint are both good for acne, because they inhibit the activity of certain enzymes that foster androgen activity. People report their skin getting less oily and with cases of PCOS their hirsutism getting less severe after drinking peppermint or spearmint tea.
Green tea also has multiple reports of helping to heal acne. It has a particular antioxidant – EGCG – that helps to reduce systemic inflammation (which acne is a symptom of). Similarly to peppermint and spearmint, it also has androgen blocking activity. It also helps with another problematic hormone in acne cases: insulin. Studies report that green tea consumption helps with insulin resistance and reduces blood sugar levels. So, if I WAS writing a post about the BEST teas for acne, this tea would make that post as well.
Monkey Picked White
What has more EGCG than green tea? Um, white tea. Sweet! Now, white tea is hard. It is ALSO an acquired taste like the Lapsang, except for the opposite reasons. While most will find the Lapsang too strong and weird tasting, white tea is often too bland and watery for many. I find the best solution is to go with the highest quality white tea. Then you get these beautiful butter and honey nuances. I’m currently loving Monkey Picked from the Tea Spot – can you tell I’ve been spending some time on this site? It is their highest quality white and is also organic. Because white tea is SO high in EGCG, it would ALSO get a spot on my LEGIT BEST TEAS FOR ACNE list, in addition to this more personalized list. White tea also has like, next to no caffeine. Which is a bonus for some. 🙂
Chocolate Monkey Rooibos
My last tea is one that I found on another blog, about another girl who was switching coffee for tea. It is called Chocolate Monkey by the Art of Tea. It has a weird combo of ingredients (apples, bananas and peppercorn) in addition to the chocolate and the tea base is Rooibos (another tea that I find to be an acquired taste, and which actually took me some time to acquire) but the overall taste is really rich, satisfying and yummy. Rooibos is a wonderfully healthy tea, besides, with lots of antioxidants. Antioxidants reduce systemic inflammation and for this reason are very helpful with acne.
I am so into teas right now! If you have a favorite tea or brand, I would love to hear it! Let me know in the comments!