People cannot live on Paola Pillows alone- and as the days get shorter and darker, you need to take a break wherever you can get it. I’m a huge believer in the importance of surrounding yourself with multi-sensorial comforts- visual, sound, smell and gustatory pleasures…in combination. Especially during the holidays.

Alison Birks, my favorite nutritionist ever, is a world-class herbalist who also makes awesome tea blends. This one is especially great in winter and loaded with things to make a body happy. It’s pretty too, so if you put it in a clear jar and tie it with a gold accent ribbon, it’s healthy and beautiful for gift giving. You won’t find the ingredients in a typical grocery store chain. Look for them in a large health food store or, in Woodbury CT at New Morning Market.

Contrary to what the photo suggests- you use dried herbs, flower petals and spices. Alison’s tea blend is loaded with antioxidants from Rooibos or African Bush Tea to keep the immune system healthy. Elderberries ward off colds & flu; the warming spices of cinnamon, ginger and orange peel settle digestion and increase circulation in winter. Calendula flowers not only have a lovely yellow color-but are one of the richest sources lutein, an important eye nutrient. Lutein, taken to prevent macular degeneration, is commercially sourced from these beautiful flowers.

You Will Need:

Choose a measure that will represent one part based on how much tea you want to make. For example, to blend approximately one pound of tea, use a 1-cup measure to equal one part. To make less, use a smaller size measure.


2 parts Rooibos herb (cut and sifted)

1 part Elderberries (whole)

1 part Orange Peel (cut)

1 part Candied Ginger Peel (minced into 1/4 inch cubes)

1 part Cinnamon Chips

1/2 part Calendula (Pot Marigold) flower petals

Mince the candied ginger very finely with a chef’s knife on a piece of parchment paper. Add a little extra sugar and roll the ginger bits into the sugar, to help prevent sticking.

Mix all the herbs together in a large glass, pottery or enameled bowl. Use your hands to make sure the individual components are thoroughly blended. Package in jars, clear cellophane bags with gold ribbon or a festive tea tin.

To use: Steep 1 heaping teaspoon of mixture in 8 oz. very hot (almost boiling) water for 7 minutes or longer. Strain and enjoy with honey or without. The longer you steep this tea the better! Any questions about this recipe or to reach out with questions to the  master, contact Alison through her site at:

This tea is best enjoyed with your head on a Paola Pillow, feet up and a great tune like: “The Sweetest Taboo” by Sade. PinkPillownoKick back and reflect. Take a holiday!







Related Images:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.