The best peppermint comes from the northwestern United States. The pure, moist mountain air of the spring and early summer growing season gives this peppermint some of the highest volatile oil counts of any member of the mint family. Generally (dependent upon weather patterns) the second cut (takes place during mid/end August) is the most flavorful, coolest and most pungent, (literally takes your breath away and makes your eyes water). Peppermint is an herb and contains no caffeine. Quite often peppermint is consumed after meals as the oils stimulate the flow of bile to the stomach and helps relieve gas pains. Additionally, it has been reported and written that peppermint sweetens the breath and calms the digestive system, plus it helps heartburn, stomach ache and nausea.
There are several varieties and countries of origin of Chamomile - sometimes referred to as bachelor buttons because of the shape of the flower heads - but the best quality comes from Egypt. The sandy loam and nutrients from the Nile create perfect growing conditions. Chamomile flowers have a yellow center and white petals - they almost look like a daisy. Essential oils in the flowers produce a soothing pleasant aroma and a fruity character. In some parts of Europe, particularly southern France, chamomile plants have been strewn on floors or pathways to give the area a good scent. Chamomile can be made into a pleasant aromatic tea which is slightly bitter but with a fruity flavor. It is often sipped for relief of health problems ranging from toothache to nervousness. Chamomile has also been noted as beneficial for soothing headaches and is a natural relaxing herb known to assist the restless and those suffering from insomnia. In many circles Chamomile is called nighty night tea or sleepy tea on account of its natural properties which promote restfulness and drowsiness.
The use of Lavender was first recorded in ancient Phoenician inscriptions dating back to 1000 BC. The ancient Romans were also very fond of the herb and used it as a fragrant bath scent in their public bathhouses. Modern botanical science indicates that there are at least 28 known species of Lavender - some of these are wild and some are commercially cultivated - the plant grows everywhere from parts of Africa to China. The version that we offer here is a wonderfully fresh smelling organic variety that comes from Eastern Tibet. No one is certain exactly how long the people of Tibet have harvested Lavender. Archaeology indicates that at least as far back as a thousand years Tibetans were using the plant for its physically restorative, and spiritually uplifting qualities. Ancient scrolls indicate that Buddhist monks believed Lavender had a strong "grandmother energy;" they believed its scent contained elements of comfort, compassion, and the wisdom of a long lifetime of experience. The monks also believed that Lavender had the ability to promote a sense of personal peace and stability, and freedom from mental and emotional stress. The herb still plays a large part in the meditative ceremonies of certain temples and shrines in Tibet - the Dalai Lama himself counts Lavender as one of his favorite herbs. For the Tibetans, Lavender has many other uses as well. The flowers are often prepared as a tea or distilled into an oil and used to treat ailments ranging from headaches and muscle cramps to dizzy spells.