Tea & Botanical Blends Designed to Honor Your Body + Mind


BotanicalsAdrienne Etkin Nascimento

As far back as the Egyptians, humans have been using gifts from the earth for healing purposes. The Papyrus Ebers, an ancient text written approximately around 1500 BC, contains references to more than 700 herbal remedies, including herbs such as aloe, caraway seeds, marjoram leaves, spearmint, basil, hibiscus, calendula, anise seeds, parsley, cumin, licorice root, chamomile, dill, garlic and many others.

In ancient China, Shen Nung (approx. 2700 BC), the Divine Farmer, wrote a treatise, Shénnóng Běn Cǎo Jīng, also known as The Canon of Herbs or The Divine Farmers's Materia Medica. This extensive book covered over 365 medicinal botanicals and their applications. Shen Nung is also reported to have discovered our beloved camellia sinensis – TEA! The story goes that the legendary Emperor was on one of his herbal recognizance missions and was not feeling quite at peak condition. He sat beneath a tree and began to boil some water. Some of the leaves from the tree floated into his boiling water. He took a few sips and immediately felt more revived and awake. Those leaves turned out to be camellia sinensis leaves. Life would never be the same again (There is another story about the discovery of tea and the Buddha's eyelids, but that is a tale for another day).

Ayurveda, the science of life, has been practiced in India for thousands of years using a plethora of botanicals in formulations used prevent and cure many ailments. The ancient encyclopedias of medicine include the Sushruta Samhita, which includes over 700 botanicals and Charaka Samhita. One of the most beautiful aspects of Ayurveda is that it helps the healthy person to maintain health and the diseased to regain their health.  It treats the person as a whole and in the context of their environment. 

These are just a few of the many cultures across the globe that have been using herbs and other botanicals for healing and medicinal purposes for thousands of years.  In modern society, thankfully there is a trend going back to the ancient ways of natural and holistic treatment of our health and well-being. 

Stay tuned for more on our series – It’s Just Herbs, Man. What kind of herbs do you use for medicinal purposes? Did elder generations of your family pass down knowledge to you that you would like to share with us? We’d love to hear from you!




MusicAdrienne Etkin Nascimento


I’m walking around with a big ole sack, coming in your direction.

What kind of tea do you like? I got it.

I’m the medicine man, herbs from the land. Yeah.

Got rosemary, calm your nerves

Got peppermint leaves that get rid of my fever

I keep periwinkle to get some love now

I got cloves to keep my backbone strong

Gotu Kola I tell you for my blood and

Dandelion for my bones y’all

Haka leaves to keep away flies

Hot baby cayenne for my pressure

I’m the herbman, Oh I’m the herbman.

Get the children out the way now

No, you can’t smoke this sir!

This is for salad, yeah salad.

Hot baby cayenne, for my pressure

Passionflower, lady lavender on my pillow make me sleep good at night

Goldenseal, Chamomile

Nutmeg make your breath smell sweet

Cassava for your snake bites

A dime bag? No, I ain’t got that herb.

No, I don’t have it and you don’t have the cash.

Fill my bag up when you mow the lawn

Throw them weeds away y’all

But don’t through them too far away, save them for me

Cause them weeds you talking about

Is my medicine.

I’m the herbman.

~ Excerpt from Herbman by Olu Dara off of Neighborhoods, 2001 (Olu Dara is Nas' father - if you didn't know) reflects the natural, healing properties of herbs. Transcribed by us so there ARE errors.~