The Red Clover tea hit the spot. I put a quarter slice of lemon in it. No sugar. Straight.

I look over my purchases from the health food mart: quinoa, red clover tea, and red raspberry tea-organic. There’s other herbal teas in the pantry, but I want to stock my winter chest for whatever ails me. Nothing to worry about, except to make sure none of it goes to waste. Irish Moss (really weird, gelatin-like). Mauby Bark (I don’t know about this one). Cerisse (good for anemia-supposedly). All of it from the West Indian mart. Pau d’Arco, Ginger, Hibiscus. Twinlab’s Alvita tea line, Lipton line.

The Peppermint tea was first to go. I love the combination of Ginger-Peppermint. Fresh gingerroot I adore, and make that into a tea as well. Molasses. The unprocessed kind. It’s not bad as a tea; with lemon, it’s good. Definitely strong in flavor and smell, but my West Indian acquaintance tells me it’s a great blood builder. OK. I’ll bite. I can always use it when I’m baking pies.

Now, it’s time to surf the net for information on my new finds. I trust what I see on the different web sites (I go through at least 5, 10 is best), on what the herbs are, each one’s use, how to make the tea, and most important to me-the cautions, contraindications, side effects, etc. I appreciate what I learn from my Island friends, but I always check out the whole story with herbs. They’re like medicine, and I approach them with great respect.

The red raspberry, and peppermint-maybe the hibiscus-I alternate each day, using a different one as a beverage. I love it.

Almost forgot. There’s Sorrel. My introduction to this sweet drink was at a social a few years ago. The two I had this past holiday season: one was a little sweet, not much ginger. The other sorrel drink was heavily spiced with ginger, and loaded with sugar (straight sugar high, broke out in a sweat). That’s OK, they were both good. I can’t wait to have more of it. I just love the way this drink tastes.

It’s bedtime. Finish my tea.