Saturday, May 28, 2022

The Healing Powers of Tea Sold Out Before I Arrived at a Book Signing

 By Cal Orey

Welcome to my two favorite books in the (Healing Powers Series). I waited 20 years to tackle this project--the topic of tea: One that was fun to research and write. The stories, legends, recipes, and exclusive interviews with tea gurus makes it a perfect gift book that keeps on giving year-round...
UPDATE: The Healing Powers of Tea and Honey continue to attract readers on a variety of online bookseller websites, including amazon, barnes and noble, walmart, kobo, apple, and google.  
And Honey will be released in June--National Iced Tea Month--and be available end month in audiobook format! Sweet stories to warm your heart and soul plus take you around the nation and Canada!

The Healing Powers of Honey: The Healthy and Green Choice to Sweeten Packed with Immune-Boosting Antioxidants 

Part of: Healing Powers (7 Books)

Also, it has been translated in Estonia; is available in more than 200 libraries; carried the popular, prestigious Fairmont Hotel in Victoria, B.C., Canada tea room gift shop (both The Healing Powers of Tea and The Healing Powers of Honey); and an elegant health resort shop at Cal-a-Vie in Southern California. 
Also, the TEA book has received a bestseller banner on kobo and barnes and noble websites. Plus, at one Barnes and Noble book signing in Reno (followed the famous Stephen King's appearance a week prior) the new book sold out before I, the author arrived! So, I took a box of books with Aussie in tow and drove over the mountain in a snowstorm to deliver The Healing Powers of Tea.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Superfoods Summer Cleaning -- Keep It Green and Scent-sational!

  By Cal Orey

Keep It Green with Summer is in the air. Instead of using toxic cleaners you can get your home spotless using eco-friendly superfood-rich formulas. Not only are superfoods delicious, they’re versatile—plus these farm-to-table favorites can work to help lighten up. 
It’s the season to change it up indoors. By rearranging space arrangement, you can enhance the flow of energy, and enjoy harmony with the environment. Many goals of using and arranging fruits, vegetables, and nuts in the house which may bring you a more peaceful living space and better well-being.
Superfoods are super but sometimes they end up in places that we don’t want them to be or they can be used to rid of other foods that need to go. Here, take a look.

SIX Eco-Friendly Household Hints
1. Lemon for unwanted stains:  Superfruit lemons boast antiseptic and anti-bacterial healing powers, especially when it comes to zapping stains. Both lemon juice and peels can act like bleach (but more gentle) and rid of food spots on carpets to clothing.
2.Water for Gum on furniture or carpet: It happens. If chewing gum gets stuck in hair H20 comes to the rescue. Simply apply an ice cube (put it in a plastic bag) to affected region. Freeze the gum. Repeat as needed.
3.Peanut Butter for Gum on Pet or Human Hair: If water doesn’t do the trick, peanut butter (yes!) might work. Let a bit of the butter soak into the hair, remove with a cloth, wash, and rinse.
4. Use citrus cleaners: By putting to work cleaning agents with citrus essential oil it will provide a lingering, clean scent but also its eco-green and will give you better health and energy than using cleaning products with toxic ingredients.
5.Scent it up, naturally: A simmering potpourri can provide a wonderful aroma in your home. Try combining superfoods, including 3 cups water and 2 lemons and 1 apple with peels. Place them in a pot. Add spices, such as cinnamon and vanilla. Heat to a boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer for 20 minutes. Your kitchen will smell sublime any season of the year.
6. Put out the drinking water-fruit container:  At spas and dentist offices it’s not uncommon to see a large container of water filled with slices of citrus. I love doing this in the summer but it can be used year-round to help you and yours to remember to stay hydrated.

Adapted from The Healing Powers of Superfoods (Citadel, 2019). All rights reserved. Available at all online bookstores.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Spice It Up! Says the Author of The Healing Powers of Herbs and Spices

     By Cal Orey

UPDATE: *It's time. Lose the frozen food! Think fresh. Yes! Purchase fresh herbs for fish, pasta, and salad. But don't ignore dried herbs and spices. Their shelf life is much longer than fresh seasonings (budget-friendly, especially as inflation is with us in 2022)... Late-Springtime is a perfect time to replenish those cans and jars of your faves... Herbs and spices can last up to a few years but sometimes the aroma and flavor will be less than more. So, spice it up! 

Meanwhile, Newsmax is offering The Healing Powers of Herbs and Spices as a GIFT BOOK. And it was unveiled last summer in the July issue of Newsmax Magazine! Yes! It was in the issue...The Healing Powers of Herbs & #Spices And it was also given kudos on the Walmart website with a Best Seller banner (again)! It's the go-to guide for spring-summer 2022... Plus, Herbs and Spices has now made its way into 119 libraries worldwide (plus dozens of branches)! 'Tis the season(ing) to spice it up for heart, immune health and to slim down and healthy up year-round.

This gem made its way through the news. On April 7, an article interviewing the author Cal Orey hit Huffington Post...and the piece was picked up by New York Daily, NY Daily Post, City Buzz, and even more online mags and newspapers! 

The new and timely release (yes, McCormick recently shared its Old Bay Seasoning is "hot"). People are still home-cooking more than ever! The reader-friendly book is now in more than 87 libraries worldwide (multiple copies, checked out); Woman's World Book Club approved Feb. 1 issue; reviewed by Booklist; 100% like it on Goodreads; major media outlet is on board carrying copies; Walmart gave it a Best Seller banner for 2 weeks; Best Seller in top 100 health books on Amazon this month; featured in magazines/newspapers...and the year is young. #9 (Series) The book that'll whisk you away!

Best Seller
Product TitleThe Healing Powers of Herbs and Spices (Walmart website)
    • Cal Orey
  • ISBN10: 0806540486
  • ISBN: 9780806540481
  • Format:Paperback

  • The mega-popular Healing Powers series from bestselling nutrition writer Cal Orey continues with its 9th installment, The Healing Powers of Herbs and Spices, exploring the many ways fresh herbs in your fridge and dried spices in your kitchen cupboard can provide medicinal powers, home cures, weight loss benefits, beauty treatments, and adventurous flavors and textures to enhance plant-based dishes. 

    And during the pandemic there is a spice surge because of the home-cooking comeback!
    The key to vibrant health for all generations is in your kitchen...
    Anise, bay leaf, garlic, parsley, turmeric, and more (I use a lot of the McCormick classic brand) --for thousands of years, herbs and spices have been praised for preserving and flavoring food, as well as preventing and curing illnesses. The latest research reveals that the seasonings already in your pantry--or easily found fresh in your supermarket or garden--can lower your risk for cancer, heart disease, and obesity. This A-to-Z guide catalogues the most popular and versatile herbs and spices, drawn from the Mediterranean Diet but suitable for any diet plan. You will learn how to harness herbalism to heal your body and mind.

    Discover how to use nature's gifts including allspice, chives, fennel, oregano, pepper, tarragon, saffron, and special blends like Herbes de Provence to:

    ●Bring abundant zest to your table while lowering your cholesterol, balancing your blood sugar, and revving up your metabolism--at any age!
    ●Ward off colds and flu, banish a hacking cough, and even ease PMS or menopause woes, by adding tasty plant therapy to your favorite food or drink.
    ●Lessen your anxiety and boost your mood with aromatic natural ingredients found in dried and fresh flavorings.
    ●Soothe aches and pains without harmful side effects--and trigger feel-good endorphins--using sweet and savory garnishes, including edible flowers.
    ●Create in-home spa treatments using the same herbal potions featured at luxury spa resorts.
    Caraway Breadsticks, anyone? How about Cilantro Lime Slaw, Herbal Greek Bean Soup, or Roasted Paprika Cornish Hens? With over 50 taste-tempting recipes, along with personal stories and fascinating historical anecdotes on medicinal uses dating back to biblical times, The Healing Powers of Herbs and Spices is your go-to guide to embracing limitless energy and healthy longevity while feasting on memorable meals full of aroma and deliciousness!

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Boost Immune Health with Tea and Honey for Summer Wellness

 Tea(s) with Your Honey

June is National Ice Tea Month

For centuries, people all around the world have enjoyed the simple, soothing pleasures of a good cup of tea with a good teaspoon of honey, and nowadays there is more reason to so do. Tea(s)--all kinds--especially with honey, but together they pack a punch of nutritional and health benefits.

           Medical doctors, nutritionists, scientists and beekeepers are now confirming what healers have been saying for since biblical times--teas and honeys have a variety of healing powers.
             Here are my favorite tea and honey marriages--but there are infinite combinations for both you and me to try. There is no right or wrong combination and what's sweet to you makes honey-tea beverages a sweet sip.
1. Black Tea:  The first tea I was introduced to was basic black tea--which does contain caffeine--and I have enjoyed it plain but realized it did need a sweet flavor boost to it.  Also, Earl Grey and English breakfast teas (perfect for an Irish breakfast, complete with fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, and scones) are part of the Black Tea group.
Best Honey Matches:  Basswood has a distinct flavor that I've used in plain yogurt for a rich flavor and it can give black tea a kick, too. Sourwood boasts a caramel taste that can make a common black tea come to life with taste. Earl Grey teams well with avocado, blueberry, and eucalyptus honeys, too. It's more exotic and exciting than just a simple all-purpose clover honey that comes without pleasant surprises.  
2. Green Tea:  Touted for its wide array of health virtues, this Asian tea does contain caffeine, like black tea, but not as much. It's an acquired taste and that's where honey comes into play so you can get the best of taste and nutritional benefits. 
Best Honey Matches:  Blueberry honey has a fruity taste which can give a nice kick to green tea, not the most flavorful tea.  Sage honey is mild, a California favorite of mine that brings out the best of green tea.
3.  Fruit Tea--Welcome to lemon, orange, rose hips, and apple teas. These fruity teas are sweet and sometimes tart, which call for a honey sidekick.
Best Honey Matches:  Mild flavored honeys such as sage and alfalfa brings out the best in fruit teas because it doesn't overpower the fruity taste but maintains the integrity of the fruit flavor.
4. Herbal Tea--Herbal teas come from a variety of plants other than the tea plant. They are made from the leaves, berries, flowers, fruits and bark of herbs and spices.
Although most herbal teas do not contain the antioxidant properties of real tea, they do possess other good-for-you compounds that can enhance your health and well-being. There is a wide range of herbal teas, including ginseng, cinnamon, licorice, and mint.
Rooibos (roy-boss) is the "new" herbal tea on the block--that is often called "Red Tea." Like green and black teas, this tea contains antioxidants that make it heart-healthy and immune-enhancing--and it's caffeine free.
Best Honey Matches: Teaming earthy and warm herbal teas go well with a mild alfalfa, clover, orange blossom, and sage honeys--common honeys that complement distinct herbal flavors. 
5. Oolong Tea--This tea, popular in Asian countries, contains health perks of both black and green teas. A robust flavored-tea that can have a sweet taste lends to different honeys. 
Best Honey Matches: Oolong, not a tea familiar to me, was easy to try with a friendly California orange blossom honey with its citrusy sweet taste. Another oolong mate is tupelo honey its light amber color and herbal, fruity flavors.
6. White Tea--And last but not least welcome to this pale tea. Found in China it is believed to rank number one for its antioxidants. It's a bit sweet and mellow. It's the new tea on the block for tea lovers.
Best Honey Matches:  Fireweed honey is light colored and smooth, like white tea--the two complement each other. Wildflower, one of my favorite mild honeys also goes nicely with white tea.

As a devout tea drinker, I believe your choice of honey and tea is a personal choice--like pairing dark chocolate with different fruits, herbs and spices. The selection also depends on the season to your mood. But popular and friendly honeys, such as clover and orange blossom are suitable any time, any place because they are not too strong and will not overpower teas--all types--and you can't go wrong for yourself or if you're serving other people.

Excerpt: From The Healing Powers of Honey by Cal Orey, published by Kensington Books, mass market format 2018. All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Author-Intuitive Predicted Covid-19 Would Hit U.S. -- And Variants Would Follow, No Cure

By  Cal Orey

 UPDATE:  In the spring of 2022, variant(s) are soaring around the globe. The U.S. is not immune, nor is my Golden State--California.  But the thing is, people are in denial and pretending the pandemic is over. Sadly, I know too well the variants are not done with us... 

As a former magazine journalist living in San Francisco, I wrote articles during the frightening AIDS epidemic, which we learned can affect all people of all ages. But this 2019 Asian epidemic morphed into a pandemic -- which I predicted on this blog and in a national mag, but never thought it would be this nightmarish and surreal. As the variants are continually evolving and COVID fatigue has hit.--we're not out of the woods and people (all ages) are getting sick (again)--vaxxed or not. 

The glitch is, while the new variants may not be as deadly as the deadly 1918 Spanish flu--it can wreak havoc on the mind and body more than you may think and it's super contagious. Worse, it comes with a short incubation period--and there is no cure yet.  But we do have therapeutics as I predicted we would, much like with HIV.  And, we are discovering getting infected can have long-term effects on organs and neurological damage. Plus, keep in mind, the variants don't care if you're vaxxed--or not. It's on a mission. And once hit by a variant it doesn't mean you have naturally immunity against another strain. You do not. Think of it as another enemy wearing different clothes and fighting differently.
People with healthy immune systems are not immune either (but often these people are more health oriented) so they may do better when infected with one of many variants. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you stay healthier and you end up contracting the virus, your body will be in better shape to fight the symptoms of the flu and get well faster.

*  *  *
The Four Thieves Formula, different versions, can be found in the history chapters of both The Healing Powers of Vinegar and The Healing Powers of Essential Oils  I discuss in length how each ingredient works its magic with its antiviral properties. In other words, you can build up your immune system to guard against colds, flu, and even new viruses. (Books are available at all fine bookstores--ebook, paperback, mass market.)

People used it during the Swine Flu pandemic, SARS in China (actually, prices soared for nature's remarkable remedy). And even in the Middle Ages vinegar to a variety of herbs were used to fight bubonic plague...

During the Middle Ages, vinegar made its mark, too. Four robbers in the French town of Marseilles preyed upon the homes and belongings left behind by the people who fell victim to the bubonic plague, or "Black Death" of Europe. Eventually they were caught and brought before French judges, who wondered how these four thieves had protected themselves from the deadly plague while looting plague-ridden possessions. 
The legend is that the four thieves bargained and exchanged the famous Four Thieves Vinegar for freedom, explaining that they washed themselves with the infection-fighting liquid every few hours. Upon learning about these immunity-boosting qualities, the formula was used by priests and doctors who treated the ill. No one seems to know who wrote the formula, which differs from recipe to recipe, but it is basically the same and it works in various ways. It can be used to disinfect sick rooms. If diluted with water, if can be used as a body wash. Taken by the teaspoonful (consult with your doctor for the safe amount), it can be used as a preventive measure to stave off viral infections, such as the flu.

10 Ways to Bolster Your Immune System

1. Drink plenty of fluids. Drinking water, herbal teas, and vitamin C-rich liquids can flush out any toxins that you accumulate.

2. Wash your hands frequently. (See the link and popular doctor who agrees.) Viruses can be transmitted by shaking someone's hand and then touching your face, nose or mouth. (This is probably the most important strategy. Use the recipe Four Thieves Formula--apple cider vinegar and herbs or the version with essential oils. It can be used topically, to clean surfaces in your environment, and more.)

3. Eat right. "There are many plant chemicals such as carotenoids and flavonoids that have antiviral and antibacterial activity," one California-based medical doctor told me. So eating nutritious produce daily will help keep your immune system strong. He also eats fish, whole grains, onions and garlic which help stave off flu, too.

4. Treat yourself well. "I try to minimize junk food, but I do succumb to chocolate or calcium-rich ice cream once or twice a week," said the good doctor. He added, "It's possible that lots of sugar can interfere with the proper functioning of the immune system."

5. Take vitamin C. Most of the research says that it improves the immune system.

6. Take echinacea. This herb is touted to have both antibiotic and immune-stimulating properties. But note, it's best used as a preventive measure before you get the flu.

7. Zinc yourself well. Zinc is a potent virus-fighters that can cut the time you spend in misery.

8. Drink herbal teas. Tea is a superfood chock-full of antioxidants.

9. Exercise, exercise, exercise. "It helps me sleep more deeply at night. Deep sleep is a time when the immune system has a chance to regroup itself and get revitalized," pointed out the health practitioner that taught me well.

10. Chill out. By keeping your stress levels down, you can keep your immune system up and healthy. 

  • Mask Up:  In high risk regions where there is a surge, masks may help lower the the spread of COVID-19.
  • Get Home Tested: In 15 minutes you will know if COVID-19 is responsible if you are feeling any symptoms – regardless of your vaccination status.
  •  Are you in denial that you may be infected? Sure, COVID-19 symptoms can feel like a common cold, seasonal allergies, or flu. Learn more about COVID-19 tests.
  • Stay Home if Sick: Isolate for at least 5 days if you test positive. Why do you want to spread the virus to other people? Get well!

Friday, May 20, 2022

Herbal Time is for Spring Days and Nights

  By Cal Orey

One spring day I turned to herbs and spices to get me through the noise challenge of getting a new roof. I sipped herbal tea spiked with allspice. It calmed my nerves. In the late afternoon, I believe the herb-infused dark chocolates infused with vanilla and cayenne I ate was a gift of feeling good and chill. The new roof was completed in one day, the dog rescued from the kennel before 6:00 p.m. It was done. We survived the event. 

To this day I give credit to the wonder of calming herbs and spices. You’ll be amazed to discover how each of these herbs and spices can be used topically or consumed and put to work in many ways -- and during the shoulder season when it's hot and cold outdoors. Sometimes, Mother Nature knows best. It’s as easy as 1-2-3. Read on.


 #1 CHILLAX WITH R&R ALLSPICE:  Even though Lake Tahoe is bliss, stress overload can happen anywhere and is often a trigger for high anxiety, slamming the nervous system on overdrive. Most people will feel anxious, sooner or later. That means worrying to falling into the “what if?” trap, feeling edgy, irritable, and distracted are some of the symptoms that’ll pay you a visit. Worrying about things you cannot control can cause a racing heart, feeling on edge, and simply feeling out of sync with reality. 

But allspice can come to your rescue! Put a dash of allspice in a 12-ounce cup of chamomile, black, green, or white tea. Savor the moment. Sip a cup of the spicy brew. Repeat as needed.

Allspice is a mixture of calming compounds. It contains anti-inflammatory ingredients that can quell pain. If you have a headache or backache, for instance, it can trigger stress, and anxiety may follow. Once the inflammation is lessened, however, a sense of centeredness may be the end result. It is also comforting in a cup of joe and/or if infused in a homemade warm cinnamon roll.

#2 BREW SCENT-SATIONAL POTPOURRI IN A POT: Yes, a simmering potpourri can provide an amazing aroma in your home. Try combining 3 cups water and 2 lemons with peels. Place them in a pot. Add spices, such as cinnamon and vanilla. Heat to a boil and then turn down the heat to simmer for 20 minutes. Your kitchen will smell sublime this season of renewal.

#3 GET ZZZ’S HERBAL COCKTAIL: Medical doctors will tell you anxiety and stress, can trigger sleepless nights and broken sleep. For insomnia, herbs such as these nature’s sedative mixed with good bedtime habits may help you to get sleep.

For shut-eye herbal relief, measure ½ cup chamomile flowers, 1 teaspoon lavender flowers, and 1 teaspoon thyme leaves (all dried for convenience). Combine herbs. Take a teaspoon of the calming herb mixture and add to 1 cup of hot water. Let sit for 3 minutes. Strain. Add honey (go local) to taste. Sip before bedtime. (You can also purchase ready-made chamomile lavender tea bags at our local grocery stores or health food store.)

A RENEWAL BONUS: During springtime on the South Shore, which goes from late March through late June, the signs of gardens with life of herbs start to sprout. That means fresh leaves, buds, and flowers pop up with the promise of life and vibrant colors around the Lake. Herbal gardens – indoors by the window sills are ready for you to grow; and it’s time to freshen up your dried spice pantry!

Eating during spring is a time to detox, enjoy lighter foods and beverages, complemented by lighter herbs and spices. Try cilantro, chives, dill, garlic, marjoram, parsley, and turmeric. These aromatic and flavorful healing timeless treasures will whisk you into the summer season.

Adapted from The Healing Powers of Herbs and Spices.

-- Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods, Essential Oils, Herbs and Spices) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is