Category Archives: Lilipily Spirit Shop Stock

Lilipily Spirit products are inspired by the notion of empowering life through beauty, inspiration, and healing energies.

We believe in the empowerment that comes from the tangible and the sensual, and also in the intangible cosmic connections between all things.
We honor the life of spirit in all its manifestations.

We know that many feel lost or dis-empowered at times, and we believe that the key to direction and progress can often be found in the simplest elements.
These can be symbols, words, artworks, and even possessions that make us feel good about ourselves and our lives.

When the perspective of goodness is regained, anything is possible!

Thomas Zimmer’s Astrological Almanac Poster & Moon Planting Guide


We sell this poster calendar by Thomas Zimmer at Lilipily Spirit for very little profit, mainly because it is deeply centered in my heart from my early days as an astrologer and I have been sourcing it for my wall for decades.

Thomas Zimmer is a wonderful eccentric who lives in an old farmhouse bordering the Tweed Valley ‘bosom of Mother Nature‘ of northern N.S.W.   He lives without a telephone, or grid electricity, and is sufficed by a local stream for water, and his own veggie garden for supplies.

His outstanding poster style calendar is created especially for use in the Southern Hemisphere.  Every year he creates a new and inspiring calendar design full of astrological information such as moon phases, equinoxes, solstices and eclipse dates and times, including annual planting and gardening by the moon guides as well as an astrological/political commentary on the year to come.  He explains clearly how to get the most out your moon calendar by organizing daily activities according to the sign and phase of the moon and the rise and fall of the seasons.

It’s a fantastic calendar reference for astrologers, and for planning new and full moon rituals, spells, sabbats or moon planting… The information in the calendar is invaluable.

While the times listed on the calendar are for the Australian East Coast (Melbourne, Sydney, etc., with automatic adjustments for daylight savings) it can be used in anywhere in the world by simply adding or subtracting the appropriate number of hours for your time zone.

By purchasing this calendar you are supporting a visionary and amazing astrologer, and gaining a year’s supply of moon wisdom from a pure source.

Because we care so much for this calendar, we send it to our customers in a protective heavy pvc sheath which is then rolled into a hard mailing tube so that you do not get creases that make it hard to read. (See the pics of the 2016 calendar wrapped in this sheath).


The sheath can be used later to archive other artwork, and can also be used to pin up your calendar so you can make comments or color marks using whiteboard markers so that the actual calendar is not damaged.

The Poster Size is: 74 cm x 59 cm

Moon phases – dates and astrological co-ordinates of new moons, full moons and eclipses
    Astrological transits – daily Sun and Moon placements by zodiac sign
    Written specifically for the Southern Hemisphere and Australian Eastern Standard Time (EST), with adjustments for daylight saving
    Fantastic reference for astrologers – plan daily events to obtain the best emotional and physical balance for work or relaxation
    Plan ahead for new and full moon rituals, wheel of the year equinoxes and solstices

You can buy it at our Lilipily Spirit on line shop here.










Prayer mala created by Lilipily Spirit.   Original photo courtesy of Lilipily Spirit.
Happy Buddha beads, prayer mala created by Lilipily Spirit. Original photo courtesy of Lilipily Spirit. Click on the image to connect with Lilipily Spirit on eBay, where you can buy these particular beads.

I have been having some problems with my heart.  It’s not the first time.

Many years ago, I was close to death because of an arrhythmia.  I was given medication, then, to bring the beat back under control and should have been on that medication for the rest of my life.  But after a year, I took myself off the medication, and have had no real problems since.

Recent health problems and outside stresses and pressures appear to have over-stimulated my heart again.  It’s not quite an arrhythmia but it’s fast enough to be of concern.

I’ve been trying to heal myself with natural therapies and nurturing, this time – remembering how the medications I took years ago had such a bad effect on me.  (Which is why I took myself off them as soon as I felt able to).

My husband is concerned I’m ‘playing with death‘, (especially since I previously had a ‘small’ heart attack), but for me death comes to us all, eventually.  I do not believe I will die one moment earlier or later than when I am meant to die.

I am aware, however, that the quality of my life until my death is a mutable number of measure.  It’s at least partially up to me as to whether I live my life in good health or bad, in good mind or bad, and especially in good spirit or bad.

My belief is also that if I am unable to control these factors, and they must be controlled by people or forces outside myself, then that is when ‘fate‘ or ‘destiny‘ is at work.  All I feel I can do under those circumstances is to ‘wait things out‘ and ‘go with the flow‘.

Left to my own devices, though, I often don’t ‘go with the flow‘.  I often ‘swim upstream‘ against the current.

I am often trying to ‘fit too many hours in a day‘, (which may also account for the speeding of my heart).

To keep myself in balance, I have a daily ritual of praying with my prayer beads (mala) and reciting mantras.  It’s a way of focusing on the energies I want to establish in my life, with the help of my spirit and divine mentors.

For some time, now, despite my best efforts and most positive affirmations, I have felt very assailed, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  So, after just trying to live through that and not seeming to get anywhere, I’ve recently been calling for more ‘help‘ than usual.

The result was quickly evident as I found the energy that had been lagging, and set to work ‘catching up on things’ I had not been able to do so well, before.

I was very grateful.  But now I am paying the cost for this gift.

Having received it, I pushed myself too hard.  I did not use the energy wisely but instead ‘burned myself out‘.

How can a gracious gift from the divine come with such a cost, you may ask?

Well, in my belief system – in the divine mind, there is no such thing as time or space.

In our universe, physical manifestation can only be ‘real‘ in time and space, so physical manifestation is not ‘real‘ to the divine because it exists in time and space.

I am therefore just a vision in the mind of the divine, and treated in the same way we invest in our own visions.

Some we pay attention to, some we don’t.  Those we pay attention to become ‘real‘ only for as long as we dwell on them, and then dissipate.

When I asked for help, I believe this spurred a thought process in the mind of the divine, which wondered ‘what if‘ and then dwelled on that.

That ‘thread of thought‘ gave me what I wanted with no regard for the consequences, because in the mind of the divine there are no consequences.  I am not ‘real’.  I am just a figment of divine imagination.

Thus, I got what I wanted, and I got more than I wanted.  And a lesson was learned.

(Which is what I believe is the key of our ‘existence’ – learning about the consequences of relationship with any element in our ‘manifest existence’…  What we learn, the divine learns, about itself…)

So what was the lesson I learned (…or reaffirmed) ?  Timing.

It is said that all things in the ‘manifest universe‘ happen in their ‘own time and place’, when they are ready.

Pushing those limitations may sometimes seem to be a good thing, because say – for instance – a door is stuck closed, and needs to be forced open so that traffic can go through again…

In the mind of the divine, however, the door is created from elements confined by the ‘laws‘ that shape the ‘physical universe‘.  Like all elements in the physical universe, it is therefore as prone to change as any element of vision.  In time, it dissipates – elements naturally break down and become something else, (like crumbling dust on the floor). 

(The same in-built ‘laws of change’ will also see our bodies eventually die).

In my mind, the divine sees no need to force things, because change is inevitable.

We, however, do not have immortal bodies, so time is important to us.  (While the divine may think we are just figments of its imagination, we feel very ‘real’ to ourselves!)  As our bodies degrade with age, time is especially precious.  If we have things we still want to do, there is a feeling that time is ‘running out‘.

Pushing open a stuck door can have consequences.  Maybe a hinge comes off.  Maybe the door was swollen and needs planing to move freely again.  Maybe the lock doesn’t work so well after it has been busted open.

Our bodies are like that, too.  When the natural state of things is forced, there are consequences to deal with.

When we force our way through time, trying to get more done than we can naturally do whilst keeping all else in balance and harmony, there are consequences.

In praying for more energy, because I did not want to spend too long resting and rejuvenating, or did not want to wait for more progress to arrive in its own good time, I got what I wanted.  The door was forced open.  But now things are racing ahead, and that includes my own heart

Timing, therefore, is something we should all take into account.

Maybe that, too, is why such spiritual paths as Buddhism and Taoism espouse ‘living in the moment‘.

When you are ‘living in the moment‘, you are not thinking about the past, when you did so many things you now feel you have to live up to, and you are not thinking about the future, where you feel you have to make it measure up to or be more than your past.  You are just being alive, moment to moment, and experiencing the fullness of each second.  Just like Nature does.

Now, my own rashness and over-compelling desires have left me with the consequences of living in a human body in a physical world.  I was my own ‘worst enemy‘ and so, despite wanting to keep progressing, I am now forced to rest and recover.

Even metaphysical healing takes time in the ‘real‘ world.

There are positives, though.  I have more time to watch the beautiful green and red ‘king‘ parrots sitting in the jacaranda tree growing beside our lounge room patio, who are taking turns to feed on the honey-soaked birdseed cake hanging off the rustic bird house, hanging there.

With that sort of view, rest can be delightful!

(P.S. To those who might be concerned about my health, I’m not completely silly… I am also seeing a doctor to get things checked, just in case I do need some ‘outside help’ this time… It doesn’t hurt to have back up).


Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine

Hand Carved Aloeswood Talisman – Pi Xiu Temple Lion Dog

Muffy rhe Shih Tzu with Pixiu
Muffy rhe Shih Tzu with Pixiu. Photo copyright by Lilipily Spirit

This beautiful hand carved talisman, made from 100% pure aloeswood, is said to bring protection, good luck, and the removal of woes and obstacles.

The temple dog, also called the lion dog, is well known in the western world as a ‘fu dog‘ and its stylized form is called a snow lion in Tibet, where it is seen as the protector of Buddha.

The Shi Tzu dog looks most like this brave and devoted mythical animal, and you can see our own special pet, ‘Muffy’, beside one of the carvings, (above and below).

We have always thought of Muffy as our own personal Pi Xiu – a guardian angel who fills our hearts with joy and encouragement, (and who is the special darling of our adult disabled son., bringing constant light and love into his life).

You can never be afraid, sad, or lack courage when Muffy is around – and these carvings inspire that same uplifting feeling, too!

Photo copyright by Lilipily Spirit

Aloeswood, also known as Eaglewood or Agarwood, is sometimes called imitation sandalwood because of its similar though more subtle fragrance. It has been burnt as temple incense and even when its scent diminishes with age, burning will still release the oils and a wonderful subtle scent.

Handling it and warming it with your body will also release these subtle fragrances, which is why it is such a perfect wood for carved talismans that you want to handle as you pray your woes away.

Photo copyright by Lilipily Spirit

This wood is quite highly prized and increases in value as it ages.  In some countries, it is worth more than gold.
The wood is also used in traditional chinese medicine, aryuvedic medicine, and aroma therapy, as well as in various religious rituals.  We also use aloeswood in some of our prayer malas and happy buddha beads.


Natural aloeswood has varying textures and densities, and carving requires considerable skill so the wood is not wasted.  This wood is valued in a number of religions and is made into various buddhas, deities, and other talismans.

Though there are many methods of carving aloeswood, the most prominent and popular way is circular carving, and therefore you may see curved carving lines on these talismans.  Usually, more than one person creates the woodcarvings via a flow  process.

Photo copyright by Lilipily Spirit
Photo copyright by Lilipily Spirit

Over time, carved aloeswood darkens and attains a beautiful deep brown finish.  These pieces are already beginning to darken, though the pictures with Muffy in them were taken outside and the wood does not look so dark in sunlight.

Click here if you are interested in obtaining one of these lovely pieces (and if you own a shih tzu, like us, it’s just adorable!)


Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine


About the Quantum Scalar Energy products we sell at Lilipily Spirit

Photo courtesy of Lilipily Spirit - Quantum Scalar Energy products
Photo courtesy of Lilipily Spirit – Quantum Scalar Energy products

When I first came into contact with the Quantum Scalar Energy pendants we sell in our business today I was actually exploring our wholesale suppliers categories for completely different lines of product.  Out of curiosity, I read their write-up and decided to add some to our order.

We became a bit trepid about using them soon afterwards because of a scaremongering range of videos on the internet, showing how these items can set a geiger counter to beeping.

After that, I did a hell of a lot of research, and also liaised with our supplier to get more information. By the end of that research I was happy enough to wear the product.

I also had been given laboratory documentation by our supplier, who of course wanted to continue with our custom.

(We did do our own personal testing for radiation from the products that arrived to us, to clear our minds completely, and the geiger counter did not register at all. Later on, it was nice to also get video clips showing the testing for negative ion emissions from the pendants we stocked, so that we could assure our customers that the levels of anions we said they emitted were actually happening…)

I was so happy about the boost in energy level and focus  that the pendant I was wearing gave me that I handed them out to others in my family. We also gave them to my grand-daughters to wear and their cranky moods calmed down almost immediately – and I put one around the neck of my old dog, who was suffering badly from arthritis and had clear signs of heart disease.

The results were amazing, at first, but then seemed to wear off.  I talked to the supplier again and was told to take the pendant off for a while and then try again in 7-10 days.  It worked.  Taking a break and putting it back on later, I was able to assess that the pendant really was having an effect on me.  From what I understand now, your body just gets used to the new energy and accommodates it.  That doesn’t mean it’s not working.

After that, I started looking at other products in the range available to us.  Our first foray had been with very low emission items that were also hung from plated copper chains.  I thought that we might actually do okay selling these products in our business, so I wanted to supply something that I not only believed in but which had some quality to it.

In my explorations, I discovered that you can get certain metaphysical designs  in the ceramic constructions, that come on cotton cords.  I liked the ceramic constructions because these put you in the closest vicinity to the natural elements in the pendant, and you could also warm them in your hand or in water to use in direct touch therapy.

Since then, we have expanded our range to include a guardian archangel and shekinah dove design, a ganesha om and reiki design, a jesus and prayer talisman, a sacred geometry flower of life and chakra rose design, a solar deity sun symbol design, a bianstone buddha head, and embedded silicon pet tags. While there is a great range of different types of quantum scalar energy products for us to choose from to sell, we have decided to concentrate on these talismanic images (except for the pet tags). They just suit our business theme better.

I have been wearing the archangel  since they first arrived, almost 24 hours a day. While I have autoimmune disorders, including asthma, arthritis, fibromyalgia, food sensitivities, and others, much of these conditions have been eased for most of the time. That’s not saying that I have been cured or that I don’t have any problems at all any more but they are lessened and I am able to manage them better.

Because our website was in a state of ongoing construction, I first posted these items for sale on ebay. They have been one of our most popular sales.

Admittedly, we do instil blessings  into each item before it is posted so I have sometimes wondered if what people were picking up on was the healing energy embedded, rather than pure QSE – but that didn’t explain the energy boost, the fantastic stamina and ability to concentrate  that we were experiencing for ourselves when wearing these items.

Every so often I’d try removing the pendant and leaving it off for a few weeks. My arthritis would get worse. I’d be stiff getting out of bed in the mornings. The day after I put the pendant back on each time, I was able to get up out of bed without awkwardly thumping my feet along the floor.

I’m not saying that everyone will get the results we have done. We have each had different outcomes – not bad ones, but some of us have not felt too much at all from wearing these items. So I spoke to the supplier again (they actually manufacture these items in their laboratory and are not just a warehouse)  and I was told that this is perfectly normal.  If your health is in reasonable condition, you probably won’t feel noticeable effects.

That doesn’t mean the item is not working. It will still be doing its job of deflecting harmful EMF rays  from your computer or mobile phone, etc., but because your body is in a healthy state of balance you won’t really notice the difference.

What we did notice, especially, was how wearing the pendants improved our state of mind. Even if you are emotionally overwhelmed by something happening in your life, it seems to help you maintain focus and keep on keeping on.

My old dog had not been able to run around the house, go on walks, or jump on the bed or couch for some time. She had been looking really bad and moved terribly, and we had been preparing for the worst. It was so surprising when she first jumped up on the couch when we were watching television one night, after we put her pendant on (this was before we got the silicon pet tags). Today, she goes on walks, too, and even plays with our younger dog sometimes. By golly, that old dog has been running around like a maniac at times. It’s been amazing to watch.

She still gets tired and needs to rest after her walks, or after the crazy scooting around she’s been doing, but it’s a miracle to see her doing it at all. Yes, she’s still old, and is probably on her last legs, now, but she is more likely to live life to the fullest she possibly can until her last breath, these days. That’s a really nice thought.

I do forget to put mine back on after I shower, sometimes. The cotton cord doesn’t wear too well when it gets wet – but if I leave it off for a couple of days, I still notice the difference when I put it back on.

I also chipped part of the dove design (on the back of the archangel pendant)  when I dropped it on the tiled bathroom floor – so you have to remember that the pendant is a ceramic. It’s not hard metal.

The chip is barely noticeable, since the ceramic is actually quite hard. It doesn’t affect the way the pendant works.

I did chip the ear off the bianstone buddha head I was wearing as a pendant, though, and that was disappointing because the damage was more noticeable. Bianstone does not have the technically engineered ceramic of the other pendants, and is pure fine grained lava stone. Again, the item still works as it should, and bianstone can be used in acupressure and hot stone therapies (though the buddha head is a small pendant size).

What I really like about our main range of ceramic QSE pendants is that they are natural elements that have been melded  together to increase their beneficial qualities for health.

Tourmaline is one of my favorite gemstones because of the powerful metaphysical qualities  it has, and some crushed tourmaline is in every ceramic QSE pendant. The tourmaline in the pendants is why a geiger counter was able to be set off beeping in those videos I viewed long ago. Tourmaline emits far infra red rays (FIR) which is a type of radiation, too. What people don’t realize unless they are educated in the matter is that far infra red rays are totally harmless. They are not the ion type of radiation you get from nuclear energy, for instance.

Far infra red rays are part of the sunlight spectrum that is invisible to the naked eye. They are known to promote the growth and good health of all living cells, as well as to stimulate the alpha waves in the human brain, which increases concentration and focus, enhances relaxation and calm, and enables visionary meditative states.

They also resonate with the water cells in our bodies, promoting good blood circulation, improving oxygenation, and helping to eliminate fats, chemicals, toxins, and blood acidity. This process also enhances the nervous system, which copes better without having to deal with a toxic onslaught.

(Of course, if you keep surrounding yourself with high levels of EMF radiation or ingesting chemicals and toxins in your food, your body is still going to find it hard to keep up, and the tourmaline is going to struggle to do its job as quickly as it might otherwise have done…)

Enough crushed tourmaline is melded into each ceramic pendant to activate the negative ion emissions  from the basalt lava elements. Since basalt lava is a static mineral and negative ions need friction, water or heat to emit from static items, the far infra red rays provide just enough stimulation to ensure that the pendants will ceaselessly emit negative ions as well.

The only drawback in this equation is that the pendants only emit negative ions to a radius of 46 centimeters before they peter out. So you either have to move the pendant to the location you need specific treatment for,  wear more than one pendant or QSE item (some come with plastic nano cards that have their own embedded energy), or wear the pendant over the body’s energy vortex (the area where all the main meridian lines meet and generate), which lies in the area surrounding the heart.

As noted, the other main element in these ceramic pendants is of course basalt lava, which emits negative ions under the stimulation from tourmaline (and also when you place it near the heat of your body or in water).

Basalt lava is used regularly in the construction industry to reinforce roads, paving, and the walls in buildings. You may know it in one of its coarser forms as bluestone.  It is made into fibers that are embedded in the walls of the international space station to protect astronauts from EMF radiation, and it is a major component of concrete bunkers used to contain nuclear waste and prevent contamination leaks because of the obstruction it creates for radiation. Lava stone has also been used for hundreds of years under the name of bianstone or needle stone, used for acupressure and hot stone therapies.

The negative ion energy that comes from these QSE products is also naturally emitted from many sources, such as ocean waves, waterfalls and forests – but in most cases those negative ions aren’t portable and you can’t make them into personal zones of protection. It is negative ion energy that helps Mother Earth bounce back from the worst of disasters.

So what exactly does Quantum Scalar Energy (QSE) do?

(This is what really thrilled me, since I have long used healing energies and know all about the chakras and their distributions).

Basically, QSE realigns the meridian lines in your body that EMF radiation has misaligned, and allows energy to flow without obstruction again.

What are meridians?  Put simply, they are the flow lines of energy  in the body that acupuncturists have long manipulated to encourage good health. These are the same lines of energy that flow through the chakra points and distribute life force to every cell.

Mother Earth has her own meridian lines which are followed when birds and animals migrate. You can get an idea of how EMF radiation  from the sun and electronic items can disrupt these meridian lines when you see beached whales who have lost their sense of direction.

The invisible energy of EMF radiation can silently disrupt the processes of your body – which can cause a multitude of health problems, including imbalances in your mental, physical, and emotional health.

What QSE products do is to help mitigate or even prevent EMF disruption and return your energy levels to normal.  When you feel healthy and positive  life is always so much better and you can manage even the diseases that cannot be cured with a higher level of comfort.

They are not a short term health product, either. The laboratory process means that these QSE products have a long term resonance that keeps producing negative ions and far infra red energy, ceaselessly.

Tourmaline is a gemstone crystal that never stops emitting far infra red rays and it doesn’t need any stimulation to do that. It gives off such powerful levels of FIR that only a tiny amount is necessary in addition to the basalt lava in the ceramics.

When they first started making these products, they went overboard in adding the tourmaline, which is what set the geiger counters off. Today, they have adjusted their recipes and reduced the levels of tourmaline so that they don’t set off geiger counters any more. This means that the USA authorities have now passed the pendants as being totally harmless.

(Tourmaline is a gemstone used widely in jewelry, which would not be possible if it was dangerous. So all it took was an adjustment in the levels of tourmaline in the ceramic mix so geiger counters would no longer go beep around these products and all was well).

Including tourmaline in the mix also means that the basalt lava, that would not have emitted its store of negative ions without a lot of physical help, is now able to constantly emit them – and to do so with a guaranteed average output.

The negative ion emissions from the basalt lava also don’t ever stop or run out – at least not for millions of years, which is not going to be a problem for any of us.

As I noted about the effects on my own health, these products are not a cure all. I’ll never tell anyone that Quantum Scalar Energy is a miracle cure, either, though what it has done in obvious ways for us seems nothing short of miraculous.

What I will tell anyone who asks, though, is that it can help your energy levels and ability to concentrate.

As a healer, I know that these elements alone can instigate healing in many other areas of your body and life.


Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine

Our Business – Lilipily Spirit

Lilipily Spirit

We are an online business selling products from
We also sell a limited range on ebay under the name of lilipilyspirit. The same on Etsy.
We do not sell anywhere else at present.

We have been in business since 2006 and are a small family run operation but hope to keep expanding. This ambition is reflected in the wide range of products we offer.

The products we sell are either created by us (we are also artists) or selected to suit our business theme, which is ‘Empower Your Life – Connect with the Divine’. E.g., inspirational products. Since inspiration allows a very wide scope, due to the variations in personal choice, we currently sell a range of items under that banner.

Our categories include Altar & Ritual; Arts & Crafts; Amulets & Talismans; Clothing; Gifts & Decor; Gemstones & Tumbles; Jewelry & Prayer Beads; Quantum Scalar Energy; Teas & Herbal Tisanes.

If you visit our main website and find that some sections are presently closed, it is probably because we are doing an update. Please try again later. There are also some information pages to view under our About Us, Metaphysical, and Blogs sections.

Every one of our suppliers have similar attitudes to life and business to ours. They are thoroughly enjoyable to work with and bring their own positivity into our business equation.

Our business sells products as in stock, commissioned, order, or back order. Each category has its own sale method. As a small business, we simply do not have the warehousing to have all items in stock immediately, though we do carry a range of immediate sale products.

When an item is sold as order, it is usually ordered in from a local supplier, so the delivery period for purchases is almost the same as for in stock items. Back order items often have to come from overseas to us, so there is a longer waiting period. (We are based in Australia). Commissions are pre-paid or deposit secured items that take as long as necessary for the artist to complete.

While we aim to make a buck like most businesses, we are also making deliberate choices to ensure that our work does not lose its ‘heart & soul.’ We take the time to imbue each post out with blessings before sending it on its way. This is highly important to us. We like to feel we are serving you as well as we can, especially where you are purchasing items from us that are health, healing or metaphysically oriented. We like to give those products the best chance they have of being of service to you.

If you have any questions at all, or just want to drop us some ideas, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.

That also goes for anything you know we sell but is not showing on line at present. Just get in touch!


Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine

Time for Tea

photo courtesy of Harney & Sons fine teas
photo courtesy of Harney & Sons fine teas

I was brought up in a household where the first noises I woke up to in the morning were of my Nanna filling the kettle at the porcelain sink in the kitchen and clanking it onto the iron hob of her ancient gas range.

You can’t smell tea permeating a house like you do coffee when it’s brewed but if you are a tea lover then none of that matters. All that is really important is that beautiful liquid dancing on your tongue and rolling away down your throat with a cleansing orgasm of tannins.

Nanna had lived through the Great Depression, so her favorite brew was a pot of extremely strong black Robur tea. She made a huge pot of it to lay on the breakfast table and all the family partook of it – even the children.

I grew up learning how to carefully hold my cup and to blow on the surface and only gently sip the hot liquid so I didn’t scald my mouth. There was no molly coddling in those days, no half milk half tea concoctions. I learnt to drink as the adults drank their tea, with the only proviso being that I drank under supervision and with care.

When my own children came into being, I passed on those lessons to them. So they also grew up loving a good cup of tea, hot, not lukewarm, and sipped slowly with pleasure.

My grandchildren today do the same and the family tradition thrives. After a day of excursions, when they arrive back home, the first thing they want to do is to sit down and enjoy a nice hot cup of tea – and they are not yet adults!

Being as curious as I am, I once explored the reasons why tea had such a powerful effect on us all. I found myself absorbed by all the wonderful information to be found, such as that tea is full of natural anti-oxidants that enable the body to maintain good health.

I also discovered that tannins, like those found in tea, are what the leather industry uses to make dry skins soft and pliable enough to use as leather, which made me wonder if the unusually slow outward ageing of my older extended family members was due to such a well embedded tea drinking tradition.

Most likely, that routine of tea in my life and those later information explorations eventually led me to herbs and their medicinal qualities. Tea, after all, is a type of herb, derived from the leaves of a particular flowering shrub and processed by blanching, steaming, drying or fermenting until you eventually get those wonderful tiny rolled leaves to brew.

My first explorations of the medicinal qualities of herbs began in my kitchen cupboard. I studied herbs through books and courses but my first tisanes were made by taking ordinary cooking herbs and making a medicinal brew when my children got gastroenteritis and couldn’t keep anything down.

I’m famous in my family for that Tummy Bug Cure and the simple recipe has been passed on with little change. Basically, you take equal parts of fennel seeds, rosemary, and sage. You can also add chamomile and peppermint or spearmint, but the first three herbs are the most important. The fennel seeds quell the tummy gases that are so uncomfortable. The rosemary has a sedative effect and is also a disinfectant. The sage is a powerful germicide. You brew a big pot with a few teaspoons of the mix, and sweeten it to taste. It can be drunk hot or cold.

I used to give the first cup hot and then further cups were cold. At first, the patient cannot keep much down, so only a few sips at a time is fine. As they feel more capable, they take more and more sips, with the aim of being able to actually drink a whole cup at a time…and keep it down.

The end result was always good and this tisane was the only thing my family was able to keep down when they were sick like that. Yet those herbs and flavors were not what they would normally like to drink when they were well. It was as if their bodies told them that this would be good for them. They loved it.

Of course, having such miraculous evidence of the efficacy of even pre-dried kitchen herbs it was no wonder that I got deeper and deeper into the mysteries of herbal tisanes. I even worked for a herbal medicine company for a while, selling their products and learning even more about them.

Lavender & Chamomile herbal tisane
Picture courtesy of Harney & Sons, fine teas

While that career was shelved for other ones over time, my interest in and use of herbs has remained. My family share that interest and have added tisanes to their favorite beverages, alongside traditional teas. Herbal teas are a lovely variation on the old hot cup of tea we grew up with, and when you feel those essential oils doing their work inside you, enabling purification and healing on cellular levels, it feels even better drinking them.

I’ve learnt so much more about tea since we began selling tinned teas from Harney & Sons. I learned such things as green tea should not be brewed with water that has just boiled or the result may become bitter. You need to wait a little until the water is still hot but not scalding to brew green or white tea.

I learned that good leaf tea can be brewed more than once with the very same leaves and still retain a good amount of flavor – which makes a tin of quality tea bags a more economical option.

I learned that white tea, which is derived from leaves that have been barely processed at all, has the greatest amount of anti-oxidants to enhance good health and, despite having almost no color in the liquid at all, has a really beautiful and refreshing flavor.

I learnt that herbal tisanes can be extended after the pot has gone cold, by putting the brew into the refrigerator and having it as an iced tea (with added fruits and flavors, as desired). That way you are not wasting any valuable health benefits… and kids really love iced tea!

My favorite traditional tea may have started with Nanna’s deep rich Assam mix in the now defunct brand, Robur, but today I prefer an Earl Grey – a slightly smokey flavor that is enhanced by bergamot essential oil from bitter orange peel. I like to think of it as my ‘happy pill’ since bergamot is known for its anti-depressant qualities…and anyone who hangs around too long when I’m hankering for a cuppa I haven’t had yet will most likely agree with that. Never confront the lady until she has had her hit of tea…

“Tea is the ultimate mental and medical remedy and has the ability to make one’s life more full and complete”
– Eisai, a Zen priest (1141-1215 AD)

I totally agree with that.


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Lilipily Spirit – Teas, Chais & Tisanes