A Memory Boosting Menu: Preserve-the-C Mint Tea

This healthful tea is full of vitamin C and other antioxidants

| July/ August 1999

Herbal Teas
Beverages made from herbs provide a plethora of antioxidants and phytonutrients that aid brain function in various ways. Rosemary, sage, and thyme all inhibit the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter critical for brain function. Raspberry leaf, nettles, and red clover are also high in phytoestrogens, a deficiency of which is currently associated with the higher incidence of Alzheimers in women. Catnip, peppermint, rose hips, and spearmint are all high in vitamin C, a critical antioxidant to inhibit free-radical damage in the brain.

You may substitute any of the herbs mentioned above for the herbs called for in the recipe below, or create an herbal tea blend to suit your taste.

Preserve-the-C Mint Tea

Ounce for ounce, mint has more vitamin C than oranges. Vitamin C is destroyed by heat, so make sure that the water you pour over the dried herbs is warm (less than 130°F) and that you add the fresh sprigs after the tea has cooled. Assimilation of vitamin C is impeded by sugar consumption, so vitamin C teas are best drunk without added sweeteners. Double the amount of ingredients to make tea for two, triple for three, and so on.

•1 cup water
• 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh or 11/2 teaspoon dried peppermint or spearmint leaves
• 2 fresh, clean sprigs of peppermint or spearmint

1. Boil the water in an open pan.

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