Peace and calm in the pot

When a cuppa can add peace, calm and tranquillity to the pot. File image: IOL

When a cuppa can add peace, calm and tranquillity to the pot. File image: IOL

Published Jun 1, 2024


Durban — Wanted (desperately): peace, calm and tranquillity.

In the olden days, I may have reached for a Scotch or five. Or a litre or two of red wine.

That obviously caused some issues. It’s no fun dealing with stress, tension, problems, crises or deadlines with a clattering head and a queasy stomach. And it seriously messed with a growing list of prescribed medication.

It was getting out of hand. The point of no return came when I crashed through the shower door and landed in a puddle, very grateful the thing was plastic and had just loudly removed itself from the wall.

So began the wagon journey.

Disclaimer: none of what follows is medical or professional advice in any way – addiction or dependency is terribly destructive, tearing families and communities apart. Booze and illegal drugs are social ills that hurt, maim and kill. This is only a personal account of a personal journey that may help just one person.

After about two dry weeks, it became easier. But as any addict will tell you, you need something to distract you from the thing you’re hooked on.

That thing became tea. The whole ritual became important: I even bought a pretty little teapot, loose leaves and a strainer. That didn’t work, though, because (a) I didn’t have the patience to get the correct ratio of leaf-to-water so my cup ranneth over with lousy brew and (b) the strainer always let tiny horrible bits through. Bags were the only way.

This being 20-plus years ago, the choices were not as dizzying as they are today, but as the years went on, it became a bit of an adventure.

I learnt – at great sleep cost – that green tea has enough caffeine to fuel a jet and could not be consumed willy-nilly. Plus, for all the claimed health benefits and no matter how I dressed it up with lemons or honey, it felt like punishment.

Earl Grey became the go-to. It cost a bit more, but nowhere near as much as booze. And you can’t really drink a litre or two at a sitting, or, rather, a slumping.

Back in the day, weed was illegal, but have you tried being sober around a bunch of drunks talking rubbish? I was mortified I had been one of them, and bored to death at parties and braais. I tried it twice, but it was worse than being drunk or bored, and steered well clear of anything associated with it.

CBD had been suggested as a pain management tool, but I was wary of adding any other “medication” to my now-very-long script.

Until I got the tea.

The Laager people sent me two boxes, one labelled “relax” and one for “sleep”. A couple of days before that, I had stumbled into the fridge – backwards and sober – and swear I felt the back pins move. It was at the stage of sore that you’ll do anything, even if it kills you, for some relief.

So I turned to tea again: CBD-infused rooibos. After carefully reading the instructions about daily limits and health warnings, I made a cuppa.

Both smoothly passed the taste test, especially when a small glob of honey was added. The relax and sleep tests will take longer to verify: it’s difficult to separate the accuracy of mental suggestion, which definitely worked, or it was the tea. I have already checked the online supermarket for a restock.

Also in the box were some chamomile rooibos (a long-time favourite), green ginger (I’m too scared!) and cranberry and wild cherry, which the avowed non-tea drinker tried and stole.

Solving things with a cuppa remains a couch crutch. Maybe we can now add peace, calm and tranquillity to the pot.

Independent on Saturday

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