Category Archives: Herbs

Afternoon Tea and the Word of Wisdom

Mormon-Hippie-Brigham-YoungBrigham Young taught that the Lord revealed the Word of Wisdom to improve the quality of our mortal lives, to make us more effective workers in God’s earthly kingdom, and to help us to fill the full measure of our creation. (Teachings of Presidents of the Church:  Brigham Young, Introduction, Chapter 29, p. 211)

Joseph F. Smith said, “Observance of the Word of Wisdom will strengthen our bodies, ennoble our souls, and bring us nearer to God.”  (Teachings of Presidents of the Church:  Joseph F. Smith, Introduction, Chapter 36, p. 323)

Mormon-Hippie-section-89“The Word of Wisdom was ‘given for a principle with promise’ (see D&C 89:3).  That word principle in the revelation is a very important one. A principle is an enduring truth, a law, a rule you can adopt to guide you in making decisions.  Generally, principles are not spelled out in detail. That leaves you free to find your way with an enduring truth, a principle, as your anchor.”  (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1996 p. 17)

As we read and ponder and practice our “Health Code”, we come to understand it is a profound gift with a profound purpose:  1) to protect the physical well being of the faithful and to extend their lives so that they will live longer and have more opportunity to learn and understand and contribute to what happens in the earth; and 2) to open the door to spiritual blessings and spiritual guidance.

Mormon-Hippie---Strong-Drink---Obraz-788-Morgue-File---tomaszlachThe Word of Wisdom, found in the Doctrine & Covenants, Section 89, states:

Verse 5:  “That inasmuch as any drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.”

Verse 6:  “And behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.”

Verse 7:  “And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.”

Verse 8:  “And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.”

Verse 9:  “And again hot drinks are not for the body or belly.”

These are the “DON’Ts” of the Word of Wisdom.  Latter-day Prophets have explained these verses this way:

Mormon-Hippie-David-O.-McKayDavid O. McKay taught “I must tell you that our people do not believe in drinking stimulants, and we think tea is a stimulant . . . There is a substance in tea and coffee which when taken into the human system, tends to increase the beating of the heart; which in turn increases the rapidity of the circulation of the blood and of breathing.  This causes the body to become warmer and more exhilarated.  After a time, however, this temporary enlivenment passes off, and the body is really in a greater need of rest and recuperation than it was before the beverage was taken . . . The habitual use of strong drink, tobacco, tea, and coffee, only tends to make the body weaker and more dependent upon the stimulants to which it is addicted.”  (Teachings of Presidents of the Church:  David O. McKay, p 103, 105)

Brigham Young said, “The constitution that a person has should be nourished and cherished; and whenever we take anything into the system to force and stimulate it beyond its natural capacity, it shortens life.  I am physician enough to know that . . . If you will follow this counsel, you will be full of life and health, and you will increase your intelligence, your joy, and comfort.”  (Teachings of Presidents of the Church:  Brigham Young, p. 212)

Mormon-Hippie-Joseph-F-SmithJoseph F. Smith explained, “If the pure intelligence of the Spirit of God were substituted for the stimulating influence of the tea and the liquor; if we could by some means get a sufficient portion of the Spirit of the Lord within us that would cause us to know just what to do when we felt weariness and faintness coming upon us, without resorting to the aid of stimulants and drugs that go far to injure our systems and make us slaves to an acquired appetite, it would be a great deal better for us.  I would rather feel tired and exhausted by labor, and let nature have a chance to restore itself, than I would attempt to doctor myself by the use of narcotics and drugs that would sap the foundation of my physical and spiritual health . . . The young man who would cope with the world, who would be full of vigor, and fresh for the battle of life, will find his strength in living according to the word of the Lord.”  (Teachings of Presidents of the Church:  Joseph F. Smith, p. 327-328)

The late Dr. John R. Christopher, Master Herbalist and Founder of Dr. Christopher’s School of Natural Healing in Springville, Utah, addressed the elements of the Word of Wisdom in his concise 24-page booklet  titled Just What is the Word of Wisdom?  in this way:

Strong drink “This has generally been accepted as referring to intoxicating liquors, but a strong drink is any drink, hot or cold, which is a habit forming drink.” He goes on to explain that it was many years after this revelation was given before Man and Science understood the phrase “for the washing of your bodies”.   It was discovered that alcohol could be used for the cleansing of wounds and for the killing of germs.

Herb to be used with judgment and skill Dr. Christopher suggests that if tobacco is such a strong and dangerous herb to require a caution for its use even on the outside of the body, “what will it do to the delicate tissues and membranes inside the body?”

Hot drinks “The common conception of hot drinks is tea and coffee . . . Medical Science has discovered  . . . that any hot liquid taken into the body is harmful . . .”  He clarifies that hot chocolate, postum and even soup—if too hot—can be very injurious to the delicate tissues of the body.   (Just What is the Word of Wisdom? By Dr. John R. Christopher, MH, p.5-7)

Now for some “DO’s”!

Verse 10:  “And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs* God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—

Verse 11:  “Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.”

*A footnote here defines “herbs” as “plants”, which would include plants, vines, trees, bushes, roots – all of which produce food and herbs for human nutrition.

Dr. Christopher stated that wholesome herbs “is used collectively, wherein an edible food from plants of any type, not under the fruit classification, are included.  Wholesome means healthy, whole . . . [entire, complete].”  (Ibid.)

Many other verses of scripture, both ancient and modern-day, support these verses with greater teaching:

Genesis 1:29, 31 and Moses 2:29, 31 (The Creation) – “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. . . . And I God, saw everything that I had made, and, behold, all things which I had made were very good; and the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (bold, italics added)

Alma 46:40 – “And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land—but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate.”

D&C 42:43 (Section 42 is “The Law of the Lord to the Church”; verses 40-52 instruct that the sick are to be healed through administrations and by faith.) – “And whosoever among you are sick, and have not faith to be healed, but believe, shall be nourished with all tenderness with herbs and mild food, and that not by the hand of an enemy.”

D&C 59:17-19 – “Yea and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens or for vineyards;

“Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; “Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.”

Is there a difference between “tea” and “herb tea”?  YES!

True teas, from the tea plant (Camellia sinensis), are naturally caffeinated and include black, green, white, yellow, oolong, etc.  The concentration of caffeine depends on when the leaves are harvested.  For example, white tea has the least caffeine because it comes from the youngest leaves; green tea is the next harvest and is still significantly less than a black tea which has had time to grow to its fullness.  De-caffeinated teas come from the same plant; the tea has been processed to remove the caffeine. **

“Herbal tea” is a catch-all term for any naturally non-caffeinated beverage made from the infusion or decoction of herbs, spices, or other plant material in water.  “Tisane” is another word for herbal tea.  Tisanes have been used for nearly as long as written history extends, dating back to Ancient Egypt and Ancient China.  The word “tisane” originates from the Greek, meaning a drink made from pearl barley.  Tisanes/Herbal Teas are commonly used for their perceived medicinal benefits.  — Source:  Herbal tea, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I learned to drink herb tea on my mission in Bavaria.  As it was common practice to serve guests tea and cake, our mission president encouraged us to graciously accept the offering, but to politely request an herb tea.  It was never a problem as they always had a variety of herb teas on hand.

I have been studying herbs and their uses and health benefits, and thoroughly enjoy creating my own blends for health and wellness, or simply a pleasurable moment by the fire with a good book, or a good friend and some good conversation!

Some people are anxious about the word “tea” – that we should “avoid the appearance of evil.”  All I can say to that is, herb tea is not evil.   The scriptures teach us that herbs are a gift from a loving Heavenly Father.  The simplest way to get the benefits of the herbs is to cover them with hot water and allow them to steep so that the beneficial properties and the exquisite flavors are infused into the water.  It’s no different than putting herbs in water and calling it broth or soup!

Herb Tea is to Tea what Root Beer is to Beer. They are NOT the same. It’s that simple. And YOU control the temperature!

— Lori Henderson, Producer/Host of “Mormon Tea” on the Mormon Media Network.

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** How much caffeine is in that?



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Brigham Young — In the public domain

Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants — Energy Media Works LLC

David O. McKay — Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University

Strong Drink —, tomaszlach

Joseph F. Smith — In the public domain

Wholesome Living, Celebration & Gladness of Heart

Mormon-Hippie-Wholesome-Living,-Celebration--Cake-photo-by-wikimedia-commons-CdnStarSeveral years ago, I attended a lecture by Michael Pollan at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah.  He had been invited by the “Slow Food Utah” organizers and his subject was about the nature of food, our environment, and healthful eating. He displayed on a very large screen a photo of a decadently rich and luscious slice of chocolate cake.  The reaction, as he expected, was a collective groan of desire and guilt from the audience.  He went on to say that in America that is the general reaction.  However, in France, the reaction is one of Celebration!

One of my favorite books is French Women Don’t Get Fat:  The Secret of Eating For Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano.  Not only is it an absolutely delightful and inspiring read, but it seems to me that the French people seem to understand and live the Word of Wisdom!  There are a few things I personally set aside — the author builds a pretty persuasive case for enjoying a glass of wine with dinner!  But I live by my rules!

Consider a few of the French philosophies found in French Women Don’t Get Fat:


As we study, ponder and pray, a new perspective and attitude toward food and healthy living takes shape, and a new kind of gratitude flows from deep within as we receive the wonderful blessings and experiences good food offers us.

In the Doctrine & Covenants, Section 59, the Lord commands the saints to righteous living and offers these words:

Yea, blessed are they whose feet stand upon the land of Zion, who have obeyed my gospel; for they shall receive for their reward the good things of the earth, and it shall bring forth in its strength.

Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fullness of the earth is yours . . . the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;

Yea, all things which come of  the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;

Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.

And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment . . . D&C 59:3 16-20 (italics added)

I believe we can, with gratitude and not remorse, indulge in beautiful, festive, and delicious celebrations that bind us as families and friends and cultures.

Let’s Celebrate!

— Lori Henderson, Producer/Host of “Mormon Tea” on the Mormon Media Network.

Copyright © 2015 by Energy Media Works LLC

This is an excerpt from a “Mormon Tea” article posted by Mormon Media Network.  To view the article in its entirety, click here.

This is an excerpt from a “Mormon Tea” article posted by Mormon Media Network.  To view the article in its entirety, click here.


If you have comments or questions, we would like to hear them. Just click on leave a comment below.


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Balloons by:, Pippalou

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Fill My Cup with Conscious Living – Segment 2 of 4

What does it mean to “live in the modern world, but eat anciently”? Vicki Talmage explains.

In this second segment of “Fill My Cup with Conscious Living”, Lori continues her conversation with Vicki Talmage, a survivor of health challenges and personal tragedy. Vicki consciously chooses and inspires LIFE! (Audio 31:05)

  • If you missed the first segment of this discussion, you can find it here.
  • Find this episode’s Raw Food Menu and Vicki’s recipes here, along with additional information about how you can reclaim health, love and joy!

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Kitchen Makeover — Healthy Alternatives to Sugar

Our children are developing Type 2 Diabetes at alarming rates.

In this episode of “Forgotten Skills Radio” Caleb Warnock and his guest Janiel Miller discuss healthy alternatives to sugar. (Audio 29:00)

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Medicinal Green Smoothies

In this episode of “Forgotten Skills Radio” Caleb Warnock promotes health and holistic intervention with medicinal green smoothies, offering creative options that kids will love too! (Audio 30:00)


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Herbs for Fighting Infections

In this episode of “Forgotten Skills Radio” Caleb Warnock teaches you which herbs to use to fight infections. (Audio 29:24)


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Listen to these past episodes of “Forgotten Skills Radio”.

Growing & Using Medicinal Herbs 

Medicinal Herbs for Colds, Flu and Asthma

Baking with Natural Yeast

The Health Benefits of Natural Yeast

Find Caleb’s heirloom seeds at “Seed Renaissance”.

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Welcome to Mormon Hippie

Mormon-Hippie-Corn-GrowingIt was at the turn of the century, no, actually the millennium! that my husband and I pretty much plunged into a new lifestyle. It began with a change in our attitude toward food. We started preparing food from scratch with living ingredients. We redecorated our home, inside and out. We hung a beaded curtain in the entry way and incorporated earth elements into our family room ~ air (with a wind chime!), water, metal, stone, wood and fire. We dug up lawn and flower gardens and planted vegetables and fruit trees in their place, and went organic ~ making peace with the weeds and crazy assortment of bugs around our hillside home. We began practicing Yoga, Tai Chi and Meditation. We turned to holistic health practices as our first line of defense against illness and for treating illness.

For some reason our children called us hippies. We took it as a compliment!

We were born in the late 1950’s. The hippie movement took hold in the mid-60’s, when we were in elementary school. I grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, California. My husband grew up in the Salt Lake Valley. As young as we were, there probably wasn’t a whole lot of difference in our perceptions. I remember wearing hot pants and white “Beatle Boots” and using words like “peace,” “love,” and “groovy.”     I remember my friend’s mother (who was probably in her late 20’s) went crazy over the Beatles and actually passed out at their first concert in Los Angeles. My parents, on the other hand, got all worked up about the long-haired Beatles and what a menace they were to society. Personally, I thought they were very cute, and during recesses, my girlfriends and I would pretend we were married to them. (We alternated between being married to the Beatles and to the Monkees!) My oldest brother served in the military during the Viet Nam War. I remember my mother praying so hard that he wouldn’t go to the battlefront. And he didn’t. He was assigned to Northern Europe – something with Special Operations. We had his photo in uniform on the wall and we all admired it with pride. And I had an older cousin who joined a hippie commune, grew his hair long, lived in a cave and smoked pot. When his father died, all the communes had to be searched to locate him. He was hunched over from his living conditions, and had to be de-loused and suited up in new clean clothes for the funeral.

We didn’t realize til we were in our 40’s that some of this hippie culture was still a part of us.

Wikipedia defines the Hippie Movement this way: “Hippies created their own communities, listened to psychedelic music, embraced the sexual revolution, and used drugs such as cannabis, LSD, and psilocybin mushrooms to explore altered states of consciousness.”

Our Mormon “Hippiepedia” defines it this way: Mormon Hippies are creating their own online communities where we can interact, exchange ideas, share information, provide support, and engage in positive discussion – all for the uplift and betterment of society and Mother Earth.

We encourage listening to inspiring, uplifting music that encompasses many genres. We also believe in the power and inspiration unique to silence, to the artistry of the sounds of Nature, and to the rhythms of the human body.

We embrace the laws of morality and chastity as taught in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and stand firm in the unpopular doctrines designed to preserve and protect the human family, and believe that real “Love,” “Peace,” and Eternal Bliss can come only through obedience to these laws.

Winter Harvest

Our drugs are herbs and wholesome foods, recreation and exercise, positive thinking and thankfulness. We adhere to the counsels found in the Word of Wisdom (Doctrine & Covenants 89), not only avoiding the “don’ts,” but gratefully living the “do’s” and welcoming the promised blessings of health to mind and body and spirit. The closest we get to psychedelic mushrooms is nutty-flavored crimini mushrooms in an omelet. Our altered states of consciousness come through practicing mindfulness, meditation, and sincere and heartfelt prayer to God, the Creator of all things.

Wikipedia goes on to say that “Hippie fashions and values had a major effect on culture, influencing popular music, television, film, literature, and the arts.” intends to have a major effect on these same things by raising the bar to a higher standard of living in harmony with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Since the 1960s, many aspects of hippie culture have been assimilated by mainstream society. The religious and cultural diversity espoused by the hippies has gained widespread acceptance, and Eastern philosophy and spiritual concepts have reached a larger audience. The hippie legacy can be observed in contemporary culture in myriad forms, including health food … and even the cyberspace revolution.” (Wikipedia) encourages worshiping God and Jesus Christ; embracing cultural diversity; exploring Eastern philosophies and gaining insights and wisdom from great minds such as the Buddha; experiencing the spiritual quest of Yoga, the health benefits of Tai Chi, the mastery of the mind and body, the spiritual power of meditation. Cultivating the art of mindfulness arouses an awareness of the necessity and practicality of making wise food choices, steering away from man-ufactured “food” and growing our own food, involving ourselves in the harvest and preparation, and respecting the sacredness of our bodies as temples and caring for them as such. “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” (13th Article of Faith)

“The core characteristic of cyberspace is that it offers an environment that consists of many participants with the ability to affect and influence each other. They derive this concept from the observation that people seek richness, complexity, and depth within a virtual world.” (Wikipedia) brings you all this and more.  Often the depth we seek is simplicity. We offer that, too.

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For more about music and the power of silence, check out these Mormon Media Network posts, “Meditation,” and “The Power of Music.”