Give Health this Holiday

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Keep your holidays simple and healthy this year
with herbally inspired gifts. You’ll find something for everyone on
your gift list here, from culinary delicacies to luxurious bath and
body-care products and gifts for the home. Put on your favorite
music, relax with a mug of mulled wine or hot chocolate, and have
fun making gifts and checking out the websites of the companies on
the pages that follow.
Numi Teas
(888) 404-6864

Culinary Gifts

You can satisfy the most discriminating tea connoisseur with the
unique assortment of black, green, white and herbal teas from Numi.
All of the company’s tea blends are made without essential oils or
flavorings, and rely instead on herbs, spices and dried fruits for
rich flavor. For example, Berry Black is Darjeeling tea blended
with freeze-dried strawberries and raspberries. Moonlight Spice is
a delicate white tea blended with orange peel, schisandra berries,
lemongrass and spices. Even the company’s Earl Grey is naturally
scented with real bergamot oranges instead of bergamot

Numi’s most unusual offerings are the flowering teas. Fragrant
flowers such as rose, jasmine, lavender and chrysanthemum are
rolled in green, white or black tea leaves and hand-sewn into
artistic bundles by artisans in China. When steeped in a pot of hot
water, the leaves burst open into stunning shapes (many look like
blooming flowers), making a delicious and beautiful pot of tea.

• Numi Bamboo Treasure Chest filled with 18 assorted teabags:

• Numi Individual Flowering Tea Bamboo Bins: $16.95

• Numi Flowering Tea Gift Set: A bamboo gift chest containing a
bin of Numi’s assorted flowering teas and a glass teapot perfect
for appreciating the unfolding tea: $37.95


These truffles are a decadent holiday treat. Infuse the cream
with lavender flowers, rose petals, peppermint or orange peel.

1 cup heavy cream
1 to 2 tablespoons dried herb or 2 to 4 tablespoons fresh chopped
herb of choice
1 pound bittersweet chocolate
Cocoa powder

In a medium saucepan, bring cream and herbs to a boil over
medium-high heat. Remove from heat, cover, and steep for 10 to15
minutes. Strain. Using a sharp knife, chop chocolate finely and
place in a large heatproof bowl. Reheat herb-infused cream to a
gentle boil, and pour immediately over chocolate. Let stand for 5
minutes, then whisk until smooth. Leave at room temperature until
thickened, about 15 minutes. Pour chocolate mixture into a shallow
glass dish. Cover, and refrigerate until mixture is cold and set
but still pliable, about 30 minutes.

Using a small spoon, scoop out teaspoons of chocolate and place
on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill for 10 to 15 minutes or
until firm enough to handle.

Shape chocolate into balls and roll each in powdered cocoa or
crushed toasted almonds or hazelnuts. Chill in an airtight
container until ready to serve. Will keep for up to two weeks

Guayakí Yerba Maté
(888) 482-9254

A traditional beverage of South America, yerba maté is a
satisfying alternative to coffee or tea. Rich in vitamins, minerals
and antioxidants, yerba maté has a full-bodied, slightly smoky
flavor. Guayakí maté is certified organic and rainforest grown. The
company enhances their yerba maté with organic herbs and spices to
create a variety of unique blends, including Chai Spice Maté (with
cinnamon, licorice, ginger, nutmeg, clove and stevia). Add milk or
soymilk for a delicious cup of chai. Other tasty blends include
Magical Mint Maté (with peppermint, spearmint and stevia) and
Orange Blossom Maté (with orange peel, lemon peel, rosehips,
cinnamon and stevia).

Guayakí also partners with the indigenous people of South
America to create hand-carved and decorated gourds and bombillas
(metal filter straws and spoons) for enjoying maté in the
traditional way.

• Guayakí Yerba Maté: 16 tea bags per package, $6.95
• Guayakí Traditional Gourds: $10 to $15
• Bombillas: $8 to $14.

Dagoba Chocolate
(800) 393-6075

Chocolate doesn’t get any better than this! The winner of
numerous prestigious chocolate awards, Dagoba is a family-owned
business offering a variety of unique organic chocolate bars, hot
cocoa mixes and other chocolate products. All ingredients are
organic, and many are Fair Trade Certified. Several of their
products are herbally inspired: The Lavender bar is infused with
lavender essence and dried blueberries, the Roseberry bar contains
dried raspberries and rosehips, and the exotic Xocolatl bar is a
spicy blend of dark chocolate flecked with chiles, cacao nibs, maca
and nutmeg. Xocolatl is also available as a hot chocolate mix, 12
ounces for $8.60.

• Dagoba chocolate bars, assorted flavors: $3.00
• Dagoba 12-bar sampler (your choice of flavors): $36.00
• Dagoba gift package: 12 assorted chocolate bars, hot chocolate
mix and cacoa powder: $55.00

V’Tae Aromatherapy Perfumes
(800) 643-3011

Bath and Body Luxuries

V’Tae offers an array of aromatherapy body-care products based
on unique combinations of essential oils. The company’s Esoterics
collection, packaged in glass bottles with beautiful gold-trimmed
labels, is especially suited for holiday gift-giving. Sensuality is
a spicy, exotic combination of rose, sandalwood, ginger, ylang
ylang, mandarin and other essential oils; Sacred Fire is a warm,
rich fragrance that includes amber, sandalwood, jasmine,
frankincense and coriander. Their newest fragrance, Silk Kimono, is
a delicate blend of jasmine, lime, sandalwood and other fragrant

• V’Tae Esoterics Collection Eau de Parfum 2-ounce bottle:
• V’Tae Esoterics Collection Sparkling Bath Salts 6-ounce package:
• V’Tae Esoterics Collection Lotion 8-ounce bottle: $18.00

Nature’s Acres Massage Oils
(608) 522-4492

Created from herbs cultivated and wildcrafted on their organic
herb farm, Four Elements Herbals makes an array of beautiful herbal
massage oils. Attractively packaged in glass bottles, the nine
different herb-infused body oils contain only cold-pressed almond
oil, vitamin E, essential oils and herbs. Each contains a
decorative herb sprig appropriate for the blend. For example,
Wisconsin Violet Body Oil contains a sweet blend of chamomile and
orrisroot essential oils and is infused with violets. Invigorating
Peppermint-Thyme Body Oil is scented with peppermint essential oil
and contains decorative and fragrant sprigs of thyme.
Sandalwood-Ginseng Body Oil is a warm, rich blend of sandalwood,
rose and cinnamon essential oils and is infused with American
ginseng root.

• Nature’s Acres Massage Oils, 4-ounce bottle: $11.00

Heat Treats Herbal Wraps

Heat Treats herbal wraps are the perfect antidote for tired,
sore muscles. Filled with flax seeds and lavender flowers, the
wraps are made to last and are designed to be heated in the
microwave or chilled in the freezer for either hot or cold
treatments. The wraps are available in long (perfect for necks and
shoulders) and lumbar sizes, and come with removable 100 percent
cotton covers in a variety of prints and colors.

Heat Treats Long or Lumbar Wrap: $30.00

Gifts for the Home

Fred Soll’s incense
(505) 281-0785

Made from natural ingredients, Fred Soll’s incense is created
from aromatic resins such as frankincense, myrrh and pine mixed
with dried herbs, spices, flowers and berries. The production
process, which involves making the incense by hand and drying it in
the New Mexico sun, produces superior incense, with each stick
averaging one to two hours of burning time. With 48 different
scents to choose from — ranging from Sacred Sage and New Mexico
Sandalwood to Joyous Rose and Lovely Lavender — there’s something
to please everyone.

• Fred Soll’s incense sticks: 20 sticks for $10.00
• Fred Soll’s incense cones: 10 cones for $11.00

Aroma Naturals candles
(800) 462-7662

Only the purest natural essential oils are used to scent Aroma
Naturals’ beautiful and colorful array of candles. The handcrafted
candles are available in either a vegetable/soy wax blend or
food-grade paraffin wax; both have clean-burning cotton wicks. The
25 different fragrance blends are exquisite, and include an
uplifting Vitality candle (peppermint and eucalyptus), soothing
Meditation (patchouli and frankincense) and sensual Passion (nutmeg
and ylang ylang). Aroma Naturals candles are offered in a variety
of sizes ranging from votives to pillars, and some are available in
travel tins, which make terrific stocking stuffers. Special gift
packs perfect for the holidays are also available.

• Aroma Naturals Variety Gift Set (candle in glass holder,
pillar candle and travel candle): $29.50

• Aroma Naturals Votive Gift Set (four assorted votive candles
in glass holders): $22.00

Laurel Vukovic writes and teaches about herbs and natural
healing from her home in southern Oregon. She is the author of 1001
Natural Remedies (DK, 2003) and Herbal Healing Secrets for Women
(Prentice Hall, 2000).