Spice It Up!

Spices make your coffee better

When you go to a tea and spice shop it can be a little confusing sometimes, I mean aren’t herbs and spices just for cooking?

The simple answer is not at all, in fact, most herbs and spices have health benefits as well as making things tasty.
Take coriander for an example.  This spice is the seed of the cilantro plant but tastes nothing like cilantro.  Instead, it has a beautiful citrus flavor that aids digestion is a common ingredient in cold and flu remedies,  and has many other great health benefits.
Another favorite spice of ours is cardamom.  When you hear cardamom you probably think first of Indian food and then to Chai, as these are the most common places we encounter it.  What you may not know is that cardamom is a wonderful spice for controlling cholesterol and cancer, as well as improving blood circulation and relief from cardiovascular issues.

I have singled out the two spices above for a very specific reason.  For all you coffee drinkers out there if you add one cardamom pod and about a teaspoon of coriander to your beans and grind them all together you will wind up with an amazingly refreshing cup of coffee that will wake you up and start your day off on a healthy path.

Coriander and cardamom aren’t the only spices that can make coffee taste better and more healthy.  You can add cinnamon and clove, for instance, to get a spicy and festive cup.  Add some peppermint and vanilla next time you want a candy cane coffee instead of using chemical-laden creamers.
How about rosemary?  I haven’t tried this one but it could prove interesting.  My point is, break out of the normal cup and try something different and spice it up.

What about tea?

I know you are probably asking, aren’t you a tea shop?  Yes, we sell teas, herbs, and spices and specialize in healthy and tasty teas.  We have lots of posts about our sample tea of the day that we brew fresh each morning and the health benefits that go along with it.

Which brings me to:

Tea of the Day

Tea of the DayEvery day for the past few months I have seen another friend stating they have come down with the current crud, or have caught it again.  There are definitely some bugs making the rounds this season that are pretty harsh and one of the best ways to combat them is to bolster your immune system.
One way to help keep healthy is to increase your vitamin C and zinc levels which there are plenty of supplements, fruits, and veggies that can help with this, think blueberries and elderberries they are great on oatmeal or in a shake.
Another great way to keep healthy is to include immune boosting tea in your diet.  Today we took our Nilgiri tea and added coriander, echinacea leaf, galangal root, stevia leaf, and vervain.
You have seen us use most of these before but you might be wondering about vervain.  Vervain is a liver stimulator which helps detoxify the body, it also is a great anti-inflammatory which helps reduce pain and alleviates chest congestion.


English Breakfast Tea and Our Weekly Infusion

Happy Monday!
We made English Breakfast Tea which is one of the most popular tea blends.  The one we carry is medium bodied and a great way to start your day.

Our infusion this week is made with Chamomile, Echinacea, Nettle leaf, and Stevia.  Nettle leaf is a good digestive aid while Echinacea is one of the better-known blood purifiers and Chamomile is a good calming herb as well as a fever reducer.

Copaiba – The oil you may have been missing

For a long time, the benefits of CBD oil have been known yet even with the legalization of cannabis in many states this oil is still expensive and difficult to get.
In my research on CBD oil and how we might start using it in some of our products, I came across many articles about another oil that we happened to have in our arsenal already, Copaiba.
After getting through a lot of the hype articles that didn’t do a whole lot other than putting down CBD I found a few articles that got to the nitty-gritty of what is going on with these oils and what they are doing to be beneficial.
The primary component that is doing a lot of the work in both oils is beta-caryophyllene (BCP). In CBD the concentration of BCP is up to 35% and in Copaiba it is consistently 50%. It has also been theorized that the BCP is what is actually doing all the heavy work in CBD oil.
A major point that is brought up is that CBD does not appear to bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors where BCP will only bind to CB2 receptors.
Let’s back up a moment though because that probably made little sense to anyone who hasn’t been reading up on your endocannabinoid system. Throughout your body are receptors known as CB1 and CB2 which are involved in a variety of bodily functions including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain but some are also found in the lungs, liver, and kidneys. CB2 receptors are found primarily in the immune system and this is why binding to them does not produce any of the effects that you would encounter while under the influence of THC, which does bind to CB1 receptors.

Using Copaiba Essential Oil

Now that you know a little more about what Copaiba is and what it can do you are probably where I was and asking yourself how to go about using it.  The primary methods of use are topical, internal, and aromatic.

Topical application

In it’s simplest form you can dilute Copaiba in a carrier oil of your choice, I prefer Jojoba and Apricot Kernel Oil, and apply the oil directly to areas where you are experiencing pain or have other skin abnormalities.  We have added this oil to a number of our personal care products as well to enhance their healing properties.
By applying the oil to your aches and pains you will get it directly to the source and the oil will assist in alleviating it.  It is also very good at helping to heal other skin ailments, cuts, bruises, etc.

Internal use

This one is kind of yucky as this is an oil that is derived from sap, so as you could imagine it tastes like a sap.  Though many sources have claimed that you can use the oil straight and either consume it by adding a couple of drops to tea or putting it right under your tongue I prefer to use a dilution of 50% Copaiba to 50% Vodka.
Using any Essential Oil internally should be done with caution and in very small doses at first as these are concentrated oils.  That said using this oil internally is one of the suggested ways to get it to the CB2 receptors in your immune system and thus getting its benefits as directly as possible.


The actual scent of Copaiba is very light and almost unnoticeable.  Even so, you can put it in a diffuser or lava stone jewelry to promote a sense of calm and well being.  This is also one of the methods that this oil can help reduce stress.

Where to go from here

I hope you have enjoyed this article and look forward to any discussions it may induce.
I will be starting a series of blog posts to document my own experience with using Copaiba essential oil to hopefully get some real-world results for you and myself on the benefits of this oil.  I will be making these posts under the category My Copaiba Journey to make it easier for you to find.


Disclaimer: The information provided is general and should not be taken as medical advice. Neither North Pacific Utopian Wares or associated business entities guarantee the accuracy of the information. Please consult your doctor, especially if being used during pregnancy, before using this product. You are also encouraged to test the product to ensure that it meets your needs, before using for mass production