Good Advice

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Would you smoke your herbal tea?

smoking

Sure, you can steep and sip your tea for its health benefits. Or, you can go the route of some New Yorkers, and roll it up and smoke it.

That’s what Liz Neves suggests. She’s the Brooklyn-based creator of Vivid Visions, an herbal tea blend that’s meant to be smoked, not sipped. And it’s flying off the Etsy shelves.

Since Vivid Visions was featured on FoodCurated.com two weeks ago, she’s been unable to keep up with the demand, selling out of batches of 150 within hours.

So why are people so excited to toke their tea?

“There’s something taboo about smoking things, and people are drawn to that,” says Neves. “It feels like you’re getting away with something.” And given that wholesome Brooklyn foodies were the first to discover her, even healthy types like that.

Liz Neves

Liz Neves makes non-toxic beauty and cleaning products; but her smokable tea blend is her best-selling product

But there’s also the effect of smoking tea that a cuppa can’t give ya (because the smoke enters your bloodstream much faster, while sipped tea has to make its way through your digestive system).

What is it? Well, as its name implies, Vivid Visions has some properties that are a little trippier than, say, your Celestial Seasons Tension Tamer.

“The main benefit is a shift in your perception. It’s really subtle, but you just see things a little differently,” explains Neves. Don’t worry, the herbal ingredients aren’t going to get you arrested (at least in New York): Damiana is an antidepressant, lavender is a relaxant, and mugwort tends to induce vibrant dreams.

So you get the chilled-out, happy head rush without any of the chemicals and fillers found in tobacco products.

While we’re on board with herbal tea, we can’t help but question if its benefits are really counteracted by smoking it.

Neves says she’s not suggesting you keep a pack in your back pocket. It’s more like a having an occasional hot toddy.

“Smoking anything long-term isn’t great for your health,” she admits. “It’s a fun product, but I don’t want to get people hooked on smoking!”  —Lisa Elaine Held

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