This is my story of how herbs are saving my life. Some of you are already aware of my journey, but others are not.
I’ve been a tea lover for years, but now it’s medicine first and a beverage second. Tea is also soul satisfying and hearkens back to long-held traditions. What’s more civilized than sharing a steaming cup of tea? Little did I realize it would come to play such an important role in my health when continual infections and worsening, inexplicable anemia had my family doctor insisting I pay a visit to the hematologist. In May of 2010, after a lot of blood work and bone marrow biopsy, he floored me with the diagnosis of T-Cell LGL Leukemia, a rare form of chronic leukemia. I knew something was wrong, had been for some time, and must have sensed it was some kind of blood disorder because vampires chased me through my dreams, and not the sexy kind. I even tried to make alliances with them, but was unable to win over the alpha male or female and the lesser ones couldn’t adequately protect me. So I was always on the run in my sleep, and soooo exhausted.
Advised by my hematologist to anticipate slow deterioration until I required treatment, which would be postponed until I got really bad, since at that point the treatment was worse than the disease, I was sent home to wait to get worse and return for frequent check ups.
Nothing, if not determined, I spent days online researching everything and anything that might help me ward off the inevitable. Then I came across a clinical study by the Mayo Clinic using green tea extract to slow or even reverse symptoms in a different form of chronic leukemia, an even worse kind. So I thought if the extract would work for that type, why not mine? As I didn’t have access to their specially formulated concoction I decided to just drink a lot of green tea. Next followed even more research into the proper way to brew the tea to achieve maximum health benefits. And this is important.
***Note, water for green tea should be brought to just below the boil. Boiling water will not make as good tasting or beneficial a cup. To achieve this temperature, I ordered an electric tea kettle from Amazon that has settings for green tea and regular tea or instant coffee, whatever you need boiling water for. I can’t find the exact one over there anymore but here’s a list of choices. Also be careful not to over-steep the tea, brew for 2-3 minutes and try to drink within half an hour as the quality deteriorates rapidly. Bottled tea has little benefits at all. Also, caffeinated green tea has the most beneficial properties, so if you drink decaf you will need twice as much. Then I experimented with different varieties and settled on one main kind: Yogi Green Tea Kombucha *Kombucha is also very beneficial. I drink two quarts of freshly brewed green tea every day. It has a refreshing fruity flavor and I add extra peppermint tea to it–also soothing to the stomach.
I should also mention the importance of Olive Leaf extract which I came across on a leukemia message board site. I get mine from Olivus online (their best quality capsules) and took one three times a day, the maximum dose, for several years. I have cut that back to one and occasionally two a day now. At the start, I began with one capsule daily and worked my way up. Olive leaf helps with many things, including being a powerful immune booster and can aid blood levels. To this, I added Vitamin C and TOCQ10 supplements–also indicted on the message board. The only contraindications I know of for olive leaf are that you shouldn’t take it if you on on a blood thinner because it also thins the blood. And it can interfere with the effectiveness of an antibiotic so take it at a different time of day.
My report, slowly but surely my blood levels have improved over the months until this fall they were the best yet. My red blood count is up to normal levels, the white count is good (for me), and had been through the floor, and there’s a substantial decrease in my lymphocyte levels. My lymph nodes are undetectable and there’s no inflammation in my spleen or liver. Is it all the green tea and olive leaf I’m taking? My hematologist has no other explanation for why I’m doing so much better than expected. All I can say is thank God for leading me to this discovery.
*Disclaimer. This is my story. Not a scientific study. Make of it what you will. *Olive leaf can make you worse before it makes you better as it cleanses toxins. So if you feel worse initially, as I did, that’s actually a good sign. *I sweeten my tea with a raw honey–also healthful–or plain sugar. Artificial sweeteners are incredibly bad for you.
“Tea … is one of those rare treasures, enjoyed throughout the world, that actually benefits health.”