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Illinois tea maker grows own herbs & crafts special blends
 
By CINDY LADAGE
Illinois Correspondent

FAIRFIELD, Ill. — Ellen Wilson is a young woman with big dreams, many of which have already come true.  Educated in the art and use of herbs, Wilson – who hails from Fairfield – started making her own herbal teas two years ago.

Set up at the Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism and Organic Conference in Springfield in January, she explained how Ellen’s Herbal Teas began: “I started working with herbs when I was very young. When I was six or seven, I worked in the herb garden and developed a love for herbs.”

Wilson is a Certified Health specialist and a Master Herbalist with a degree from the Trinity School of Natural Health. She is studying to become a Certified Nutritional Counselor.

The first tea she created was for medicinal purposes. Her teas have names that catch attention and share about the uses for which she created them. “The first tea I made was Scare Away Sore Throat; it has Echinacea and other herbs to boast the immune system. It is one of my best-selling teas,” she explained.

“I have 14 blends, they are all organic. I grow herbs and others, I order from organic suppliers,” Wilson said. Such suppliers are local, or from the western U.S. or Africa.

Speaking at health fairs she provides presentations about growing herbs, their uses and her teas. Her teas may be ordered through the mail and are sold in several shops.

One variety is If I Only Had A Brain, which she said includes ginseng, ginkgo and peppermint. “It helps lift the fog and (with) tired moments,” Wilson said.

One of the important aspects she explained about using herbs and mixing a tea blend is how important it is to know what the herbs do. “You can’t just blend them. It is very important to research. You need to watch for side effects, too,” she added.

Wilson has a tea for flexibility and joint pain, as well as another blend she calls Sail Smoothly that gives an energy boost minus the caffeine that “has a calming energy, but kick-starts the day.”
Calm My Tummy Tea has some unusual ingredients; Wilson said this includes a blend of anise and licorice that is good for calming stomach problems. Happy Ladies is a tea that helps women with mood swings.

Smiling, she said, “Men want to buy (this tea) by the barrel.”
 Healthy Bones tea uses herbs that are high in calcium: “For families that have a tendency for osteoporosis like mine, I like to drink this it is a preventative – it nurses the bones.”

Wilson also has a blend of red teas that use red rooibos, a tea from Africa. These fit into her line because the she said the health benefits include easing of nagging headaches, insomnia, asthma, eczema, bone weakness, hypertension, allergy and aging. Red rooibos is free from caffeine and low in tannin.

Each package she sells has 20 individually wrapped tea bags and goes for $5. “Business has been very successful,” Wilson observed.
This past year she became a board member of the Illinois Herb Assoc. “The highlight of the year was to work with them,” she added.

To ask about Ellen’s Herbal Teas, contact Wilson at 618-842-7108 or email ellens.herbal teas@gmail.com
3/15/2013