Grand bouquets of flowers and boxes of chocolates are a staple when it comes to expressions of love but findings from a new study by the The Open University in the UK show that selfless gestures, like making your significant other a cup of tea, ranks high as a significant sign of a partner’s affection.
Researchers interviewed close to 5 000 men and women on how to make love last in the 21st century.
The study, which was aptly called “Enduring Love”, found that while saying “I love you” was important, showing love in deed and not only word alone, was valued most.
Thoughtful gifts and generous acts of kindness were described as expressions of love and were not dependent on money or significant dates, such as a birthday or Valentine’s Day. It was rather what the gift or gesture signified that was most important.
Adele du Toit, spokesperson for the SA Rooibos Council (SARC) says one of the most important facets of our lives is having a meaningful and loving relationship with someone we deeply care about.
“In the modern age of technology, when we are communicating more than ever before, real and personal connections seem to be waning. The constant barrage of tweets, texts and emails have replaced face-to-face interaction. Taking the time to make a cup of tea for our spouse or partner helps to rebuild lost or broken connections, while expressing our desire to care for them.
“Sharing a cup of tea with someone is designed to build deeper and more meaningful relationships,” she says. It does so in three ways:
1. Tea provides a mutual experience that can be enjoyed together.
2. It consists of an act of kindness. From carefully measuring out the leaves or tea bags, gently pouring the water into the teapot and emptying its contents into your finest cups, make your companion feel appreciated. It’s symbolic of how you feel about them.
3. Carving out time to be with your special someone in that moment, also encourages richer conversation.
Feel-good herbal infusions
Du Toit remarks that throughout history, people have turned to herbs to express feelings of love, passion and romance. Still in many cultures, herbs like lavender, spearmint, ginger, damiana, chamomile and lemon balm are celebrated for their romantic powers.
Due to its high antioxidant content, Rooibos too is considered one such aphrodisiac. The popular herbal infusion stimulates neurons to keep firing feel-good messages to the brain, which is considered the most important organ in the body when it comes to intimacy.
Du Toit says antioxidants aren’t naturally produced in the body, but are obtained through consuming fruits, vegetables or tisanes, like Rooibos.
“Showing affection to your loved one on Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to break the bank. While appreciated, grand romantic gestures aren’t always as nurturing as connecing with the one you love over a cup of tenderly made Rooibos. Carving out quality time will make your partner feel seen, heard and loved.”
To find a romantic Rooibos infusion that’ll match your type of lover, go to the SA Rooibos Council Website or surprise them with a Rooibos love potion or an indulgent Rooibos and hibiscus bath.
A love potion to share with the one that holds your heart
½ cup loose leaf Rooibos
¼ cup dried rose petals
2 cinnamon sticks, crushed
2 whole vanilla beans, chopped
2 tbsp cacao nibs
1 tbsp pink peppercorns
OPTIONAL: 1 tbsp dried ashwagandha root (indigenous to Southern Africa, commonly called geneesblaarbossie (Afrikaans), winter cherry (English), ubuvimbha (Zulu), ubuvuma (Xhosa) and bofepha (Sotho)
Combine all ingredients in a jar, lightly stir or shake until loosely combined. Seal and store out of direct sunlight until ready to use. To make the tisane, boil water and place 1-2 tbsp of the loose leaf in a French press, tea strainer or teabag. Pour hot water over tea and allow to steep for 5-10 min before serving. Serve alone or with a splash of milk and raw honey.
Recipe courtesy of Vidya Living
Rooibos & Hibiscus Love Bath
Rooibos can soothe your skin. Add a strong cup or two to your bath water or enjoy a fragrant infusion with flower petals and essential oils this month of love…
1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
1 cup rose petals
½ tbsp cardamom pods
20 drops rose essential oil
5 drops sandalwood essential oil
½ cup Epsom salt
1 cup loose leaf Rooibos
Mix the salts and essential oils together in a bowl. Take another bowl to mix the flowers and Rooibos together. Gently stir in the salts and essential oils into the bowl of flowers. To enjoy your bath tea, scoop the mix into a reusable cotton bag, cheesecloth, or muslin bag. When you’re ready to use your bath tea, directly hang the bag under the faucet for the water to soak up all the tea before entering the bath or place it in the bath directly. Soak it all in.
Recipe courtesy of Sipsby Tea