Herbal tea party to steep in medicinal benefits

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published August 15, 2017

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FARMINGTON HILLS — Holistic health practitioner Sonja Ozog is ready to take today’s tea drinking back a couple of centuries.

Ozog specializes in herbal medicine and wants to show tea-drinking aficionados and newbies alike how to use medicinal teas, herbs and spices to their benefit. 

Ozog will share her knowledge at the Herbal Tea Party 6:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Longacre House.

“I fell in love with herbs — they are one of my favorite ... things, and I immediately started thinking, ‘I should teach other people what they do,’ so I created a workshop,” Ozog said of a workshop she held at the Farmington Hills Nature Center last year. The workshop was titled “Cooking and Healing with Kitchen Herbs and Spices” and was well-received, she said.

The upcoming class, which is designed for adults, will feature sample therapeutic herbal teas and will venture into the medicinal benefits and practical approaches to herbs, many of which are grown in the “mitten state.” Participants will also take home a booklet that describes two dozen herbs and details how to create herbal tea blends, according to a press release. 

Ozog became a volunteer at the nature center almost two years ago, after asking Farmington Hills Nature Center Supervisor Ashlie Smith about volunteer opportunities.

“Actually, still to this day I am taking care of the bird sanctuary in the … nature center,” said Ozog, who finished her holistic health practitioner degree in December 2016. Ozog received her holistic health practitioner degree, specializing in herbal medicine, from the Om Wellness Institute in Flint.

Ozog’s second herbal workshop is going to talk about the art of tea drinking.

“Our ancestors used herbs more (extensively) than we (do),” she said, adding that they knew what effects certain spices would have, which led to the development of many common spice mixes still used today.

She will bring potted herbs to the event. 

“Herbalism used to be called the art of simpling, because herbs were called simples,” Ozog said.

“One of the main rules is to use the herbs that grow near you — like the stinging nettle, which grows in our yard,” she said. “The idea behind it is that plants create fighter chemicals to protect themselves from their environment … and we live in the very same environment. We need the very same protection.”

Smith said in an email that Ozog is “very passionate” about natural healing. 

“I’ve worked with her on other programs, and we thought a ‘tea party’ event would be a great way to share herbal remedies with the community, empowering them to do something fun and healthy,” Smith said via email, adding that the nature center will offer an herbal healing plant talk series in the fall and other herb/spice workshops throughout the year.

Smith said that attendees will learn about easily accessible Michigan herbs and their benefits, while discovering how to create their own herbal teas. 

“The upscale atmosphere at the Longacre House will help add to the fun of the ‘tea party’ too, with real teacups,” she said. 

Program materials will be provided, and the event costs $35 for residents and $40 for nonresidents. 

Registration is required at the Costick Center or at recreg.fhgov.com.

The Longacre House is located at 24705 Farmington Road, between 10 Mile and 11 Mile roads. Call the nature center at (248) 477-1135 or email asmith@fhgov.com for more information about this and other programs.