A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

November 9, 2007

Tea With Everything

Echo’s friend Rascal  Being a British Citizen afternoon tea is something that I enjoy on a daily basis.  I don’t make a high tea every day (tea, sandwiches, cakes etc.) but I do enjoy my afternoon cup of tea. 

While in moderation drinking tea is good for you there are other uses for tea besides just drinking it.  My mother makes a tea bread called “Bara Brith”, a Welsh recipe that calls for the dried fruit to be soaked in tea overnight.  It’s a recipe that many Americans don’t appreciate as it is close to a fruit cake and for some reason Americans have a fear of any sort of fruit cake.  I must admit having tasted American fruit cake I can understand a little of that fear as it is typically made with too much dried fruit, too much sugar and does not contain a lacing of brandy, whisky or rum as any good British Fruit Cake does.  Tea can also be used for staining things (it stains really well) and I have seen some people use tea to give an aged appearance to paper.

Yesterday we had cause to use tea for a different purpose, the tea we used was chamomile tea and the purpose was to bathe the eyes of one of our alpacas.  The day before we had let one of the groups of boys out into the back pasture for a day of running around and finishing up a round bale of hay we had set in that pasture.  The boys had a good day and reluctantly came in at evening chores (either that or they were too full to move too quickly).

The next day we noticed Echo had some watering of his eyes, we checked his eyes and could not see any ulcers or any foreign objects in them.  As a precaution we put a little Silvadene cream in each eye.

Yesterday Echo’s eyes were still watery and all we can think is that he has either rubbed them on the hay and irritated them or he is having some form of allergic reaction to something out in the pasture.  Usually by this time of the year the pollens have started to get less, but as this year has been so warm the plants are still happily pollinating and we are getting medium to high pollen counts on a daily basis.

Interestingly Echo’s sister Keeva also use to get weepy eyes on high pollen days when she was younger.  Keeva thankfully outgrew her allergies and hopefully Echo will too if that is the problem.

Chamomile tea has some very soothing properties and we find it good to use to flush and soothe irritated eyes.  Obviously the tea needs to be cold before being applied and I usually make the tea in the morning and then allow it to cool in the refrigerator before using it.  A word of caution though, if you decide to use chamomile tea on any eyes do make sure that the tea is 100% chamomile and not a mixture of chamomile and something else.  Many teas available in the grocery store are called chamomile tea but contain other herbs too that may be irritating to the eyes, so stick to 100% chamomile tea.

The chamomile tea will hopefully give Echo some relief from his irritated eyes.  We will continue to apply it daily until his eyes no longer weep, and maybe next time we let Echo out into the back pasture he will get to wear a fly mask like Homer does to prevent his eyes from getting irritated again.

Rosemary 

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