Jennifer Browne is the author of four, count them, four books, a blog, the editor for Fresh + Fit and producer of Perceived Notion. Not only does this prolific woman share her own recipes, health tips and thoughts, she also is an accomplished businesswoman, helping others curate their own content. Recently, we had the chance to catch up with Jennifer for a chat about her most recent book, Baby Nosh, and her penchant for medicinal teas. Find out more below!
On Her Books
Question: You just published your fourth book, Baby Nosh, for parents of babies with food sensitivities. Your other books have covered a fairly wide range of food-related knowledge. Was one of them your favorite to write?
Which book did you learn the most during the process of writing? Answer: They were all fun to write (because I genuinely love the subject matter), but my first will always be the one I'm most proud of. Happy Healthy Gut was a true labor of love, born out of passion, and it required a ton of research and a lot of reading and editing and learning. That being said, Guide to Medicinal Tea was probably the one where I learned the very most--I was unfamiliar with the subject prior to writing it. It was scary!
On Medicinal Teas
Q: Would you tell us a bit more about medicinal teas? I'm sure a lot of people respond with skepticism to the ideas that tea can make you feel better even though the history of medicine really started with teas and tisanes. What was your experience like with learning more about medicinal teas? Were you won over by them?
A: I suffered for a long time with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), and one of the more holistic ways I learned to manage my symptoms, was by drinking strong peppermint tea. If I added ginger, it was even better. So I became a huge believer in herbs before I ever thought I'd write a book on the topic. I also have always found that lemon and ginger tea with honey works much better than commercial cough drops for a sore throat. I guess I already had positive experiences with homemade herbal remedies before I really dove into the world of medicinal teas.
Q: Do you replace Tylenol or other pain relievers with medicinal teas or use them as a supplement to more typical methods?
A: Hmm. That depends. If the issue is acute (like an earache or broken bone), then I'll use both commercial pain relievers and herbal remedies. But if the issue is chronic (like digestive problems or recurring headaches), I'll use herbal tea and eat plenty of anti-inflammatory foods like fennel, ginger, and peppermint. It really depends. For things like lactating, hair loss, skin issues, constipation, nausea, and hormonal imbalances, I feel like medicinal teas are superior. But it's hard to tell your 7-year-old to patiently drink tea and wait for her toothache to subside.
On A Full Writing Career
Q: You work and write for an astonishing amount of outlets (your own website, Fresh + Fit, Perceived Notion). How do you balance your time between the three? Do you ever find yourself writing a piece for one forum only to wish you had held onto it for yourself or a different site?
A: I love to write and research, so I feel like I can always find a lot of content. Balance is a funny word, because although I constantly try to achieve it, it's mostly just a massive juggling act. I prioritize my time on what I'm doing according to deadline and clients' needs, and sometimes I'm overwhelmed. But when I look back at everything I feel like I've accomplished in the last 5 years, I'm proud of myself. I've learned to say no to assignments I just don't have time for (actually, still learning), and yes, I do sometimes wish I could copy and paste an article I've written for one forum to another, but Google doesn't like that, so I retrain myself.