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Targeting Cancer: Local tea company offers cancer patients a cup of comfort

Yogi Tea donation (Photo via Kelli Warner)

While receiving chemotherapy at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute in Springfield, Ruby Glazier of Medford finds comfort, not only in the staff, but also in a soothing cup of ginger tea.

“It’s just so helpful in soothing the nausea and it makes me not afraid to eat, because I don’t eat when I get that awful feeling,” Ruby says.

“We have medications to prevent nausea and vomiting, but people still do struggle sometimes, even with that general queasiness,” explains oncology nurse Rebecca Gores. “Ginger tea really seems to help.”

When Yogi Tea Company recently learned its ginger teas, which support digestion and calm nausea, were being served to patients at the WVCI, it donated a supply of tea through Oregon Cancer Foundation (OCF).

“The folks at Yogi were very gracious and very happy to make the donation, and we were thrilled to be able to make the connection and let the patients know that there’s lots of folks in the community that are pulling for them,” says OCF executive director Amy Johnston.

Supporting the local community

Yogi Tea was first developed and introduced to the local community decades ago by Yogi Bhujan, a teacher of holistic living. Today, Yogi Tea is available in 60 varieties, many of which are made using five traditional Ayurvedic spices: cardamom seed, cinnamon bark, clove bud, ginger root and black pepper. And Yogi Bhujan’s philosophy of helping others remains one of Yogi Tea Company’s core values.

“What he believed is a business exists to serve. If the business is not doing something on purpose, if it’s not giving back, if it’s not making a difference, why should it exist?” says Sat Bir S. Khalsa, Yogi Tea Company’s Director of Global Community Relations.

Yogi Tea Company offers its tea to support a long list of local organizations, including FOOD for Lane County, United Way, The Relief Nursery and the Palmo Center for Peace and Education. It also partners with Pearl Buck Center to help provide work and vocational training to adults with developmental disabilities

“Our teas are meant to be able to help people, and in whatever form that is we’re happy to make sure that we can be a part of that experience for people,” says Sat Bir.

For Ruby Glazier, the tea has taken away some of the fear associated with the side effects of chemotherapy and has made a difficult time in her life a little bit easier.

“It has made it so much better for me. It’s wonderful,” she says.

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