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Teamotions: A cup of tea filled with compassion

Written By | Oct 25, 2013

WASHINGTON, October 25, 2013 — The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have claimed the lives of many U.S. service members and left thousands of others wounded. Many suffer both from the physical trauma of war and the invisible trauma that haunts their minds.

Rachel Crawford has dedicated her life to helping heal the pain of others. Her story is one of courage and compassion as a result of the tragedy she experienced as a young mother.

In 2008 Rachel Crawford suffered a tragic loss when her twin girls, Aubrey and Ellie, died a few weeks after they were born. “My daughters died in my arms and losing them devastated my life. I was overwhelmed by the grief of their loss and I did not realize until much later that I was suffering from PTSD,” Rachel remembers.

It was a visit from her sister Crystal Tenpenny that set in motion the events that would come to change Rachel’s life in a way she never expected. “My sister could see how I was suffering and the way that my heart was so terribly broken over the loss of Aubrey and Ellie. She was suffering also because her heart was broken as well over the loss of the twins and because of her love for me as a sister,” Rachel says. It was then that Crystal said, “I wish I could put something in your tea that would make you feel better.” Rachel said, “That was when the light bulb went off in my mind and I said I’m going to find a tea that has the ability to help me heal emotionally or I am going to make one that does!”

Rachel had always loved tea. She says, “I consider myself a tea enthusiast and I have been blessed to travel the world and experience the cultures of many countries and how tea is such an important part of their lives.”

Rachel and her sister Crystal Tenpenny created Teamotions Tea Company. Rachel used her knowledge of tea as a foundation spent the next year doing research and consulting with experts on herbal medicine. “I would ask people for ten minutes of their time just to talk about how natural remedies could be integrated into teas.”

Growing up in southern California, Rachel had been exposed to alternative medicine and she hoped to find a natural remedy to help those who suffered as she had and provide an alternative to prescription medicine.

Rachel discovered Adaptogens, which are plants that help the body to deal with stress and boost the immune system. According to the Scientific Journal Annual Review of Pharmacology, the concept of Adaptogens began in 1947 with French Pharmacologist A.V. Lazarev. The Swedish Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences currently defines Adaptogens as a, “new class of metabolic regulators which increase the ability of an organism to adapt to environmental factors and to avoid damage from such factors.” Adaptogens derived from plants stimulate the nervous system. By experimenting with different blends that incorporated Adaptogens, Rachel and Crystal found a means to bring relief not only from the stresses of daily life and a way to provide a respite from the relentless nightmares of a war that was a world away but remained entrenched in the hearts and minds of those who served there.

As the wife of a Marine Corps officer who has served multiple overseas deployments, Rachel became all too familiar with the wounds that war can inflict, both visible and invisible. Rachel Crawford saw her husband, their friends and neighbors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffering not only from physical injuries but also from the effects of PTSD.

Rachel realized that Teamotions was the key to helping the wounded minds and troubled souls of these noble warriors held in the grip of a war they had long since left. “The loss of Aubrey and Ellie sensitized me to the pain that others were feeling. I knew from the first moment that I saw my husband and his friends and our neighbors struggling with the nightmares and the devastating effects of PTSD that I just had to do something,” Teamotions became the hope for healing that so many had searched for.

Rachel began to see the positive effects her teas were having not only on veterans suffering from PTSD but on their loved ones who remained behind during dangerous deployments. “One of the most rewarding things I’ve heard as feedback is when a Marine who had been deployed told me how depressed his wife became during his deployments. He said she would turn to alcohol and overeating as coping mechanisms when the stress of his deployment overwhelmed her. Once his wife found Teamotions tea she no longer needed food or overeating and he could immediately tell the difference.”

Teamotions began with six original blends and then Rachel created three more, specifically tailored to meet the needs of those serving in the military The first of those three is named “Honor” and is a vanilla pomegranate green tea, recommended to, “Restore calm during times of change.” Rachel designed this blend for military families and the chaos they endure in during the constant moves from base to base and uncertainties of military life.

The second is named “Courage” and is a plum spice rooibos that, “helps prevent burnout during prolonged emotional, physical and mental stress.” Rachel created this blend for those wounded soldiers who were undergoing physical rehabilitation and it is one of the only caffeine free teas that restore energy.

The third tea is named “Commitment” and is a pineapple blueberry green tea that “lifts spirits when separated from loved ones.” Rachel designed this tea for military families whose loved ones were deployed. Rachel has expanded the variety of teas she offers at Teamotions but she has also reached out even farther with the healing and compassion contained in every ounce of her teas.

In 2012 Hurricane Sandy weaved a path of destruction that totaled sixty-five million dollars in damages, according to the National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The devastation included the east coast of the United States, with New York City being one of the hardest hit areas. As Rachel watched, she was so deeply moved by the heartbreaking loss many suffered that she knew she had to do something. Partnering with the organization, Rachel packed her car full of tea and headed for Staten Island.

Picking up donations along the way she arrived in New York to provide comfort to the many victims of Hurricane Sandy. “What I really want for Teamotions is to let people know that everything is going to be okay, and that when they sit down with a cup of Teamotions tea they can have some comfort from the stress of their lives. Nobody is exempt from some level and stress, despair or confusion. It is not just military families who are having difficulties but everyone and I want to help them. Teamotions began as a tribute to my daughters Aubrey and Ellie and at its foundation is the pain I suffered and how I overcame that pain,” Rachel says.

Rachel Crawford is filled with a boundless compassion that is evident in everything she does.

“If I can help those people who are struggling to find the way to feel better and find healing in their lives I would love to do so. I will pack my car with tea and go where I am needed and speak to five or five hundred about how Teamotions has helped so many others and me heal from their pain. I would love to reach out to survivors of domestic violence, child abuse and any trauma that causes them great pain and help in any way I can,” Rachel says.

Teamotions employs military families, giving them an extra source of income while loved ones are deployed in harm’s way. Inside every container of Teamotions tea is a healing blend that is tailored to provide comfort during those times when we most need it.

What makes Teamotions tea extraordinary is that inside each package is a piece of Rachel Crawford’s heart that she gladly shares in an effort to ease the pain that she knows all too well and hopes to banish from the hearts of all that consume a warm cup of her tea.

You can find out more about Rachel Crawford and Teamotions tea by going to

Jerome Elam

Jerome Elam is President and CEO of Trafficking in America Task Force. Raised in a broken home by an alcoholic parent, he is a survivor of child abuse/domestic violence, child sex trafficking, and child pornography. Brought up in the South, Jerome enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at the age of seventeen. The decision to serve was made, in part, as an effort to escape the tragic circumstances he was trapped in. Through the experience of serving his country, Jerome found a new beginning and embarked upon a journey that showed him the world. This opened his eyes to the strength of the human spirit. After his completion of eight years in the United States Marine Corps, Mr. Elam attended the University of Florida, earning a Bachelor of Science degree. He went on to spend several years working in the Biotechnology sector. Motivated by the painful memories of his past, Jerome found his inner strength and began to speak out about his abuse. Through this journey, he found the healing force of God's unconditional love and discovered the joy of starting his own family. Today, Mr. Elam is a fierce Advocate for all children deprived of their voice. He is a public speaker, a staff writer, and known columnist for Communities Digital News. Recently featured as one of New York's New Abolitionists, he remains dedicated to the protection and empowerment of trafficked people. Staying true to values he learned in the Marine Corps continues to provide a safe harbor for all, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual identity, or immigration status. When asked to describe his life experiences Mr. Elam stated, "I have struggled against many things in my life and somehow I found a way to survive. Writing is my passion and it keeps me in touch with the wealth everyone holds deep inside their hearts and minds. I share my experiences in the hope that those suffering in silence will find the courage to speak out and share their voices. I have been blessed to have God reveal His purpose to me in saving innocent children from predators." Jerome has received the Award for Courage presented by the National Council of Jewish Women for his work in the advocacy arena and has been appointed a Special Advisor to the Attorney General of Utah.