Herbal teas made from flowers, leaves and roots was at one time, one of the most consumed beverages other than water since ancient times.
Herbal teas do not contain caffeine and in most cases offer additional benefits. When an herb tea is used for medical purposes, it often taste bitter and will will avoid it at all costs.
Pleasant tasting herbs can be added to the tea to improve the taste and in most cases it will add to the health benefits. Raspberry leaves and peppermint leaves will improve the taste of most teas and add health benefits as well.
Basic Tea Recipe: Warm the tea pot by adding boiling water and rinse the pot. Place herbs in the teapot and pour almost boiling water over the herbs and let it steep for three to five minutes. In most cases one to two teaspoon of dried herb per cup of water. Covering the teas as it brews is important because it holds in the valuable properties of the steam especially if it is for medicinal purposes. Covering the tea will also help the flavor of the tea along with adding honey or stevia.
Just a note these tea combinations are not meant as medical advice just the traditional uses of the herbs.
Some examples of herbs used in tea:
- Chamomile: use to calm the nerves and help with sleeping
- Peppermint tea is used as a pick-me-up and for stomach disorders
- Borage tea is used in tonics
- Yarrow tea is used to reduce fevers and as a digestive tonic
- Lady’s Mantle is used for gastroenteritis and diarrhea
- Marshmallow is used for bronchial and urinary disorders.
- Hibiscus is thought to help with blood pressure
Get You Going Morning Herb Tea
- 1 oz. dried crushed rose-hips
- 1 oz. dried hibiscus
- 1/2 oz. dried lemon balm
- 1/2 oz. dried peppermint
- 1/4 oz. dried borage flowers
Tea to sooth the Tummy
- 1 oz. dried peppermint
- 1/2 oz. Lady’s mantle
- 1/2 oz. dried lemon verbena
- a few fennel seeds
- 1/4 oz. dried rose petals
Hibiscus Blend Tea
- 4 tsp. hibiscus flowers
- 2-3 cloves
- 1 tsp. spearmint leaves
- 1 half stick cinnamon
- 1 half vanilla beanBring 4 cups of water to almost boiling and pour over herbs and steep for 5-10 minutes. Sweeten with honey or Stevia. Serve hot or cold.
Water plays an important role in making tea. It extracts the properties of the herbs and is a carrier of the dissolved chemical ingredients found in the herbs. Water will also help the body to flush out unwanted toxins in the body. When drinking tea for medicinal purposes, it is recommended to sip the tea every 10-15 minutes throughout the day. Make enough tea to last the day.
It is best to use stainless steel or glass when making tea. Avoid aluminum pots.
Growing your own herbs and drying them for teas is a great way to enjoy them all year long. One of the questions I am asked almost every time I give a talk is what do I do with my herbs? My answer is, you don’t have to do anything with them, they look and smell wonderful in the garden. We can enjoy them just as they are. My second answer is dry your herbs for tea, it is one of the easiest way to use your herbs. Make sure you know what herbs you have in the garden and which are safe to use in teas.
Happy Herb Gardening