Wanna grow your own herbal tea? It's actually pretty easy! Here's how...
Herbal teas smell good, taste good, and help elevate your mood, not to mention the other general as well as specific health benefits they offer. They make good alternatives to regular tea and coffee, especially if you want to reduce caffeine intake.
Herbal teas can be made with individual herbs or from a compatible combination of several herbs to take advantage of their varied healing effects. Although many herbal teas and tea mixes are readily available, there’s nothing like making your own from fresh ingredients. You can be certain exactly what goes into the mix, and be sure about the quality. You can also adjust the composition according to your needs.
Many herbs traditionally used for rejuvenating and healing teas can be easily grown in your garden, or even in containers. The very act of brewing an herbal tea is therapeutic, especially when you have just plucked the herb from your garden. Teas made from fresh herbs differ from what you get with dried herbs, although they may offer similar health benefits. Seasonal herbs can be dried and stored for later use, and they make great gifts.
1. Mints (Mentha spp.)
Mints need no introduction. You can grow several types for their distinctly different flavors or just stick to peppermint, the all time favorite. It also happens to have very high amounts of the primary active ingredient menthol.
Peppermint, spearmint, apple mint or pineapple mint, they all grow well almost anywhere as long as they get sufficient water. But you’re likely to have a problem of plenty if you allow them to spread on the ground. Keep them contained in pots. Their refreshing smell can be enjoyed anytime if you keep the pots close at hand. Use the mature leaves as well as the tender stem tips to make the tea.
Mint tea is cooling and refreshing; it helps improve digestion and reduces gas and associated heartburn. A cup of warm peppermint tea with a tablespoon of honey taken at night relieves a cough and ensures good sleep.
2. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
This herbaceous perennial closely related to mints, and similar in appearance, gets its common name from its lemony scent. The medicinal properties of this herb are well known.
Lemon balm tea has a calming effect on the nerves and is useful in relieving anxiety and restlessness. The herb is associated with a feeling of happiness and is regarded as an excellent natural remedy for irritability and hyperactivity in children, helping them settle down. When you have tension headaches or feel depressed, a cup of lemon balm tea can do wonders.
The menthol content in the herb makes it useful in treating digestive problems like flatulence and indigestion. Its strong antispasmodic properties help relieve colic pain and menstrual cramps. It has strong antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that help with cold sores and respiratory tract infections.
Grow lemon balm in the garden or containers, but refrain from fertilizing this vigorous and rapidly spreading herb. Remember to prune it before it sets seed because it can take over the garden with self-seeding. Use fresh leaves for the tea or dry them in shade and use.
3. English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
This Mediterranean herb with fragrant lilac-blue flowers is a great addition to any herbal tea garden. Lavender fragrance is widely used in aromatherapy for its relaxing effect on the body and mind. Lavender tea also has a similar effect, and can be used to relieve anxiety and tension headaches. It can also be taken for gastrointestinal disturbances because it relaxes the smooth muscles of the stomach and intestinal walls, relieving the pain associated with indigestion.
Grow English lavender from nursery starts for best results. Plant them in well-drained soil in full sun to simulate the Mediterranean climate, and they usually thrive with minimum attention.
The flower buds are used to make the herbal tea. Collect the flower stalks when some of the buds start to open and then dry them in the shade.
4. Beebalm/Wild Bergamot (Monarda didyma, M. fistula)
This North American native is a perennial herb, as decorative as it is medicinal. It is often grown in ornamental gardens for its brightly colored flower bunches in red, purple and pink, which attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. But the herb can also make an excellent herbal tea.
Bee balm tea is used to treat colds, headaches, and mild fever. It has a mild stimulating effect, but it is mainly used for its diuretic and digestive properties. The tea is a powerful antiseptic, often used as a throat gargle to cure a sore throat and for washing of wounds and skin eruptions.
Grow bee balm in full sun or partial shade, giving it a relatively dry spot or a raised bed. Deadhead the blooms to promote bushy growth that will provide you with plenty of leaves for brewing the tea.
All aerial parts of bee balm can be used for making tea, but young leaves are preferred when they are fresh. Leaves stems, and flower heads can be dried and stored for use round the year.
5. German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
Many herbs with daisy-like flowers go by the name chamomile, but the ones used most commonly in herbal preparations are German chamomile and Roman chamomile. Both have medicinal properties, but German chamomile tea is more popular as a calming drink, often used as a sleep aid.Chamomile tea can be used to treat mouth ulcers, gastric ulcers, hay fever and other respiratory tract inflammations, menstrual cramps, and fibromyalgia.
It can calm a cranky child whether it is the case of colic, nervous anxiety or attention deficit hyperactivity syndrome. Whenever you are disturbed or unable to sleep, a cup of chamomile tea can is a great go-to.
German chamomile is an annual, often found growing wild in dry areas. Raise it from seeds in spring and plant them in a partially shady spot. Once established, this plant thrives on neglect. Drought-like conditions produce the most flavorful herb.
The white flowers with prominent yellow centers are used for making the tea. When they are used fresh, you need a handful of flowers to make the tea, but only a tablespoon of dried flowers are required otherwise.
6. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Thyme is a mint family member, but the volatile agent thymol is responsible for its distinctive smell. Thymol is a common ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwashes because it suppresses bacterial growth and bad breath.
Thyme tea is excellent for stomach problems, especially indigestion, intestinal worms, and gas. Thymol has powerful antimicrobial property against a wide variety of pathogens, including antibiotic-resistant superbugs like MRSA. It can be used to treat laryngitis, bronchitis, and other respiratory tract infections. Thyme tea mixed with raw honey gives quick relief from coughs and colds, including whooping cough. Use it as a throat gargle to cure strep throat and tonsillitis.
Grow thyme in the garden or containers, but it performs best in poor soil and dry conditions. Start new plants from cuttings or division of old clumps. Harvest thyme leaves along with the stems to make tea and dry the remaining.
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Expand Your Herbal Tea Garden
Start your herbal tea garden with the most commonly used herbs above, but continue to add more variety as you develop your taste for this health promoting drinks.
7. Sage – This herb works much the same way as thyme. Use sage tea to treat a sore throat, cough, rheumatism and heavy menstrual flow. It is a liver and kidney tonic.
8. Ginger- The fresh or dried rhizome of this tropical herb can be added to herbal teas or regular tea to enhance their health benefits. Besides increasing the absorption of nutrients from the digestive tract, it relieves nausea and vomiting, clears the respiratory tract, and reduces inflammation.
9. Perilla – The aromatic leaves of both red and green perilla can be used to make shiso tea. It can relieve nausea and vomiting, persistent cough and a stuffy nose, allergy symptoms, and premature aging.
10. Lemon grass – The gentle, lemony tea made from this tropical grass helps relieve stomach aches, vomiting, muscle and joint pain, and coughing.
11. Stevia – Use this herb in any of your herbal teas to sweeten them without the use of refined sugar. Use fresh leaves or dried and powdered leaves.
12. Purple coneflower (Echinacea) – This North American perennial has a long history of medicinal use. Use Echinacea tea as a preventive against seasonal colds and flu, as well as for treating upper respiratory tract infections. It can relieve rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, vaginal infections, and urinary tract infections.
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How To Make Herbal Teas
Herbal teas are easy to make since all you have to do is pour boiling water over the herbs and cover the vessel with the lid. Allow them to steep for 10-15 minutes when you use fresh herbs, and up to 20 minutes when dried parts are used. Filter out the clear tea into a cup and slowly sip it, savoring the unique flavor of the healing drink.
When you make herbal teas with fresh ingredients, pick them just when you need them. Wash under a running tap before transferring them to a jug or bowl. The container used for brewing herbal teas should have a well-fitting lid. You don’t want the volatile agents in the herbs to escape; they are responsible for most of their healing properties.
When you drink the tea warm, inhale the vapors to enjoy its distinctive aroma. Some of the substances in the herbs are directly absorbed into the blood through the mucous membrane lining the nostrils and the airways, bringing instant healing.
Store leftover tea in the refrigerator for a day or two, but it is always better to brew a fresh batch each day, especially when you have the herbs within reach.
17 Herbal Teas With Extraordinary Health Benefits
Long prized in Eastern Medicine as the key to health, happiness and longevity, tea is one of the oldest drinks in the world.
With so many varieties on the market now, it can be hard to know which ones to choose. While fruity teas like apple and orange taste delicious and are a great alternative to unhealthy sodas, they don’t tend to offer the healing properties that the herbal varieties do.
Keep reading for the lowdown on some of the best herbal teas out there, and their associated therapeutic and health benefits.
This herbal tea is probably the most well-known of all the ‘calming’ teas, particularly when it comes to relieving stress and helping us get a good night’s sleep.
A lesser known benefit of chamomile tea is that it may lower blood sugar levels which means it might just control, or even prevent, diabetes.
Taken with each meal, the tea can cause blood glucose levels to fall, while also protecting against hyperglycemia, a potentially fatal condition caused by very high blood sugar levels, say researchers from Aberystwyth University in Wales and the University of Toyama in Japan.
What’s more, chamomile might help you live longer…but only if you’re a woman! In a study of over 1,600 people, regular consumption of chamomile tea lowered the risk of death from all causes amongst women by 29%.
You can purchase Organic Chamomile flower tea from this page or try this delightful floral combination of Chamomile and Lavender for a truly relaxing experience!
Long revered for its immune boosting properties, Echinacea is most commonly used as a tonic or tea.
A study of 95 people with early symptoms of cold and flu (runny nose, scratchy throat etc) found that those who drank several cups of echinacea tea every day for five days recovered sooner than those who drank tea without echinacea.
Furthermore, a review of 14 clinical trials found that echinacea reduced the odds of developing a cold by 58%and the duration of a cold by 1 to 4 days.
The tea can also help relieve the pain of UTIs, swollen joints and sore muscles.
To treat any of these conditions, the University of Maryland recommends 1 to 2g of dried herb as a tea, three times daily until you feel better, but for no longer than 10 days.
Try this Organic Echinacea Tea by Alvita. You can also find Echinacea tea at most natural health stores.
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Elder flowers have a long history of use in traditional German medicine because of their antioxidant and antiviral effects.
Elderflower is extremely effective in treating influenza. In fact, when participants in a study were treated with elder extract, 90% of them were completely cured within 2 to 3 days compared to at least 6 days in the placebo group.
Traditionally used to detox the body, this tea may strengthen the immune system by clearing the lymph nodes. It can also relieve allergies and asthma, treat fungal infections, toothaches and urinary tract infections.
You can order Organic Elderflower Tea from this page on Amazon. For double the immune-boosting power, you may also like this Elder-Echinacea tea blend.
Brew up a pot of this licorice-tasting tea for a whole host of health benefits. From antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory to expectorant and diuretic properties, fennel has it all.
Perhaps one of the most well-known medicinal uses of fennel tea is to relieve painful bloating and gas. This natural remedy has been used for thousands of years, especially in India. A cup or two should be all you need to relieve uncomfortable symptoms.
Thanks to its antispasmodic effects, it has been found to be an effective herbal remedy for menstrual pain.
It’s also thought to cure bad breath and reduce water retention.
Try this Organic Fennel Seed Tea by Heather’s Tummy Teas.
Hibiscus tea is said to have been the beverage of choice for Pharaohs in the ancient Nile Valley, perhaps because this versatile tea has been used for treating everything from a loss of appetite to colds and upper respiratory tract pain. It’s also a gentle laxative and diuretic.
A study at Tufts University in Boston looked at the effect of hibiscus tea on high blood pressure. They foundthat regular consumption of hibiscus tea resulted in significantly lower blood pressure levels than those in the placebo group.
Hibiscus can also keep your cholesterol levels within their normal range and help you control your weight. Finally, because it’s rich in vitamin C, this tea is a light and refreshing way to boost your immune system.
You can order Organic Dried Hibiscus flowers from this page on Amazon. Mountain Rose Herbs also offers a lovely selection of high quality dried flowers.
Hibiscus also pairs beautifully with dried rosehips. Read more about making Rosehip Tea plus fifteen other great uses for this amazing fruit in the 16 Wonderful Ways To Use Rosehips For Beauty, Health & Happiness!
Lavender is one of the most beautiful herbs around – from its appearance to its fragrance, it’s a must in any garden.
Given that lavender is known for its relaxing qualities, it should come as no surprise that the tea is usedprimarily for stress relief. Try a calming cup before bedtime, especially if you feel anxious, overwhelmed or depressed. It’s also a great plant to help you sleep better.
The tea will help with stomach problems, bad breath and the pain associated with arthritis, backache and headache.
To experience lavender tea at its finest, try this 100% Organic Lavender Flower Tea by the Tao of Tea.
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Lemon Balm Tea
A member of the mint family, the leaves of the lemon balm herb have a mild lemony aroma. The plant is rich in antioxidants, and contains a powerful compound called eugenol, a natural anti-inflammatory to sooth aches and pains.
Try some lemon balm tea if you have digestive problems such as bloating or for pains like menstrual cramps, headache and toothache.
It’s also believed to have a calming effect, much like lavender, so can be used to combat stress, anxiety and insomnia.
According to Mexican folk medicine, lemongrass aids digestion, calms the nerves and lowers high blood pressure.
Try a cup before bedtime if you are suffering from insomnia as it will help relax the mind and body. Or if you’ve overindulged at dinner time, some lemongrass tea will help the digestive process and relieve nausea.
Because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties, lemongrass has been shown to prevent acne, promote healthy skin and relieve symptoms of colds and flu.
Try this Organic Fair-Trade Lemongrass Tea by Traditional Medicinals.
Matcha Green Tea
While all green tea boasts some incredible health benefits, the majority of the world’s green tea consumed today comes from China, Pakistan and India.
The green tea you want to drink is Matcha, a Japanese green tea which puts all the others to shame.
This Japanese blend boasts a huge antioxidant content which Dr Mercola claims is 17 times that of wild blueberries and 7 times that of dark chocolate!
Check out this article on the 10 Amazing Benefits of Matcha Green Tea to discover its healing properties – from boosting memory to detoxifying the body.
You can order 100% Pure Organic Japanese Matcha powder here. Then be sure to try some (or all!) of these 21 Matcha Green Tea Recipes.
Nettles – one of the 18 amazing backyard ‘weeds’ you should be eating – provide a ton of health benefits. Pick a few from your backyard and allow to dry in the sun before brewing.
Nettle tea has been enjoyed for centuries for its healing and nutritional properties. It is a natural diuretic – a report in the Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy found that nettle tea can flush out toxins from the urinary tract while supporting medications used to treat UTIs.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties it acts as a painkiller and is said to promote healthy skin and fight allergies.
The rich mineral load of nettles, with their high levels of iron, mean nettle tea is a good tonic for women as it helps fight anemia. Let’s not forget it contains a rich variety of minerals like vitamins A, B2, C, D, and K, calcium, potassium, iodine and manganese!
This fragrant, fruity tea has been imbibed for centuries in China. Oolong is actually made from the same plant as both green and black teas. However, it is aged longer than green but not as long as black tea.
Several studies have confirmed that oolong can help with weight loss. In a 2009 study of 102 overweight people who drank 8g of oolong tea a day for 6 weeks, 70% of the severely obese people lost over 1kg in body weight, while 22% lost over 3kg. 64% of obese participants lost over 1kg and 66% of the overweight individuals lost over 1kg.
Due to its high antioxidant levels, oolong tea has been found in studies to lower cholesterol levels and prevent clogging of the arteries.
Oolong also helps prevent heart disease and inflammatory conditions while promoting healthy skin, teeth and gums.
For excellent flavor and consistent quality, try this Organic Oolong Tea by Prince of Peace.
Peppermint is one of nature’s most valuable herbal remedies.
According to the University of Maryland, peppermint is great for soothing an upset stomach or helping digestion. They recommend steeping one teaspoon of peppermint leaves in a cup of boiling water and drinking four or five times a day, between meals.
Drink peppermint tea during cold and flu season. Not only will the warm liquid sooth the throat but peppermint is a natural decongestant which will clear out your sinuses and throat.
If you’re looking for a weight loss aid, look no further. In a 2007 study, participants reported feeling significantly less hungry and that they ate 1,800 fewer calories than normal when inhaling the scent of peppermint every two hours.
Plus, the menthol naturally present in the mint acts as a muscle relaxant, reducing your stress and anxiety levels.
While there are many peppermint teas available to choose from, we recommend this Organic Non-GMO Teaby Traditional Medicinals.
Made from fermented and aged leaves, pu-erh tea is the most oxidized form of tea. It’s also the only tea which can mellow and improve with age, causing some rare versions to sell for thousands of dollars!
In animal studies, pu-erh (pronounced ‘poo-air’) was shown to reduce both visceral fat and blood fat levels in obese rats.
It may also reduce bad cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disease, although these results have yet to be validated in humans. Nevertheless, this tea has been prized in China for over 2,000 years so it must be doing something right!
Try this Organic Emperor’s Pu-erh Tea by Numi.
This attractive red tea is popular, not just for its color, but for its abundant healing benefits.
Try rooibos as a cure for headaches, insomnia, asthma, eczema, allergies and high blood pressure.
You can also enjoy rooibos tea as part of your beauty regimen! Because the tea is rich in alpha hydroxy acid and zinc, it can alleviate acne, pimples, uneven skin tone and fine lines. The zinc, calcium, copper and potassium in rooibos may help grow and strengthen hair.
Experience the healing power of Rooibos with this Organic Fair Trade Tea by Choice Organics.
Sip a cup of rosemary tea while doing your morning crossword puzzle – you might surprise yourself! Researchers believe that the aroma of rosemary can boost cognitive performance. This healing herb may also significantly prevent the aging of your brain, keeping you sharp right into old age.
Rosemary is thought to help your eyesight as it contains a compound, carnosic acid, which promotes eye health.
Rich in antioxidants, thyme tea offers more than just a pleasant flavor. It’s rich in antioxidants and nutrients like Vitamins A, C and K, folate, calcium, iron and manganese.
Brew this tea if you need an expectorant to clear the lungs of congestion. Thyme tea will also settle the stomach, soothe a sore throat and relieve aches and pains.
Studies have shown that thyme is an excellent herb for pain relief, and that it works better than ibruprofen, especially when it comes to relieving menstrual pain.
Try this Organic Thyme Leaf Tea by Buddha Teas.
Yerba Mate Tea
This South American drink is reminiscent of green tea, although it’s made from a totally different plant. Like green tea it contains caffeine, and boasts a high antioxidant content along with vitamins B and C, manganese, potassium and zinc.
In lab tests, yerba mate has been shown to reduce oxidative stress on heart and liver cells, protect DNA from damage and kill human liver cancer cells.
In rats, the tea has been shown to improve the flow of blood and reduce fat accumulation.
Grow Your Own Herbal Tea At Home – How to Grow Your Own Tea and Herbal Tea Plantshttp://www.newsprepper.com/grow-herbal-tea-home-grow-tea-herbal-tea-plants-17-herbal-teas-extraordinary-health-benefits/
Posted by Medeea A. Greere on Thursday, November 16, 2017