Handmaking Herbal Teas
Herbal teas are a delicious and easy way to up your fluid intake and sneak in some extra nutrients. Unlike coffee (whose health benefits are highly debated) herbal teas offer the benefits and nutrients without the caffeine (and pesticides in non-organic coffee). There are literally thousands of combinations of herbal teas, so there is one for every palate. Herbal teas can be very inexpensive if you buy the ingredients in bulk and you mix up your own combinations.
Here are a few that we combine here on the farm. The sky is the limit when mixing and matching these wonderful herbs.
Chamomile: Chamomile flower tea is one of the most consumed teas in the world other than regular black tea. Chamomile flowers have a naturally sweet taste with a hint of an apple flavor. Chamomile is a good herbal source of magnesium, and is known to be a soothing and relaxing herb. It is excellent during times of duress.
Mint: Mint tea is probably second to Chamomile in popularity among herbal teas. Peppermint tea may be soothing for the digestive track and potentially helpful for heartburn, nausea, and indigestion. Peppermint is highly palatable, and people report increased energy, relief of tension headaches and clearing of sinuses as additional benefits.
Raspberry Leaf: Raspberry leaf is a favorite tea. It is highly nutritious and especially beneficial for women as it potentially assists in hormone balance and may benefit the skin. It boasts magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins. Combined with stevia, the flavor of raspberry tea is a naturally sweet tea. It is great both warm and cold and putting chia seeds in it is a real treat.
Restful Night Tea: My “go to” for inducing sleep is a blend of dried passion flower, dried chamomile and dried lemon balm in equal amounts. Add a teaspoon of honey after steeping.
Lavender Tea: Lavender is a favorite aroma. I like it in tea for relaxation, stress relief, stomach discomfort and headaches. Lavandula angustifolia is a common type of lavender used in tea. If lavender alone is too strong for your preferences, consider adding extra mint (1/2 cup mint to 2 TBS dried lavender). You can serve this warm or cold.
Happy mixing and matching. These tea ideas may get you excited for warmth in the winter but cool teas for spring and summer. There is nothing like steeping your herbs in the sunshine. Add lemon or orange slices and enjoy.