How to Make Herbal Teas
We see a lot of herbs come through our kitchen. Most from the weekly Abundant Harvest Organics box, a few from my garden. Many of them are the perfect compliment to soups, pastas, or pizza. Some stand on their own as the star in dishes like pesto. Last summer I tackled cold drinks using some of our favorite herbs. Now that we’re in the full swing of fall, let’s sip some tea together.
I will admit that I’m not a big tea drinker, although I like it a lot more than I used to. In the past, I only drank tea when I was sick, giving it a negative connotation. I have now found some teas that I really enjoy, no matter how sick or healthy I’m feeling.
One of my favorite uses for tea is as a stress reliever. Just the act of sipping a hot beverage is soothing. But, even more than that, many herbs are known to be relieve stress. Some that are more commonly known are lavender and chamomile. But, basil and lemon balm can be added to that category too.
Here are a few things that some of my favorite herbs are known for:
A part of the mint family, lavender is said to aid with sleep and relaxation and to be anti-inflammatory.
I love it for its taste and smell. It’s a big part of some of my favorite dishes. But, basil is also known to be a digestive aid, to help with headaches, and poor circulation. It’s also said to be an antioxidant, anti-viral, antimicrobial, and a stress reliever.
My go-to tea when I’m not feeling well, chamomile is known to aid digestion, relieve hay fever, anxiety, inflammation, muscle spasms, insomnia, ulcers, menstrual cramps, and gastrointestinal disorder.
Another member of the mint family, lemon balm is said to soothe jittery nerves, improve mood and mental performance, relieve stress, and contain antioxidants. (It’s also used by some as a mosquito repellant.)
I haven’t tried rosemary in a tea, but it’s supposed to help relieve gas and colic (although too many cups/day could irritate the stomach).
Another favorite of mine when cooking, thyme is said to help alleviate lung congestion. It’s also said to be helpful for gastrointestinal problems.
One of my favorite herbs to grow, because of how easy it is and how much I use it, mint is known to stimulate digestion, help alleviate hay fever, nausea, stomach ache, and irritable bowel syndrome, and it is also said to be an antioxidant.
I’ve come up with a few ideas for herbs that I think might taste good together in a tea.* I’ve added a few extras, like honey and citrus, where I think they’d be especially nice.
basil + mint + lavender + chamomile + honey
basil + mint + lavender + chamomile + lemon balm
lavender + basil + lemongrass
lavender + orange zest + cinnamon
For the Tummy
lavender + thyme + mint
basil + chamomile + mint
mint + ginger + lemon zest
basil + ginger + thyme + lemon
mint + ginger + lemon zest
Under the Weather
lemongrass + ginger + cayenne + honey
rosemary + lemon balm + thyme + honey + cayenne
thyme + cayenne + honey + lemon zest + lemon juice
chamomile + thyme + mint + honey + lemon juice
thyme + basil + lemon balm
rosemary + lemon balm + mint
mint + lemon zest + honey
Tea can be made tea with fresh and dried leaves. It can be hot, cold, or somewhere in-between. Tea can be comforting, invigorating, and healing… Now I think I’ll go make myself a cup.