Many herbs can be used to a make a tea, either for medicinal purposes or purely for refreshment.
They can be used as a remedy for many things from an upset stomach to insomnia and even for nervous disorders. They can also be a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Although commonly known as herb teas, they should really be called infusions or tisanes (French origin) or decoctions.
By growing suitable plants in the garden, you can have a ready source of fresh leaves which are at there best . Leaves are best picked in the morning when the oils are at the highest levels. Gently bruise the leaves to help release the oils, then make the tea by steeping for 5 to 10 mins in a teapot or mug, or ideally in a diffuser tea pot. Some teas may need steeping longer.
A tea garden could be created in the kitchen garden, ideally near to the house door to make herb collection quick and easy.
Here are some popular tea herbs and a few of their uses.
- Peppermint – an old favourite, widely used for a range of stomach complaints, but is also uplifting and cleansing
- Thyme – used for sore throats and stomach upsets
- Chamomile – a gentle calming and sedative herb tea with an apple scent. Traditionally used as a calming and sedative decoction, but also beneficial for colds and fevers
- Rosemary – useful for easing depression and circulation issues
- Lavender – ideal for reducing tension and soothing headaches
- Sage – strong antibacterial and astringant properties make it useful for a sore throat or gums and for cold and fever
- Lemon Balm – a refreshing summer tea with calming, soothing and relaxing properties.