Grow your own tea garden
WOULD you like to enjoy a home-grown cup of tea every morning?
It is a very nice ritual and you can easily grow your own.
If you don’t have a big backyard, you can grow your tea garden in pots.
I have all my favourites: peppermint, lemon balm, lemon verbena, chamomile and calendula available just outside the back door.
These herbs taste best when freshly picked or dried.
The medicinal action is also much more obvious when you drink the fresh tea, compared to the teabag variety.
If you have only sipped on a teabag of peppermint I encourage you to have a pot made from loose-leaf organic tea leaves - you won’t believe the difference.
Once you become familiar with the distinct flavours and amazing therapeutic value of herbal teas you can mix and match your own perfect blends.
To make a herbal infusion: You can make an infusion from the leaves or flowering tops of these herbs
Place them into a pot or individual tea strainer
Add hot water and let them steep for about 5 minutes ( the darker the colour of your tea the higher the therapeutic benefit)
It is important for the tea to be quite dark as this is the active constituents and minerals of the plant infusing into the water.
Discard the old tea leaves into your worm farm or compost - the worms love them. HERBAL TEA VARIETIES
Flavour: Subtle, earthy
Part used: Leaves or root. Do not add milk
Therapeutic value: A great tonic. Rich in vitamins and minerals especially iron. Used for recovering from debilitating illness and to increase breast milk. Nettle tea is great skin food for eczema or acne
Flavour: Bitter, similar to coffee Part used: Root or leaves. Delicious with a little honey and soya milk
Therapeutic value: The leaves are diuretic and the root a gentle laxative. Great for any sluggish digestive conditions. Again rich in vitamins and minerals
Flavour: Slightly sweet
Part used: Flowering tops. Do not add milk
Therapeutic value: Known as a carminative, chamomile is especially well known for its ability to relieve wind, calm nervous digestion, promote sleep and relaxation. Drink after meals or before bed. Especially perfect for anxious or restless children and the elderly
Flavour: Minty, the fresh leaves have a really refreshing aftertaste Part used: Leaves. Do not add milk Therapeutic value: Also carminative, but a little stronger than chamomile. Very cooling and so great in hot conditions such as menopause and fever. Perfect for wind or after a rich meal. Do not consume more than one cup daily if you are breast-feeding as it can dry up breast milk
Part used: Seeds. Combine with chamomile or peppermint Therapeutic value: Increases appetite and promotes digestive secretions to improve assimilation and absorption of food. Fantastic for trapped wind
Sage (Avoid in lactation due to the drying abilities)
Part used: Leaves. Do not add milk Therapeutic value: The base ingredient of most hot flush teas. Sage does not taste amazing but combine it with some peppermint for extra cooling effects