Myrtleford Times

Grow your own tea garden

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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

Nettle

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

Dandelion

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

Chamomile

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

Peppermint

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

Fennel

Flavour: Aniseed

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

 ?? Sophie Lorback, Naturopath ?? with
Sophie Lorback, Naturopath with

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