|Herbal Teas - The Marriage of Herbs & Tea
Two of Nature's Powerhouses
|Tea is an easy, natural, and flavorful way to introduce the healing power of
herbs into your everyday diet. Tea is extremely healthy by itself, but by add-
ing various herbs to it you can knock out pretty much any ailment.
We have all seen the disastrous
effects of over prescribing anti-
biotics. These synthetic drugs are now proving to
be ineffectual in fighting off bacterial infections
because of their massive overuse.
But if you investigate, you will find that like tea,
various herbs kill bacteria, viruses, fungus, and
microorganisms, effectively fighting off cold and flu
viruses, infections, and many other common
ailments that crop up in our everyday life.
Tea and herbs share
a very long and inter-
esting history. Herbs
predate tea to the
time of early man,
|when whatever was found in the forest or on the ground was the
only means of preventing starvation.
The first recorded history of tea dates back to China (2737 AD),
discovered by Shen Nung, a Chinese emperor and scholar, who
ironically was also the first person to identify herbs. Shen Nung
wrote the first history of herbs in his book, Pen T'sao Ching (The
Classic of Herbs), written around 3000 AD, and listing over 300
different plants and their medicinal value.
There are many prepackaged herbal teas to choose from, such as
chamomile or mint. You have to be careful to read the ingredients
label, though, because it is only herbal tea if tea is present. It
may say "herbal tea" on the package, but it may only contain the herb with no tea.
For example, I buy a popular brand of prepackaged peppermint tea that says "100% natural
herb tea" on the package. But reading the ingredients label, it contains only peppermint leaves -
no tea. So it's up to you to carefully read the ingredients label so you always know exactly what
you are getting.
Rather than buying prepackaged herbal teas, you may enjoy making your own, blending favorite
flavors, or maybe there is a specific nutritional or health issue you would like to address.
You can design your own recipes with hundreds, if not thousands of combinations, to address
everything from an upset stomach, to warding off a cold or
case of the flu.
There are three ways in which to prepare herbal teas:
Infusion is the same method you use when preparing tea. You place the herbal tea into a cup or
teapot, add boiling water and allow the mixture to steep for the alloted amount of time, until the
flavors are completely infused with the water. Simple.
The second method-straining, is also an easy
process. Many teapots and teacups already
come with built-in strainers, or just use a reg-
ular strainer. You place the appropriate
amount of herbal tea into the strainer, place
the strainer over the cup or pot, pour the boil-
ing water over and let the liquid seep through
the strainer into the teacup or teapot.
Finally there is decoction. This method takes
a bit more time as you are extracting the fla-
vor and medicinal characteristics from twigs,
barks, stems, and roots. Cooking times vary
depending on the kind and quantity of plants
Also, if the type of tea you are using is one
with multiple infusions, this process extracts all the
flavor and important ingredients from the leaves dur-
ing the cooking so it cannot be reinfused.
For decoction, you place the herbs and tea into a pot,
add water, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until the volume
of liquid is reduced to 1/3 of the beginning amount. Strain and drink while hot.
If making your own herbal tea blends, you can use either fresh,
powdered, or dried herbs. In fact, there may be some common
herbs found right in your cupboard, such as sage, mint, rose-
mary, and thyme, as well as spices such as ginger, nutmeg, and
If using fresh herbs, you can find most of the ones you might try
using in herbal tea recipes at your local supermarket or health
When brewing, remember that one teaspoon of fresh, chopped
herbs (including the leaf, stem, or flower), is equal to approximately
1/2 teaspoon dried herbs or 1/4 teaspoon powdered herbs. This is
an approximation as all herbs vary from one plant to another.
Just as I advise when creating your own blended tea recipes, you
need to experiment to find the flavors and strength that is right for you. Enjoy.
NOTE: A word of caution if gathering wild herbs or plants. You need to be extremely careful and
NEVER use wild herbs or plants you are unfamiliar with or have not been able to properly
identify. Buy a good medicinal herb book with clear color pictures to help you properly identify a
plant, or ask advice about it at your local plant nursery.
You should also consult with your health care provider before starting any new treatments or
that could interact adversely with current medications or any ongoing care.
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No reproductions of any kind allowed without permission.
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|For more information or to learn more about tea, visit our other pages:
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system and keep us healthy?
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Try Mighty Leaf Teas fruity and delicious handcrafted herbal tea blends. Their Organic Berry Wellness
tea is a blend of blueberries, strawberries, cran, goji, & elder berries w/the sweetness of ginger and
licorice root. Click here to get yours and $1.00 goes to cancer research: