There is nothing like a warm tea to soothe a tired soul. It warms from the inside out and relaxes us when we feel stressed.
But tea is more than a warm drink. It is also an old remedy to many ailments and sicknesses. Tea, especially herbal tea, has many benefits, and just the preparation of this drink proves to have a relaxing effect. By making your own herbal tea at home, you can enjoy it at any time and make the right kind of tea to suit the need at hand.
Herbal tea usually has little to no caffeine. Unlike black, green and oolong teas, herbal tea does not come from the leaves of the tea plant. It comes from leaves, roots, seeds and bark of various herbs – many of which are easy to grow in your home garden. If you need a tea with which to relax, try making one with camomile. If you need a tea to lift your mood, then lavender, thyme and spearmint are known to help. Sometimes, all we need is a nice warm drink to soothe achy muscles, or to ward off a cold, or even to help a sore stomach. Let’s look at a few common ailments, and what kind of herbal tea we can make to soothe it.
Keep in mind: One teaspoon of leaves or herbs equals the amount for one cup of tea. This will help you measure how much you need to make.
Here are five herbal teas you can make at home:
Boosting the immune system
Teas with ginger and turmeric  build up the immune system and fight nausea. By using ginger, the tea becomes full of anti-inflammatories, so it is very helpful when fighting the flu or a cold. Turmeric is full of anti-bacterial properties and it boosts the immune system as well. It only makes sense to combine these two ingredients to make a powerful and healthy herbal tea.
Here is what you need to make this simple tea:
- 2 to 3 cups of water (for two cups of tea)
- 1 teaspoon of powdered ginger
- 1 teaspoon of powdered turmeric
- The juice from one squeezed lemon
Heat water until it boils, take off heat and add the powdered ginger and turmeric. Stir well, and then cover for 15 minutes. Take the lemon juice and split it between the two cups. When the time is up, pour your tea and enjoy. You can alter the recipe to suit your tastes.
Have a sore throat?
There are several different teas and hot drinks you can use when fighting a sore throat. One well-known herb has been the “go-to” for centuries. Sage not only looks pretty as a plant, and smells delightful, but it is also a strong anti-inflammatory. Sage has been used for ailments of the throat, mouth and even tonsil pain. Also, you can’t go wrong with the basic hot lemon and honey drink. Lemon has vitamin C and honey has healing properties.
To make a hot lemon and honey tea, use:
- Juice from one lemon
- Hot, boiled water.
To make this drink, simply boil the water, and add the lemon juice and honey to suit your tastes. You can also add some grated ginger or ginger powder.
When making the sage tea, you will need the following:
- 1 to 2 leaves of fresh or dried sage (1 liter of water equals 8 sage leaves)
- Grated ginger
You will need to boil the water and then add the leaves. Cover the pot and let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes. The sage tea can be used to gargle or drink.
Green tea is known to be a good flu-buster, but you may not always have green tea handy, especially if you like to make your own tea. Another herbal tea you can make, which is full of vitamin C and immunity-boosters, is a combination of several plants. The following recipe is for a tea that can be served iced or hot:
- Equal parts of hibiscus and rosehips
- Half of the above amount of lemongrass and lemon peel
- Cinnamon to taste
Boil the amount of water needed, add above ingredients and let steep for at least five minutes. The longer you let the tea steep, the stronger your tea will be. Don’t let it steep too long, though, as it can become bitter.
In need of peace?
For those times when you need to slow your world down and relax, there is a tea for you. The following tea recipe will help you sleep when you are having trouble, when you are ill or under stress:
- 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile
- 1 teaspoon of dried mint
- 1 teaspoon of dried catnip
(Remember, if you are using fresh herbs, you will need to use larger amounts)
Boil the water needed, and when ready add the ingredients. Remember to steep the tea for five to 10 minutes and strain before drinking.
An age-old tip for making the best tea possible is to warm up the pot and the tea cups with hot water before making the tea. Put a lid or cover on the pot and cups until you are ready to add the tea, to keep them warm. When ready, dump out the hot water from the pot and cups. Steep your herbal tea for at least five minutes, and strain before serving. You can sweeten to taste with honey.
During these winter months, you will have enough time to enjoy several different types of herbal tea. There are so many varieties that you will not get bored. Experiment, and you may just find a new favorite warm drink.