How effective are herb teas?
So herbs contain plant chemistry. Water is one method herbalists use for extracting those precious chemicals as teas, which can then work their magic in the body.
The beauty of teas is that it is hard to over-dose as the taste will quickly tell you it is way too strong! Talking of taste, which starts in the mouth, did you know that herbs work better when we taste them even if they are bitter? Yeap taste triggers all sorts of messages to the brain and digestion.
Lastly teas also provide nutrition that is easily absorbed.
The 3 tea methods
This is the classic teapot method. You simply pour hot water over the tea, cover with a lid and leave to infuse for 2 – 7 minutes. If you leave the infusion too long the tea will become very bitter, and you need a lid to capture all those volatile oils which are all part of the healing!
Tougher herbs need some help to extract their chemicals. This is when we simmer them on the hob with a lid. The amount of time varies but you are looking to end up with half the amount of water. So if you add 1 pint of water simmer until you are roughly left with ½ pint.
Some herbs contain precious minerals that take a little bit of patience. Usually they are left to infuse over-night 8-12 hours until you are left with a dark liquid elixir.
Don’t like the taste of herbal teas?
Here are my suggestions to receive the benefits when you don’t enjoy the taste;
Let the tea cool as the taste becomes very mild
Add to other drinks such as smoothies, soups and other drinks that can hide the taste
Add tea to your hand, foot or body bath and soak for 10 minutes (at least)
A few teas I suggest in clinic (often)
I use this when the stomach is nervous, tense, irritated and hot (Reflex Touch Therapy). This tea can also help if you are generally nervous and irritated and unable to sleep. As a bath it is soothing to sore skin. Chamomile can be bitter if infused for too long. If the stomach area is tense and cold I would mix with a touch of ginger or cinnamon. Use pure organic chamomile.
Simply simmer chopped ginger root in a saucepan of water to release its spicy goodness. Ginger is supportive for colds and flu, nausea, and when the stomach feels cold and low functioning, arthritis and circulation. Adding fresh lemon goes nicely with ginger as does a spring of peppermint.
Dried leaves are best used here. Normal nettle infusion is a mild diuretic but once left to steep for 8 hours or more we have a powerhouse of nutrition. Simply drink cold or add to other drinks. This super herb has been used for blood sugar levels, weight loss, fatigue, allergies and hormones!
Time for a cuppa!
Hopefully this short introduction has inspired you to include some very easy but helpful herb teas in your home. As always in clinic I will often suggest you try a specific tea (with instructions) for a whole range of support from hormones to digestion. Just remember to make them part of your daily routine as they build health day by day…..
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This week I am making a Nettle nourishing infusion every day for a green power boost.
I simply use organic dried nettle tea bags and add boiled water and let it steep for 8 hours until I have a dark green liquid.
I quite like to drink nettle tea cold – try it! Or simply add to other drinks.
This gives my body some easily available minerals from the queen super food. I will then share this tea 1-2 times a week with my daughter through the year. Remember results come with regular use in a natural form that the body can recognise as nourishment!
Lavender & Lemon Infusion
My new home has lots of Lavender growing in the front garden. so i decided i would have another attempt at making a purple tea.
Lavender is a well known herb and scent and most of its benefits come from the essential oil, but you can easily make Lavender tea. It will help ease tension headaches, poor sleep and summer colds.
I am not a huge fan of Lavender scent but the tea was easy to drink. Oh and I give up at turning the tea purple I added a blackberry (black current would have been better) which also added to the taste.
Handful of fresh Lavender
Slice of lemon
I let mine infuse for about 3-4 minutes..Oh and I am enjoying it warm and cool!