Tea has been used as medicine for centuries and is one of the oldest forms of herbalism recorded. It is undeniable that a cozy cup of tea is therapeutic and can do wonders to calm your soul.
By combining a variety of plant herbs, spices, berries, barks, roots, and flowers, you can create an herbal tea blend—or tisane—to be steeped in boiling water the same way you would tea leaves. These blends can help relieve a variety of symptoms and improve overall wellness. Ironically, herbal tea blends often do not contain tea leaves like your common oolong, black or green teas.
Here are six basic herbs that you can use for homemade herbal tea blends, along with the health benefits they bring.
Surely you’ve heard of this daisy-like flower. With a bright gold center and dainty white petals, chamomile is most commonly consumed as chamomile tea. Add a little honey and you’ve got yourself a cup of tea loaded with antioxidants that can help improve sleep quality.
Chamomile is also excellent for supporting digestive health and reducing feelings of anxiety, making it a great herb to use in different herbal tea blends. It pairs well with citrus or lemon-scented herbs, as well as florals such as lavender.
Native to Sri Lanka and South India, its leaves and woody stalks are often used to distill lemongrass oil. Its distinct citrus aroma makes it effective in keeping mosquitoes at bay. Fresh or dried lemongrass is also used in Southeast Asian cuisines to add a lemony zing to dishes, especially in Thai cooking.
Lemongrass helps support digestive health, relieves pain and reduces high blood pressure. Pair it with ginger root for a warming herbal tea best for cold and flu seasons.
Lavender is most commonly used in aromatherapy. The fragrance from the essential oil is calming and can help with anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Culinary lavender is also used in cooking! If you’ve never tried lavender ice cream, it is best described as a pretty shade of light purple with sweet, floral notes.
Lavender tea is calming and can help reduce anxiety, as well as promote a good night’s sleep. It boasts anti-inflammatory properties and contains antioxidants that help to detoxify the body. Other than consuming lavender tea on its own, chamomile or mint also goes well with the herb.
A quintessential tropical bloom that leaves us dreaming of sunsets, beaches and fruity blended drinks, the hibiscus flower not only looks beautiful but is also an antioxidant-rich herb. It is a great addition to cold-tea infusions and hibiscus tea has a gorgeous deep pink hue.
The tea has been known to lower blood pressure, reduce blood sugar levels and keep your liver healthy. Hibiscus tastes delicious and pairs especially well with holy basil, mint, and lemongrass.
5. Holy Basil
Also known as tulsi, holy basil is a medicinal herb native to India and cultivated across Southeast Asia. It is a powerful adaptogenic herb, capable of helping the body adapt to stress and boost energy.
The leaves are strongly scented; the smell of peppermint, cloves, licorice and/or lemon. Holy basil is widely used in many tisanes and can be grown indoors all year round.
The peppermint plant is a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint. Popular as a flavour of toothpaste and chewing gum, adding peppermint leaves to your tea can give it a refreshing taste.
Peppermint is good for digestive health and can help relieve gas and bloating. It is also a great accent herb to add to herbal tea blends for a little pop of flavour.
Learn to blend your own Japanese herbal tea!
Tea culture is ever-present in Japanese society and the benefits of drinking herbal teas are becoming increasingly well-known. Under the guidance of certified herbalism experts, enter the colourful world of herbs and learn about each of their unique uses!
Find out more here.
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