Category Archives: Herbal Tea

Best Tea When You are Sick

I was terribly sick last week, so much so that I missed my weekly Yoga class. Not much stops me from going to that, let me tell you. It was one of those head colds that gave me a massive headache over the course of days along with a cough. Of course I drank a ton of tea to feel better. So that leads me to the best tea when you are sick.

Personally I'm a big believer in vitamin C to help kick your immune system in gear and honey to soothe your throat. For this I turn to a Hibiscus tea with honey combo. Specifically Chartreuse Tea's Hibiscus Quench.

Chartreuse Hibiscus Quench TeaIt is high in vitamin C and contains spearmint leaves as well, which are great for helping to calm your stomach and open your sinuses. And there is nothing quite like holding a warm cup of tea in between your hands when you are not feeling well.

I'm not even sure how many cups of this tea that I drank last week, but it definitely helped make a miserable week better.

What is your favorite tea when you are sick? Please share in the comments below.

What is a Tisane?

Tea, infusion, decoction, tisane? With all the various titles, it can be a little confusing, if not daunting when it comes to herbal preparation. Simply put – a tisane is an infusion of herbs without any leaves from the tea bush (although, camellia sinensis, tea is considered an herb). Thus, tisane and infusion mean exactly the same thing.

A tisane is an easy way to prepare herbs, made in much the same way as tea, and especially calls for flowers and leafy parts. The standard quantities for medicinal use are often 30 g of dried herb to 500 ml of water. For just a simple beverage, 2-3 teaspoons per cup of water should suffice. Be sure to only “just” boil the water as vigorous boiling dispserses the volatile oils in the steam. Merely place your herbs in a tea pot with a close fitting lid, pour hot water over, cover, and let steep 10 minutes.

Try mixing together herbs like:

-          Lavender, rose hips, and cinnamon

-          Chamomile, lemon balm, and cloves

-          Raspberry leaf, lavender, and orange peel

-          Red clover and Nettle leaf

I think you will enjoy the process of discovering great tasting drinks with helpful benefits. Definitely check out Healing Herbal Teas by Brigitte Mars for a delightful compilation of recipes, instructions, and inspiration.

Blending Your Own Herbal Teas

Find bulk echinacea at Frontier.Blending your own herbal tea is so amazingly simple; you’ll wonder why you haven’t done it sooner! For supplies, all you need is a couple of measuring spoons, funnel (completely optional), and a mason jar or two (quart size for large amounts, pint size for less). In order to start blending, it helps to understand the qualities, benefits, and indications of herbs. Start small by choosing something that you need a bit of help with, like insomnia or immune support and study the herbs that are indicated for those conditions. The art of blending enables you to “cover all the bases,” as well as enhance the taste of the tea.  Here are two recipes that are tried and true in my own household…

Women’s Tea

2 parts nettle

2 parts raspberry leaf

1 part rose hips

1 part lemon balm

1 part milky oats

Combine the herbs together in the jar and use 1 to 3 tbsp per cup of water for your tea. This tea makes a light, satisfying tonic. Enjoy 2 to 3 cups per day.

Healthy Lungs

2 parts licorice root

1 part each of elecampane root, cinnamon root, and marshmallow root

½ part Echinacea root

¼ part ginger root

Combine all the herbs in the jar. For use, use 2 tablespoons of herb to 1 cup of water. Place in a saucepan, cover, and simmer over low heat for 30 to 45 minutes. Use this tea to prevent lung congestion and/or when a cold is just beginning. It’s best sipped throughout the day, every 30 minutes to 1 hour.

For recipes and research, I definitely recommend books like Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health or The Yoga of Herbs by David Frawley. Enjoy your tea!

You can find many of the items needed for these herbal teas by clicking the banner below.

All-natural and organic echinacea from frontiercoop.com

Introduction to Herbal Tea

David Frawley wrote in The Yoga of Herbs, “Within each thing is contained all things. In the seed is the tree; in the tree is the forest. Therefore, intelligence is contained implicitly in the many worlds of nature.” When we use herbs, we are transmuting light into life, becoming receptors to the power that plants bring us. Herbs are used in many capacities, from the culinary kitchen to the bath products for our hair, but there is nothing quite as soothing, relaxing, or healing as a warm cup of herbal tea, especially when we relish in the communion with it.

Herbal tea is most often viewed and employed as a refreshing beverage, taken with scones, fruit, or breads. While you can enjoy some of the properties of the herbs in this fashion, the effects are rather mild.  However, tea for medicinal purposes is quite beneficial and inexpensive. The mere act of making the tea, as you utilize your intuitive sense for choosing the herb to smelling the aroma wafting from the cup, involves you in the self-healing process. While not as potent as tinctures, herbal teas are highly effective in dealing with chronic, long-term imbalances. They are also easy to prepare, simple to dose, and deliciously tasty.

For the delicate parts of the plant, like the leaves and flowers, infuse your herbs by pouring boiling water over them and letting them steep at least 30 minutes. The more tenacious parts of the plant (root, bark, and seeds) are often placed in a pan, covered with the water, covered, and simmered for 45 minutes to an hour. The ratio, for medicinal use, is 1 to 3 tablespoons per cup of water and is best sipped throughout the day (up to 3 or 4 cups). For a pleasing beverage, I recommend 1 to 3 teaspoons of herb per cup of water.

Herbs do require research before use, understanding, and a sense of intuition, but I hope you appreciate the Plant Kingdom’s gift when you sit down with your next cup of tea.