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.

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