Tea mug photos via Pinterest.
Herbal Teas: A Refreshing Story
a guest post by Lily Robinson
With autumn just around the corner, you may find yourself thinking about wrapping up in woollens and enjoying a steaming mug of hot tea. Herbal teas are a healthy alternative to coffee that taste great and offer many health benefits.
Peppermint: Known for it’s excellent digestive properties, peppermint tea is ideal as a calming drink after a meal. When brewed from fresh leaves as opposed to dried ones, this tea is incredibly aromatic with a refreshing taste. In North Africa, peppermint tea is a common ingredient in the popular drink Touareg Tea, where it is highly prized and respected.
Chamomile: Chamomile is also great for healthy digestion and aids in restful sleep and relaxation. It has a decidedly pungent smell and a delicate floral, light taste. Chamomile can be made fresh, or the dried flowers can be bought and steeped.
Lemon (or any citrus fruit): Citrus tea is a very popular and refreshing drink with uplifting and palate cleansing qualities. To make tea from any citrus fruit, the peel needs to be taken off in wafer-thin strips that avoid taking any of the pith with it. Pith can give a bitter aftertaste which can ruin the effect of the citrus oils when infused with boiled water.
However, if the idea of a pure citrus tea does not appeal, slices of lemon or orange can be added to other herbal teas to give them a boost. Lemon goes well with with green tea, which is a great stress reliever, full of antioxidants and perfect for anyone that is experiencing other health problems such as thinning hair or common digestive ailments.
Orange, on the other hand, is perfectly suited to a delicious blend of Bergamot tea, or Earl Grey for those that need a healthier caffeine fix. Both these teas will need a little sweetening; it’s usually suggested to mix them with a little manuka honey, agave nectar or stevia. Mmm!
Ginseng: This tea is common in Asian countries and known for it’s ability to help with mental clarity. It is also excellent for boosting a poor appetite when drunk before meals. The tea is made from dried roots and it’s often said that it’s better to make this tea from boiled water that’s been allowed to cool a little rather than straight from the kettle, as boiling water may “bruise” the tea and limit its efficacy.
Sage: Most people think of sage as a herb for cooking with, but it works great in tea, too. sage tea is a powerful drink that can help with a range of conditions, from poor digestion to anxiety and irritability. It has a clean, herbal taste, very fresh and aromatic. It also has strong antibacterial properties and can be used as a soothing drink for anyone that is suffering from the effects of a cold or sore throat.
Thyme: A cup of tea brewed with thyme leaves can provide nearly four milligrams of iron, which is almost twenty percent of the daily recommended intake. It is also a brilliant cure-all for indigestion. When mixed with Sage, thyme provides powerful and soothing relief from mild to moderate sore throats and flu symptoms.
Tea leaf photos via Lily Robinson.
Make Your Own Teas
Making your own tea variety is a very simple and relaxing process. You simply take a few leaves, flowers (fresh or dried), seeds or roots and steep them in boiling water for a few minutes. Then strain the infusion and sweeten with honey, stevia or a little brown sugar to taste.
Have fun experimenting with different blends and coming up with your favorite flavor combinations!