We welcome the tranquility and simplicity that herbal teas provide. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or overworked, there is nothing that compares to the satisfaction of an aromatic cup of tea. Herbal teas mean comfort and warmth, and taking a moment out of a hectic day to relax and reflect.
Aside from the pleasure it provides, tea is also an important medicinal preparation. Each plant offers its own healing properties and different parts of the plant may be used to make an infusion. The root, bark, stem, leaf, flower, and seed will all offer a unique flavor or medicinal quality to your tea.
From refreshing to soothing, teas can be all-natural "pick-me-ups" or can completely relax the mind and body. Herbal teas are naturally caffeine free and are suitable for drinking at any time of the day. Most are suitable during all stages of life too – from the youth to the wise elder.
Taking time to brew and sip tea is a ritual that delights the spirit!
Hot infusions draw out vitamins, enzymes, and aromatic volatile oils. A few good herbs for hot infusions include Chamomile, Holy Basil, Ginger, Nettle, Peppermint, and Skullcap.
- Scoop 1-3 tablespoons of dried herb into a strainer.
- Heat 1 cup of water until it just comes to a boil.
- Place strainer in your cup.
- Pour hot water over herbs and cover to keep the essential oils from escaping.
- Steep for 15 minutes to 1 hour and strain.
Cold Infusions are ideal for slimy or demulcent herbs and herbs with delicate essential oils. A few good herbs for cold infusions include Marshmallow root, Chia seed, and fresh Lemon Balm.
- Fill a quart jar with cold water.
- Bundle 1oz of herb in cheesecloth.
- Slightly moisten the bundled herb.
- Submerge the bundle just below the water in the jar.
- Drape the tied end of the bundle over the lip of the jar.
- Secure by loosely screwing on the cap.
- Allow to infuse overnight.
- Place herbs in a quart jar, fill with cold water, and cap.
- Allow to infuse overnight.
- Place 3 tablespoons of dried herb into a small sauce pan.
- Cover the herbs with a quart of cold water.
- Slowly heat the water to a simmer and cover.
- Allow to gently simmer for 20 to 45 minutes.
- Strain the herb and reserve the tea in a quart jar.
- Pour additional hot water back through the herb in the strainer to fill your jar.
Add a bit of honey, fruit juice, licorice root powder, or powdered Stevia leaf to sweeten your tea. Freeze in ice cube trays or popsicle molds. Kids love these herbal ice pops!
Making herbal syrup is a great way to preserve your medicinal teas. They are also soothing to the respiratory system, and depending on your formula, can provide other medicinal actions. Plus, they are super tasty!
- Decoct roots, barks, and berries for 20 mins.
- Add leafy herbs and steep for 10 mins.
- Strain the herb and measure the liquid.
- Add equal amount of raw local honey.
- Simmer gently (below 110 degrees) until dissolved.
- Pour into dry, sterilized amber bottles.
- Optional: Add 1 part tincture to 3 part syrup for a medicinal boost and longer shelf life.
- Label your syrup!
- Store in refrigerator for 6 months.
- Take 1 teaspoon as needed.
Making Your Own Tea Blends
Creating your own herbal tea blends is fun and beneficial for your health! The possibilities are endless, as personalized tea blends can be made for you, your family members, and friends. Custom tea blends are a wonderful and healthy gift for loved ones, and may even encourage non-tea drinkers to taste what they've been missing!
Some of the most popular herbs used in creating tea blends are: Peppermint, Chamomile, Hibiscus, Citrus peels, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Nettle leaf, Licorice root, Spearmint, Red Clover, Rosehips, Roses, and spices such as Cinnamon, Cardamom, and Ginger. Check out our pre-mixed herbal tea blends for inspiration.
Tea Blending Pyramid
This fun tool will help you find herbal synergy when creating your own tea blends. Start with the herbal action you need (immune support, calming, digestive stimulant, etc.) and use your preferred herb as the “active ingredient” base. Then add a “supportive ingredient” that is soothing to that particular body system. The final ingredient is the “catalyst” which adds a pop of flavor or offers stronger potency to the active ingredient by providing a complimentary action.
These proportions are conceptual and not hard set, so you have freedom to experiment. Start with 3 parts active ingredient, 1 to 2 parts supportive, and 1/4 to 1 part catalyst, and then make adjustments as needed. You will find that herbs often switch roles from one blend to the next.
Keep this helpful guide in mind when you begin blending gifts for the holidays!
Please note that we advise researching herbs thoroughly before creating your tea blends, especially for those who are on medication or have pre-existing medical conditions.
Herbal Tea Storage
Herbal teas are made from dried plants and are vulnerable to air, light, humidity, and temperature. Some of the best containers are colored glass, kraft bags, foil lined bags, or air-tight canisters. Herbs lose their color and flavor with age, and are very sensitive to fluctuations in temperature, moisture, and light. An ideal storage location is a dry pantry, cupboard, or closet, with a storage temperature of 65-73 degrees. All herbs and spices have a relatively fixed shelf life, and we recommend that you only purchase what you will use within a short period of time. The best guideline to follow is no longer than 8-12 months for spices and leafy herbs, and no longer than 14-16 months for roots, barks, and berries.
Enjoy your herbal infusions!