Tea drinking is a beautiful ritual that helps us relax and become present. The time spent preparing and drinking tea slows us down so we can connect with others and ourselves. You can grow many of the herbs used in tea where you can connect with nature. The ritual of tea is also a way to take care of your body.
The herbs used in tea have medicinal properties. You can choose the type of tea that you’re making based on the needs of your body in that moment. This is a list of teas to help common concerns:
- Chamomille, flowers, for insomnia
- Fennel, seeds, for gas and bloating
- Wood Betony, whole herb, for stress with shoulder tension
- Ginger, root, for nausea
- Thyme, leaves, to calm spasmodic coughs
- Avena Sativa (oat), tops, for nervous anxiety
- Burdock, root, for detox and acne
- Nettle, whole herb, for allergies
The details of tea making are important, so here are some tips to getting the most out of your tea:
2) Use adequate amounts of herbs. General rule of thumb is 1 tablespoon of herb per cup of tea.
3) Prepare your tea the right way. Steep stems, flowers and leaves (chamomile, wood betony, thyme) in boiled water for 3-5 minutes, then strain and drink. Boil roots and seeds (ginger, fennel) for 10 minutes, then strain and drink.
4) Use the correct part of the herb.
5) Drink the right amount. Some of the teas, like fennel for gas and bloating, have instant effects, and drinking just 1 cup will help. Others, like nettles for allergies require higher doses, usually 3 cups per day.
The best way to learn more about making herbal teas is to try making one or two of the teas listed above. Rosemary Gladstar’s Family Herbal book is an excellent resource for beginner recipes. If you want to use herbs to treat an illness that you’re facing, consider consulting with a Naturopathic Doctor, like myself, with extensive training in herbal medicine.