Tea and coffee are my go to drinks in the cooler months. I really enjoy experimenting with different coffee combinations and tea flavors. And since I’ve recently had a few bouts of the sniffles, I’ve taken interest in brewing my own herbal teas. You can drink herbal teas at room temperature, cold, or hot. I always opt for the hot because they seem to help my head clear.
Mother Earth News recently posted an excerpt from the book, Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health, by Rosemary Gladstar. She suggests making a batch of herbal tea in the morning or night and storing the beverage in the fridge for up to four days. The following are Gladstar’s top notch, tea-brewing tips:
- If you are using fresh herbs, you’ll need to use twice as much herb.
- Gladstar recommends using 1 to 3 tablespoons of herbs for each cup of water, depending on the herb.
- If you’re making the tea to treat a chronic problem, she recommends drinking tea three or four times a day. If you have a cold or flu, though, ingest every hour until your symptoms go away.
For herbal infusions:
“Infusions are made from the more delicate parts of the plant, including the leaves, flowers and aromatic parts. These fragile plant parts must be steeped rather than simmered because they give up their medicinal properties more easily than do the tougher roots and barks.
To make an infusion, simply boil 1 quart of water per ounce of herb (or 1 cup of water to 1 tablespoon of herb). Pour water over the herb(s) and let steep for 30 to 60 minutes. The proportion of water to herb and the required time to infuse varies greatly, depending on the herb. Start out with the above proportions and then experiment. The more herb you use and the longer you let it steep, the stronger the brew. Let your taste buds and your senses guide you.”
If you’re curious about what herbs are safe to eat and drink, Country Living has a comprehensive list concerning edible flowers, kitchen herbs, bushes and trees, and weeds.