It has always amazed me that people tend to reach for the tea bag rather than make their own fresh version of a herbal drink. Most of the ingredients you can use you will have in the house anyway and the difference is enormous in both taste and benefits. Below is a selection of ingredients I use to make my own herbal teas. I suggest you experiment with what suits you best:
Mint can be added to hotwater for a relaxing yet refreshing drink. Add a spoonful of Lavender Honey if you want to add a bit of sweetness. You can make a whole jug of this infusion and then pop it in the fridge. It is delicious cold.
Thyme This is one of my favourite herbs to add to an infusion. It is very soothing for a sore throat and using fresh thyme just makes all the difference. Leave the thyme in the hot water for about 3 – 4 minutes. The tea can be drunk 3 to 4 times a day for the treatment of coughs. Thyme contains an essential oil that is rich in thymol, a powerful antiseptic, antibacterial, and a strong antioxidant. The tea may be sweetened with Lavender Honey which also acts as a demulcent, thereby increasing the tea’s effectiveness. You can also add a slice of lemon or a glove of garlic. More on both these ingredients later
Lemon The use of lemons in infusions is very common. They say a cup of lemon infusion is the kindest way to start the day for your stomach. It is very beneficial to the digestive system. I tend to cut a lemon in quarters, squeeze one quater into the mug of hotwater and then toss in the segment for extra flavour. You can add lemon to any of the ingredients above and below and it will always ensure a zingy flavour to your tissane.
Garlic If you drop one clove into a hot infusion it will give a very mild taste of garlic to your drink, rather delicious and very beneficial. Garlic promotes the well-being of the heart and immune systems with antioxidant properties and helps maintain healthy blood circulation. Again you can add a clove of garlic to your infusion with any of the above ingredients.
Ginger For years I had the habit of having a couple of slices of ginger in hot water every morning. I loathed to start the day without it. It is one of the most cleansing drinks I have found. Ginger can help to decrease nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy, motion sickness, surgery and chemotherapy treatments. It is believed that the herb helps to increase the production of digestive enzymes and acid, which helps to more quickly break down and empty foods from the stomach. This then decreases feelings of nausea and helps to promote regular bowel function.
Rosemary whether fresh or dried, is a rich source of minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Just snap off a couple of springs from the garden and infuse in hot water for 5 minutes. I find this drink very refreshing
So go for it, experiement and see what you like. Use the freshest, wildest herbs you can get your hands on and make the best of what nature has to offer. Dont worry about all the bits and bobs floating around in the water, they only add to the flavour and remember that if any of your infusions need sweeting use our very finest Provencal Lavender Honey – its divine!