Making Herbal Teas

Black and Green Tea

Tea runs a close second to coffee in popularity when it comes to hot drinks and although the problem is less serious, it also contains some caffeine and a good deal of tannin.  Black tea and green tea characterize the leaves used to create all varieties of tea. Black tea is fermented to remove some of the tannin. Like coffee, the tannin and caffeine are kept to a minimum when tea is brewed quickly with freshly boiled water.  While this may overcome the problem of the tea leaves themselves, there is still some degree of concern about the tea bag. The metals used to secure the bag are viewed as harmful by many and that innocent-looking encasement is actually a carrier of harmful dyes.

Why not use loose teas leaves? A variety of loose teas are available in your supermarket. For less than a dollar you can purchase an individual tea strainer (or you can use a small mesh juice strainer, or cheese cloth) and brew fresh tea in individual glasses or by the pot.  Buy a few kinds and you can change your tea to suit your moods.

Tea has another advantage over coffee-it’s much easier to drink it black.  For those who insist on sweetening their beverage, honey makes a much tastier tea than sugar.

Herbal Teas

Aside from the traditional tea-leaf teas, delicious teas can be prepared from herbs.  Herb teas have no caffeine and many are believed to have healing qualities. While the taste for herb tea must sometimes be acquired, as an incurable tea drinker, I can testify that the acquisition is a simple one.  Herb tea is made just like other teas, by  pouring boiling water over fresh or dry leaves (or flowers) and allowing the brew to steep for three to five minutes.  Some of the herbs that come highly recommended include basil, sage, aniseed, fennel, marjoram and mint.

Tea can be made from many different things.  One unique suggestion for making tea is from walnuts.  Inside the shell of a walnut is a woody diving membrane.  Save these pieces and add a heaping teaspoon to each cup of water, allow them to boil together for five minutes and then let the shell fragments settle to the bottom.  When the tea has cooled somewhat it is ready to drink.  Subsequent boiling makes the tea even stronger. This method works with pieces of pecan shells and the skin of almonds as well;

Instant Tea

Instant tea (particularly the iced, flavored kind) is an adulterated waste of money.  In addition to the finely ground tea leaves, which are the basis of the beverage, all the flavored brands contain either malto dextin to protect the flavor, or they derive their appeal from citric acid, artificial color and flavor, caramel color, vegetable oil and BHA (a preservative.)  Don’t be sucked in by the proud claim of “Natural Flavor” that instant tea manufacturers brandish on the label.  The flavor may be natural, but not much else is.  When this tea comes already prepared in the bottle you not only purchase these same chemicals, but you pay a lot of money for someone else to add the water.

If you want iced tea, brew double strength tea (and here you can add any leftover tea that has been brewed previously), add honey and lemon to taste, and server over ice.  Add the sweetening while the tea is hot to make for easier dissolving.

Tea Recipes

Bust Tea
Want a bustier look? Drink Bust Tea! Here’s a tea recipe that will give you a hearty dose of breast-enhancing herbs.

In a saucepan, pour two cups of water over one cup of fenugreek sprouts. Add a dash or two of anise, basil, caraway, dill, fennel, licorice, marjoram and lemongrass. Bring to a boil, then let cool. Add lemon juice and honey to taste. Drink one to two cups a day.

Fennel contains phytoestrogens, plant chemicals similar to the female hormone estrogen. Folklore maintains that the other herbs in this tea can also help enlarge the breasts.

A Tea for Your Liver
This is a grab-bag tea recipe made with herbs that reportedly have liver-protective benefits. Mix to taste: licorice, dandelion, chicory, turmeric and ginger. If you like, you can also add anise, caraway, celery seed, dill, clove, fennel, peppermint, rosemary and vanilla bean. You can mix up a jar of dried herbs and keep the mixture handy for whenever you want an herbal tea.

To Slow Aging:
Drink two antioxidant herb teas a day. Antioxidants are substances that neutralize free radicals, naturally occurring oxygen molecules that damage the body and are thought to play a significant role in the aging process. Most fruits and vegetables contain significant amounts of antioxidants, as do many herbs. If you’re a heavy coffee drinker, you might consider replacing two cups of coffee a day with herb tea. Good research suggests that Oregano, Rosemary, Bee balm, Lemon Balm (also know as Melissa), Peppermint, Sage, Spearmint, Savory and Thyme contain significant levels of antioxidants.

Multi-mint Antioxidant Arthritis Tea:
Rosemary and Oregano are both antioxidant mints. Add several more antioxidant herbs to these two and you get a Multi-mint Antioxidant tea. The mints are basil, bee balm, horehound, hyssop, lemon balm, marjoram, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, sage, savory, spearmint and thyme. It makes sense to top it off with a dash of ginger and turmeric.
Basil has five anti-arthritic compounds with marjoram, oregano and rosemary weighted in with a few each.

How much of each herb should you use to make this tea? Use two parts of the ingredients you like and one part of the ingredients you find less appealing. Pour boiling water over the herbs and let them steep for 10 to 20 minutes before drinking.

Anti-Arthritis Tea:
Approximately three parts dried willow bark to two parts dried licorice root and one part minced garlic. Pour boiling water over the mixture and steep for about 15 minutes. If you don’t like the taste, add lemon and /or honey, plus ginger and turmeric to taste.

My Herbal Tea Remedies eBooks contains over 85 recipes for Detox Tea, Aches and Pains Tea, Tea for Nervousness, Sleep Tea Recipe, Upset Stomach Tea, Urinary Infection Tea, and the list goes on and on!

Articles of Interest:
Preserving Herbs
Harvesting Herbs
Pressing Herbs

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