There are so many uses for the herbs you grow in your garden. You use them to make your own candles, soaps, lotions, pot pouri, spices for cooking, and even herbal teas. Using your herbs to make healthful, steaming cups of hot tea is an easy option. You enjoy the unique flavor of the herb and also receive the natural health benefit that comes from that particular tea. These benefits range from just reducing your level of stress to lowering your risk of cancer.
There are so many herbs that make a great pot of tea. Your options are practically limitless. Some popular herbs enjoyed as tea include:
Catnip (not just for your cat)
You may also enjoy experimenting by combining various herbs. Sometimes the combination of two or more herbs is a unique flavor of the tea. You only need such a small amount of the herb in order to experiment by making tea. So, you do not have to worry about wasting any of the plants unnecessarily. One example of a possible combination would be Lemon Balm with Mint, or Jasmine and Chamomile.
Some have even enjoyed having a Make Tea Party, using their herbal garden. Let your guests choose their own flavors of herbs and have fun choosing the plants and picking the leaves (or flowers, seeds, roots, stems), and combining the flavors that they wish to try. Everyone’s cup of tea will be a unique creation! Have a contest and see who can make the best cup of tea. Serve scones and little finger sandwiches and enjoy nice teapots and tea cups.
Here are a few additional tips for using your herbs for tea:
* Do not wait too late in the day to pick your herbs for making the tea. The earlier in the morning you harvest them, the better. This is because later in the day when the temperature rises, the heat can remove some of the oils on the herb that adds to its flavor.
* You may also want to collect your herbs at a time when it has not been raining. The rain, too, can minimize these precious oils on the plants.
* Most herbs have the best flavor if you collect them before their flowers have bloomed.
Once you ascertain that it is a good time to harvest some of your herbs for tea, here are some general instructions for making the herbal tea:
Herbal teas can be made with 2-3 tablespoons of fresh or dried flowers, leaves, seeds or roots. Simply cut off the portion that you need from your herb plant. The flavor is more like fresh herbs. If you are using dried herbs, then you probably will need to use double the amount. Making tea with the stems, roots, seeds or flowers of your herb is great, since these parts of the plant may otherwise be considered “not usable” for other purposes.
Once you assemble the needed amount of herbs, put them in your teapot and pour boiling water over the parts of the plant. Let them steep there for several minutes. If the particular herb you are using is a little bit too bitter, just add honey, sugar or stevia to sweeten the flavor.
Sit back, relax, and reap yet another benefit of your herbal garden as you sip the cup of tea that you helped to create yourself, and feel the stress and tension from the day melt away.
Sylvia McIntosh is an herb-gardening enthusiast and an herb expert. She recommends [http://effectiveherbgardening.com/italian-herb-garden] as a practical yet advanced information source to help people find everything they need to start and maintain a healthy herb garden of their own.