Make Your Own Teas From Garden-Grown Herbs


| 10/21/2014 8:41:00 AM


Tags: herbal tea, Midwest, Ohio, Kentucky, Melodie Metje,

Savory in foreground, thyme on left, edible day lilies in background

You can make your own teas from common herbs growing in your garden or to spice up store bought teas. A few common herbs you may have growing in your garden for your own home grown tea-bergamot, chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, lemon verbena, lemongrass, mint, rosemary, sage, stevia for sweetening, thyme. (Left image: Savory in foreground, thyme on left, edible day lilies in background.)

Bergamot, or bee balm, has a scent reminiscent of Italian bergamot orange. You can dry or use fresh, steeped for 10 minutes by itself or add to store bought black tea to give it the same type of flavor as Earl Gray tea. Bergamot was used as a tea substitute in the colonies after the Boston Tea Party in 1773. Its flowers are also a great bee attractor and come in white or numerous shades of red and purple. Native Americans used it as spice for fowl and medicinally for its antiseptic properties, headaches, fever, and upset tummies. Bergamot is of the mint family so can be aggressive in the garden. M. didyma contains the highest concentration of oil.

Chamomile is used in potpourri for its scent, in supplements, tonics and teas for its calming properties, in facial steams/hand soaks to soften and whiten skin. Use the flowers fresh or dried for tea.

Lavender leaves or flowers can lend a floral note to teas. Lavender tea is used to sooth nerves, headaches, and dizziness. Its use as a potpourri is legendary. It is also great to put in closets to not only provide great scent, but also protect clothes from moths. It is also used as an antiseptic tonic for acne or to speed facial cell renewal. Lavender is also a typical ingredient in Herbes de Provence.Lavender plant

You can also make a syrup from lavender to add to desserts, adult beverages, homemade sodas, and teas. Boil 6 stalks of lavender in 2 cups of water and 1-1/2 cup of sugar at a simmer for 15 minutes. Let sit in refrigerator overnight, strain into bottle and keep refrigerated.




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