Making tea is a daily habit for me. Mostly with the variety of loose leaf herbs I have in mason jars in my cupboard and I make at least one pot every day. Leif and I were both a little under the weather when we woke up the other day; he with a runny nose and me with a sore throat. I make at least two pots of tea on the days we are sick and we sip them throughout the day. The tea makes a tremendous difference to how we feel and recover.
I thought I’d share a quick look into my loose leaf tea shelf for the kinds of herbs I think useful to have for general health and especially for those under the weather days. I notice that when I’m talking to friends who are feeling sick, I’m asking if they have this tea or that. I think it’s useful to have a few herbs on hand in case of sickness but also to add to everyday tea.
There’s nothing worst than when your little babe or small child is feeling sick and you don’t know what to do to help them. Maybe they’re so stuffed up that nursing is difficult or worst when they are feverish and you aren’t sure you want to give them something like tylenol (rightly so!). This is when you can make some tea for yourself to drink if you are nursing regularly or serve your child a cooled tea to sip on.
I can’t stress how quick this will be. There are countless benefits to many of these herbs that I will barely touch on and a few to avoid for various reasons which I will share but it’s always best to look up herbs before harvesting and using or at the counter at your local herbal shop or health food store. Most of the herbs I use are easy and safe to use.
Friends are always asking how much of each herb to use. I have this lovely teapot from Davids Tea which has a large tea basket for steeping the tea. I will just grab a pinch of herbs and throw it in the basket. A bigger pinch for the flavoured herbs I really like and want to taste, smaller for the herbs that don’t taste much and even smaller for the herbs that don’t taste great.
These herbs have some to a lot of flavour. Some can be combined for great blended taste and others are better as the other flavoured herb in the tea pot. Sometimes you can add a bit more of the flavoured herb that you prefer to overpower the other.
- Lemon Balm– A fantastic herb for children with colds, flu, fever, nervousness… Tastes great and is very safe! It isn’t a great herb for breastfeeding mothers to use on a regular basis as it does have the ability to decrease the milk supply.
- Chamomile– Great for nervousness, stomach aches, colds, to help you sleep and relax.
- Shredded Liquorice Root– Great for inflammation, sore throats (it feels so good on the throat), coughs, runny noes, nervousness, adding sweetness or help quench your thirst. This herb shouldn’t be used on a constant basis without a break from time to time. It will lower levels of potassium in the body.
- Peppermint– Good for digestion, pain relief, colds, flu, skin issues. Peppermint isn’t a great herb for breastfeeding mothers to use on a regular basis as it does have the ability to decrease the milk supply.
- Lemongrass- Good for inflammation and digestion.
- Red Raspberry Leaf– Nutritious! Great to take during pregnancy to help tone the uterus and afterwards while breastfeeding for increasing milk supply.
These herbs don’t have much or very good flavour. I’m always sure to add a flavoured herb or two along with any of these:
- Marshmallow Root– Great for the mucus membranes, stomach aches and skin irritations.
- Alfalfa-Very nutritious! Doesn’t taste that great.
- Nettle– Lots of nutrient value in this herb. All the herbs have great nutrient value but nettle especially. Good for the immune system, respiratory issues, reproductive health…
- Yarrow– Not great for pregnant women. Yarrow isn’t a great herb for breastfeeding mothers to use on a regular basis as it does have the ability to decrease the milk supply. Good for fevers, colds, flu, circulation, sore muscles.
- Red Clover– This herb is detoxing. It’s good for the immune system.
- Hops– Great for helping with sleep. It doesn’t taste that great but used modestly with other herbs you wont even notice it until your eyes feel droopy and you’re wanting to get to bed. This herb should be used carefully.
- Burdock Root– A great detoxing herb and will help keep your liver healthy. Take care with this herb. Using on a regular basis is fine for about a month at the most but then a break is needed.
- Dandelion– Take care not to have this herb in your tea in the late afternoon or evening. It will make you have to pee something fierce in the middle of the night! Great for detoxing and your skin.
I had been wanting to share new photos of tea but waiting for some good light has already made me post this later than I wanted. It won’t be long until I’m starting my garden again with veg and herbs so I thought I’d share some older photos of herbs and tea. Looking at these old photos make me long for spring and summer!