10 Teas to Grow for Tea-Lovers
By Christina Francine
There is nothing like fresh home-grown tea you’ve grown yourself. Most people associate herbs with cooking, but these versatile plants do more than flavor food. There are a number of them that make a soothing, and satisfying beverage. Whether you take your tea hot or cold doesn’t matter.
Grow herbs in a pot on a deck, a large area of a lawn, in nooks and crannies around the yard, or on a window-sill inside your house.
These ten plants not only taste great, and help with various discomforts because they’re medicinal, they also grow in almost any climate.
1. Bee-Balm. Great for the digestion system (Idajili). I find tea from bee-balm quite relaxing.
2. Blackberry Leaves. Great for tonifying nerves, anemia, prolonged diarrhea Castleman). Blackberry leaves is one of my favorite herbal teas.
3. Catnip. Relieves pains of all kinds, especially those associated with digestion and menstruation (Levy).
4. German and Roman Chamomile. Soothing, cleansing, and contains tonic properties. A cure for insomnia and depression (Levy).
5. Holly-Hock. Soothing for digestive tract and for female troubles (Levy).
6. Hyssop. Great body cleanser, for helping fevers and nerves. Also expels mucus from all parts of the body (Levy).
7. Lemon-Balm. Has mild lemon flavor. Also called Sweet Melissa. Induces sweat and menstruation and is recommended to treat headache, flatulence, hypertension, stress, bronchitis, indigestion, asthma, and infant colic (Castleman).
8. Peppermint. Contains a warming oil and stimulates nerves. Great for cleansing and strengthening entire body, especially helpful for digestive and nervous system (Levy). One of my daughter’s favorite herbal teas because it eases the nausea she gets with migraine headaches.
9. Stinging-Nettle. Loaded with vitamins and minerals. “One of the world’s most chlorophyll-rich plants” (Levy). Great for kidneys, lungs, intestines, arteries, and adrenals (Levy). CAUTION: Don’t pick with bare hands. Although harmless, and actually those with arthritis find the sting helpful, the plant will sting a little. I pick leaves using garden gloves and place into a pot of water on the stove. Once boiled briefly, the sting is gone and is safe to touch and drink.
10. Sweet Cecily. A mild flavor similar to black licorice. A great appetite restorative and nerve strengthener. Has a mildly laxative effect, especially the seeds.
After the herbal plants have matured, you may make tea from either fresh herbs or dry them for later.
For hot tea using fresh herbs:
· Pick a few leaves from an herbal plant listed above and place in a tea-strainer.
· Set a tea-strainer with the herbs into a mug. Heat water to the temperature you like it and pour the water into your mug and through the herbs.
· Allow the herbs to seep in the water for a good seven minutes or more.
· Set the strainer with the herbs aside and drink your fresh, homegrown tea.
· By-the-way, used herbs help break down your compost, if you have one.
For hot tea using dried herbs:
· Simply do the same as from fresh herbs, only use dry instead.
For cool tea, simply follow the steps for hot, only allow the liquid to cool. If you don’t heat the water first, the tea will be weaker, although fresh bee-balm, cat-nip, and peppermint leaves spruce up lemon-aid, and gin and tonic water. Simply add the leaves and a couple of cucumber slices.
To dry herbs to use later:
· Pick either a stalk of the plant with leaves, or pick leaves individually. I like to pick the stalk because they take less room while drying.
· Put a twist-tie around the bottom and hang the herb upside down in a dry, out-of-the-way place. Put little labels on the twist-tie because sometimes its difficult to tell which herb is which after they dry.
· After they dry, take the leaves from the stalk and place them into a jar with a label.
· To dry leaves off the stalk, place the leaves onto mesh where air is able to circulate under and around them.
· No matter how you decide to dry your herbs, they should be left to dry in an area without moisture and out of the sun. The herbs won’t be as strong if you dry them in the sunlight.
Castleman, Michael. The New Healing Herbs, The Essential Guide to More Than 130 of Nature's Most
Potent Herbal Remedies. Rodale Books. 2017. Print.
Idajili, Anibe. “Bee Balm: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects.” Be Fantastico. 20 March 2019,
https://www.befantastico.com/bee-balm-benefits-uses-and-side-effects/ . Accessed 03 May 2021.
Levy, Juliette de Bairachli. Common Herbs for Natural Health. Ash Tree Publishing. 1997. Print.