There has been an explosion of herbal tea varieties available in your local supermarket so today I thought I would share with you how to make the most of them to create more health and vitality at home.
As an herbalist I really value herbal teas and I hope this article will inspire you to use them more.
Which tea should I buy?
The first simple answer is the tea that you will actually drink; this is usually the one we enjoy!
The second answer is not so easy; it’s tea that will support your own body and health. I share some specific herbal ideas in this article and at the end will share my exiting free gift to you.
Dehydration is responsible for many health imbalances and it should be easy to fix i.e. drink more water. But many of us struggle. Fizzy drinks, squash and coffee are fluid but their effects on the body cause further imbalances as they put a strain on the pancreas and kidneys. Herbal teas can be classed as part of your daily water intake!
Free-From caffeine, sugar and dairy
Herbal teas are traditionally enjoyed free of caffeine, sugar and dairy, which makes them useful for all sorts of clean diets. No matter what your current health levels knowing that these drinks are clean is handy to remember.
Need the buzz
Caffeine can leave us anxious, jittery, unable sleep and distort our digestion and hormones but we often still need a buzz. Peppermint, Matcha and Ginseng teas can help provide focus and concentration without the caffeine jitters.
Many herbal blends include Liquorice which is a natural blood sugar balancer, and safe for candida, so can provide a lovely sweetness. Honey, Maple syrup and Agave do impact blood sugar levels/candida so use with care. Stevia, another herb, is popular with nutritionists as it does not impact blood sugar levels or candida.
Many herbal teas do not need to be sweetened.
Herbal teas can be enjoyed warm or cool. There are some extra benefits to both.
Hot Teas tend to release toxins through the skin, so are great for colds and flu such as Sage or Thyme.
Cold teas tend to release toxins through the urinary system so are great for water retention and cystitis – Parsley, nettle and dandelion leaf teas would be examples although iced Peppermint tea is a popular choice.
Many of us take scent for granted yet science has proven that it has a powerful influence on our body. Healing through smell can be used with herbal teas as a very gentle alternative to essential oils we call this aromatic teas.
Herbal teas use a small amount of fresh or dried herb brewed for a short time. Blends of several herbs can be enjoyed together for taste. You want to cover the tea while it is brewed to keep the precious aromatic oils in. Most aromatic herbs make good teas such as Peppermint, Sage, Lavender, Pine leaves, Eucalyptus, and Lemon balm.
Loose teas and fresh picked
I never really worry about exact measurements in my home-made herb teas, generally you will need greater amount of fresh herb than dried and very generally you use one teaspoon of dried herb to one mug of tea. But have fun tasting and experimenting. Note the aromatic herbs tend to become bitter when left to steep for too long.
Of course ready-to use herbal teas and tea-bags are all done for you!
Gentle Steam Inhalations with herbal teas
Herbal steams are a soothing way of using herbs for helping clear sinus or lung congestion. Basically you are making a strong tea and then breathing the steam from the tea into your sinuses and lungs. Once you have steeped your tea, simply sit at the table with a towel over your head and your pot of tea and breathe in the steam. Have tissues close by, because you will need to blow your nose in between sessions under the towel. Good examples include Chamomile, Sage, Rosemary or Thyme.
When using this remedy with small children you can build a tent out of blankets and chairs and go inside the tent with them and the pot of tea. As it fills with steam they can easily breathe it into their sinuses and lungs.
Detoxing herbal baths and soaks
Chamomile, Lavender, Comfrey, Calendula and Rose petals combined with oats and/or Epsom salts and essential oils make healing full body, hand or foot Tea baths. Herbalists used herb tea baths a lot in the past. Here we are combining the aromatic quality with being absorbed through the skin. The combinations are endless. They can be used for relaxation, colds and coughs, aches and pains, and irritated skin.
A great example of a foot bath would be calendar petals for athlete’s foot!
This is a great way to use herbs such a Nettle or Raspberry leaves that have high mineral content. They must be used as dried herbs. You leave larger amounts of dried herb to steep overnight to make a dark strong liquid. Then you can either drink this powerful mineral drink cold in the morning or add to your regular drinks and even soups and stocks.
The minerals in these teas are easy for the body to use.
Don’t like Tea?
I have a few patients who really do not like teas. I have several ways round this issue! You can leave your herb tea to cool and then add it to juice, smoothies, in your regular hot drinks or as ice cubes. You can combine herbs, so if you like peppermint you can add this to a tea that you are not so keen on. A slice of lemon, drop of honey or vanilla or adding a spice such as cinnamon, ginger or fennel seed can also help you find a taste that you like.
How to make herbal teas powerful
Hopefully all of the above simple ideas have made you re-think the humble herbal tea! Herbal teas are mild and because of this they are often over-looked as supportive and preventative natural medicine.
For a few years I made my own range of herbal teas and was amazed at the results in clinic.
I believe results with herb teas are because;
Herb teas are easy for the body to recognise, use and absorb
They are whole and natural and connected very much to nature, earth and the cycles; same as your body
You prepare them yourself; this is such a powerful focus and intention of self-care
The last element of course is to consume on a regular basis the herbs that will support your very own body and health needs.
My Gift to you – Tea list for your Iridology constitution
In clinic one to one I will often suggest specific herb teas that will support you personally and I will explain how to best use them for your needs.
But herb teas become powerful as preventative and supportive health and vitality sources when we use them daily to support our own constitution.
So I have prepared handy posters that you can save to your electrical device or print out as a handy reminder. These list the herbs which are most beneficial for your own inherited Iridology constitution, so helping to support you.
Read more about Iridology HERE
I am giving these as gifts for every client who has an appointment with me. By including at least one of these herbs as a tea each day is a simple natural way to support your future health.