Herbal teas are one of the easiest and the most popular way to use herbs. Teas have the gentlest and slowest effects on the body and are usually the best way to treat infants and children under three.
You can grow, harvest from the wild, or buy your herbs. If you buy them it is cheaper to buy in bulk, if you are going to be using a lot. I am always on the lookout for plants that I can use when we are out in the wild, in addition to growing a lot of my own. You can use them dried or fresh. If you buy your herbs if at all possible make sure they are organic, as organic will not have pesticides on or in the plants. When harvesting from the wild do not gather close to the road. Always rinse fresh herbs before making tea, lay on a towel to absorb the extra moisture after rinsing.
Almost any edible plant can be used to make tea, the leaves, stems, flowers and seed pods. As we go along we will learn what herbs are best for what ailments. Teas are not as potent as other herbal remedies such as tinctures and capsules, they are good for long-term and chronic conditions.
You can use a combination of several herbs to make your teas or just one. I use a combination of peppermint spearmint and Mormon tea that I grow and harvest myself, to make an iced tea that I drink during the day.
Herbal teas can be drunk hot, iced, or at room temperature. If you are wanting more then a cup during the day you can brew a picture of tea and keep in the fridge, it will keep several days when stored in the fridge. Some herbs make a bitter tea you can use these in a combination of other herbs or add a little honey to take the bitter taste away.
Always use a nonmetallic pot to brew your tea in ( you can boil the water in a metal pan or kettle.) before being poured into the brewing vessel. Do not use a metallic tea ball for brewing medicinal herbs as the metals can leach out and cause unknown reactions with the herbs. The pot needs to have a tight-fitting lid. Place the recommended amount of herbs in the pot and pour boiling water over herbs allow to stand to ten minutes with the lid on strain then drink.
Usually, an ounce ( about 3 teaspoons)of dried herbs to 1 to ½ cups of water or 4 to 8 tablespoons per quart, if using fresh herbs double the amount of herbs. You can also place the herbs in a pan of cold water and slowly bring to a boil as soon as it boils take off the heat strain and drink. This method is especially good for roots seeds and barks. If you want a stronger tea let sit after you take off the heat for a few hours or overnight. Teas can ferment after a few days even in the fridge, so if your tea has bubbles, an odd odor or odd taste throw it away.
What kinds of herbal teas do you like to drink?