Power-Packed Teas for Winter

When I was a child, my mom was a tea drinker. Black tea, black- no milk or sugar. She loved her tea.  Me? not so much. It is really only in the last 10 years or so that I have enjoyed a cup of  black tea, thanks to my friend and neighbour, Brenda. She made me a cup of the most delicious tea with a small amount of milk and I confess, I’m not sure if it was the tea, initially or the great conversation, but I enjoyed it!  Tea for me is normally HERB TEA~ and remains my preference but years, later, I feel that I understand a little more about my mom’s tea habit! 

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As many herbalists do, I often enjoy a ‘simple’, which is a name for just that.. a simple (or ONE) herb, prepared in a tea or tincture form.. Just ONE herb ~ it’s a great way to get to know the plant, and to really experience this plant’s healing attributes.

I make SAGE TEA all winter, as a preventative measure and to soothe a sore throat. I have been known to pull out a baggie with dried sage leaves, all over the world, when the mood strikes me! There are some funny stories involving customs officials, but that’s for another time.

Tea blends can make wonderful gifts to give at holiday time or any time to cheer a friend or support a beloved who needs a lift. I grow quite a lot of small batches of tea herbs in my tiny herb gardens! If I can’t grow it, I buy from other herbalists, locally when possible or order online from Mountain Rose Herbs* who have 20+ blends to choose from. If you need to order great quality bulk herbs online, here is the complete listing of available options from the Mountain Rose folks.  It’s fun to experiment and your family and friends will appreciate you!

Here’s a tea that’s delicious and supportive when we have a cold or feel like one is ‘waiting in the wings’.

Cold Care Tea

Calendula flowers
Sage leaves
Hibiscus flowers
Elderflowers

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HOW TO MAKE:
Place a pinch of each into a glass jar. Boil water. Add water to the jar.
Place lid on the jar.

Allow to steep 8-10 minutes.

Add a little herb-infused honey
(I used ginger honey) to add another level of healing to the cup. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we are grappling with a nasty cold which is morphing into a nasty cough, it’s not the time to go looking for these ingredients. I thought I’d share this recipe in any case, as many have asked fror some helpful therapeutic tea formulas. This can be bought, combined and stored in 2 glass jars** –ready for ‘that time’. The tea can be enjoyed any time, but can be helpful for respiratory support when needed.
** TIP: Store the roots in a separate jar.     You’ll see why in a minute.

Respiratory Support Tea Blend

1 part Marshmallow root
1 part Osha root^^
1 part  Mullein
1 part Coltsfoot leaves and or flowers
1 part Lemon Balm
2 parts  Rose hips

Osha-Ligusticum

OSHA

 

 

 

^^ see below for OSHA info

 

 

 

HOW TO MAKE —

Add 2-3 cups of water to a pot.
Add the marshmallow and osha roots.
Bring to a boil.
Simmer for 10 minutes*
Add the rest of the ingredients.
Allow to steep 5-8 minutes more.

Strain.
Drink 3-4 cups daily

This is called the ‘therapeutic dose” or the amount that is needed to help the herbs
to help YOU!

*this is called a ‘decoction’. The roots want to be in the hot water longer than the leaves and flowers. We find that the plants release more of their healing gifts this way. We make a decoction, normally, for barks, woody stems and roots.

^^ Osha, Ligusticum porteri is a good herb to know.
Here’s a quick run-down for you:
We use the root of the plant.
Actions: Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti- microbial, anesthetic, antiviral, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, decongestant, expectorant, excellent immune supportive herb

-known to soothe a sore throat
-helps to lessen the symptoms of colds & flu
-powerful expectorant which helps to alleviate congestion in sinus & lungs promotes ability to take ‘deep breaths’
Check the glossary if you need to clarify any of the properties above.

Here’s another idea that may surprise you. You may recall me telling you that I’ve been on an ‘evolving’ journey vis-a-vis amount of ‘heat’ I am able to tolerate. I remember many years ago, on a trip to Santa Fe, being restricted to ONE dish on the menu of both restaurants while my travelling companion was chowing down on a full spectrum of meals and having a blast (no pun intended!) I don’t recall the name of ‘my dish’ but there it was on every menu, no doubt created for the ‘wussy’ (sp??) folks who were the mild or medium taste testers!  I have made a definite effort to add heat to my meals and bravely move forward into the ‘camp’ of those who can tolerate heat.. at least  SOME heat!
Here’s the idea — and be prepared to feel the heat ~ and feel better!
Cayenne TeaThis tea is perhaps, also an ‘evolution’ much like my story above. Herbalists always suggest that clients start off with a very small amount and increase as tolerance is achieved. Remember that each ‘batch’ of cayenne powder has the ability to be more or less hot than the last! I was nervous at first, but I remember my dear friend and mentor, herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, teaching me how to put grated horseradish in my nostril to alleviate painful sinus condition… SO figured.. “how bad can it be?” I was careful to use a very small amount the first time and I loved it.
Cayenne offers us many gifts. Experts and studies indicate that it can help to shorten the length of time a virus is hanging on– and so this is one to try at the first inkling of invaders riding in… much like ginger tea or ginger paired with turmeric in a tea.
CayenneCollageHOW TO MAKE:1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder (starting amount suggested)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh if possible)
1 teaspoon raw honey (local if possible)
1 cup 8 freshly boiled good quality waterPlace the cayenne powder in a mug. Pour the water over it. Stir immediately
Add the lemon juice and honey. Stir again to mix all together
Allow to cool a bit so it’s palatable. Drink as soon as you can manage the temperature!
Sip with good intentions for healing!This next one is one of my favourites and I love to make it for girlfriends on a blustery winters’ day.RoseHips + Green Tea Tea with a twist

1-2 cups good quality water
1 green tea bag (organic if available)
1 lemon, squeezed (organic if possible, seeds removed)
2 Tbsp organic Rosehips
1-2 pinches of cayenne
1-4 tsp maple syrup

Boil water.
Add tea bag and Rosehips to a cup (or a glass canning jar with lid)
Cover with boiling water.
Press the tea bag and Rosehips and let steep for  8-10 minutes.
Squeeze the lemon and juice into the cup.
Stir in the maple syrup.
Add cayenne powder.
ENJOY!

Thyme Tea with Lemon  
Put a few sprigs of fresh (if possible) thyme leaves into a canning jar.
Cover with freshly boiled water.
Allow to steep for 8-10 minutes.
Add 1 -2 teaspoons of lemon juice (organic if possible)

Strain into a cup or mug. Add a teaspoon of infused honey if desired.
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This tea can calm a sore throat, ease cough and cold symptoms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try these recipes above or make your own!
Here are some other ingredient ideas for you:

Anise
Anise Hyssop herb and flowers
Calendula flowers
Chamomile
Dill seed
Echinacea flowers or root
Lemon Balm
Lemon Thyme leaves
Licorice root
Linden flowers
Malva flowers
Marshmallow root
Mullein leaves or  flowers
Thyme leaves

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