I just love a good cup of herbal tea, especially when the weather is chilly. Herbals teas can be gently soothing and really good for your health. Different herbs offer their own healing properties. I’ve been a tea fanatic for many years and have learned easy ways to grow and make my own teas. Making or buying loose leaf teas are a wonderful way to avoid all the packaging and waste that comes with tea bags that are individually wrapped.
One of my favorite loose leaf teas to buy is Mountain Mel’s from Mt. Hood. Mountain Mel’s makes a variety of herbal teas specifically to aid different health concerns. Herbs are sourced as ethically and locally as possible from the Mt. Hood area. I’ve been drinking her teas for years, and I love knowing who made them and that they are made in our area. When the wildfire smoke hit us hard in Portland in September, I ordered Mountain Mel’s Respiratory Rescue tea to aid my lungs and throat. I’m still enjoying it as the effects of that toxic air take a while to process through the body. Her Unfrazzle Your Dazzle tea has been a delicious way to calm and soothe during these stressful times.
I share this out of my love for tea, connecting to the earth, zero waste living, and my belief in the importance of supporting small, local, ethical and women owned sustainable businesses. But mostly because her teas are awesome! If you use this link, I do get a small percentage.
If you grow herbs in your garden, it’s easy to make your own tea. You can even use some from the produce section or dried herbs at the grocery store. Just cut a few stems of leaves and/or flowers of lavender, rosemary, mint, chamomile, sage or lemon balm, place them in a cup or tea strainer and add boiling water. Steep for as long as you like. Strain and enjoy. No need for all that packaging, and your tea will taste even better so fresh.
For a more medicinal, stronger flavored tea, I suggest following Rosemary Gladstar’s recipes from her book Medicinal Herbs.
1. Put 4-6 TBS dried herb or 6-8 TBS of fresh herb into a glass quart jar.
2. Pour boiling water over the herbs, filling the jar. Let steep for 30-45 minutes. (The length of steeping time and the amount of herb you use will affect the strength of the tea.)
3. Strain and drink.
You can store the tea in the fridge for a day or two and reheat it on the stove.
This summer I made lots of herbal Sun Tea. It’s so easy and satisfying.
Basically you stuff a bunch of herbs in a quart jar (6-8 TBS fresh or 4-6 TBS dried), fill with cold water, cover tightly and set in the sun for several hours. Strain and drink. Store in the fridge for a day or two.
My favorite sun tea this summer was a combo of lemon balm leaves and lavender flowers, and I dried some of those herbs in order to be able to enjoy them this winter. Lavender and lemon balm are calming and delicious.
Happy tea drinking!