Making Herbal Teas: Best 6 Plants for a Soothing Cuppa

EEdgar March 8, 2024 7:01 AM

Tea lovers and green thumbs, rejoice! Today, we're diving deep into the world of herbal teas. Forget store-bought tea bags – we're talking about brewing your own soothing cuppa with plants you can grow right in your garden. Whether you're an indoor gardener or prefer the great outdoors, we've got you covered.

The Basics of Making Herbal Teas

Herbal teas, also known as tisanes, are made by steeping herbs, flowers, seeds, or even roots. Unlike traditional teas like black or green, herbal teas don't come from the Camellia sinensis plant. Instead, they're made from a variety of aromatic plants – the very ones we're going to explore in this guide.

Before we get to our list of the best six plants for making herbal teas, let's go over the basics of brewing. The process is simple:

  1. Harvest your herbs: The best time to harvest most herbs is just as the flowers start to open. Morning is the best time, after the dew has dried but before the sun has had a chance to wilt the leaves.
  2. Dry the herbs: Spread the herbs out in a single layer on a clean, dry towel. Leave them in a warm, well-ventilated place out of direct sunlight. Turn them occasionally, and check for mold. Once they're completely dry, you can store them in an airtight container.
  3. Brew your tea: To make the tea, pour boiling water over about one teaspoon of the dried herbs. Cover and let steep for 10-15 minutes.

And now, without further ado, let's explore the best six plants for your homemade herbal teas.

The Best 6 Plants for Making Herbal Teas

  1. Chamomile: Perhaps the most popular herb for tea, chamomile is easy to grow and boasts a sweet, apple-like flavor. It's known for its calming properties and is often sipped before bedtime. Indoor gardeners, take note: Chamomile does well in pots.

  2. Peppermint: Another staple in the tea world, peppermint is a versatile herb that can be grown indoors or out. Its refreshing, menthol flavor can soothe an upset stomach or help wake you up in the morning.

  3. Lemon Balm: This lemon-scented herb is a member of the mint family. It's easy to grow and makes a light, citrusy tea. Lemon balm is thought to have calming effects and can also be used to flavor dishes in your kitchen.

  4. Echinacea: Though you might know echinacea as a supplement for boosting your immune system, it also makes a great tea. It has a slightly sweet, slightly bitter flavor. The plant is a bit more finicky to grow but can be quite rewarding.

  5. Rosehips: The fruit of the rose plant, rosehips make a tangy tea that's chock-full of vitamin C. They can be harvested in the fall, after the first frost, when they're bright red and a bit soft.

  6. Lavender: Last but not least, lavender makes a floral, slightly sweet tea that's perfect for unwinding after a long day. The plants do well in sunny, well-drained areas and can also be grown indoors with enough light.

There you have it – the best six plants for making your own herbal teas. With these herbs in your garden, you'll be brewing up a storm in no time.

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