Common plants you can use for herbal tea


common-plants-for-herbal-tea-header

Tea, the highly aromatic and calming beverage you can drink at any time of day: a caffeinated black tea in the morning, a midday green tea to calm the nerves, or even a non-caffeinated herbal tea to soothe the mind at night.

In fact, tea of all sorts have numerous health properties depending on which tea you choose. From traditional teas to non-caffeinated herbal teas, there are endless choices, even from plants you never knew existed!

Echinacea buds can help boost your immunity, angelica roots can make for a good digestive, and nettle leaves can detoxify your blood.

There are so many different types of tea that it can be overwhelming; but taking on the tea craze can be simple. There are also commonly known plants, herbs and spices, that you can find in almost any grocery store. Even preparing these plants for tea is easy!

What would you need?

Some basic kitchen tools, boiling water, a teapot, and at most, 10 minutes (oh, and a cup or glass to put it into) is all you need to get started.

Then once you’ve made your tea, try it hot or iced. I hope our list below can inspire you to take the first steps to making your own tea.

Note: We’ve included a minimum steeping time as a guide, but to each their own. Just remember, the longer you leave the tea steeping, the stronger the tea!

Pick a plant and experiment. When it comes to amount, start with a tablespoon for every cup of hot water, and go from there.

Alright let's get started.

Mint

mint-leaf-plant
Image from Wikimedia
Plant part: leaf
Minimum steeping time: 3 minutes
Goes well with: honey, milk, or lemon
Best time to drink: after meals or in the afternoon
Benefit: acts as a digestive and the refreshing aroma helps calm you down

Talk about starting things fresh, mint in all its varieties brings you the feeling of a gentle summer breeze. To our friends in the northern parts of the world, I can guarantee a sip of mint tea can temporarily shift you out of winter’s bite.

Preparation: Preparing mint of all kinds requires minimal preparation. Give the sprigs a quick wash, then pull the leaves from its stalks and let it steep in boiling water. That’s it.

Cilantro

cilantro-coriander-leaf-plant
Image from Bonnie Plants
Plant part: leaves
Minimum steeping time: 5 minutes
Goes well with: honey
Best drank: morning or after meals
Benefit: an excellent detoxifier that can also be used as an anti-inflammatory or an aid with digestion

The herb that cleans the body, cilantro is an amazing blood purifier. Whether you are someone who loves cilantro or hates it, it’s purifying effects cannot be ignored. At least give it a shot and have a cup; your tastebuds may hate you, but the rest of your body will not.

Preparation: Give the sprigs of cilantro a quick wash, then pull the leaves from its stalks and let it steep in boiling water. That’s it.

Note: Cilantro seeds, often called coriander seeds, can also be crushed and made into tea. 

Basil

basil-leaf-plant
Plant part: leaf
Minimum steeping time: 7 minutes
Goes well with: sugar, honey, or lime
Best drank: whenever, really, I’m not biased
Benefit: helpful when you have a cold, but can be used for general wellness

Sweet with a subtle peppery taste, basil is a fresh breeze on a warm day. I’d even argue it is the comfort food of tea, especially with a teaspoon of honey.

Preparation: Pull out some leaves, rinse them quickly, and slice them into small pieces with a knife (it helps if you roll the leaves into a ball). Steep with hot water. That’s it.

 

Rosemary

rosemary-leaf-plant
Image from Almanac.com 
Plant part: leaf
Minimum steeping time: 3 minutes
Goes well with: milk, honey, or lemon and ginger
Best drank: morning
Benefit: aside from being vitamin rich and good for your general wellness, it can also boost your mental functions, such as memory

A savory herb with a distinct aroma is usable as a substitute to Earl Grey tea, minus the caffeine. Surprisingly rosemary tea is quite light to the palate, leaving you fresh and quite relaxed.

Preparation: Give the sprigs a rinse and then steeping on boiling water. You can keep the leaves on the stem. That's it. 

Note: Take caution as some studies warn against consuming rosemary while pregnant. Also, keep in mind that while steeping rosemary for longer releases more of its oils, it also becomes more potent in flavor.


Thyme

thyme-leaf-plant
Image from Cool Garden
Plant part: leaf
Minimum steeping time: 2 minutes
Goes well with: lemon
Best drank: in the morning to start your day
Benefit: helpful with general wellness, but can help if you have a cough too

A jolt in the morning, to get your day started right. With it’s powerfully sharp fragrance and a soothing taste, thyme will get you up in the morning right away.

Preparation:  Pull the leaves from its stalks and let it steep in boiling water. That's it.

Lavender

lavender-leaf-plant
Image from Dale Candela
Plant part: bud
Minimum steeping time: 10 minutes
Goes well with: honey
Best drank: at night or after a long day
Benefit: an excellent destresser which can help with relieving anxiety; it can also be used as a sleeping aid.

Picture yourself sitting on the couch, feet aching from a long day. Now imagine the same room but as you take that deep breath from your long day, there’s the sudden floral scent of lavender breathing life straight back to your spirit. Relaxing, isn't it?

Preparation: Pull off the lavender buds, the little purple petals, and throw them in a teapot, letting it steep with boiling water. Filter out the buds using a coffee filter or a tea ball. That's it.

Note: Take caution as some studies warn against consuming lavender while pregnant.

 

Ginger

ginger-root
Image from wiseGEEK
Plant part: root
Minimum steeping time: 10 minutes
Goes well with: honey, lemon juice, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, or mint
Best drank: whenever you feel, especially during a mid-afternoon snack
Benefit: aside from being good for your general wellness, it works well as a digestive too.

A little sweet, a little spicy, a hint of lemon. Ginger’s flexible flavor comes with a distinct aroma that can bring peace to your soul. This plant does not require much explaining, it’s truly enjoyable and goes well with almost anything.

Preparation: Peel the ginger root and then grate or slice the ginger. Steep the ginger in boiling water and strain when it’s ready. A little bit more steps, but that’s it.


Fennel

fennel-seed-plant
Image by Miles Collins
Plant part: seed
Minimum steeping time: 10 minutes
Goes well with: honey, or milk
Best drank: after a meal
Benefit: aids in digestion, and can relieve flatulence.

Similar to cilantro, fennel has a flavor you either love or hate. But also similar to cilantro, the restorative properties of fennel cannot be ignored. It works miracles with your stomach when you've had one too many beans.

Preparation: Crush seeds into a powder and let it steep in boiling water. That's it.


I hope that’s enough to get you started on expanding your tea horizons!

If you’re overly excited and already asking what’s next, how about trying to grow your own plant? Check out this link at gnowfglins.com that tells you what herbs are best to grow when you’re short on space. We even made a Pinterest board in case you need more inspiration. 

Header photo by Zugr


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