Grow these twelve plants and you will be able to create your own tea garden. While you can buy herbal teas in packets from a store it is far more satisfying to use ingredients that you have grown yourself. I came across this article by Sierra Bright which I found on the Natural Living Ideas website in which she describes the twelve herbs and also includes some tips on brewing herbal teas.
Herbal teas smell good, taste good, and help elevate your mood, not to mention the other general as well as specific health benefits they offer. They make good alternatives to regular tea and coffee, especially if you want to reduce caffeine intake.
Herbal teas can be made with individual herbs or from a compatible combination of several herbs to take advantage of their varied healing effects. Although many herbal teas and tea mixes are readily available, there?s nothing like making your own from fresh ingredients. You can be certain exactly what goes into the mix, and be sure about the quality. You can also adjust the composition according to your needs.
Many herbs traditionally used for rejuvenating and healing teas can be easily grown in your garden, or even in containers. The very act of brewing an herbal tea is therapeutic, especially when you have just plucked the herb from your garden. ?Teas made from fresh herbs differ from what you get with dried herbs, although they may offer similar health benefits. Seasonal herbs can be dried and stored for later use, and they make great gifts.
1. Mints (Mentha spp.)
Mints need no introduction. You can grow several types for their distinctly different flavors or just stick to peppermint, the all time favorite. It also happens to have very high amounts of the primary active ingredient menthol.
Peppermint, spearmint, apple mint or pineapple mint, they all grow well almost anywhere as long as they get sufficient water. But you?re likely to have a problem of plenty if you allow them to spread on the ground. Keep them contained in pots. Their refreshing smell can be enjoyed anytime if you keep the pots close at hand. Use the mature leaves as well as the tender stem tips to make the tea.
Mint tea is cooling and refreshing; it helps improve digestion and reduces gas and associated heartburn. A cup of warm peppermint tea with a tablespoon of honey taken at night relieves a cough and ensures good sleep.
2. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
This herbaceous perennial closely related to mints, and similar in appearance, gets its common name from its lemony scent. The medicinal properties of this herb are well known.
Lemon balm tea has a calming effect on the nerves and is useful in relieving anxiety and restlessness. The herb is associated with a feeling of happiness and is regarded as an excellent natural remedy for irritability and hyperactivity in children, helping them settle down. When you have tension headaches or feel depressed, a cup of lemon balm tea can do wonders.
The menthol content in the herb makes it useful in treating digestive problems like flatulence and indigestion. Its strong antispasmodic properties help relieve colic pain and menstrual cramps. It has strong antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that help with cold sores and respiratory tract infections.
Grow lemon balm in the garden or containers, but refrain from fertilizing this vigorous and rapidly spreading herb. Remember to prune it before it sets seed because it can take over the garden with self-seeding. Use fresh leaves for the tea or dry them in shade and use.
Go to the next page to see more plants that you can grow in your own herbal tea garden.