The more I garden and learn about herbs, the more I want to know. I enjoy learning about herbs, spices and plants of all kinds. Once this box got opened for me, there is no closing it. It continually spills over and over again with more and more information. A beautiful spilling of floral, culinary, medicinal informational delight. Today I want to share a little information on Making Herbal Teas or more correctly; making an infusion. An herbal tea is called a ( tinsanes = /tɪ-zahn). In reality, it is not a tea without one of the tea plants Camelia Sinensis leaves in it. Instead they are infusions made from leaves, bark, roots, berries, seeds, and spices. I will continue to refer to them here as Herbal Teas or Teas.
Here is where the difference between herbs and spices kind of get thrown together. As many spices are added to herbal teas too. Some of those spices are cinnamon, ginger, turmeric which have been found as extremely beneficial for our health. The difference between and herb and a spice: Herbs come from the leafy and green part of the plant. Spices are parts of the plant other than the leafy bit such as the root, stem, bulb, bark or seeds. Examples of herbs include basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley and mint. Examples of spices include coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and turmeric.
Herbal teas can be as simple or complex as you want them to be. Sometimes there is nothing better than a simple hot cup of steeped lemon grass. This herb is a mild sweet citrus flavor that I find soft, pleasant and calming.
Most herbal teas are much more complex combining herbs and spices for flavor and health benefits. Teas for fighting colds and flu, which by the way, really do make a difference! Teas for cardiovascular health, blood pressure improvement, general immune system building. Whatever flavor combinations you have or make to enjoy each and every component will have positive health properties.
Grow some Stevia plant’s to use as a natural sweetener. This plant’s leaves are seriously sweet right off of the plant. Use your culinary Thyme, Sage, Rosemary, Lavender and so many more for brewing your favorite herbal delight. Steep the leaves, roots, bark or flowers in hot water (not boiling) for 15 minutes to ensure all of the flavor and nutritional oils have been brought out. Then enjoy it hot or cold, either way is great.
One more thing to make mention for you to consider – most all true Herbal Teas are caffeine free. The plant, Camelia Sinensis, has caffeine.
You can blend your own as easy as harvesting the plants you have or using dried herbs from your pantry. Grab your tea ball or tea bags and get started. Whatever your reason, to have an herb garden, to enjoy herbal teas for flavor or for health and wellness; there is much to enjoy. If you have never tried an herbal tea, consider starting today.
We keep organic blended teas made and ready to go at the farm store here at C & J Farms. Some of the herbal teas we carry are – Happy Tummy Tea, Cold and Flu Tea (this is so effective!!), Lemon Tea, Red Rooibos Tea, Earl Grey with Coneflower (this has caffiene), Blues Tea and more. We offer lists of ingredients in each tea, tea kitchen accessories and a great conversation on herbs, spices and herbal teas.
If you want to know more about what we carry you will have to come by the store,give us a call, or contact us via our email. We will be happy to help you find an herbal tea delight to suit what you might be looking for.