It’s quite something to stroll through the garden, pick of a sprig here and there and end up with a pot full of delicious home made herbal tea. Beneath is a list of best herbs to grow and use for home made herbal tea. For the sake of this article the term ‘tea’ will refer to tea’s, infusions and decoctions.
How to make herbal tea at home.
Add your herbal plant material to a tea cup or pot. Pour boiling water over the fresh or dried herbs and allow it to sit for 10 minutes or so. The longer your infusion steeps the stronger the taste and scent. Herbal teas are traditionally drunk without milk and typically rather sweetened with honey than sugar, but the choice is yours. Play around and experiment with herbal teas and mixtures, there are so many different recipes available and herbs are some of the easiest plants to grow.
Here are our top 5 herbal teas to grow and make from home.
Mint herbal tea
One of the most common and most known herbs, mint is one of the best herbs for brewing tea. The common spearmint or normal garden mint produce a fresh flavoured tea which doubles ass an aid for the digestive system. There are various mint varieties available from nurseries including Ginger mint, chocolate mint and pineapple mint to name a few. Mint is extremely easy to grow, keep it moist in a semi shaded spot with fertile soil and you will be rewarded in abundance.
Lemon Verbena is not only a good addition to any garden but makes a wonderful tea for citrus lovers. The foliage crushed and soaked in boiled water make for a tasty cup of zesty lemon scented tea, add a drop of honey and drink without milk. Verbenas grow into large bushy shrubs and form sprays of small white flowers in summer, Lemon Verbena are known to lose their leaves in colder areas but make a quick comeback in spring. Water and fertilise them throughout the growing season and cut them back hard in spring to encourage new growth.
Typically considered an herb for savoury dishes, Thyme makes for a delicious tea. Though many might agree thyme belongs on the savoury spice rack a flavourful and immune boosting herbal tea is the perfect treat for others. Add boiled water to some thyme, fresh ginger and honey or make a delightful immune booster and sore throat treatment with a cinnamon and thyme tea. Thyme is also available in multiple varieties including a lemon thyme, visit your nearest nursery for availability. Thyme loves well drained moist and rich soil in a sunny spot, the more you prune it the harder it will grow back.
Chamomile herbal tea
A flavourful tea and stress reliever at the same time. Chamomile flowers can be infused and strained to make a light and sweet floral scented tea, normally this tea is made from dry flowers rather than fresh, but both work. Chamomile is a low growing perennial and forms white daisy-like flowers with dark yellow centres it is widely known for its medicinal qualities.
Fennel tea is a must if you are a liquorish lover, both the foliage and the seed can be used to brew tea. A light aniseed flavoured tea can also be drunk for slimming dieting reasons. Fennel leaves make a light tea where the seeds make a stronger more aromatic tea. Grow fennel in a well-drained sandy soil and protect it in winter. It’s a good idea to let some of our fennel plants flower and set seed for you to harvest.
Herbal teas easy to make, healthy and delicious. So, boil the kettle, pinch off some herbs from the garden and enjoy a relaxing cuppa while you surf your favourite gardening website www.plantinfo.co.za