When I started growing herbs for teas, I used one herb at a time. I grew peppermint to make peppermint tea - great for tummy upsets and sinus/allergy problems. I grew lemon balm to make "country" lemonade and to relieve stuffy noses, calm digestive upsets and soothe the nerves. I used lavender to relieve depression and headaches. Chamomile was my first choice for its calming influence on my children and to help them sleep easier. It takes very little fresh herb to make a cup of tea. A couple of chamomile buds, a clip of lavender stem and blossom or a handful of lemon balm leaves...delicious. We drink them both hot and cold depending on the time of year and the purpose for the tea.
As time went on, I began combining herbs for different purposes. Having trouble sleeping ...chamomile flowers! What a great feeling to "grow my own tea"...and the taste....so much better. I use them fresh during the summer but I also dry the abundance for winter use. Next, I began to put lavender and chamomile together on those sleepless nights...even more effective! As I learned more about herbs, I found that there were many other herbs that helped with relaxation and sleep. Passion flower, peppermint, oatstraw, lemon balm, catnip, valerian and more! By studying, experimenting and pleading with the family to try it "just one more time"...my Sleep Easy Tea was born. Add a spoon of honey or a pinch of Stevia (green not white!!) and it is a delicious end to a busy day.
We were purchasing Echinacea tea to help support our immune systems. I felt challenged to see if I could become self-sufficient in this. I planted Echinacea...you need to wait 2 to 5 years before harvesting the root.....what a lesson in patience! During this time of waiting, I began using red clover both as a tincture and a tea - great for upper respiratory support. I used peppermint to help clear the sinus passages....and burdock root, as grandma used to say, is "good for what ails you"! By the time the Echinacea root was ready to harvest I knew that I could add these other herbs, along with a few more, to make my own Immune Support Tea. This is not a tea we drink on a regular basis but I keep a canning jar of it on hand at all times and when we travel....if someone starts with a sniffle, upset tummy etc., we all begin drinking the tea. We have found that "bugs" don't spread from one to another quite so easily and the duration of illnesses seems to have shortened.
I created "Energize Me" tea to help get the circulation pumping and to help the brain's ability to focus on the tasks at hand. Sure helps me on those "foggy" mornings when I just can't seem to get it in gear or that middle of the afternoon slump when I am ready to quit but my work isn't done!
But my MOST important creation (at least for me!) is my Remember Me Tea! I would walk into a room and forget why I was there....I would get lost in the middle of a conversation (and I was the one doing the talking!) and I would read a chapter in a book, and re-read it, and re-read because I couldn't seem to retain it. I was worried so I started researching herbs for memory. Many of these herbs had very exotic names, Gingko, ashwaganda, gotu kola....some were herbs that I was already growing...peppermint, red clover, spearmint and others. After drinking 2 cups a day for several weeks, I realized that I wasn't forgetting quite as much and I seemed able to keep my focus and retain information much easier. This tea is a staple in my life now!
When you are brewing tea for a medicinal purpose it is important to cover the tea and let it steep 5 to 10 minutes!
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