Many herbs can be used for tea. Although they won’t reach the fullness of height they would outdoors, you can grow them indoors. Doctor yourself to better health with some of your own gardening.
Simply choose a spot where the plants will get plenty of sun – ideally a south-facing window that gets light all day. Your herbal teas will save you from one less pill that you might need for certain minor medical conditions.
Herbs That Make Great Teas
Your gardening store likely stocks the seeds or you will know a mail-order source. These are some of the best ones around:
Chamomile tea helps to relax you, lull you to sleep and even soothes the pain of teething for your littlest ones.
Fennel seeds, leaves and root are excellent stomach and intestinal remedies. When brewed, they also arouse appetite and expel mucus accumulations. The tea tastes like anise, peppermint and licorice.
Lemon balm tea has been used for colic, cramps, bronchial catarrh, dyspepsia, some forms of asthma and headaches.
Mint tea can be made from 30 different varieties. Mint teas relieve cramps, coughs, poor digestion, nausea, heartburn, abdominal pains, headaches and other ailments attributed to nerves.
Thyme tea is ideal for calming nerves, alleviating indigestion and clearing the mucous membranes.
Comfrey tea, unlike the others, is for external use only. A strong concoction of this herb, used as a tea-like solution that is applied directly to the skin, promotes healing of cuts, burns and bruises.
Drying and Storing
Using scissors, cut leaves just before the flower forms for the fullest flavor and best leaf color when dried. Wash leaves or branches quickly in cool water and lightly towel dry. Then spread on a mesh rack and place in a slow oven set at 100 degrees F to 125 degrees F. Leave the oven door open, and stand nearby, as the leaves dry in just a few minutes. Alternatively, dry them in a microwave on a very low setting for one minute or less.
Cover one teaspoon dried leaves – or three teaspoons fresh crushed herb – with one cup boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes and strain. Immediately refrigerate any unused portion.
Some herbs may cause slight stomach irritation, headache and other side effects. To start out, make an extremely weak tea. See how it affects you. Once you’re confident that you can tolerate weak tea, increase the strength a bit to find what works best for you.
As always, consult your doctor for advice even on natural treatments such as these, to ensure that they do not contain ingredients that may clash with any medications you currently take or exacerbate any current medical condition you already have.