~ HEALTHY HERBAL INFUSIONS TO START YOUR DAY ~
I love to start my day sipping a delicious, warm cup of herbal tea on my morning inspections of our garden. Anyone who has a sunny spot can grow herbs, whether it be on a sunny balcony or windowsill, or a dedicated plot in the garden. If you love herbal teas as much as I do... why not start a Herb Tea Garden at your own place.
Herbal teas are a healthy and soothing way to begin your day. They are not really a “tea” as in the traditional sense of the word, which is made from the cured leaves of the Camellia sensis plant. Herbal teas are in fact an infusion of leaves, seeds, roots, or bark, or a combination of these, that have been steeped in hot water so that their flavour and beneficial healing properties have been extracted.
One of the major differences (and benefits) with herbal teas is that they do not contain caffeine. While caffeine may make you temporarily feel more awake and energized by stimulating the nervous system, it can also have a host of nasty side effects and cause a range of health problems.
Starting your day with a comforting, warm and soothing herbal tea is a great caffeine-free option that everyone can enjoy.
There are so many different types of herbal teas out there, that sometimes it can be a little daunting when trying to make the best choices. Some herbs can be conveniently grown in the home garden, but when this is not an option, it’s always best to choose quality, organic or chemical-free herbal teas that come from a reliable source.
So, here are some suggestions for herbal teas that are great to enjoy in the morning… or anytime really!
Please, always consult with your doctor before drinking herbal tea if you are pregnant, breast-feeding, are on medication, suffer from allergies or any medical conditions.
ANISE HYSSOP TEA
Anise hyssop tea has a delightful liquorice aroma and flavour that uplifts the mind and the senses. A member of the mint family, anise hyssop is a pretty perennial that has long been used in herbal healing. It has been highly valued by the Native American people for centuries. Both the flowers and leaves can be used.
I adore the exotic taste of this gorgeous, warming, spice tea… perfect for a cold midwinter morning. Cinnamon tea is made from the inner bark of the Cinnamonum zeylanicum tree, also known as the ‘true cinnamon tree’. Cinnamon is reputed to have anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Apart from also having potent antioxidants, cinnamon has superb natural anti-inflammatory properties. Delicious, naturally sweet and soothing and... super healthy!
Ginger tea is another comforting winter warmer, and like cinnamon tea, it can be enjoyed and savoured at any time. Ginger is a beautiful flowering plant with gorgeous green stems that can grow to a metre in height. The rhizomes are harvested and can be used fresh or dried for culinary and medicinal uses. I enjoy making my ginger tea from a slice of fresh ginger that has been boiled in spring / filtered water for a couple of minutes and left to cool and infuse for another five minutes. This is a deliciously invigorating tea with a hot, citrusy flavour that is also highly beneficial for good health.
LEMON BALM TEA
Gorgeous lemon balm tea is yet another uplifting and relaxing herbal tea that helps soothe the mind. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is such a delightful herb that’s so easy to grow in the home garden. It not only offers many health benefits, its beautiful white flowers are also highly attractive to bees. The delicious lemon flavour makes you feel fresh and awake and it’s also reputed to offer relief from those dreaded menstrual cramps and migraines.
What a delight! Drinking peppermint tea in the morning is an invigorating and deliciously refreshing way to begin your day and boost your overall health. Peppermint is such an easy herb to grow… it’s a must have for any herb garden! You can just go outside and pick a few fresh leaves each morning to make this delectable tisane. Native to Europe, Mentha piperita has been used for centuries to treat all kinds of ailments. This aromatic herb is highly beneficial for the digestive system as well as having a myriad of other health benefits.
Rosehips are the fruit of the rose flower and have been used medicinally since ancient times. Rosehip tea has a wonderful, refreshing savoury flavour. This herbal tea is super rich in vitamin C and flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants that provide a variety of excellent health benefits.
STINGING NETTLE TEA
Some may see stinging nettles as a pesky weed in the garden, but in fact it is so much more than that. Urtica dioica has been used medicinally since ancient times and is an excellent treatment for allergy symptoms. A tea made from the fresh (or dried) leaves and roots can offer a soothing and relieving remedy, particularly for those who suffer from hay fever and other allergies.
ST JOHN’S WORT TEA
St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a truly amazing ‘feel good’ herb. Native to Europe, St John’s wort can also be found growing wild in many regions including Australia, Canada and the USA. If you need to improve your mood then a nice, comforting cup of St John’s wort tea will definitely help to give you a positive boost and to help restore your overall sense of well-being.
WILD BERGAMOT TEA
Another of my absolute favourites is wild bergamot tea. If you enjoy the flavour of Earl Grey tea, then you will love this caffeine free alternative. Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), also known as Bee Balm, is native to North America and produces gorgeous lilac coloured blossoms in Spring. The aromatic leaves and flowers of this herb have many medicinal uses too. Although Earl Grey tea is actually flavoured with Bergamot orange (Citrus bergamia), wild bergamot tea is naturally quite similar in taste and aroma. So delectable!