Growing herbs for tea is easy and fun. It does not require a lot of space. In fact, many herbs do very well grown indoors. All you need is a few pots and a sunny window sill to grow some herbs for tea. Imagine being able to just pinch off a few leaves or flowers to make a fresh pot of brewed tea. If you are growing a Camellia sinensis tea plant in your garden, adding fresh herbs can make a very tasty delightful tea. The fun part is mixing and matching to find the tea blend that will create your choice organic tea.
Many make herbal teas to promote better heath. Others just love the taste of the added herb to their tea. No matter what reason, growing herbs is just not for cooking anymore.
When you find an herb that you really enjoy, you may consider growing more than one plant. As you take the buds, flowers or leaves from your herb of choice to make tea, you do not want to pinch off too much. You do not want to kill the plant. When making tea from fresh grown herbs, it is important to take time to bruise the leaves.
Rolling them into your hand before putting into the hot water for tea will release the precious oils to give that flavor you are looking for. You will have to use more fresh herbs than dry ones to get the anticipated result.
Growing herbs -- Here are a few popular herbs that make a great pot of tea
Mint, also known as Mentha, are very hardy perennials that that will take over your yard, if you let it. This is one plant that you definitely want to plant in pots or containers to contain the root system. The mint plant spreads from dividing the roots or cutting the plant and putting it into water.
There are a diverse variety of mint plants available. Peppermint and spearmint are very common. There are also varieties such as orange mint, apple mint and there is even a chocolate mint.
Mint needs a sunny spot, at least for part of the day. All day in the hot sun, may cause it not to do as well. It will require a lot of water during the hot summer sun.
The benefits of drinking mint teas are many. Mint is known to promote relaxation. It is great as a hot tea to alleviate congestion when you have a cold. Green tea plus mint makes for a refreshing and healthy drink. If you are going to start growing herbs, mint may be a good one to start with.
Chamomile, also known as Matricaria recutita, or manzanilla has two varieties. There is a Roman and a German variety. It is believed by many that the German chamomile makes the best pot of tea. Unfortunately this herb is an annual and does not do well indoors, but does do well in an outdoor container. The plant does go to seed very easily so it will readily grow back by itself often.
Chamomile prefers to be in full sun and will need lots of water on the very hot summer days to keep it from wilting.
To make herbal tea with your chamomile plant, you pinch off the tiny flowers, not the leaves. The tiny white and yellow flowers can be dried and stored in an airtight container for future use.
Many drink chamomile tea for its multiple health benefits. It is known to help calm and relax the spirit as well as your tired sore muscles. Drinking chamomile tea also is known to enhance the immune system to help your body fight off colds.
The oil from the leaves of the chamomile have anti-inflammatory properties to it has been known be applied topically to heal skin infections, eczema, and even diaper rash. If you are allergic to rag weed you should not ingest chamomile as they are from the same family.
Sweet Honey Leaf or Stevia, also known as Stevia rebaudiana, thrives in full sun to partial shade. Stevia plants enjoys high summer temperatures, a very humid environment and lots of water. A member of the chrysanthemum family it is known to be used to replace sugar. It is said to be 15 times sweeter that sugar so it is a great and safe alternative for sweetening your tea naturally. It is great for diabetics and dieters alike. Growing herbs and adding them to your diet may improve you health.
Growing plants and herbals in containers 22 stories up on my porch
Lemon or Bee Balm , also known as Monarda didyma is closely related to the mint family. This herb has many other nicknames such as; bergamot because it smells like a bergamot orange and Oswega Tea because it grows abundantly in the Oswega are of the state of New York.
The bright red flower of the plant is used for potpourri, but it is the leaves that are used for making the strongly flavored minty tea.
Lemon balm is best grown in a container or pot, as it is with the mint family and can get out of hand in the yard. The plant prefers somewhat dry soil and filtered light during the day.
Quick and easy recipe using lemon balm with fish
Pick fresh lemon balm, rinse and pat the leaves dry. Chop the leaves and place half of them in the bottom of a baking dish that has been sprayed with olive oil or pam like product. Rinse and pat dry your fish (I made Talipia) then place it on top of the lemon balm in the baking dish. Add salt and pepper and sprinkle the rest of the chopped herb on the fish. Put one small pat of butter on top. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Enjoy the healthy fish and the healthy herbs. You will notice a suttle lemon flavor.
I find growing herbs enjoyable. I love to have access to fresh herbs so I am bringing the summer indoors all year round. Check out the picture on the left.
As a tea, lemon balm is known to be used to treat headaches, fevers, and sore throats and bronchitis. It has strong antiseptic properties and the oils are used to treat minor skin wounds.
These are just a few of the herbs that you can grow to make tea or add to your tea as another level of flavoring. It is important that if you take medications or have allergies that you investigate the herb that you will be drinking. It is always possible that if you are allergic to one type of plant or pollen, it may be related to the plant family of the herb you are planning to enjoy.
It is always better to err on the side of caution. Natural does not mean you will not have a reaction to it. Tea is meant to be enjoyed and help you relax. Sit back, put your feet up and enjoy the bounty of growing herbs in your own garden. Enjoy your choice organic tea!
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