My Herbs Blog
I have to agree with some of my favorite herbalists, Dr. John R. Christopher, Rosemary Gladstar and Victoria Zak as they all teach that one of the best ways to find healing from herbs is through an herbal tea.
Hippocrates said "Thy food shall be thy medicine." In Hippocrates time herbs were the only medicine. Throughout the ages, people in every culture have taken herbs for healing. (1)p.7
"Teas are herbal drinks, and because of that, they can do much more than quench your thirst or calm you after a long day. Teas are the ideal way to get the healing power of herbs into your everyday diet."
There are immunity-building teas to strengthen your own body's natural defenses, or to rebuild your strength after antibiotics, illness or surgery. There are stress reducers, nervous system soothers and antianxiety teas. You'll find natural antacids for indigestion, natural antihistamines to fight hay fever and allergies, and natural antidepressants. (1) p.7 There are even teas to enhance your vital energy, stimulate an all-over glow and bring love and joy to the hear and soul.
Herbal tea can be drunk, hot, cold, warm (although I do not prefer warm, but hot or cold). They can be brewed on the stove, simmered, steeped, set in the sun or even set out into the moon light. There is no one way to make an herbal tea and each method elicits a different constituent base, and energy for healing. Herbal teas that are steeped one time and light in color can be very pleasing, light and refreshing with honey. Teas that are simmered and steep for 12 hours are potent medicines.
The most amazing aspect of herbal teas is that so many can be made from the plants, flowers and herbs you grow in your garden. This can literally be your pharmacy. It is perfect, brilliant design by a loving Creator. If you want to get into the world of herbs and plants, you need to learn the art of making a wonderful cup or numerous cups of tea at once. I want to help you by sharing the tools I suggest and love to make my teas.
Let's get started:
1st- you need a tea kettle. Well actually you could go without a tea kettle and use a pot with a lid. I have both, and I probably use my small pot, with a lid more than my tea kettle that whistles. The tea kettle that whistles is great because you can hear when the water is ready. The pot with a lid, sort of has to be watched. I like this method because I often put my herbs in as the water gets hot, and then I cover with the lid, and just before a boil, I remove from the stove. This makes a stronger tea and is immediately ready to drink.
I use the tea kettle more if I am going to pour a cup of tea and use a teabag, which I do not do that often. If you follow me on YouTube or even read my posts, I often talk about how teabags are inferior quality teas. (For the most part). There are some yummy tasting teas, and I do like Traditional Medicinals, but for Healing- I do not use teas in boxes, bought at the grocery store.
1 Zak, Victoria. 20,000 Secrets of Tea: The most Effective Ways to Benefit from Nature's Healing Herbs. Dell Publishing, 1999.
Let me make sure you understand what I have described so far. Your tea kettle and/ or pot with a lid are for the stove. They are used to heat up your water to make your herbal tea. The tool I want to describe next is pictured above, and there are MANY different beautiful types you can choose from. This is your teapot. The teapot is a decorative way to steep you herbal blends and serve at a pretty luncheon, or tea time with cups and saucers. The above teapot is beautiful in that you can see the tea and herbs through the clear glass. Many other types are pottery and do not show the tea steeping, but are just as functional.
The teapot is not meant to go on the stove at all. What I do is put my herbs in the bottom of my teapot. I boil my water on the stove in my tea kettle, and then pour the boiling water over my herbs and put the lid on my teapot. After steeping for 10 minutes you can serve to your friends and guests. However you will need the next tool if you plan on steeping your herbs in you teapot, because without it the herbs will be poured out into the tea cups and that is not desirable.
To master the art of making herbal teas, from loose leaf herbs, you most definitely need a strainer. In fact you will probably want a number of different types of strainers and different sizes. In the above picture, this strainer is perfect for setting right on top of your cup. Then you pour the tea from the teapot into the cup and the strainer catches all of the herbs. There are other hand held strainers that can be used, and I have many sizes. Large ones are used if you are making a large amount of tea, and want to pour into a gallon jug for storage in the refrigerator.
This brings me to the next item- which maybe should have been the first. The type of tea I am talking about is HERBAL loose leaf tea. This means you are making tea with the actual plants that have been dried. They are Red Raspberry leaves, Lavender petals, Calendula flowers, Nettle leaves, and Red Clover Blossoms to name a few. I am excited to say that soon I will be putting some of my own tea blends up on my website in a new store that is being created right now. You will be able to purchase the loose leaf blends from me. Or, you can go down to my footer on each of my pages and click on the Mountain Rose Herbs banner. This company has high quality, delicious herbs that you can buy to mix your own blends. They also have tea paraphernalia that I am describing in this post.
Next you will need a variety of tea cups, and saucer and mugs. I recommend using porcelain tea cups and true ceramic mugs for you tea. They are fun to collect, and even more fun to make if you can find a place for pottery classes. I find that just like fine wine tastes better in the proper glass, herbal tea tastes better in a mug or cup made from high quality materials. I think my favorite are the hand thrown larger mugs, that hold 2 cups worth of tea, because I drink a lot during the day. Pretty little teacups are fun for a little luncheon with treats and snacks. It just depends on my mood.
I am not going to get into the WAYS and skill for making tea in this post. This has just been about the tools. But if you want to see how to make herbal tea with dried or fresh herbs, head over to my YouTube Channel: Sheep Hill Herbs. I have 2 videos on that topic. How to Make a Really Good Cup of Tea with Dried Herbs 🌿 Herbal Infusions, Tisane - YouTube
Jenel Schaffer Videos on YouTube