Each plant offers its own flavor, so mix and match to find a blend that's perfect for you. By: Ali Berman
Teas and tisanes can be made at home using herbs, roots, seeds and leaves yu can grow youself or buy at the market. Look beyond Camellia sinensis, the evergreen plant that makes up so much of our tea, and see which plants can be harvested for a perfect cup.
All have different health benefits, and many can even be grown inside. Try one of these plants on its own or mix and match flavors for your own creations.
Bee balm (Monarda didyma) is one of the more dazzling looking herbs. A member of the mint family, bee balm leaves are a delicious addition to homemade teas, and when grown in the garden, they attract pollinators like butterflies, hummingbirds and bees.
Another member of the mint family, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is known for its calming properties. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that it has been used to help with insomnia and anxiety. As for its flavor, it's nice and lemony making it a refreshing and relaxing addition to your tea.
Used for aromatherapy, insomnia, headaches and anxiety, lavender (Lavandula) is a versatile plant. The blossoms make a lovely ingredient for tea. Dry blossoms are a little stronger so, when adding them to tea, use about two-thirds less than you would with fresh blossoms.
Yaupon (Ilex vomitoria) was a popular plant to make tea from about 1,000 years ago. According to NPR, Native American traders dried, packed and shipped the tea, and it was also used in purification rituals — and those rituals are likely what led to the plant's confusing Latin name. Just like Camellia sinensis, yaupon contains caffeine making it a great tea for those who like a little pick-me-up. Yaupon has recently received more attention, especially because the hardy tree can still flourish during times of drought. As for its flavor, it’s similar to black tea.
Everyone knows that cats go crazy for catnip (Nepeta). Many roll in it, eat it and rub their faces on it. Humans tend to be a bit more dignified in their uses of this herb. We like to make tea with the dried leaves because of the minty and lemony flavor. Next time you grow catnip for your cat, harvest a little extra for yourself and add it to your tea.
This flower is so beautiful, you might not want to cultivate the plant. However, because passion flower (Passiflora) is reported to help calm one's nerves and aid with sleep, you might be tempted to. The parts of the plant that grow above ground are used for tea. This plant is often combined with other herbs.
Besides being a beautiful red color, rose hips (Rosa canina), the fruit from the rose plant, have a lot to offer for one's health. The sour-tasting red fruit offer vitamin C and beneficial amounts of high phenolic and flavonoid antioxidants. Rose hips may also help with inflammation.
If you’ve ever planted mint (Mentha), you know how quickly it spreads. Plant even a little and you’ll end up with enough to regularly enjoy a nice cup of mint tea. The refreshing flavor of mint is a favorite for teas, and it's one of the easiest and cheapest herbs to grow. Just don't grow it with other sensitive plants because mint has a tendency to take over.
Posted on MNN
SOOTHING EMOTIONS WILL GUIDE YOU WITH RESEARCH, ARTICLES, AND INTERACTIVE TOOLS TO HELP YOU ON THE JOURNEY OF NAVIGATING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH.
© COPYRIGHT 2015. "Soothing Emotions" is a registered trademark of SoothingEmotions.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
DISCLOSURE: THE CONTENT PROVIDED ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, AND IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE, MENTAL HEALTH ADVICE, OR THERAPY. IF YOU ARE HAVING A MEDICAL OR MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEM, PLEASE SEEK APPROPRIATE HELP FROM AN APPROPRIATE PROFESSIONAL. IF YOU ARE HAVING A MEDICAL OR MENTAL HEALTH EMERGENCY, PLEASE CALL 911, YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY NUMBER, OR GO TO YOUR NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM.