Herbal tea is popular for its multitude of medicinal benefits. For as long as man has roamed this earth, we’ve been mixing and blending herbs, steeping them in hot water and consuming them. The great thing about herbal tea is that there is no one way to have it. Depending on your needs at any given point in time, you’ll find a herbal tea to suit.
The next best thing about herbal tea is that you can make your own by growing the herbs in your garden! Here are ten essential herbs to grow for making your own herbal tea.
One of the most popular herbs in the herbal tea world is Chamomile. This herb is loaded with antioxidants and when brewed in tea has a delicate and soothing flavor. There are two main kinds of Chamomile used in herbal teas, German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile.
Chamomile is exceptionally easy to grow. Simply scatter a few seeds over the area you wish for them to grow and press them gently into the soil. This plant prefers a spot with full sun and well-draining soil.
This herb has wonderful calming properties and can soothe upset stomachs. Many people like to enjoy a cup of Chamomile tea after dinner or just before bed. It is possible to brew the flowers of this plant fresh or dried.
When brewing, all you need is about two teaspoons of Chamomile flowerheads per cup. Place the flower heads in boiling water and allow them to steep for ten minutes.
Beautiful and aromatic, Lavender is also a fantastic herb to use for herbal teas. Lavender is known for its calming effects and is also often enjoyed as a bedtime tea.
Growing Lavender is rather easy as it is hardy and undemanding. All it really needs is full sun, well-draining soil, and a little bit of water every so often.
This plant’s powerful aroma is thought to relieve insomnia as well as promote relaxation. Lavender can be brewed fresh or dried. Both the flowers and occasionally the leaves are used in brewing.
Make use of several teaspoons of this plant’s flower buds and place them in boiling water. Allow the flower buds to steep for about five minutes to release the aroma.
A relative of mint, Lemon Balm combines the sharpness of lemon with the coolness of mint. This herb is great for relieving upset stomachs, reducing stress and aiding in sleep, and even improving memory.
A cool location is best for this plant with mostly sun, but partial shade is acceptable. Rich, well-draining soil is ideal. This plant readily self-seeds, so remove the flowers if you wish to keep this plant contained.
Although it is typically best to brew Lemon Balm fresh, it is also possible to use dried leaves. Brewing with dried leaves will offer a more herbal taste.
To brew Lemon Balm, you can brew the leaves whole or crushed. Crushed leaves will offer more flavor. Use several leaves or about a teaspoon of dried leaves with boiling water and allow it to steep for five minutes.
There are several types of mint available, each with its own taste and aroma. Depending on your preferences, you may one to grow just one kind, or you could grow several! Be careful when growing mint, however, as it has an invasive root system. For this reason, many gardeners like to grow it in containers instead.
Mint grows best in a sunny location but can handle partial shade. Rich, moist soil is a must. Some popular mint varieties to grow are Spearmint, Peppermint, Apple Mint, and Water Mint. Mint is thought to offer fresher breath, better digestion, and even reduce the pain from headaches.
Mint leaves can be brewed fresh or dried. Place eight or nine leaves in boiling water and allow it to steep for about five minutes. For dried leaves, you will need about a teaspoon of leaves.
This herb has a pleasant flavor and is thought to relieve stress. Sage is a hardy plant that does best in full sun and well-draining soil. It is also thought to help with high cholesterol, memory and thinking skills, and sore throats.
Brew Sage fresh or dried in boiling water. For fresh brews, you will need about two teaspoons of leaves whereas dried brews only require a teaspoon of leaves. Add the leaves to the boiling water and allow them to steep for five minutes.
Another herb with a strong aroma and flavor profile is Rosemary. This herb is popular as it is rich in antioxidants and has antibacterial properties. It is also known to help with digestive problems.
This plant needs full sun and well-draining, sandy soil. Although Rosemary can take a bit of drought, it grows better with regular watering. Be careful not to drown it though!
Rosemary brews can be made with both fresh and dried leaves. Both ways require just a teaspoon of leaves in boiling water. This herb is rather pungent and only needs to steep for a few minutes.
Thought to be a natural mosquito deterrent, Lemongrass is not only great to have in herbal teas but also to rub on your skin. This plant does well in full sun and well-draining soil. This herb is thought to help with stomachaches, high blood pressure, joint pain, and even vomiting.
For a Lemongrass brew, you can use fresh or dried leaves. The flavor of the brew is truly of Lemongrass. The longer you steep the leaves, the stronger the flavor will be.
This herb is known as the sugar plant due to its sweetness. Although Stevia does not make the best tea on its own, it is great to add with other brews for a hint of sweetness. It is a great substitute for sugar and therefore is ideal for people with diabetes, or those just wanting to cut back on their sugar intake.
This plant should be kept in a spot with plenty of sun. Stevia needs rich, well-draining soil, and should be watered once the top inch of soil has dried.
Stevia can also be brewed fresh or dried. Use a few leaves in boiling water and steep them until you get your desired sweetness.
Lemon Thyme is rich in iron along with vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin B complex. It is often used for its antioxidant and antiseptic properties. This plant is easy to grow and prefers dry conditions and should be grown in well-draining soil.
This herb should be brewed in boiling water and allowed to steep for several minutes.
Last but not least, Fennel is an excellent herb to help boost digestion. It has a soothing quality and a flavor that resembles licorice. This plant needs a sunny spot with well-draining soil. It should be watered regularly and not left to dry out.
This herb can be brewed fresh or dried. For fresh brews, you will need several fronds of leaves, while dried brews only require one teaspoon of leaves. Crush fresh leaves slightly before adding them to boiling water. Allow both brews to steep for several minutes.
While there are several great herbs available to grow, these are a few of our favorites. Each one has its own health benefits as well as enticing flavors and aromas. If you are feeling brave, you could even try some new herbal combinations!