Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tea Time

Every morning my "Mr Coffee" bubbles and steams, but it doesn't have roast beans inside. Personally I've never like coffee, and the caffeine doesn't seem to make me more productive.

I prefer to fill my carafe with herbs and spices, and let the infusion wake me up by scalding my tongue. (Pro-tip, not actually a good way to wake up.) Officially any soaked herb water other than Camellia sinensis is called a tisane, and I prefer the herbal stuff. It may seem rather daunting and complex to find good, inexpensive, delicious herbal concoctions, but you may be able to start in your kitchen and backyard.

Photo -

Chamomile is a common tea, but it need not be relegated to bedtime! Besides calming, it helps fever, upset stomach, and menstrual cramps. It is antiseptic and makes a great external wash for wounds, bug bites and rashes. I find it likes to mix with many different flavors, thyme, berries, lemon balm, and rose all mix nicely with chamomile.

Photo -
Elderflowers are delicate enchanting blooms with a heady scent and light flavor. Many a fine liquor and jam is flavored with elderflower. Elderflower bushes are said to host fairies, and you should always ask the Elder plant's permission to pick anything from it. The flowers help with fevers and lung problems, and sore throats. I like Elderflower by itself for the delicate taste.

Sage is truly an unappreciated herb, it belongs in more than sausages and stuffing! It is antiseptic and drying, so it can be used to calm sweating and mucous. It's a wonderful gargle for sore throats. It helps slow diarrhea. I like it best with elderberry or rosehips to give it a fruity edge.
Photo -

Lavender is a classic culinary and medicinal herb. It's calming and soothing effects pair nicely with it's musty heady smell. The oil is slightly antiseptic and soothes cuts and burns. As a tea it calms and relaxes, allays headaches and nausea. I like it best with other flowers, like chamomile and rose, but lavender shines quite well on it's own!

The best herb teas are made with water just under boiling, and left to infuse for quite a while. Use a little local honey if you like it sweet, the medicinal effects of honey will enhance the medicinal effects of most herbs. More importantly it's tasty! What is your drink of choice in the morning?

No comments: