All the reasons why you should grow your own tea. Ideal herbs to use and their specific medicinal health benefits.
Journalist | Wordsmith
There is nothing more soothing for the soul than the perfect, hot, cuppa’.
What if I told you that you could grow your own tea? In a fast-paced world that prefers convenience, we often miss out on life’s little wonders. Yes, you could buy the tea from the shop. But using freshly grown herbs from your own garden is far more special. Let me tell you why.
First of all, our planet would thank you. We are far more waste conscious these days, however, unbeknownst to many, some brands actually make and fasten their tea bags with plastic. Therefore, by growing your own tea, you are helping to lift your eco-footprint, one glorious herb at a time.
Gardening is also a wonderful stress reliever because it can distract you from all-consuming anxieties. In fact, a new study has discovered that regular exposure to plants and green spaces is beneficial to mental and physical health.
If you are going to grow your own- tip: make sure you aren’t using pesticides or chemical sprays and be sure to wash them thoroughly before use. Our Ponderings Produce Wash recipe helps to remove any nasties from your fresh herbs and produce. Fill a large bowl with water, put a healthy dash of organic APVinegar into the water, place herbs in (water should cover) and leave for 15 minutes. Rinse. (Awesome right?)
Perfect brew: Infuse in hot water at 90°c (194°F) to 95°c (203°F) for 2 to 4 minutes for the first and second brewing. Tear the leaves to bruise and release the goodies. Leave for 5 + minutes depending on the intensity you like your brew.
Like all herbs you should check with a medical expert first before using as they may have drug/herbal contraindications.
Making your own tea from the herbs you have cared for and helped prosper is also far more rewarding than buying it dried and in a bag.
Not only this, fresh herbs are full of goodies that benefit your health. Using fresh herbs that have not been poisoned by harsh chemicals or sat in a box for who knows how long, means you get the most from their medicinal potential.
Unsure of what herbs to start with? Here is a rundown of some great options, along with a few of their health remedies:
Botanical name: Calendula officinalis
Season to grow: all year round.
- Contains significantly powerful flavonoids that shield cells from free radical damage and may aid menstrual cramps. Quercetin and isorhamnetin are the two most common. These two are shown in countless medical journals to help protect the body from free radicals and helping to savenge potentially damaging toxins reducing inflammation.
- Calendula species have been used traditionally as culinary and medicinal herbs for centuries
- Calendula oil is still used medicinally. The oil of C. officinalis is as a remedy for healing wounds.
- May help prevent and relax muscle spasms. A study conducted by the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences found that calendula relaxed spontaneous muscle contractions.
Botanical name: Mentha balsamea Wild
Season to grow: Spring or summer but can be grown indoors on a windowsill over Winter.
- Great for indigestion and bloating as it may relax the muscles in the stomach and intestine.
- Peppermint has significant antimicrobial and antiviral activities, strong antioxidant and antitumor actions, and some antiallergenic potential.
- May decongest and soothe sore throats because of the menthol.
- May lower blood sugar and blood pressure.
- Contains several flavonoids, primarily eriocitrin, luteolin and hesperidin, rich in carotines and Vit. C
- Beautiful on its own or as a complimentary taste.
- Caution has been urged for peppermint oil therapy in patients with GI reflux, hiatal hernia or kidney stones.
Latin name: Salvia elegans
Season to grow: Spring, however, can tolerate Winter if grown in sandy or sharply-drained soil.
- A study showed pineapple sage could act as an anti-depressing agent.
- Aids digestion and is good for settling an upset stomach and has a calming effect.
- Our resident Naturopath tells us too much can dry you out, so go easy, it has been used for centuries for drying up mother’s milk.
- Full of antioxidants and flavonoids this is a powerful herb.
- It tastes just like pineapple, which is delicious as a cold tea infused tea too!
- Use the flowers to garnish, they are edible and make the perfect edition to a salad top.
Latin name: Aloysia citrodora
Season to grow: Spring but can be grown indoors during the colder months. Do not be alarmed when it loses its leaves during Winter, they will return.
- Rare power to strengthen muscles due to the high amount of antioxidants.
- May reduce inflammation and joint pain caused by arthritis.
- May boost immunity because it increases white blood cells.
- Lemony deliciousness, the aroma is next level
- Full of phytochechemicals such as- neral, geranial, limonene, nerol, geraniol, terpineol, caryophyllene, curcumene, isovalerianic acid, eupafolin, hispidulin, eupatorin, salvigenin, apigenin, luteolin, geraniol, flavonoids
- Considered safe but be sure to check with a medical expert first before using this herb as it may have drug/herbal contraindications.
Latin name: Lavandula
Season to grow: Spring but can be planted in Autumn using bigger plants to ensure survival over Winter.
- A study found that lavender tea increases the percentage of deep slow-wave sleep; the restorative sleep phase.
- Contains substantial amounts of antioxidants and antibacterial compounds such as vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium.
- May detoxify the body of harmful free radicals caused by pollution, heavy drinking and smoking.
- Lavender extracts contain flavonoids from group of apigenin, luteolin and quercetin. Higher amounts of luteolin diglucuronide are also found in the stalks, so don’t throw them away!
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