Make a Tea
Teas (infusions and/or decoctions) have the advantage of being well assimilated, which make them easier for a weakened body to digest. Hot water releases more of the herb's active elements. Best of all, most teas taste great. We regularly add Spearmint and sweeten with raw honey to taste—now that's good medicine!
We should mention something here about the different forms in which herbs are offered: whole, cut or powder. A few herbs can be offered in "whole" form. This means they have been picked, dried, and packaged as carefully as possible to maintain their original state (although some crumbling is inevitable). Most herbs are offered in a "cut" form for ease of use and packaging. Whole and cut herbs are the best forms for storage and work excellently in teas. Some herbs are ground into "powder" for use in specific applications, such as for filling capsules, seasoning food, adding to salves, etc. Powdered herbs are generally not used to make teas as it's very difficult to strain the powder from the liquid.
Incorporating a nutritionally rich tea into your daily routine is what we call smart! Every morning we make a blend of herbs into a tea that is suited for our nutritional needs and you can do the same. If you have poor eyesight, add Bilberry leaf to your tea blend. If you tend to have high blood pressure or retain water, add Nettle leaf. If you need a "wake-up", use Cinnamon, Cloves, and/or Ginger, like in our Rise and Shine Tea. Just remember to avoid using herbs with sedative properties in the morning, as that would be counterproductive! Teas can be made by pouring 1 cup of boiling water over 1–2 teaspoons of dried herbs. Cover and let tea steep for 5 minutes or so (roots and bark take longer). Teas can be served hot or cold, and brewed many different ways:
- Electric percolator: This is our favorite way to brew our teas. Sometimes we brew the herbs twice using a little less water the second time. A percolator heated on the stove is also effective.
- Pot on the stove: Place the herbs and water in a covered pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Turn burner off and remove from heat. After it steeps for a few minutes, strain and serve.
- Pot with a strainer on the stove: Another variation of the stove method is to place a metal strainer in the pot before adding the herbs to the water. When the tea is done steeping, simply lift the strainer and the tea is ready to serve.
- Tea pot: Bring water to a boil and pour over herbs in a tea pot. After steeping, place a small strainer over each cup as you serve it.
- Rays of the sun: Fill a clear glass jar with herbs and water and place the jar in an area with ample sun exposure. This method works best for teas made with flowers and/or leaves rather than roots or barks. You'll need to determine how long the jar should be exposed to the sun before your tea is ready to be strained and served.
The following books have been our best references on making our own teas (infusions and decoctions) at home:
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