Reap the Benefits of Making Medicinal Herbal Teas
Recipes for medicinal herbal teas will vary in a couple of ways. Some will combine several herbs in one brew, and some will brew the tea for only about 5 minutes.
There are hundreds if not thousands of recipes for medicinal herbal teas and you can take your pick of any of them and sip it for varying degrees of beneficial effects. But you will need to do something a bit different for a medicinal herbal tea.
IF YOU ARE PREGNANT DO NOT USE HERBS without consulting a qualified herbalist. There are only a few that are safe.
There is very little evidence on the safety of drinking
herbal teas during pregnancy.
It is best to always drink tea made with a filtered teabag, and of course drink herbal teas in moderation. This advice includes green tea which is not herbal.
Red Raspberry tea may be the exception.
I imagine you have read that you just make a cup of tea using your favorite herbs and drink it to reap the benefits. Well, I am a bit different. That cup of tea will only give you minimal benefits and you will waste most of those health benefits you were looking for when you throw out the dregs of the herbs. If you are making herbal teas for enjoyment then that is fine, but why waste most of the nutrients and healing gifts they can give you?
My recipes for medicinal herbal teas are straightforward! Here are my guidelines for the best ways to reap the most benefits from your herbs:
My Number 1 Suggestion: Keep it Simple
I drink simple. Many recipes for medicinal herbal teas require you to mix together a brew of three or more different herbs. Now while this would undoubtedly give you some results, they may be mixed results. Many herbs will give you the relief you need on their own…just one herb. In a brew of three or more, you won’t know which one worked the best, and they will form a cocktail that I prefer not to be using.
So I make it simple. Just one herb. Using the right medicinal herbs for the job is important, so choose the right one! If you have a condition you struggle with, then see a qualified herbalist to help you.
My Number 2 Suggestion: Make and Drink Infusions
Herbal Teas are lovely to drink but there are some disadvantages with herbal teas: not all the properties are liberated and the heat can destroy valuable enzymes.
To make a medicinal-strength tea, it can take at least 4 hours for the cellulose fibers in the plant to break down enough to release its medicinal properties into the tea so your body can assimilate them. So a cup of tea brewed for 5 minutes may do little good.
My Number 3 Suggestion: Use Dried Herbs for Infusions
The minerals and other phytochemicals in nourishing herbs are made more accessible by drying them so use dried herbs. This is probably easier for you anyway. You can purchase your bulk herbs from Starwest Botanicals. I always buy organic or wildcrafted herbs.
How to Make a Herbal Infusion
To make an infusion you brew a large amount of herbs for at least 4 hours. I generally leave my brew overnight.
- Place about one ounce of one dried herb (about a cup loosely filled) in a 1-quart jar
- Fill it to the top with filtered water just off the boil, and put the lid on (not too tight or you won’t get it off)
- Allow it to steep for at least 4 hours. I let mine sit overnight
- Strain it into another bottle (put the herbs in the compost) and drink a cup or two
- Then put the rest in the fridge so it keeps longer
- Drink 2 – 4 cups per day. You can drink it cold or warm it, but don’t make it hot, and definitely don’t boil it
Drink all the infusion within 2 days or until it spoils. You can tell it has spoiled by the smell. It won’t be horrible but you can tell. If you have any spoiled infusion pour it over the plants or use it as a final rinse for your hair.
If you want to make a small amount of tea, use one tablespoon of dry herb to 8 ounces of water and follow the above steps.
I have my favorite infusions and I drink them for nourishment:
* Red Clover
* Oat Straw
* Stinging Nettle
* Comfrey Leaf
Don't mix them together in one jar. Drink them separately.
These four herbs will provide you with much nourishment. Make up a different one each day or 2 in one day and alternate your cups of tea. They will help you maintain your health and the vitamins and minerals in them will maintain your immune system.
For a cold or flu: I make up an echinacea infusion. After 4 hours, I warm it (don’t boil), squeeze in some lemon juice, and mix in a teaspoon of honey. Drink about 4 cups of that per day and it will reduce the symptoms.
For a stomach upset: or if I am not sleeping well, I make up a chamomile infusion. Depending on how I feel I will drink it cool, or warm it and add a teaspoon of honey. Honey is a good antibacterial. Chamomile is safe for kids and babies.
For a tummy bug with nausea: I make up a peppermint tea. Just a tea brewed for 5 minutes is good for tummy upsets and nausea. Careful though, peppermint makes a very strong tea (for me it is anyway) so add water to taste if it is too strong for you. You can add a small teaspoon of honey.
Dandelion Tea is readily available at your health food store. It supplies iron, copper, Vitamins A and C, beta carotine, and potassium. It helps to strengthen the liver, kidneys, intestines, pancreas, stomach, gallbladder, and spleen. I make instant Dandelion Tea like a cup of coffee with honey and milk or soy milk.
MAKE YOUR OWN Magic Green Tea that’s EVEN MORE POWERFUL than anything you can buy!
Easy Kidney Cleanse Tea
DO NOT USE THIS IF YOU ARE PREGNANT.
If you have kidney disease/symptoms please see your health professional first!
Parsley Tea is one of the best herbs for the kidneys and is also packed with nutrients. Your kidneys do a wonderful job of removing excess water and waste from your body in the form of urine. But over time waste products like salt can accumulate in your kidneys.
A safe way to cleanse your kidneys on a regular basis is to make yourself a parsley infusion. It is best to grow your parsley and then you will know it is fresh and not poisoned with chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
- Just cut about a handful of parsley and wash it;
- Chop it up and place it in a saucepan with about 1 quart of filtered water;
- Simmer it for about 10 minutes;
- Let it cool then strain it into a clean carafe or bottle and refrigerate;
- Just drink a glass per day.
- Refrain from drinking coffee and alcohol, and lower your salt intake.
See if you can feel the difference.