Lately there seem to be a number of family and friends with colds and coughs, and I started to feel a bit under the weather myself. So I got out my books, created some lists, looked in my herb cabinet, and came up with an all-around yummy tea for winter support. This tea contains herbs to boost immune function, soothe sore throats, suppress coughs; and tastes delicious. When steeped long enough, it’s also a beautiful ruby red color.
The herbal tea you get from a store in a tea bag and steep for a couple minutes is fine (and I drink quite a bit of it,) but it’s probably not going to be quite as effective as loose dried herbs sourced responsibly and infused for a longer period of time. Also bulk herbs are much less expensive and don’t have all the packaging. Here are the gifts of the garden I chose for my precious winter blend.
Why I Chose These Herbs:
- Licorice Root…..soothes sore throats and is a natural sweetener
- Dried Lemon Peel + Lemongrass leaves…..adds Vitamin C and tart taste
- Peppermint Leaves…..tastes good and invigorates
- Echinacea Root…..provides immune support
- Astragalus Root…..provides immune support
- Ginger Root…..eases nausea and digestion and adds spice
- Hibiscus flowers…..adds Vitamin C, tang, and deep red color
- Wild Cherry Bark…..acts as cough suppressant
- Dried Rose Hips…..adds Vitamin C and color
After doing my research I love to shop at Penn Herb here in Philly. Some other great online sources for herbs are: Mountain Rose Herbs, Gaia Herbs, Starwest Botanicals, and Frontier Coop. Check out my friend Elvira’s shop: Green Cottage Creek. We used to work together at the New York Botanical Garden many moons ago and she continues to inspire my herbal education!
How to Make a Good Cup of Herbal Tea
- Mix your herbs together in a bowl. Enjoy the diversity of appearance.
- Boil water in a pot or in a tea kettle.
- After it boils, add 1-2 teaspoons of dried herb material directly to your pot or into your tea infuser.
- Cover immediately and steep for at least 5 minutes – longer for stronger infusions.
- Drink it while it’s hot. (Pouring through a strainer if steeped directly in your pot.) Store the remainder in the fridge and heat up later.
There’s nothing more soothing than a hot cup of tea, in my opinion. While I’m no herbal expert, I know what I’ve tried and what seems to work for me. When you blend your own herbal tea, choosing herbs for their various effects and tastes, you have empowered your own self-healing. This simple act of kindness towards oneself (and others, if you’re willing to share) goes a long way! Happy sipping.