Reposted from Natural Living Ideas

Herbal teas smell good, taste good, and help elevate your mood, not to mention the other general as well as specific health benefits they offer. They make good alternatives to regular tea and coffee, especially if you want to reduce caffeine intake. Herbal teas can be made with individual herbs or from a compatible combination of several herbs to take advantage of their varied healing effects. Although many herbal teas and tea mixes are readily available, there’s nothing like making your own from fresh ingredients. You can be certain exactly what goes into the mix, and be sure about the quality. You can also adjust the composition according to your needs.

Many herbs traditionally used for rejuvenating and healing teas can be easily grown in your garden, or even in containers. The very act of brewing an herbal tea is therapeutic, especially when you have just plucked the herb from your garden.  Teas made from fresh herbs differ from what you get with dried herbs, although they may offer similar health benefits. Seasonal herbs can be dried and stored for later use, and they make great gifts.

Photo from Natural Living Ideas

Photo from Natural Living Ideas

1. Mints (Mentha spp.)

Mints need no introduction. You can grow several types for their distinctly different flavors or just stick to peppermint, the all time favorite. It also happens to have very high amounts of the primary active ingredient menthol.

Peppermint, spearmint, apple mint or pineapple mint, they all grow well almost anywhere as long as they get sufficient water. But you’re likely to have a problem of plenty if you allow them to spread on the ground. Keep them contained in pots. Their refreshing smell can be enjoyed anytime if you keep the pots close at hand. Use the mature leaves as well as the tender stem tips to make the tea.

Mint tea is cooling and refreshing; it helps improve digestion and reduces gas and associated heartburn. A cup of warm peppermint tea with a tablespoon of honey taken at night relieves a cough and ensures good sleep.

Want to learn about other herbs that are great for teas? Read the full article here

Herbal Iced Tea Recipe: Lavender Lemon Quencher

Fresh and thirst-quenching, this cool summer tisane is perfect for a garden party or simply to calm nerves and aid digestion. Makes about four 8-ounce servings.

• 1/4 cup fresh lemon balm leaves, chopped OR 1 tablespoon dried leaves
• 1 tablespoon fresh lavender buds OR 2 teaspoons dried buds
• 2 cups hot water
• 2 cups cold water and ice
• Fresh lemon for garnish

1. Steep lemon balm and lavender in hot (80- to 90-degree) water about 3 minutes.

2. Add cold water and ice.

3. Serve over additional ice with lemon wedges.

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