May Teas Bring Comfort

With autumn swiftly coming to a close and the nights getting chillier every step we take into May, there is nothing quite as comforting as a hot beverage nestled in your hands. It goes without saying that most people tend to drink a lot more hot drinks in the colder months, especially tea, so growing some herbs in your garden or on the kitchen windowsill for this very purpose would not only make sense health wise but would ease the burden on an already squeezed winter wallet too!

Depending on what you’ve got growing in your garden, you could be making a different cuppa every hour if you so wish! Not to mention making some interesting herbal tea combinations you couldn’t possibly find on a shop shelf anywhere.

To ensure herbs where only the leaves are used last longer in the garden a general rule is to pinch off the flowers when they appear. This stops the plant from setting seed and encourages it to grow bigger and produce more leaves, ready for harvesting when your thirst takes you. Fresh leaves can be picked from Rosemary, Catmint, Fennel, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena and Mint throughout the year.

With Lavender, Thyme, Rose Scented Geranium and Yarrow, you should be harvesting both the flowers and leaves for use while with Chamomile it is only the flowers you would be harvesting, all year round.

One of the exceptions to the “pinch off flowers” rule is Stevia because you can pick fresh leaves when it is in flower throughout the year. Stevia leaves are at their sweetest when the flowers are busy forming buds.

Parsley is not one of the herbs one would normally associate with tea making, but it is definitely worth trying, you may be surprised! You should only do so from the first year’s crop though as those leaves are the tastiest. Parsley is not an all year round crop but luckily, now is harvesting time so pick some leaves from the outside of the plant and give it a try.

Herbal Teas

(http://www.healthyliving-herbs.co.za/)

Ingredients:

  • 2 x tsps. of finely cut fresh herbs per cup
  • Plunger
  • Boiling water

Preparation:

  • Place the herb or a combination of different herbs in the plunger.
  • Stevia leaves can be added to sweeten the tea.
  • Add the boiling water and let it stand for 10-15 minutes.
  • Strain into a cup and drink immediately.
  • Add honey to sweeten, if desired, and drink immediately,

Did you know?

Ayurvedic practitioners believe honey added to the tea carries the herb deeper into the tissues and enhances its effects?

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