how do you make tea?

beckersterMarch 26, 2005

i guess this would be the best place to ask my question. it's not exactly herbalism but here goes. i plan to use some of my herbs for tea. how exactly do i do that? do i let them dry them crush them? do i just squish them around in the water? i have no idea...

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johnyb(QLD Aust)

If you have a big harvest of a herb you can dry it in bulk and use it later for tea as you need. If you have a small amount of herb then it should be ok to use fresh(undried).

Making tea is simple...just add half a handful of dried or raw herb to a standard cup, pour hot boiling water over it, and let it steep for 10 minutes, then drink. Chamomile, peppermint, sage, chia, are just a few that make lovely daily teas. Just make sure you are using the right part of the herb, a good book such as Materia Medica of Western Herbs by Carole Fisher & Gilian Painter will ensure this.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 12:59AM
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To make a herbal tea, use the same method as if making ordinary tea: use 1 teaspoon of herb per person and one for the pot. Pour boiling water over the herb, stir briefly and leave to brew for about 3-5 minutes. If left too long, the tea is likely to taste bitter. Herbal teas are best drunk weak, with a little honey or lemon juice added to taste if desired. Herbal teas are usually drunk without milk, but a little milk added to an over-brewed tea will reduce the acidic taste. DonÂt be afraid to combine different herbs for different flavours. Sweetening with honey darkens them and adds body. Lemon juice bleaches the colour; try rose hips instead. Peppermint, betony and sunflower teas can take a little milk. Tea made this way is called an infusion, usually used for leaves and flowers.

You can buy special mugs which have a perforated insert in them, and a lid. You put the herbs in the insert, pour over the boiling water, and the herbs steep with the lid on (so it doesn't cool too much) until you remove the insert, herbs and all. Or you can buy a perforated teaspoon, which has two 'bowls' hinged together. The herbs go into this and you just leave it sit until the tea is brewed, then remove the spoon. For powdered dry herbs, you'll need special teabags, usually available from a health store, or use a couple of coffee filters after the tea has brewed to filter out the solid matter.

Precise measurement isn't required for herbal tea. You can just put in a whole sprig of a fresh herb, pour on the boiling water, and leave it. That's probably the easiest way. And you can use either dried or fresh herbs.

You will need to know the medicinal effects of whatever herb you are doing, to identify a herb correctly before using it, and to know which parts of the plant are used. All this information is to be found on the WWW or in books etc. It is really important to know these things!!

If you use roots and other large parts of the plant, you'll need to make a decoction, where the herb is boiled for several minutes (usually 10-15), then steeped and cooled.

Always consult your doctor before embarking on a herbal remedy. When used medicinally, herbs may interfere with conventional medications. A cup of herbal tea should be regarded as a medicinal dosage for an adult, though some herbs have a medicinal action in smaller dosages and should be avoided altogether in some conditions. Pregnant or lactating women, or people with medical conditions other than that being treated (diabetes, kidney or heart problems, high blood pressure etc) should be careful in the use of herbal teas.

I never advocate drinking herbal teas as beverages. They contain concentrated amounts of a plant's medicinal properties, and should be taken with the same cautions and considerations as any other medicines to treat a particular ailment.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 3:40AM
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johnyb(QLD Aust)

"I never advocate drinking herbal teas as beverages"

What do visitors get?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 4:04AM
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Hospitality, good manners and amicability. And all that goes with those.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 5:07PM
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thorspippi(z9/s14 CA Sacramento)

Not even mint tea?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 9:05PM
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johnyb(QLD Aust)

I'd never thought of the dangers of teas, might have to weaken then up a little in future. Although it could come in handy when you can't get someone to leave, just make them a strong black and wait for the carnage to begin.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 1:30AM
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thorspippi(z9/s14 CA Sacramento)

"Back When I Was A Youngster" Story Alert!

Way back in the dark ages, when I was in college, a boyfriend who'd broken up with me in a rather cruel way dropped by just for a visit. I offered him some of my roommate's Orange Pekoe tea. He drank it. It was a rather tense meeting, but I think I carried it off well.

Roommate came home, saw the teacup and tea bag, and asked if I'd drunk some. Odd, cuz she never seemed to mind if I borrowed some of her food or shampoo or whathaveyou. But I said, "yes, I gave it to (old boyfriend)."

Her jaw dropped. She started laughing so hard I thought she'd have a baby right there.

she told me she'd *finished* the orange pekoe and all that was in the box was a LAXATIVE tea, that she only took 1/4 cup of when needed.....

I made an emergency phone call to the ex. He said it had tasted funny, but wanted to be polite. Then he suddenly hung up....

His mother called back with the news of the latest events--she had a sense of humor.

Oh that was a good night. Revenge is sweetest when you don't even know you're doing it. :-)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 4:16AM
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johnyb(QLD Aust)

Thats very funny thorspippi! Does anyone else have any herbal tea horror stories?

John *reflecting on a concentrated cascara and senna tea for my dear mother in law*

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 4:40AM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

Be wise and learn all about the teas you drink. The Native Americans never took meds for granted.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 4:54AM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

This is a good example of a discussion on herbal medicine. Maybe we aught to give Aggressive, Passive, Assertiveness training (SP) in talking on forums.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 11:31PM
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