Favorite herbs for tea

lavender_lass(4b)September 3, 2009

What are your top 10 favorite herbs for teas? I'm planning an herb garden, with limited space, but want a nice variety.

If possible, can you also tell me which ones are okay for children? (I've heard spearmint is supposed to be better than peppermint.) I don't have children, but nieces and nephews so I'd like to know which teas they can have.

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raydun(z5 NH)

There's a website called "Plants for a Future" that is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in learning the historical and actual uses for plants. This link takes you to the first page of their list of 625 plants which are known to have been used in making tea. From that list you just have to decide what can grow in your region and what can fit in your garden. A lot of these plants are easy to try without having to grow them in the garden, they grow wild and can be very common, and stripping a few of their leaves won't harm the plants at all. Your tea recipe can be designed not only for good taste but for it's healthful medicinal qualities as well.

To help you find out which plants grow in your region the USDA has a PLANTS database at this link. The range data found at PFAF is very inaccurate, they even admit to it, so using the PLANTS data is very helpful.

Good luck with your endeavor, Ray

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 8:00AM
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I love to grow herbs for tea and my kids really like to drink the tea in the winter - especially when they have colds.
Here's a few I like:

Lemon Balm -very nice lemon flavor - a must for me

Lemon Verbena is awesome but not a perennial -have to buy each year

Any mint really but my faves are:
Orange mint
Apple mint

Anise Hyssop(agastache) leaves have a nice licorice flavor

Pineapple sage is nice and a pretty plant but is also an annual

There are many more of course but those are what I grow.
Chamomile is supposed to be a nice relaxing tea as is catnip

Hope this gives you a few ideas. I've heard that even some of the more flavorful basils make a nice tea like the cinnamon and lemons.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 7:49PM
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Thank you for the many possibilities. I think lemon balm and some of the mints will be what I try first.

I had no idea there were so many plants you could use to make tea.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 8:36PM
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Catnip is nice, so are mints, hyssop, yarrow, chamomile, rose hips and/or petals, violets...I basically drink my yard.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 12:55PM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

anchasta, I actually did laugh out loud. good for u though, you are probably healthier because of it!
The ones I'm growing right now are : catnip, lemon balm, peppermint,and applemint.
Next year I hope to grow chamomile successfully from seed, as it is very mild and I love the flavor and smell of the tea. Next year I hope to expand my tea herbs.
My favorite tea, by far, is jasmine.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 2:12PM
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I love jasmine, but I don't think it will grow in my zone. What kind of jasmine is used for tea? The only jasmine I've seen is star jasmine and I'm sure that's not the right one.

Chamomile, mints, rose hips and lemon balm or lemon verbena seem to be the most popular choices. Thank you all for helping out a newbie like myself :)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 12:38PM
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lemon balm, peppermint, applemint, Chamomile, hyssop, yarrow, Lemon Verbena these are my all time favorite herbal extracts for tea.

Here is a link that might be useful: herbal extracts

    Bookmark   November 13, 2009 at 1:15AM
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