Tag Archives: herbal tea

9 Herbs to Grow for Digestive Health

Recent studies have pointed out just how important our digestive health is. Did you know that your digestion can affect not just your physical health but your mental health as well? The gut influences the amount of serotonin (a hormone that regulates feelings of happiness) the body produces. While there are many components to a healthy digestive system, the following herbs all have a history of being used to support digestive health. Consider adding a couple to your garden and diet this year.

Fennel

Native to the Mediterranean, fennel has been used as a carminative  (to treat flatulence and related discomfort) for centuries. Medicinally, it’s typically consumed in tea and was sometimes used in “gripe water” once commonly used for infants.

Chamomile

While today many think of chamomile tea as being good for relaxation it’s also excellent for digestion. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties which can help soothe upset stomachs and reduce gas.

Sage

For most, sage is now thought of as solely a culinary herb but it has long been used as a digestive tonic. It’s astringent and antibacterial and is believed to help treat diarrhea and calm gastritis.

Anise Hyssop

A tasty tea made with anise hyssop can be enjoyed with a meal to help promote digestion and reduce gas and bloating. It’s great for bees too!

Mint 

Drinking mint tea is a tasty way to aid your digestion and reduce nausea. In some studies taking peppermint oil has been shown to decrease symptoms related to IBS.

Dandelion

Odds are this one is probably already growing in your garden. It may seem like a nuisance but dandelion is a very tasty and helpful plant! Full of nutrients, all parts of the dandelion are edible and some studies have shown consuming dandelion to help with digestion and reduce constipation.

Ginger

It has been used for centuries in Southeast Asia as a culinary and medicinal herb. Ginger is excellent for treating nausea, heartburn, and morning sickness. It can be made into tea or candied for on-the-go relief.

Goldenseal

Though research into goldenseal is ongoing, gastroenterologist Theodore A. DaCosta mentions that, it has a long history of being used to treat gastrointestinal issues and is believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-diarrheal, antibacterial properties. Largely due to overharvesting this North American native is endangered. Planting goldenseal in your woodland can help ensure its survival.

Turmeric

Its anti-inflammatory properties have lent turmeric to a number of medicinal uses including treating arthritis but it is also excellent at supporting digestive health. Turmeric is traditionally used in a number of Indian dishes. It’s what gives curry that bright yellow color! You can also make it into tea or golden milk for a warm, relaxing drink.

If you often struggle with digestive issues or are simply interested in herbalism you may want to make room in your garden for a couple of these wonderful plants.

Another great way to support your digestive health is by eating plenty of probiotics. Pick up some cabbage seeds and check out our easy instructions for fermenting your own sauerkraut.

***We’re not doctors, always check with your physician before attempting to diagnose or treat any condition.

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Summertime Herbal Iced Tea

After a long day in the garden there’s nothing better than a glass of iced tea and chair in the shade. While I do love the classic sweet tea with just black tea and sugar, having something fresh from the garden makes it extra special. This is my favorite tea blend for hot summer days. It’s super easy to make and uses just 3 ingredients, fresh fruit slices, lemon balm, and red clover blossoms.

Lemon balm is a wonderful and easy to grow perennial herb. It can be cut and used in teas all summer long. Some studies have found lemon balm to have important antiviral properties and it’s also known to have a calming effect.

Red clover has long been used as an herbal remedy and has a long list of benefits. It’s believed to have a mild sedative effect and be anti-inflammatory.

*Red clover and other herbs can react with certain medications. Please consult your doctor with any questions or concerns regarding herbal remedies.*

Ingredients

1 pint of water

2 sprigs of lemon balm

4 red clover blossoms

fruit slices (orange, strawberry, lemon, grapefruit, etc.)

*Optional* maple syrup or honey to taste

Directions

There’s two ways to make this tea. The quickest is to pour hot water over your herbs and fruit and and let them steep for 15 minutes before placing in the fridge or freezer to chill.

Alternatively you can make sun tea. Add all your ingredients to a mason jar with a lid and let your jars sit in the sun for about 4 hours before pouring over ice. 

If desired you can strain your tea before adding ice. If you want your tea to look extra pretty save some fresh fruit and herbs to garnish once the tea has steeped.

If you’d like to have this tea year round or in a convenient travel option all of the ingredients can be dehydrated. For the lemon balm and red clover you should harvest them in the morning or evening when it’s cool. Dry them in a dehydrator at around 105°F. If you don’t have a dehydrator lemon balm can be bundled and hung upside down to dry and red clover flowers can be laid out on a screen.

Fruit should be thinly sliced and dehydrated at around 135°F until the slices are brittle. Alternatively you can dry them in your oven on the lowest possible temperature.

Once dry you can mix the herbs and fruit and store in an air tight container. Herbs will lose some of their potency and flavor as they dry so you may need more than you would fresh.

Store-bought herbal teas can be expensive however many herbs are easy to grow in your own back yard and are even better when harvested fresh!

 

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DIY Autumn Wellness Tea

In my mind fall is this perfect time of year when we welcome the cool crisp air, autumn festivities, and the break from a busy summer season. It’s a time for crafts and reading and enjoying and celebrating the harvest with family and friends.

Unfortunately the reality is that autumn is usually just as busy as summer. There’s always more gardening projects whether it’s repairing tools for next year or putting up the last of this year’s peppers. Throw that in with visits from relatives, less sun exposure and vitamin D, tons of stress, and unhealthy food and you get the start of flu season!

One of my favorite ways to try and combat this problem, besides learning when to take a break, is to drink herbal tea. I’m not willing to give up my Halloween goodies or Thanksgiving feast but I can still make sure my body is getting some of the good stuff.

My favorite autumn tea blend includes the following herbs.

Echinacea any variety

Echinacea is an excellent herb for this time of year because studies have shown that it make act as an immuno-stimulant and even increase the production of white blood cells. All parts of the plant can be dried and used for tea. If you haven’t grown it yet it’s fairly easy to cultivate and is perennial in zones 3-9.

Ginger

While ginger certainly adds nice flavor to this blend it too has medicinal properties that are great for fall. Ginger is high in vitamin C, magnesium, and other important minerals. It also helps with nausea, heartburn, inflammation, and respiratory ailments.Plus it adds a nice warmth to this fall beverage.

Catnip

Not just for cats, catnip is actually very beneficial for humans. It has a calming effect and contains high levels of vitamins C and E to help keep your immune system strong. Catnip is another easy herb to grow and is perennial in zones 4-10.

Licorice Root *optional*

If you’d like your tea a bit sweet without the added sugar consider adding some licorice root. Beyond its flavor licorice root also has the added benefit of soothing upset stomachs and easing coughs. I put it as optional as its flavor is not everyone’s favorite.

 

To make the tea blend 4 TBS of dried echinacea, with 2 tsp of dried ginger, 2 TBS of dried catnip, and 1 TBS of dried licorice root (or more to your taste) in a small jar. Then steep 1 TBS of tea mix per 8oz of boiling water for 5 minutes. You may find you like it stronger and can use more than 1 TBS.

If you wish you can use a tea ball or strain the herbs out before drinking your tea.

 

Enjoy your tea, your harvest, and all the important people and events in your life this autumn. Stay healthy and happy!

(Related : Visit here to find effective methods of treating inflammation)