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How Do I Make A Herbal Tea?  RSS feed

 
Robert James
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I want to make a medical herbal tea with 4 herbs, each herbs dosage calls for 1 to 4g a day. So to make a single cup of tea would I add 1g of each herb per cup of water?

The tea would be more for Medical / Health.
 
John Elliott
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Welcome to Permies, Robert!

You've got the general idea right. There's also how hot the water is (rapidly boiling or just hot and steaming), how long you let it steep, if you powder up the herbs first, if they are fresh or dried, etc. With all these factors, there can be a wide variation in how it turns out -- just like any other recipe in the kitchen. But once you find a nice result, you try to duplicate that the next time and cut down on all the possible variation.

 
Jessica Gorton
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John's right, it's definitely more like an art, like cooking, than it is like a science. There are many ways to make herbal teas, and they'll all make tea, in the end.

That being said, a few things to think about:

-What herbs are you using? With the more delicate parts of the plant, like flowers and leaves, an infusion is the best way to go. Pour boiling water over herbs, steep awhile (usually 12 to 15 minutes will do, though there are exceptions, and longer certainly won't hurt), drink up. If you are using roots, berries, or seeds, you will want to make a decoction, where you simmer the herbs in the water for 5 to 10 minutes, then let sit for a bit to steep.
-Always cover your steeping herbs, and keep a lid on your simmering decoctions! You can lose a lot of the volatile oils from your herbal tea if you steep them without a cover.
-You can also cold infuse, or make "sun tea" - put your herbs in a jar with water, cover, and let sit all day or overnight.
-I don't worry too much about dosage with a tonic tea that I plan on taking daily or often. You'll get a sense of how much herb makes an infusion that tastes right to you...

Whatever you choose to do, enjoy! It's a wonderful feeling to make nourishing medicine from plants right outside your door!
 
Robert James
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Thanks for the replies, here are some of the herbs I have been using.

Passion flower
Nettle
Sheep sorrel
Lemon Balm

I am trying to make something for tension headache, joint and mussel pain . Since Passion flower works best as a decoction, I usually end up simmering everything at once for about 10 minutes, then I will let it stand for another 5-10 minutes. This past couple of teas I made I held off and put the other herbs in at the end.


It's a wonderful feeling to make nourishing medicine from plants right outside your door!


I have been finding that out for the past few years, I am so mad about how much FOOD I have called a weed and thrown out.
 
Judith Browning
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We grow and harvest both passion flower vine and lemon balm. For both I bring the water to a boil and let the bubbles back off before pouring 1 quart of the hot water over a small handful...one half a cup? of the herb(s). I love both of those as tea and we drink them regularly as a relaxing brew both together and separately. I have never made sheep sorrel tea....just munched on it in the garden. I would make nettle tea as above. I think you should avoid boiling/simmering flower or leafy herbs...a root or bark might take more of a simmer for a period time. Mints are also better if the water is just under a boil. The length of steeping varies too...some I leave until cool, some just a few minutes. This is making me want to go make a cup of tea
 
Matu Collins
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I steep nettle overnight in cold water
 
Robert James
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Matu Collins wrote:I steep nettle overnight in cold water


I have been wondering if nettle would be more effective using it as a food then a tea?
 
Doc Jones
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Location: Buhl, Idaho
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It's possible to make tea making as complicated as you like but there probably aren't very many medicinal reasons to make it complicated.

Boil the water.
Remove the pot from the heat.
Toss in the herbs and cover.
When it's cool enough to drink, it's ready.

That said, some plants actually prefer cold infusion rather than hot. Typical examples would be plants that depend on volatile oils for their medicinal punch (lemon balm and its other minty cousins, Uva ursi and nettles are good examples) and plants that contain a lot of mucilage or starches like marshmallow and its cousins, slippery elm, burdock etc...

I think so long as you don't boil your lemon balm or nettles and be sure to use a lid and shake all the good stuff off the lid and back into the pot, you'll probably be fine.

Also note that if you get plantain even remotely hot it turns into potassium-rich, green water with no medicinal benefit whatsoever. Use it fresh or juice it and keep the juice in an ice cube tray in the freezer for easy dosing.

Doc
 
Robert James
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Doc Jones wrote:It's possible to make tea making as complicated as you like but there probably aren't very many medicinal reasons to make it complicated.

Boil the water.
Remove the pot from the heat.
Toss in the herbs and cover.
When it's cool enough to drink, it's ready.

That said, some plants actually prefer cold infusion rather than hot. Typical examples would be plants that depend on a lot of volatile oils for their medicinal punch (lemon balm and its other minty cousins, Uva ursi and nettles are good examples) and plants that contain a lot of mucilage or starches like marshmallow and its cousins, slippery elm, burdock etc...

I think so long as you don't boil your lemon balm or nettles and be sure to use a lid and shake all the good stuff off the lid and back into the pot, you'll probably be fine.

Also note that if you get plantain even remotely hot it turns into potassium-rich, green water with no medicinal benefit whatsoever. Use it fresh or juice it and keep the juice in an ice cube tray in the freezer for easy dosing.

Doc


Thank you very much, I see why a tincture or oil would be the best way to go for medical value.

That makes me wonder about making Essiac Tea.
 
Steven Feil
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Location: South Central Idaho
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And to make it even more simple (KISS), just add your herb to water, stir and drink it down the hatch. This works better with finely ground herb and/or you don't plan on straining. This is how I do it most of the time. There is also less possible heat damage to the properties of the plant.
 
Robert James
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Steven Feil wrote:And to make it even more simple (KISS), just add your herb to water, stir and drink it down the hatch. This works better with finely ground herb and/or you don't plan on straining. This is how I do it most of the time. There is also less possible heat damage to the properties of the plant.


That would also be a good idea to add at the end of a soup. "Home made of course "
 
Steven Feil
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Location: South Central Idaho
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I would make sure I was REALLY familiar with the herb you were adding to food, especially if it was for OTHERS to eat. Some herbs are QUITE different tasting, valerian, for example, or chaparral!

Since normal cooking herbs are medicinal as well, one would be advised to add them once the heat is down and towards the end of cooking to preserve those properties.

Regarding nettle: if you get it young enough (before it gets ANGRY!!! ) I would put it into salads. Fresh is BEST for any food.
 
Renate Howard
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If you're curious to learn more, Stephen Harrod Buhner has a book, "Sacared and Herbal Healing Beers" in which he says the original and maybe best way to take medicinal herbs it as a homebrew, which can be easily made using honey or just about anything sweet. He has tons of herbal lore and recipes in the book. He also has a lot of herbal remedies in the book "Healing Lyme". You can steep the herbs in hard liquor like vodka to draw out the compounds (a tincture) and then use drops of that in juice if you'd rather. Here are some easy instructions to make herbal tinctures. http://www.seaislandsavoryherbs.com/herbs/medicinal-herbs/how-to-make-herbal-tinctures/

Re: muscle aches, if it's work-related, I find that vitamin C offers wonderful relief. If you wanted to make an herbal tea to get the vitamin naturally you can use zest from an organic lemon, orange, etc. or pine needles in your tea. Pine needle tea is supposed to be very good.

I used to get frequent headaches until I discovered zeolite and took that for about a month. I haven't had a headache since then. It's supposed to chelate mercury and heavy metals - some say headaches are the result of a congested liver, caused by too many toxins for the liver to be able to detox.
 
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