Drinking herbal teas are a great way to heal the body naturally. Herbs have been used for centuries for everything from colds to easing labor pains. You can grow your own medicinal healing herbs and use them whenever you need to. If you are willing to take the time to get to know the plants you will discover that you can have your own green pharmacy in your own back yard. So why don’t more people do this? Imagine the money you would save making your own cold remedies. Here is some information on growing, buying and using your own herbs in making herbal teas.
Using herbs as medicine:
Making herbal teas for medicine is very similar to making a regular cup of tea, except that there are no bags. You will be cutting and drying your herbs and using the roots, stems and leaves to make the tea. You can brew it the same way you would loose tea.
Growing herbs is just as easy as growing plants or flowers. Buy your seeds and plant them according to the package directions. There are lots of online stores that sell seeds. Some plants like full sun and some like shade. Herbs like mint grow on bushes so you will need to pay close attention to the directions and how much room they will need to grow.
You must also be careful; some herbs are toxic and not meant to be ingested. When growing your own herbs you need to know which ones are safe to use. Before you begin it is a good idea to get some books on herbs and their uses. Health food stores are good resources for finding information about herbs.
What herbs are good for colds or flu symptoms?
Chamomile is good for colds as well as: Echinacea, Coltsfoot, Calendula, Green Tea, Lemon balm, Red Raspberry and Ginger.
Some herbs that are good for pain relief: Honeysuckle flowers, Motherwort, Raspberry Leaf, Licorice and Red Raspberry.
Some plants should be avoided:
Certain plants should not be ingested because they are toxic. Belladonna is from the family of Deadly Nightshade and is very toxic. Arnica, Foxglove, pennyroyal and Pokeroot are just a few.
If you do not have the time or the resources to grow your own herbs another option is to buy them in bulk from a health food store. While this information is about growing your own, you do not have to enjoy making herbal teas. The herbs are used in the same manner as instructed below. If your health food store does not carry the herbs you need they may be able to order them for you if you ask.
How to dry and keep your herbs:
You will need some basic tools for cutting and storing your herbs for use. Pruning shears are good for cutting and are easy on your hands. A small knife and cutting board can be used to cut and chop the leaves and stems. Store your cut herbs in glass canning jars for an airtight seal. Label the jar with the name of the herb and the date that you put it in there. Store the jars in a cool place away from light such as in a kitchen cupboard or pantry.
How to make Tea from herbs:
Gather your dried herbs and measure 1 tablespoon of herbs into a tea pot. Pour one cup of boiling water over the herbs and put the cover on the pot. Let the tea steep for about 15 minutes. Strain the tea and add a little honey or sugar to taste. Good to warm you up on cold nights or help with congestion.
Sample recipe for Ginger Tea:
Take a small piece of Ginger Root and grate it into the tea pot. Cover the root with 2 cups of boiling water and steep for 15-20 minutes. Strain into a cup and add a little honey to taste.