Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Herbs for Summer Tea

You've seen them, the Storey Country Wisdom Bulletins. They are small, about 30 pages and the subjects have to do with self-sufficiency. How to can a tomato, neuter a bull, kill a coyote, dress a goose - that kind of thing. They are succinct, to the point and helpful. I happened upon one recently entitled 15 HERBS FOR TEA by Marian Sebastiano. I paid my (still a bargain at) $3.95 and rushed to find out what are the 15 herbs for tea. I am now going to tell you what they are according to Ms. Sebastiano: Anise Hyssop, Basil, Calendula, Catnip, Chamomile, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Marigold 'Lemon Gem' and 'Orange Gem', Lemon Verbena, Mint, Mondarda (aka Bee Balm), Pineapple Sage, Rosemary, Sage, and Scented Geraniums. I have all those plants. And I would add a couple more to this list, specifically Mexican Mint Marigold (Texas Tarragon), Oregano and Thyme.
Usually it is the leaf that you use - though lavender and chamomile flowers are used most often. Bruise the leaf and steep it in hot water til it reaches the strength that appeals to you. Sweeten with honey if you care to. For iced teas, use more herbs for a stronger tea (to accomodate the ice cubes) and add drama with edible flowers such as borage or lavender frozen in the ice cubes.
The photo above is of a container of herbs which includes Lemon Gem Marigold, Lemon Verbena, Golden Sage and Thyme - all of which make wonderful teas. Use the leaf and the flower of the Marigold, the leaf of the others. I would sweeten teas made of these herbs, though you may choose not. Experiment. Combine herbs in creative ways. Garnish with edible flowers and selected leaves. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. You drink sage tea 3 times a day to help reduce my milk supply according to actforlibraries,however I have no idea about the tea.