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Dallas Morning News - January 7, 2021


 

Herb Tea Creation and Preparation

 

Herb tea made properly can be an important part of your health management program. I use many herbs from my own garden that can include thyme, basil, garden sage, hibiscus flower petals, Turk's cap flowers and fruit, lemongrass and lemon verbena, peppermint, spearmint, anise hyssop, bay, rosemary, fennel, oregano and chamomile. I also use elderberry fruit and leaves and blackberry fruit and leaves.

 


Many culinary and medicinal herbs can be effective parts of the landscape and serve for making herb tea

 

Ginger is one of my favorite ingredients. Growing it organically at home is the best method. I use about tablespoon size piece of the root cut into slivers by cutting with the grain, not across it. To the ginger base I often add one or more of the herbs mentioned above.

 

To make the tea, crush the ingredients and put in a glazed (inside and out) tea pot. Pour 'almost' boiling water from a glass kettle over the herbs. Boiling water can damage many of the health-giving properties of the culinary and medicinal herbs. By the way, it is important to use clean, filtered water. Chlorine, fluoride and other contaminants can ruin the taste and quality of any good drink, as well as your health. Let the tea steep for 3 to 10 minutes depending on your taste. Tannic acid increases with time and will make the tea stronger and even bitter.

 


Ginger, sage and thyme - 3 of my common herb tea ingredients

Osha  or Bear Root is woody and tough

 

Unsweetened tea can taste really good but lemon juice, raw honey, stevia, apple cider vinegar or other flavors can be added but these ingredients shouldn’t be added until the tea has cooled down just a bit. Enjoy the tea hot or later with ice cubes as a summer refresher.

 

There are some exotic herbs that can also be used for flavor and health benefits. The two I now enjoy regularly are yerba mate and osha root. I often use green tea as well.

 

Yerba mate is an herbal tea made from the leaves and twigs of the Ilex paraguariensis plant. Yes, it's a holly. It is a very popular drink in south America and is often enjoyed there all day long. It contains less caffeine than coffee but like any other caffeinated food or beverage, it can increase your energy and make you feel more alert.

 


Osha should be cut up into smaller pieces for best use

Ginger and osha root

 

Oshá (Ligusticum porteri), is (pronounced o-SHAW or Oh-shaw) is a perennial herb found in parts of the Rocky Mountains and northern Mexico, especially in the southwestern United States. The roots have a wonderful fragrance and taste. Other common names include bear root, Porter's lovage, Porter's licorice-root, wild lovage, loveroot, Porter's ligusticum, bear medicine, Colorado cough root, Indian root, Indian parsley, wild parsley, mountain ginseng and mountain carrot. Yes – that's one of the problems with common names.

 

My favorite tea these days is a mixture of ginger, osha root, yerba mate, dried chili pequin peppers (not to many) and touch of raw honey.

 

 

 

 

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