Before Plant Makeup got started, I use to blend my own teas and sell them. You might remember Good4You Herbal Tea! Here is a guide to how I create herbal tea blends. It is very simple. My rule of thumb is, if you are unfamiliar with an herb, please research it before using it and as always less is more.
It's easy to make tea, even simply from anything you can find in your kitchen spice cabinet. Here are some herbs and how they can help you during the winter or when you or a friend are in need.
1. BASIC TEA BASE: (2 parts)
Peppermint- great for cooling the body, for irritated lungs or to ease colds, awesome stomach calmer.
Ginger- for recipes that require more heat in the body, “to remove the cold”.
Yerba Mate- caffeinated, “the green tea of South America”, great for the mind, circulation, contains medicinal properties.
You can also use green tea, black tea, white tea, roobios, spearmint, chamomile, jasmine flowers.
2. ADD MEDICINE: (1 part total- choose one or a combo)
Orange Peels or Lemon Peels- heating, rich in vitamin C.
Hibiscus Flowers- heating, rich in vitamin C, turns the tea purple, helps “dry” the lungs of too much mucus.
Marshmallow root- cooling, “wet”, adds a coat of mucilage if you have a dry cold, cough, throat.
Gingko Leaves- heating, “the great circulator”, helps to move blood flow in the body.
Eucalyptus- heating, soothing vapors!
Back Yard Medicine:
The following herbs I have used for helping colds and sore throats that can easily grow in a summer garden. It's amazing medicine containing antibacterials, antimicrobials, etc: thyme, lemon balm, mints, hyssop, feverfew (a great cold fighter, use very little amounts), dandelion leaves (great cleanser, lots of vitamins and minerals), sage and catnip.
Kitchen Cabinet Medicine:
Any spice used can greatly help a cold, move menstruation, and help digestion of course!
I used a blend of rosemary leaves, lemon balm, cayenne to help someone with cramps and it worked!
Cayenne- heating, great expectorant if you have a stuffy nose, also an amazing antibacterial so it can purify the body when you have a cold or sore throat.
Any of these spices if just a touch added can help move a cold out of the body: cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, cardamom, fennel, etc.
3. ADD ROOTS: (½ to 1 part)
Roots are great for strength, help you cleanse, and or adjust to stress.
Eleuthero Root- (Siberian ginseng) great strength builder, helps adjust you to winter conditions and stress, was used in Japan after atomic bombings to help people recover.
Echinacea Root- great to help boost immunity right before you think you're getting a cold.
Dandelion Root- a great overall cleanse for the kidneys and liver. I think for the entire body!
4. ADD SWEETNESS (optional): (a pinch)
Stevia Leaf- natural sweetner, 400 times sweeter then sugar, use only a half centimeter of leaf per cup, experiment and have fun, stevia is known to balance blood sugar levels and help diabetes.
Licorice Root- yummy sweetner, adds mucilage if you have dry conditions. Don't use too much of this one either.
Or add Raw Honey!
BREWING: Boil fresh water, remove water from heat, pour into cup of herbs (I use a heaping teaspoon per serving), steep with cup covered for about 10 minutes, about 4 with the green tea family.
Quick Remedy if you don't have an Apothecary:
Sore Throats or Colds- Chopped fresh ginger root simmered in a pot of water for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Add a teaspoon of honey, half a lemon, and a pinch of cayenne per serving. You can also just use regular black or green tea instead of ginger.
Written by Jes, founder of Plant Makeup