Herbal teas, or infusions, are more than just substitutes for coffee or black tea. Herb teas have many health benefits and can be used as simple home remedies for common health complaints.
Making herbal tea is easy and many herb teas are available in teabags. If using loose herbs to make tea, three teaspoons of fresh herbs equals one teaspoon of dried herbs. One teaspoon of dried herbs for a cup is a standard “dose.”
Two different herbs are sold as chamomile: matricaria recutita and anthemis nobilis. Both have some of their own specific properties, but generally chamomile herbal tea can be used to calm the nerves, to help to relax after a busy day and to relieve nervous tension. Chamomile can also calm down an upset stomach and a cup of chamomile tea at night can help if you have trouble falling asleep. If you don’t like the flavor of chamomile, a little bit of honey can improve it.
Don’t throw away the teabags. Used, cold chamomile teabags work wonders for puffy and tired eyes: place the bags over a closed eye for about ten minutes.
Peppermint is a good herb tea to drink during colds and flus. You can drink three cups a day during a cold and the tea can also relieve sore throats or infections in the mouth. It can even be used for gargling.
Another common use for peppermint tea is to aid digestion. It can be drunk to relieve digestive problems including bloating, or as a digestive drink after a meal. It can also work for nausea.
There are few things Lavender can not be used for (in tea, as essential oil or in lavender water). Lavender tea is calming and relaxing and is a good choice for anyone feeling stressed, tense, nervous or down. It is also sometimes recommended for tension headaches. A cup of lavender tea at night may also help to sleep better.
Lemon Balm Tea
Lemon balm (Melissa) has a lovely refreshing flavor and is one of the better tasting herbal teas. Drink lemon balm tea when feeling stressed, nervous or anxious; it has been used for centuries for lifting the spirit and for strengthening the nerves.
Raspberry Leaf Tea
Raspberry leaf tea is a good uterine tonic and is often recommended for pregnant women during the last trimester (but only the last trimester!) to strengthen the uterus and to prepare for birth. Raspberry leaf infusions are also recommended during colds and flus, and to calm down an upset stomach, especially with diarrhea.
Sources and more information about using herbs: Lesley Bremness: The Complete Book of Herbs (Studio, 1994)