Herb teas and herbal infusions are healthy and refreshing drinks on hot summer days. Most herbal teas taste great cold; add a few ice cubes, a little honey or a few slices of lemon to ice cold herbal tea for a thirst quencher. If you grow a few common medicinal herbs in your herb garden, such as mint and lemon balm, you’ll have a ready supply of ingredients for homemade herbal infusions throughout the summer.
Mint and Peppermint
Mint is one of the most obvious choices for summertime herb teas. Peppermint or mint tea with ice is a refreshing and cooling drink in hot weather. Hot mint tea is a good home remedy for summertime colds and sore throats. Mint or peppermint tea is a natural digestive aid: drink it after heavy or fatty meals to help digestion. Peppermint relieves flatulence, nausea and indigestion.
Like mint tea, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) tea tastes great when served with ice. Lemon balm is a traditional home remedy that is said to lift sadness and keeps low moods away. Its flavor is refreshing and citrus-like. Drink lemon balm infusions to relieve nervous tension and to soothe headaches. Drink cups of warm lemon balm tea during a cold or a fever.
Many summertime flowers are excellent additions to homemade tea blends. Lavender infusion is a calming drink in the evening to promote better sleep, or any time of the day to relieve stress. Lavender is also said to ease headaches. Use fresh or dried lavender flowers on their own for an herbal infusion, or blend them with other flowers, such as rose petals.
Rose is a lovely ingredient in DIY tea blends; it adds fragrance and flavor to your tea. Rose tea is especially good for women to balance the menstrual cycle; rose is a traditional remedy for heavy or irregular periods and is a tonic for the female reproductive system.
Chamomile is another popular summertime tea herb. It is relaxing and soothing, and helps to calm down during stress. It relieves nervous tension and promotes good sleep. Chamomile is also used to relieve an upset stomach, and chamomile tea is helpful during diarrhea or indigestion. Chamomile tea is a useful home remedy for summer holidays and for travel in general; it calms the stomach in cases of traveler’s diarrhea and it can even be used to relieve colic in babies and diarrhea in children. There are two varieties, German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), but both are used for the same complaints.
Try also nettle, dandelion, and other wildcrafted herbs in health-boosting herbal infusions!
Photo: Charles Kremenak