Recipes to Keep You Warm and Healthy
There‘s nothing quite like cradling a warm mug of herbal tea to ward off the chill and soothe the senses during the winter months. As we, herbalists, know, herbal teas are not only comforting, they also offer a myriad of health benefits that can support our well-being during the winter season. In this article, we’re going to give you several recipes for cozy herbal teas that not only warm your soul but also provide nourishment and healthful effects.
For centuries, cultures around the world have turned to herbal teas for their therapeutic properties. From ancient Egypt‘s use of chamomile for its calming properties to China‘s millennia-old reverence for the delicate flavors of green tea, herbal infusions have been integral to human experience. Surprisingly, even the British afternoon tea tradition—often associated with black tea—originated as a remedy. It was introduced by Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, to combat the „sinking feeling“ between lunch and dinner. Similarly, the medieval monasteries cultivated extensive herb gardens, contributing to the development of herbal knowledge and the formulation of teas for both spiritual and physical well-being.
Herbal teas have witnessed transformation and fusion across cultures. The Middle East cherishes the aromatic allure of mint tea, often served in ornate silver teapots, signifying hospitality and friendship. The Ayurvedic tradition in India masterfully blends spices and herbs, crafting teas that balance the body‘s doshas. Meanwhile, the indigenous peoples of North America and South America embraced the medicinal potential of local plants, passing down herbal wisdom through generations.
Unconventional sources reveal even more surprising historical connections. Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations indulged in an early version of herbal teas, including infusions of lavender, thyme, and even rose petals. In Japan, the contemplative ritual of tea ceremony evolved from its Zen origins into an art form that celebrates simplicity, mindfulness, and the beauty of imperfection.
A Ritual of Nourishment
What we can learn from this history and tradition is that when we drink a cup of herbal tea, we’re not just sipping a warm beverage; we‘re immersing ourselves in a tradition that spans centuries and cultures. Knowing this, just as our ancestors have known before us, we can discover that brewing a cup of herbal tea isn‘t just about the ingredients; it‘s about creating a moment of nourishment for ourselves. As you prepare the water and select your herbs, take a moment to inhale their fragrances deeply, allowing yourself to become fully present. Steeping the herbs and watching the colors swirl can be a meditation in itself, an opportunity to slow down and savor life‘s simple pleasures. Take this time to disconnect from the demands of the day and reconnect with yourself, just like your ancestors have done for centuries.
- Chamomile and Lavender Dream
A blend of chamomile flowers and fragrant lavender creates a calming tea that‘s perfect for unwinding before bed. Known for their relaxation-inducing properties, chamomile and lavender combine to create a soothing brew that helps promote restful sleep and tranquility.
- dried chamomile flowers
- dried lavender flowers
Combine equal parts dried chamomile flowers and dried lavender flowers in a tea infuser or a teapot. Boil water and pour it over the herbs, allowing them to steep for about 5-7 minutes. Strain the infusion, pour into your favorite teacup, and savor the tranquility as you unwind.
TBC in My Herbs magazine winter issue #26