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How to Make Herbal Tea
Herbal teas are traditionally made from the lighter aerial parts of the plant e.g. leaves, flowers, seeds, buds and upper stalks. Boiling water left to brew with the herbs is all that is needed to gently impart the medicinal qualities and flavour to the recipient. The term ‘decoction’ once used to describe a herbal tea made using the harder parts of the plant – and plants which are brewed for longer (barks, root, hard seeds etc.) – is now no longer used and instead referred to as a ‘herbal tea’ which is simply left to ‘brew’ for longer instead of being simmered. Harder seeds and roots are usually left to brew for 10 minutes alongside the lighter flowers and stalks.
- Use 1 tsp (2-3g) of crumbled dried leaf or 2 tsp (4-6g) freshly chopped leaf to 1 cup (250ml) water. Each leaf fresh or dried will vary in weight and size, so this is an average quantity.
- Put the herbs in a tea sock (or teapot / cafetière).
- Pour on boiling water.
- Let the tea infuse for 3-10 minutes (lighter parts e.g. flowers and leaves need a shorter time and hard seeds and roots need longer – so leave all in for longer if your tea contains a mixture of these different parts).
- Remove the herb material and drink.
- If desired, add organic, cold-pressed honey to sweeten.
On a hot summer day the infusion can be allowed to cool and then be kept in a covered container in the refrigerator, and drunk within 24 hours. If drunk cold, a slice of lemon or lime makes a tangy, colourful addition.