Drink This Plant Potion for Better Immunity and a Great Night’s Sleep

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For as long as humans have been able to warm water, they have enjoyed herbal teas. Herbal teas are not really true teas like green, black, and oolong tea, which are all brewed from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Herbal teas can be made from any part of a plant, including the roots, leaves, flowers, seeds, berries, or bark, and they can sometimes contain thousands of different compounds, each with distinctive healing capabilities. 

Many people use herbal teas to relieve mild to moderate ailments such as an upset stomach, sore throat, stuffy nose, insomnia, or coughing. Here are some of my favorite and powerfully effective herbal tea recipes. Remember, you can always grow your own tea garden to have your ingredients within easy picking reach.

Insomnia-Busting Tea

If you are plagued with restless sleep or insomnia, this ginger and rosebud tea can help. Loaded with relaxing properties that help you wind down, it is a perfect, pre-bed sleepy time tea. Enjoy a cup about an hour before bedtime.

What you need

  • 1-inch piece of ginger root
  • 6-8 dried rosebuds
  • 1 Tbsp raw local honey
  • Water

How to make it

  1. Peel the ginger root and cut it into slices.
  2. Boil 2 cups of water on the stove in a pot or kettle.
  3. Add the ginger and flowers. Let it simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the honey until it is dissolved.
  5. Strain out the ginger and flowers, pour into a cup, and enjoy.

Note: This tea is also excellent with the addition of dried chamomile

Garlic Antioxidant Tea

Although it may not sound like the most delicious drink, a cup of garlic tea is one of the best ways to start your day. It is loaded with vitamins A, B, and C, along with antioxidants, fiber, manganese, and sulfur.

What you need

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger root, minced
  • 1 Tbsp local raw honey
  • Juice of one lemon

How to make it

  1. Add water to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger to the boiling water, then reduce to a simmer.
  3. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove garlic tea from the heat and allow it to steep for 10 minutes.
  5. Strain liquid into a cup, then add the raw honey and lemon juice. Stir well and enjoy!

Minty Iced Refresher Tea

This refreshing beverage is the perfect summer refreshment and a great way to use mint, which grows quickly. There are so many types of mint; try them all in this tea to find the one you like best, or just use whatever you have growing in your garden.

What you need

  • 1 large handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 8 cups plus ½ cup filtered water
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean

How to make it

  1. Wash mint leaves and remove the stems, place them in a heat-proof bowl.
  2. Boil 8 cups of water and pour over the mint. Let it steep for 15 minutes, then strain. Reserve the mint leaves. Transfer the tea to a pitcher or a glass jar and refrigerate.
  3. Combine strained mint leaves, sugar, vanilla bean, and ½ cup water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, then strain.
  4. Transfer liquid to a small jar and place in the refrigerator.
  5. Fill glasses with ice and pour in the tea. Add 3 teaspoons (or desired amount) of mint syrup to each glass – stir and sip.

Parsley and Cinnamon Immunity Tea

Parsley is a potent source of vitamins A, C, K, and folic acid. Rather than utilizing parsley on your plate, incorporate it into this delicious cinnamon apple tea for an immunity boost.

What you need

  • 1 organic apple
  • ¼ cup fresh organic parsley leaves
  • ½ tsp organic cinnamon
  • ½ tsp organic pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch of organic nutmeg
  • 1 cup boiling water

How to make it

  1. Dice the apple and mash lightly with a fork into the bottom of a mug.
  2.  Add the rest of the dry ingredients on top. 
  3. Boil the water and pour it into the mug.
  4. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes. 
  5. Straining is an option, but you can also allow the apple and herbs to remain in the bottom of the mug for a stronger flavor.

Happy growing,

-Susan Patterson, CBHC and Master Gardener

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