Your Ultimate Guide To Herbal Tea - How To Make Your Own Blend
The Easiest Intro To Herbal Medicine
Tea is the safest form of herbal medicine so it’s the perfect place to start if you have an interest in herbalism and natural health. It also means it’s great for the whole family so get your little ones involved in the process!
Most herbs and medicinal plants or fruits, fresh or dried, can be easily made into a simple herbal tea. In this ultimate herbal tea guide, you’ll learn how to make your own herbal blend, which herbs to use and where to find them, the different ways to incorporate herbal teas into your life, as well as a few recipes!
🌿Related: Read this if you are new to herbal medicine
How To Blend Your Own Tea
Making your own herbal tea blend is a great way to combine the synergistic qualities and healing power of plants. Together you can craft the perfect tea for whatever you’re struggling with.
This herbal tea guide will introduce you to the three part method, created by herbalist William LeSassier. This method includes three categories of herbs, each to be added in different quantities. The primary herbs which make up 70-80 of your tea, the supportive herbs which make up 20-30% of your tea and finally the catalyst herbs which make up the remaining 10% of your blend.
When choosing a primary herb think of the main ailment you are wanting to address. Are you struggling with digestion, do you want to support your nervous system or are you looking for an immune boost? Next choose 2-4 supportive herbs that can help support that aim. Finally the last herb can be added for smell or taste.
Store your blend in an airtight container and now you have your very own herbal tea to have whenever you need! When making a cup of herbal tea you can use about 1-2 tsp of plant matter and cover with 150ml of hot water.
Example: Immunity Tea Blend
Main action: To support your immune system.
Primary herbs: 2 parts thyme, 2 parts elderberry
Supportive herbs: 1 part ginger (circulation), 1 part peppermint, 1 part rosehip (vit C).
Catalyst herb: Hibiscus for taste and extra antioxidant support.
Don’t Miss This Important Step
What many people don’t know is that as soon as you pour that boiling water on your tea bag (or loose-leaf), the heat begins to release the herbs volatile oils. So, when you leave your cuppa uncovered you lose this goodness! But there is a simple solution.
We suggest covering your cup of tea with a saucer for 5 minutes before you drink it, trapping those important volatile oils. This way you can ingest all the benefits that these plants have to offer.
Where To Find Your Herbs
In this herbal tea guide we want to not only help you learn the ins and outs of herbal tea blending but also introduce you to some of the best herbs that can be used for teas. But where can you find them? The answer is, more often than not, right on your back doorstep!
Lemon balm, calendula and nettle are just some of the amazing herbs you can find growing in your backyard. They’re hardy, low maintenance and have fantastic medicinal properties which makes them the perfect addition to your homemade herbal tea.
Calendula, for example, is an anti-inflammatory that supports the lymphatic system to move out waste. Because it is mildly bitter it helps to activate your bitter taste receptors throughout your body, plus support waste clearance for clearer skin (in particular for those that suffer from acne or cystic acne). This is why we use it in our Liver Bitters. You might like to try experimenting with calendula flowers in your herbal tea blends.
If you don’t have any of these herbs growing at home, you can easily head to the local garden store and buy some! But another great source of herbs is your local organic store. Often, they will have an abundance of loose dry herbs to choose from. So here you can pick and choose from a selection of organic herbs to make your herbal blend. We love using organic herbs in our products because they're better for you and the environment!
2 Unique Ways To Incorporate More Tea In Your Life
A steaming cup of herbal tea is sometimes the perfect start to a cold winter’s day. But this isn’t the only way you can incorporate more plants into your life. Herbal tea, once cooled, is the perfect base for a smoothie. Instead of adding water to your delicious summer smoothie, add your herbal infusion instead.
Another unique way of using herbal tea, is using it to cook with. If you are cooking rice or porridge for example, why not add your herbal tea instead of just water!
New Zealand Native Herbal Tea Guide
A Wild Dispensary herbal tea guide wouldn’t be complete without including some native New Zealand plants. Our wonderful natives have some equally incredible medicinal properties. This is why we incorporate them in every one of our products. But you can also use these natives in your herbal teas. Depending on your ailments, follow the herbal tea guide below and see which might be useful.
Rongoā Māori (Māori medicine) has been used traditionally for centuries, long before European settlement. So, when you are harvesting these precious plants please remember to do so respectfully and only take what you need.
Akeake is a fast-growing shrub that flowers in late autumn. In Dunedin, you can find it as parts of shelterbelts. It is used internally for pain, inflammation, gut cramps and used to help with fevers. We use it in our Chest Tonic. If you find some akeake you could pick a small jar of leaves to dry and use as tea. You can use between 1.5 -3gm of dried akeake a day.
🌿Related: Autumn foraging - 6 Wild Foods You Can Find This Season
How To Make Kawawkawa Tea
We love the support kawakawa gives the whole body and this is why it is one of our favourite New Zealand natives. It helps reduce inflammation, support immunity and was used traditionally as a tonic herb. If you're lucky enough to have some around, you can try making your own kawakawa tea.
- Pick 1 or 2 kawakawa leaves (the ones with the holes are great too)
- Rinse the leaves and rip them up
- Put in a pot with 500ml boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes
- Pour yourself a cup and sit back and enjoy!