As I write this post, I find myself in the final hours of this year’s Dry July, taking slow sips from a cup of my favourite herbal tea.
Herbal teas are not teas in the truest sense, as they contain no actual tea leaves, hence I believe a more apt description for such brews is ‘herbal infusions’. The recipe to follow is my latest and favourite blend and, aside from its great taste, it is inherently medicinal.
You will need:
► 25g mint | There are many different varieties of mint, which has long been employed for its digestive and antifungal properties.
► 25g licorice | Licorice is used to support digestion, respiration and immunity, as an anti-inflammatory, and as a hormone-balancer – and it is said to assist a plethora of specific ailments. I love its delicately sweet flavour.
► 15g astragalus root | I hadn’t even heard of astragalus until David Wolfe introduced me to it at the Samudra raw food retreat earlier this year. This incredible herb is a powerful antioxidant with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties, and it is known for building immunity, fighting fatigue and supporting tissue regeneration.
► 10g fennel seeds | Fennel is packed with antioxidants. Aside from treating bad breath and stomach problems, fennel seeds can be used to soothe the upper respiratory congestion – and it is used as a treatment for flatulence.
► 10g basil | I’m not going to use the phrase “packed with antioxidants” again because I am finding that basically every herb is – so take it as a given for everything on this ingredient list. The eugenol in basil makes it especially good for treating arthritis, it aids digestion, and its antiviral/antibacterial properties make it ideal for treating respiratory infections. And its high magnesium content means that it assists good blood flow.
► 10g stinging nettle | This herb is high in iron, and it acts as a diuretic and blood purifier. It stimulates circulation and is great for your skin.
To make the infusion, combine all ingredients together well and store in an airtight container.
To prepare the tea, I use a stainless steel teapot. I place two teaspoonfuls of the herb blend into the strainer then pour over a little cold water to wet the herbs. I bring a kettle almost to the boil, stopping the process when I feel that the side of the kettle is hot to the touch. I feel that it gives better results if you don’t use absolutely boiling water.
I sourced most of my ingredients from The Herb+Spice+Tea Shop, a little Fremantle Markets stall crammed full of jars with exciting innards. I already had a store of stinging nettle in my pantry, thanks to a months-ago shopping expedition to Kakulas Brothers in Northbridge.
I hope you enjoy this refreshing tea, and that it leaves you feeling loved from within.