Summer gardens are in their full glory. The roses are blooming, the lavender is buzzing with bees, and citrus trees are bowing under the weight of their tangy fruit. And did you know you can make tea out of all of them? No drying required. The many health benefits of fresh herb tea are well worth a foraging run into your backyard garden. It’s quick, easy, and intensely satisfying.
The Health Benefits of Fresh Herb Tea
In general, the health benefits of fresh herb teas come from their higher concentration of essential oils. When you pick the plants straight from the garden, their oils are in their purest forms, giving you greater benefits than dried herb teas. And, let’s not forget about the benefits of aromatherapy (fresh herb teas smell wonderful!). Lavender and chamomile calms, orange invigorates, lemon balm helps with mood and concentration, peppermint wakes you up, etc.
The Easiest Fresh Herbs to Use in Tea
Mint – Peppermint tea relieves muscle spasms, nausea, gas and bloating.
Chamomile – Chamomile tea helps calm mind and body, perfect for a restful night’s sleep. But did you know it’s also an anti-inflammatory? You can use it to sooth sore throats and coughing too.
Lavender – Lavender promotes relaxation, reducing anxiety, stress and depression. You can also use it to sooth indigestion and nervous stomach, and prevent gastric ulcers.
Lemon Balm – Minty and lemony in flavor, Lemon Balm helps improve concentration, and some say helps lift the spirits.
Stevia – Everyone knows stevia as a natural, no-calorie sweetener, but it also has health benefits! It’s anti-bacterial, anti-septic, anti-microbial, anti-glycemic, and contains anti-oxidants.
Rosemary – Rich in antioxidants, rosemary also supports digestion and increases blood circulation to the brain (helping with cognitive function).
Thyme (or Lemon Thyme) – Thymol, one of the oils in thyme, is a powerful antioxidant, and studies indicate that it can increase omega-3 fatty acids in the brain, which may help curb age-related dementia.
How to Brew Fresh Herb Tea
Fresh herbs have a more gentle flavor than their dried and bagged descendants, and for two good-sized mugs (or 4 dainty teacups), you’ll want a large handful – roughly about 1 cup of loosely gathered fresh leaves. From there, the flavor profile is only limited to your supplies and imagination. I love a mint-lavender-stevia blend, or lemon balm-rosemary-stevia, or lemon balm-lavender-stevia!
- Place rinsed, fresh herbs into your teapot or French Press.
- Bring filtered water to a boil.
- As soon as your kettle whistles, pull it off the heat and pour the hot water into your teapot or press.
- Let steep for 5-8 minutes (too long and the tea can turn bitter).
- Enjoy as is, or try this delicious recipe for Sleepy Time Herbal Honey from TheDabblist!
Want more inspiration for fresh herb teas? Check out my new Fresh Herb Tea Pinterest Board!