Herbal Tea Gardening: Grow Your Own Herbal Iced TeasHerbs are not only delicious and great for cooking, but they are also packed with health benefits. While at a workshop at the Palisade Gardens Retirement Community in Cobourg with Canada’s first registered horticultural therapist, Mitchell Hewson, I learned all there is to know about herbs. Hewson explained the health benefits of various herbs, how to grow your own and went over the steps required to make a tall revitalizing glass of herbal iced tea.
Here is what I learned from Mitchell Hewson at the Palisade Gardens:
Herbal health benefits
From easing nausea to soothing sore muscles, herbs have an infinite number of healing characteristics. Here is a glance of a few herbs and their healing side effects:
- Ginger root – cleanses the body, eases cold symptoms, settles the stomach and prevents motion sickness when travelling
- Rosemary – strengthens memory, aids digestion, stimulates blood circulation and soothes joint pain
- Chamomile – Combats nightmares and insomnia and helps suppress nausea
- Sage – Aids digestion, lessens sweating and soothes coughs, cold and laryngitis.
A note of caution: do not take sage in large doses for long periods of time.
- Peppermint – Has a long list of benefits, including easing digestion, colds, flus, flatulence, facial neuralgia, and rheumatic and muscular aches
- Lemon Balm – Soothes anxiety and helps bring about sleep. It is also tied to improving memory and studies are currently being done in connection to Alzheimer's care.
Green thumbed advice
The first step starts in the garden. Here are a few tips on how you can garner beautiful greenery:
- Grow herbs in spaces with lots of sun
- Plant herbs in containers, which are small space friendly, as herb plants are very invasive
- Use well-draining soil
- Cut the herbs frequently to prevent seeding and to use in your own delicious concoctions
- To prevent plant diseases, it is best to water in the morning
Quench your thirst
Once the herbs are grown, the next step is to create thirst-quenching herbal iced teas…
Use can brew with fresh or dried herbs. The rule of thumb for dry herbs is to use two teaspoon per cup of boiling water and for fresh use six teaspoons per cup of boiling water.
For the cool evenings, make a steaming hot cup of tea by cutting the measurements in half. Use one teaspoon per cup of boiling of boiling water and three for fresh herbs.
Once you have measured, gently crush the herbs and put them in an infuser. Then pour boiling water over the infuser and let it steep for three to five minutes. For iced tea, just add ice and sit back and relax!
By Bria Weaver
Do you garden with herbs? Please share your tips in the Comments section below!