Garden Tea Time

by Marjan


Have you ever explored your garden for hidden gems of herbs to brew herbal tea? If not, it is time to be adventurous! Many years ago, I introduced you to homemade  quince tea   from this exotic fruit we harvest in fall to cook with and make jam.


Now, I want to introduce to you herbs possibly growing in your back yard which you might have disregarded as decorative plants, flowers or even weed... No, it's not what you'r thinking! I'm not talking about the ones legalized in California!


At first glance, this radiant purple flower might appear exotic and interesting. Yes, it is! However, this short lived flower from our grove not only produces delicious passion fruit (which I use in both cooking and baking) but also helps to decrease blood pressure, anxiety, effects of menopause, insulin levels and depression. Beautiful and powerful!


This perennial shrub, serves as a decorative plant bordering our downhill slop. One might simply notice the delicate beautiful pink flowers of bergamot. However, both the leaves and flowers may be used in salads, drinks, and tea! If you drink Earl Gray, you are familiar with bergamot's scent. Used medicinally for colds and sore throat, herbalists praise it's sedative benefits as a tonic for depression.


Look closely at the above picture. 
Weeds growing? 


No! This is actually camomile! On my daily neighborhood walk, I discovered it growing on my neighbor's side walk. Camomile is used in a variety of calming tea blends to sooth the nerves and help improve sleep for a better night's rest. But did you also know it is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer?


Perhaps the above herb is more recognizable? 

Yes! It's mint! Used as peppermint tea! Delicious and refreshing, it also helps to improve digestion, reduce pain, and eliminates inflammation. It relaxes the body and mind, aids in weight loss and boosts the immune system. Truly, a gift from nature!


And then, of course, there is rosemary! 
You are most familiar with this plant as an herb used in Italian cuisine, breads, and roast chicken. But did you also know that once brewed, it serves as a powerful tonic tea? Rosemary calms the nerves, relaxes muscles, boosts blood flow to the brain for better memory, decreases stress by lowering cortisol levels, boosts energy by stimulating adrenal glands, and contains carbonic acid which is a vital protein to stimulate nerve growth. 

Sign me up for a cup of tea please! 


Hope I have inspired you to explore outside your window (whether in your backyard or even neighborhood) to find what nature has in store for you.  On our ranch, I am blessed with a vast variety of fruits and herbs I use all year long as natural herbal teas, tonic, and even medicine. I highly recommend for you to do your own research and make certain herbs collected are not toxic. Verify with an expert; then explore on how to prepare your herb as a tonic or tea, how much to drink and how often. Check for any contraindications with medications you might be taking. It is always best to consult with your physician or herbalist.
Weather you collect rose pedals, sage, thyme or camomile, create herb blends which will serve to heal your mind, heart and spirit. 

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