Supermarket shelves are filled with boxes and boxes of herbal tea blends for any number of needs and ailments, but they don’t always come cheaply.

Learning to grow and dry your own herbs for tea-making purposes brings an abundance of benefits and is pretty simple, too.  Sipping a cup of herbal tea and knowing that you were part of its entire journey from garden to cup will reward you with an added connection to nature, along with peace and satisfaction.

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Chamomile, peppermint, lemon balm, lavender, and many other herbs can be cultivated in your garden and pots or easily foraged.  You can use each one to make your own tea blends to enjoy at different times of the day. It is invaluable to know some of the properties of each herb and understand which one to choose when you need a pick-me-up, a digestive boost, or a natural sleepy-time aid.

Generally, using one teaspoon of dried herbs (leaves, flowers, or roots) per hot cup of water is sufficient.  Herbal teas tend to need a little longer to steep than “regular” tea.  Impatience at this step can leave you with something bland and watery.  If you are looking for a stronger cup, try crushing the herbs in a pestle and mortar to help release their oils.  Also, simply leave the herbs to infuse longer in the water before enjoying.  Some herbs, such as lavender, can become bitter if steeped too long so conduct a few taste tests to get the right intensity for you.

Morning-Time Teas

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  • Stinging Nettle Tea– If you are looking for a vitamin and mineral boost in the morning to set you on the right path for the day, a cup of this tea will provide you with a kick of vitamins C, D, and K, along with a healthy dose of iron, zinc, and magnesium.  It is also known to be a detoxifier, so this may be a good choice if overindulgence occurred the night before.  Nettle tea has a rich earthy flavor that can be enjoyed alone or blended with peppermint.
  • Peppermint Tea– That minty smell alone is enough to get your eyes open and sinuses clear, ready to start your day.  A cup of peppermint tea is an excellent choice for a morning brew as it is said to help reduce fatigue, promote mental alertness and provide digestive support. That antibacterial minty freshness helps with oral health, too!  Why not add a little ginger for extra spice and pep?

Afternoon Teas

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  • Dandelion Tea–  Roasted dandelion root tea is touted as a good coffee substitute that fulfills that bitter/roasted flavor we get from coffee without the regret come bedtime. It is outstandingly nutrient-dense, packed with vitamins A, C, E, and B complex as well as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and copper. After a big lunch, dandelion tea can aid in digestion, and it can help with a little afternoon pep. You can use a natural sweetener here to help balance any bitterness.
  • Sage Tea– A cup of sage tea is another great remedy for overindulgence after a big lunch. It is known to be a digest aid, and it can help soothe tummy aches. A cup of hot sage tea with a little of your favorite natural sweetener is a perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

Sleepy-Time Teas

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  • Lemon Balm Tea– Lemon balm with its epically fragrant aroma is said to have a calming and soothing effect that is perfect after a hectic day.  Lemon balm and lavender pair well for extra power.
  • Lavender Tea– A cup of this tea before bed can help to calm and relax you ready for a night’s sleep.  It can help you to fall asleep faster and promote better quality sleep.
  • Chamomile Tea– This might be one of the most commonly known sleep-promoting herbs.  Steeping the tiny flowers in hot water and drinking a cup before bed is said to have a mild sedative effect that will help you fall into slumber.

One of the beautiful things about making your own tea from homegrown herbs is that you are in control of what you are putting into your body. The herbs mentioned here are common, easy to grow or forage, and will get you started on growing your own tea supplies. You can experiment with blending your herbs with each other or by adding lemon, ginger, and natural sweeteners. There is a tea to suit every time of day and need.

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This article is for informational and educational purposes only.  Consult a medical professional before using herbal remedies.

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