Herbal tea traces back its history to as early as 2737 BC in China, via verbal records, whereas, written records state its existence from as far as 3rd century AD. It has its roots in Ancient China and Egypt, where it was brewed for its great taste, medicinal properties and health benefits. Herbal tea has been known to be consumed by almost every culture in every phase of history including ancient Indians, Sumerians, Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and civilizations of the Middle East.
The usage of Herbal tea has been recorded from Ayurvedic texts of ancient India, which are more than 6000 years old. India has been home to a range of beneficial herbs and these texts record the usage of these herbs for curing a range of diseases and health restoration.
You can make herbal tea at home, using a range of methods and ingredients popular in India for their natural benefits.
How to make herbal tea blends at home
Every herbal tea follows a structure that allows it to offer a range of tastes. For every blend you need to start off by picking on a base ingredient that will bind all the flavours together. A lot of these ingredients are commonly found in kitchen shelves. The top 7 ingredients for a wholesome cup of herbal tea are listed below. A combination of any 3 to 5 should suffice per blend.
1. Base blend: A good base blend is a must have for any herbal tea. One that has largely vegetal notes and a flavour profile that can be layered with the other ingredients of the blend, Green Long Ding or Green Tea Hyson from the Subline House of Tea are what we think might be suitable.
2. Flowery Notes: Chamomile, Hibiscus, Chrysanthemum, Rose Petals, Lavender, Butterfly Pea Flower, Saffron, Honeysuckle, Calendula and Violet are the commonly used flowers, flavouring your tea with their wholesome goodness
3. Leaves for additional flavour: Dried or fresh leaves of plants such as Spearmint, Peppermint, Rooibos, Lemongrass, Honeybush, Holy Basil, Blackcurrent, and Ashwagandha are the most popular and beneficial herbs.
4. Zest or Peel: Orange and Lemon peel are commonly used to give that tangy and refreshing note to your tea.
5. Roots: Ginger, Ginseng and Galangal are some of the extremely beneficial roots that can be added to your brew.
6. Spices: Cloves, Black Pepper, Cinnamon and Nutmeg are some of the intensifying agents, added to heighten the aroma and flavour of your tea.
7. Fruit: To lend a naturally sweet flavour to the tea use air dried or dehydrated Cranberry, Orange, Blueberry, Raspberry, Strawberry, Lemon, Rosehips, Mango or any fruit that can be dehydrated and added to the blend.
Serve the perfect cup of herbal tea
Depending upon your mood, season and weather, your preference of consumption changes. Herbal teas are most versatile and can be brewed hot and cold. Herbal teas are equally delightful if served cold.
How to make herbal iced tea
To make herbal iced tea at home, add the loose leaf tea in an infuser or in a built-in infuser pot, pour room temperature water over it and put it in the refrigerator. Let it seep in its flavours and for an hour to 90 minutes; more if you prefer it stronger. Using fresh flavours of Mint, Spearmint, Lemongrass, Hibiscus, Sour Lemon, Raspberries and Strawberries are great for your summer iced teas.
Additionally, you can create a range of other exciting drinks and desserts with your tea including smoothies, mocktails, cocktails, cookies, and puddings.
What you Brew, Thou shall Reap
Herbal tea is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and hence gives a refreshing boost to your day and overall health.
Caffeine Free: Caffeine is known to cause insomnia, anxiety, and digestive as well as blood pressure issues. Replacing Herbal Tea with your regular tea and coffee can help you avoid all these as it is essentially caffeine free and, hence, can also be consumed any time of the day.
Prevents and Treats Cold: Herbs like Elder Tree, Basil, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Lemon Balm, Ginger, Peppermint, Sage and Spearmint are renowned for their role in treating a nasal congestion. They help to clear nasal passages, coughs and also prevent symptoms of asthma.
Lowers Blood Pressure: Herbal tea such as Hibiscus and herbs such as Basil, Cinnamon, Cardamom, French Lavender and Ginger help regulate blood pressure.
Quality restorative sleep: Herbs like Chamomile, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Passion Flower, Nutmeg, Cinnamon and Ashwagandha are renowned for their calming and sleep inducing effects.
Better gut health and Digestion: Herbal teas such as Dandelion, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Peppermint, Spearmint and Ginger tea are effective in enabling growth of a healthy gut flora and also prevent related digestive ailments.
Better metabolism: Herbs like Rosehip, Ginger, Cumin, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Turmeric, Black Pepper, Fennel and Lemongrass are known to boost metabolism.
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