Sometimes, there’s nothing more soothing than curling up in a comfortable chair with a book and a warm cup of tea. What if you could make that cozy tea from ingredients you grow yourself in your own kitchen?
For green thumbs and tea fanatics alike, growing your own herbal tea garden is a refreshing alternative to store-bought tea bags. If you decide to grow several different types of herbs, you can even experiment with your own flavor combinations.
A satisfying homegrown cup of tea awaits you after a few short weeks of growing.
1. Fill containers
Fill seed-starter containers almost to the brim with organic potting soil.
2. Plant the seeds
Following directions on each seed packet, place one to two seeds in each container, and lightly cover with soil. Mist soil with water until wet.
3. Give herbs some light
Place containers on your windowsill where seeds will get several hours of sunlight throughout the day.
Water as needed to keep moist and according to packet instructions.
When plants mature, they are ready to be used for tea. Just cut, wash, and steep in a tea ball or as whole herbs in hot water. You can then transfer plants into 3- or 4-inch pots to promote continued growth.
Tips: Different herbs will have different health benefits, so do your research if you’re looking to get the most out of your herbal tea garden. Plants can be kept outside in warmer climates. If you take care of your plants, you can have herbal tea year-round.
Types of herbs to try in your tea garden:
- Echinacea. This herb used in tea has been known to treat the common cold, boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. To make tea, simmer 8 ounces of water on the stove. Take ½ cup fresh or ¼ cup dried leaves, flowers and some roots, add to water, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain, add honey for flavor, and enjoy
- Lavender. Lavender is best known to be used for stress relief and relaxation. It can also be used to relieve migraine pain and aid in sleep. To make lavender tea, boil 8 ounces of water, add 3 to 4 teaspoons of lavender buds to a tea ball, and let steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Spearmint or peppermint. Mint teas can help nausea, inflammation and fatigue, and may promote weight loss. Crush 10 peppermint leaves and place in a mug. Add nearly-boiling water, steep for 8 to 10 minutes, remove leaves, and enjoy. Mint teas are also delicious when served iced.
Tips: Remember to wash any leaves you use from your tea garden, even if grown inside. Also remember to talk to your doctor before beginning any herbal tea regimen. It is not advised to drink herbal teas while pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you have any major medical concerns.