Herbal Tea - My Midday Meditation
Someone asked me recently what I put in my herbal tea and I thought it was an interesting question, because I don't really think about what goes into my tea.
What I explained to them (and what I like to do) is a sort of midday herbal meditation. I will usually take a wander around my garden and pick what 'calls' to me.
It's an intuitive technique (based on years of study!) and is often described as 'folk herbalism'.
Don't get me wrong, I know what's growing in my garden. I've studied with the plants that I use for many years. I'm not about to put something in a brew that's going to cause me harm.
The 'intuitive' part of the process is just listening to my body and waiting to see what herbs I'm drawn to at that particular time.
It's also an interesting process, because different herbs (weeds! many would call them) grow in the garden at different times of the year.
I do also have to note here that I'm absolutely not advocating that people should start wandering around their neighbourhood and putting whatever calls to them into boiling water and drinking it.
What I do believe, however, is that there is a strong argument for using what grows around us in a better way.
A lot of the greens that I eat and drink many people would consider 'weeds' and would be busy digging out, or smothering in toxic chemicals.
I on the other hand, prefer to see what nature has left for me in her food and medicine cupboard (aka my back garden) thank her profusely for her offerings and use the provided greens to keep me nourished and well.
History of Herbal Tea
Herbal teas have a long history and I've been told that verbal records can be dated back to 2737 BC. The first written records of herbal teas can be found in the 3rd century AD.
Herbal teas aren't technically 'tea'.
Tea comes from Camellia sinensis. What I make when I talk about 'herbal tea' is actually a 'tisane'.
The Oxford definition of Tisane: noun
a herbal tea.
ARCHAIC a medicinal drink or infusion, originally one made with barley.
The Merriam-Webster says:
Definition of tisane: an infusion (as of dried herbs) used as a beverage or for medicinal effects.
So I think we can agree that what I'm picking in the garden has absolutely no relation to what most people are purchasing at the supermarket.
So, what is the difference between a tea and a tisane?
As I mentioned above, what most people understand to be tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant.
Side note: I've just put in an order for 12 of these plants from our local garden centre. I'm determined to establish my own tea hedge. But that's a blog for another day!
What I've learned about making true teas could probably fill a book. I'm really excited and looking forward to being able to make my own teas.
Anyway, I digress.
A tisane is what I make when I do my midday tea meditation. It's an infusion of plant material (weeds, herbs, leaves, flowers etc., and sometimes I add spices as well.
So really, a tisane is a drink made from any plants other than true tea (Camellia sinensis).
Herbal Tea Making Demonstration
As much as I would love to take every single one of you on a tea making expedition around my garden, it could get a little crowded. So I've done the next best thing.
I've taken you along with me, remotely, on one of my midday herbal tea meditations.
There's a video.
There's herb identification.
There's a full demonstration of how I make my herbal tea; and
There's written information about each of the herbs that I chose that day.
I've packed the whole thing up in a free mini course.
So, come walk with me in my garden as I choose the herbs that I'm going to put in my midday herbal tea.
We'll check out my chickens and my bees and the cat comes along as well--because he doesn't like to miss out on all the fun!
Follow the link here or click on the photo below and I'll see you in the garden.
Love & Lettuce,