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Great Herbal Teas From Your Garden

            Teas have been used for thousands of years as a form of medicine and as a social beverage.  In the hot summer months a cold (or hot) cup of tea can be both refreshing and nutritious!


Many people plant peppermint in their gardens to enjoy its spicy fragrance on hot summer days.  There are many species of this plant.  True peppermint, Mentha piperita, has the highest number of active agents, including menthol, which gives the herb its healing powers.  The fresh spicy aroma of peppermint tea has many medicinal values.  It can ease nausea, settle your stomach (ex: motion sickness) and stimulate digestion.  Peppermint helps to alleviate headaches, freshens your breath and has a cooling effect on the body.  It can be used topically for pain relief and as an inhalant or chest rub for respiratory ailments.  Peppermint is also highly nutritious, containing potassium, calcium to combat bone loss and B vitamins, which act on the nerves and brain, helping to improve performance and concentration.


Lemon Balm

            This fragrant, lemon-scented herb, also known as Melissa (Melissa officinalis) is native to the Mediterranean region and the Near East.  Today the plant is cultivated in herb gardens throughout the world.  Lemon Balm has a long tradition as a tonic remedy that raises the spirits and comforts the heart.  It is said to have a soothing effect on the entire nervous system, making it useful for conditions such as insomnia, nervous tension and stress related digestive upset.  Lemon Balm has been used as a potent anti-viral, especially being used for the herpes simplex virus that produces cold sores.  In culinary use, the plant’s delicate aroma lends a fresh citrus flavor to foods such as desserts, salads, fish and meat dishes, sauces and marinades.  For an extra lemony tea try combining lemon balm with other lemony herbs such as lemon grass, lemon myrtle and lemon peel.



            Hibiscus tea, made from the Hibiscus sabdariffa flower, is a popular drink in Mexico, Southern California, Central America, China and the Caribbean.  It has been said that Hibiscus was the beverage favored by the Pharaohs of the ancient Nile Valley when they wanted to refresh themselves in the desert heat.  Hibiscus tea has many health properties.  It helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol, is a mild diuretic for water retention, is high in Vitamin C, and has a cooling effect on the body (internally it acts as a refrigerant to cool the body).  The tea is tart and delicious, and is a beautiful, rich crimson color.  Hibiscus combines well in a tea with mint.  Look in your local herb store or the nearest health food store for refreshing Hibiscus tea.

Hibiscus Tea Recipe:

48 ounces water
3 tablespoons hibiscus flowers
2 cinnamon sticks
1/8 cup sugar
1 small orange, sliced
1 lemon, cut in wedges


Bring water to a low boil.  Turn off heat.  Add the hibiscus flowers and cinnamon sticks.  Cover and steep for 20 minutes. Strain tea into a container.  Add sugar and orange slices.  Serve over ice.  Garnish each glass with a lemon slice.

From www.foodnetwork.com

Kelley also teaches local Herb Classes. If you are interested in a consultation would like to sign up for a class, please contact Kelley at (802) 893-0521.


Pella the dog communing with KelleyCoreopsis plant in bloomKelley Robie's cat HenryLemon vetch or sheep's sorrel?Kelley Robie's horse Spike