Today there is a Renaissance of traditional herbal medicine and herbal preparations including drinking herbal tea as an alternative to drinking infused tea bags or coffee. Some people may think that they cannot start the day without a cup of morning coffee, but maybe it’s time to introduce herbal tea into your life.
Tea and herbal teas have a rich spectrum of flavors to explore and enjoy. Sensual and healthy, herbal teas have unique ways of bringing new balance, energy, and calm into our busy days. Imagine drinking an uplifting cup of herbal tea in the morning which will give you a gentle kick start for the day and will not dehydrate you as coffee does. Drinking herbal tea in a beautiful china cup is medicine not only for the body but also for the soul. It allows us to pause just for a few minutes and reflect; it is almost a form of meditation.
We all love gardening. When I chose to plant herbs, they have to be useful, even roses and rose petals. You will be surprised how many medicinal plants are growing in the wild like: Hawthorne, St John’s Wort, Linden, Pine, Yarrow, Self Heal, Agrimony, Plantain, Melissa, Dandelion, Nasturtium, and many more.
How to dry and have an endless supply of organic culinary herbs
Commercial herbs, vegetables, and fruits, unless organic, are sprayed with pesticides. Pesticides and herbicides have been linked to cancers and autoimmune diseases like diabetes, Crohn’s, Hashimoto’s, or celiac. Therefore it might be a good idea to grow some of your favorite culinary herbs which you use most in cooking. There are so many herbs suitable for drying like; marjoram, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, tarragon, parsley, rosemary, chives, chili, or basil. In the same way, you can dry other medicinal plants to make herbal tea. Herbs are annual or perennial and they do not grow outdoor all year round. Also dried culinary herbs enhance the flavor of the dishes due to the content of essential oils. The essential oil capsules in herbs only open after they are dried first and then they burst open in cooking releasing fragrant oils.
When is the best time to harvest herbs?
Herbs are at their best and the most potent just before flowering. Choose a sunny and a hot day and make sure that the weather forecast for that week is dry and hot and no rain. Herbs need to dry as soon as possible to be of the best quality. You do not need a dehydrator or a commercial herb dryer.
How to dry and store herbs?
Cut enough length of a chosen herb so you may put braches into a small bucket and tight them with a string or a rubber band. Hang in a shaded area away from direct sun. When herbs are totally dry, crush them, using clean gardening leather gloves, and store them in an airtight glass container. Label the container with the name of the herb and the date. Store in a dry and dark place like a pantry or a kitchen. Make enough to last you for the season. The traditional way to store dry herbs was in an airtight glass s container away from natural light as the plants will lose their color and potency. Larger quantities can be stored in vacuum aluminum bags in a dry, dark, and stable temperature storage area. Label the container with the name of the herbal and the date of expiry ( 2 years usually).
What you can grow in your garden
You can have a natural first aid kit at your fingertips if you know what to grow, how to find in the wild, and how to use it. The sky is the limit. Below are just a few suggestions:
Chamomile – is used for relaxation, insomnia anxiety, gastritis, travel sickness, teething and infantile colic, flatulence diarrhea, topically for wound healing and ulcers
Calendula flowers – are soothing too. It is used for stomach ulcers, enlarged lymph glands, acne, mouth ulcers, nappy rash, insects bites, minor burns
Elderflower – asthma, common cold, flu, chronic sinusitis, middle ear infection, bronchitis, sinus headache
Lavender flowers ( English Lavender) – anxiety insomnia, depression
St John’s Wort – antiviral (including Herpes Simplex) shingles, sciatica, trigeminal neuralgia, antidepressant, anxiety, insomnia. St John’s Wort grew widely in the Southern Highlands.
Peppermint – dyspepsia, intestinal colic, flatulence, Gall bladder dysfunction, gallstones, gastritis, common cold, influenza, sinus headache, neuralgia, tension headache (inhibits lactation)
Raspberry leaf – diarrhea, to prepare for labor ( last trimester), mouth ulcers, GIT bleeding, IBS, tension headache
Rosemary – memory, liver detox, hair loss, anti-aging tension headache, neuralgia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease
Sage – hot flushes, memory, concentration, sore throat, Alzheimer’s fatigue, gingivitis, tension headache, fever ( not in pregnancy or lactation)
Thyme ( leaf and flowers)- bronchitis, whooping cough, catarrh, diarrhea, chronic gastritis, asthma, cough
Wormwood – antiparasitic, antiseptic, digestive tonic( not in pregnancy or breastfeeding)
Violet (leaf and flowers) – chronic bronchitis, cough, asthma, catarrh, the common cold
Yarrow ( Achillea millefolium) – GIT bleeding, common cold, fever, fever, high blood pressure
Herbal teas are medicinal, and in some medical conditions, there are preferred methods of treatment by a qualified herbalist. This is why 20 years ago I developed comprehensive (nice tasting ) Vitality teas.
For more information please go to www.healingremedies.com.au
If you would like to know more about how natural medicine can help you, please contact Danuta Hulajko on 02 4854 0205
Danuta Hulajko is a holistic practitioner, international speaker, the founder and the practitioner at the DH Natural Medicine Clinic and www.healingremedies.com.au , Southern Highlands. She specialises in anti-ageing, autoimmunity, thyroid conditions, digestive disorders, cardiovascular health, heavy metals chelation and CIRS ( mould related illness). For more information please go to our website. You can follow Danuta Hulajko work, events, seminars, expos, latest health research, her health tips and advice on Facebook and LinkedIn