How to make herbal teas

Quite often we suggest that patients take teas of a particular herb or spice – but just how do you make herbal tea without a tea bag?

To prepare herbal tea you need either a teapot, or a small pan and a sieve.  In general use about 2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb (or 4 teaspoonfuls of fresh) to 600ml (1 pint) of water, but you can vary the amount according to taste.

For ‘soft’ herbs such as basil, rosemary, thyme and lemon balm

When using the soft parts of a herb, such as the flower, stems or leaves, place the herb in a warm teapot and pour over the boiling water.  Cover and leave to stand for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the hot water to extract the medicinal components from the plant.

For ‘hard’ herbs such as cinnamon bark, coriander seeds or ginger root

When using the hard parts of the herb or spice – the seeds, bark or roots – greater heat is required to extract the constituents.  You will need to place them in a pan with cold water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.  Strain and sweeten with honey, if needed.

Taken from ‘Healing Drinks’ by Anne McIntyre