“There’s nothing in the world that a cup of tea can’t solve.”
This was one of my grandfather’s favourite sayings, and I have to agree, it’s difficult to deny. In my view, there’s no situation that can’t be made better by a proper cup of tea. It truly is a universal remedy. A solver of problems. A trusty little helper in times of need.
Now when I say tea, I don’t mean the kind you get from the constantly heated boilers found in offices and train station cafes, (although there have been emergency situations when even this weak concoction has come to the rescue,) but the kind that comes in a mug you can wrap your hands around and drink in deeply.
Herbalists have always understood the potent effect of tea. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen a steaming mug served as an emergency remedy – and it isn’t always down to the ingredients. Given the situation, a cup of Earl Grey can be just as effective as a mug of chamomile. We all instinctively know that a cup of tea made with love is one of the most powerful medicines on Earth.
With this in mind I thought I’d share one of my favourite herbal tea recipes with you. It’s a tried and tested, nerve soothing blend based on a classic Rosemary Gladstar recipe. The ingredients are powerfully effective, yet the resulting brew is still gentle enough to be enjoyed by children.
I call it ZEN.
There are no hard and fast rules. Feel free to play around with the proportions and adjust according to your own personal taste.
DIY anti-anxiety, nerve soothing, herbal tea
Like most herbal recipes, the ingredients are listed as “parts”. This allows you the complete freedom to make up a mug, or a batch, as you see fit. A part is however much you want it be, so for example, if you decide one part is 10 grams, then half a part will be 5 grams etc. It goes without saying that the better quality your ingredients, the more effective (and delicious) your herbal tea will turn out.
- 2 Parts Chamomile
- 1 Part Lemon Balm
- 1/2 Part Lavender Flowers
- 1/2 Part Rose Petals
Chamomile is held in high regard for its ability to gently soothe frazzled nerves and induce a good night’s sleep. Lemon balm lifts the spirits, improves memory, and helps tired brains to concentrate. The two herbs combined in a mild infusion, helps calm excitable children and relieve nervous tummy upsets.
Rose petals are traditionally used by herbalists as a remedy to lift depression, dispel mental fatigue and soothe feelings of irritability, anger and grief. Both the leaves and the petals have a wonderfully uplifting and restorative effect on the entire nervous system. Combined with the balmy scent of lavender flowers, this synergistic blend is a deeply soothing tonic which has a wonderfully relaxing effect on mind and body – perfect for those moments when you need a little help to restore vitality and balance.
It’s easy to find great suppliers who sell high-quality, dried ingredients (a shout out for your local herbalist!) However, if you’d rather buy the mix ready prepared, I’ve already made up a batch for you:
How to Make a Real Cup of Tea.
Of course, you can always use a traditional teapot to make your brew (I have a penchant for collecting tea sets – you can never have enough.) However, I find that using a coffee cafetiere or tea flask is much less faff if you’re in a hurry, or want to take your herbal tea with you on the go.
- Add one to two teaspoons of the dried herbs to your chosen vessel (you’ll need about 1 tablespoon of your herbal tea mix for every 200 ml of water.)
- Cover with freshly boiled water, allowing it to stand for a few moments before pouring over your herbs to avoid “burning” the delicate plants.
- Leave to brew for the desired time before straining and serving in pre-warmed cups.
Another way to enjoy tea is in the bath.
You may have heard of herbal teas being described as tisanes. I rather like this word as it implies that the herbs can be used intuitively both inside and out. Hot water is a wonderful lymphatic stimulant which helps to move toxicity out of the body. Taken as a bath, the medicinal properties of the herbs are absorbed by the skin (bypassing the digestive system which can dilute the phytochemicals before they’re properly absorbed,) and through the lungs, in a similar way to how essential oils are used in aromatherapy. Herbs such as Mint, Rosemary and Thyme are excellent additions to stimulating baths or facial steams to help clear congestion and blow away the cobwebs.
If you’re bored with the usual “off the shelf” herbal teas, you can browse our in house, potent, made by a real herbalist range of multipurpose blends here.