Tea: Take Two-growing and harvesting

Hello! Welcome Spring! Do you find yourself with an extra bounce in your step, as the sun is shining more and the flowers are blooming!?

In the last blog we talked about various aspects of drinking tea. This week I asked my sister, Master Herbalist, Kathryn Tapio, what her three favorite teas/plants were, and also if she could tell us something about growing them and their medicinal benefits. True to form, she came through with flying colors! I’m not sure what that means, but my mom always said that when someone delivered in a magnificent way!

Here are Kathryn’s faves:

My all-time favorite herb has to be peppermint. It cleanses and nourishes the whole body. I have mine corralled (good country folk farm talk right there!) right outside my kitchen door between the house and the sidewalk. Most days of the growing season we have a green shake in the evening, we usually include mint. I fill my colander with herbs, rinse them well and stuff them into my Vitamix. I fill the Vitamix about half full of cold water and blend. I’ll let it sit a few minutes to extract the goodness of the herbs into the water. Then, I scoop out the foam and strain it with a metal strainer into a half gallon jar. I top the jar off with cold water and enjoy—it is cooling and so refreshing!!

If we’re talking nutritious greens, dandelions top the list. Dandelion is a European herb that has naturalized here in the United States. The European settlers brought it with them and tended it in gardens. So, last year, I had my three dandelion plants by the lawn shed. They provided me with green leaves all year. Dandelion leaves are wonderful for nutrition, but also help the liver in its work. These leaves ended up in our green shakes also. Yum! So, next time you think of dandelions as “weeds,” flip the switch and gather them to include in your shake or salad!

On the more medicinal side of herbs is yarrow, Achillea mill folium. I trust it to heal me of most things that would ail me. From bleeding to bad viral infections, I have my yarrow to help. I cut and dry it and use it as a tea. It is a powerful medicine and you can drink as much as you need for a week or two. Then it needs to be stopped. It can be used one cup a day for a month for female issues. It has over 120 known constituents and is a good herb to get to know. It is nice to drink alone or mixed with peppermint.

So, there are a few medicinal herbs that can be used to make tea. Look them up, check them out and invite your friends to a healthy tea party.

One thing I like to do when I have friends over, is to ask everyone to bring one or two ingredients for salad—everyone loves it! It’s a fun, quick way to get together without the stress of “what to make” on one person’s shoulders.

Have a lovely day, drink some tea and keep pursuing your beautiful life!





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