Having grown up in a typical South Asian home, where grandmother and mother found a solution for every problem and ailment within the bounds of kitchen and pantry, I became a staunch believer that the kitchen cabinet is actually an alchemist’s cupboard.

Of all the magic concoctions that can be created at home, using herbs, spices and everyday kitchen staples, herbal teas are my favourite. These simple infusions are so delicious that you will want to drink them often just to enjoy them, and also they are so beneficial in a number of minor ailments that you will find yourself constantly returning to them. These are a few that I can vouch for, as I have used them again and again over the years with positive results each time.

Ginger And Honey Tea :

With the first feel of the change in weather or the first sneeze in the house, we start making this tea regularly. I try my best not to jump to antibiotics unless it’s absolutely unavoidable. All the ingredients used in this tea have their own natural medicinal qualities and when they are combined, they create a calming and relaxing tea that can ease symptoms and boost your immune system.

You must have heard a lot about ginger and honey tea and its benefits for cold and cough. Ginger aids in expanding your lungs and loosening up phlegm because it is a natural expectorant that breaks down and removes mucus.. That way you can quickly recover from difficulty in breathing.
But the real hero in this tea is black peppercorn. Pepper is a natural decongestant, it contains chemicals that irritate your mucus membranes, making them produce a thinner, more watery mucus which helps clear out your nasal passages. Also it’s has great anti inflammatory and antibiotic properties. It soothes the swelling in the respiratory tract and if taken before cold and cough begins, it might actually save you from falling a prey to it. Works great for digestive disorders too.

For Ginger And Honey Tea :

2 cups water
1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled
1 tablespoon honey ( or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

This Is What You Do :

Bring the water to boil, add ginger and black peppercorns.

Reduce the heat to a simmer, cook covered for 2-3 minutes.

Turn off the heat, allow the flavours of ginger and pepper to infuse in water for 5-6 minutes.

Strain. Stir in honey.

Drink hot to warm at least twice a day. Can give kids 2-3 tablespoons full at regular intervals if they are not willing to drink a whole big cup.

Mint And Fennel Tea :

This is something my father used to make whenever I had nausea or stomach ache as a child and I can’t remember a single time when it didn’t work wonders for my appetite. Even the very aroma is good to calm down nausea and the sour from pomegranate seeds gives it a very pleasant flavour.

The ancients held fennel in high esteem and believed it to be a safe-guarding plant that absorbs the toxins from the body. In the Indian subcontinent dried fennel seeds are incredibly popular as an aid to digestion and have been used for this purpose for centuries. A small amount of the seeds are commonly chewed after a meal, both to freshen the breath and to stimulate digestion.

The same way mint is a calming and soothing herb that is used to aid with upset stomach or indigestion. Mint is thought to improve the flow of bile through the stomach, which helps to speed and ease digestion. The aroma of mint activates the salivary glands in our mouth as well as glands which secrete digestive enzymes, resulting in improved appetite.

Pomegranate helps to secrete enzymes with anti-bacterial properties that aid digestion and help to fight off haemorrhoids, nausea, dysentery, intestinal parasites, piles and diarrhoea. You can also use pomegranate juice as a laxative to treat constipation.

Take a few small sips at first to settle nausea/vomiting repeatedly. Even after the nausea stops, continue to take 1/4 to 1/2 cup 2-3 times a day to improve appetite.

For Mint And Fennel Tea :

2 cups water
A small bunch of mint leaves
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon dried pomegranate seeds or lemon juice

This Is What You Do :

Bring the water to boil, add pomegranate and fennel seeds.

Reduce temperature to a simmer, cook for 2-3 minutes covered.

Turn off heat, drop in the mint leaves, let the flavours infuse for 5-6 minutes.

Strain and drink warm, room temperature or even chilled as cold tea.

Orange cinnamon Tea :

This one is my favourite when oranges are in season. A cup of this soothing concoction is a must before going to bed. The very aroma of cinnamon is very calming. Not only it strengthens the immune system
helps lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, it actually helps relax the senses, reduces headache and induces sleep. When oranges are not in season, I use lemon juice instead.

For Orange Cinnamon Tea :

2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon Chinese green tea or jasmine tea leaves
1 big stick cinnamon
1 orange ( or one lemon in off season)

This Is What You Do :

Boil water with cinnamon.

Turn off the heat. Add green tea leaves.

Let the tea brew for 2 minutes.

Pour in cups, squeeze half an orange juice in each cup.

Drink Hot or cold.

Tips :
* To obtain the flavour that you prefer, you can experiment with the quantities and the length of preparation time.
* To make a stronger tea, it is better to add more herb than to steep the tea for a longer time, as longer steeping can make the taste bitter and unpleasant.

3 Replies to “Herbal Teas”

  1. HI Maria… no words to thank you for the yummy receipie s u r posting. Tks to sally… through her i came to knw abt ur receipie s. N Herbal teas r a treat… tks … hope to learn from you more yummy dishes… if u can share with yummy chocolate cake nd cheese cake receipie s.. will be very grateful.. tks
    Happy cooking n baking.. God bless u.. have a blessed day..Teresa

    1. Thank you so much dear Teresa for taking the time to stop by and also for your kind words 🙂 Will definitely try to post chocolate and cheese cake recipes very soon 🙂 Hope you’ll enjoy and benefit from some of the herbal teas 🙂

    2. Thanks a million for your sweet words, Teresa 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the post and the herbal teas 🙂 I’ll try to give the recipes for chocolate cake and cheese cake very soon 🙂 xx

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