August 4

5 must-try homemade herbal tea recipes

I believe that a cup of tea can cure just about anything.

And in some cultures, it does just that.

Herbal teas have been used for thousands of years by many cultures as medicine, muti and preventative remedies.

Nowadays, herbal teas come conveniently packaged and readily available from any store. But on closer inspection, many of them contain artificial flavourings and additives. So although they may taste nice, they are not very beneficial for health.

Homemade herbal teas are a much better alternative and are so easy to make. Just remember: It is always best to make these teas fresh and avoid reheating them.

Here are 5 must-try herbal tea recipes to try at home.

Tea to support digestion

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • Half a teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 2 – 3 pinches of ground ginger
  • A pinch of rock salt

Boil 1 cup of water in a pot. Add the spices and salt. Bring the water to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the tea and pour into a cup. Drink it hot 30 – 45 minutes before a meal.

Tea for a cold/sore throat

  • 1 – 2 cups of water
  • 1 spring onion (don’t knock it till you have tried it)
  • A 2cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped, or 2 – 3 pinches of ground ginger
  • Half a teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • A pinch of rock salt
  • A teaspoon of honey

Boil the water in a pot. Add all the ingredients except the honey. Turn the heat down and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the tea to infuse for a further 5 minutes. Strain the tea then add the honey. Drink it as hot as you can handle it.

Did you know?
The honey must never be heated on a stove or microwave, as heated honey is considered toxic (very hard to digest and changes form) in Ayurveda.

Turmeric tea for a good nights sleep (aka Golden Milk)

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • A sprinkle of ground black pepper
  • A dab of ghee (ghee is clarified butter and found at most supermarkets. If you do not have ghee, use butter)
  • Sugar/honey to taste

Place the milk in a saucepan over low heat and bring to a gentle boil. Add all ingredients except the honey or sugar. Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not let the milk burn or boil over. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool to a warm, drinkable temperature. Strain and pour into a cup and then add honey or sugar to taste. Serve warm just before going to bed. Or better yet, drink it while in bed.

Cooling tea for summer

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

Boil 4 cups of water in a pot. Add the spices and simmer gently until the water has reduced by half. Turn off the heat and allow the tea to infuse for another 5-10 minutes. Strain the mixture. Pour into a cup and enjoy hot or at room temperature.

Authentic Indian Masala Chai

  • 1 cup of water
  • 4-5 cardamom pods, crushed
  • Half a teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • A 2cm piece of fresh ginger finely chopped or 2 – 3 pinches of ground ginger
  • 3-4 cloves or half a teaspoon ground cloves
  • A teaspoon of black tea (5 Roses) or a teaspoon of ground coffee (for a caffeine-free option, use Rooibos tea)
  • 1 cinnamon quill or half a teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Sugar/honey to taste

Boil 1 cup of water in a pot. Add the spices, but not the honey, and the tea or coffee. Bring the water to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes on a gentle heat. Add in the milk and then turn off the heat. Allow the spices to infuse for another 5 minutes. Strain the tea. Pour into a cup and add the honey or sugar to taste.

Did you know?
Chai in India is simply tea and referred to by the locals as masala chai.
Chai tea, therefore, translates into Tea tea.

There is a philosophy from an ancient culture that believes emotions seep into the food when preparing it. That could explain why a cup of tea made with love tastes so much better.

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