Who doesn't love a nice hot cup of tea at the end of a long, productive day? Or during warm days, a nice iced herbal tea sweetened with honey?
I know I do, but part of the soothing and self-caring process is, for me, growing the plants I use to later steep into gorgeous teas. There's something so wonderful about knowing what I'm putting into my body not only is entirely organic, but was nurtured, coaxed and grown by my own hands.
The best part is that it isn't hard (at all!) to grow your own plants for tea. What plants you grow will depend upon your personal taste in teas, as well as space considerations. Many of these can go into individual planters/pots; a few grow larger (including as bushes). Experiment with what you have room for and what you like the taste of, and then get growing!
Here are my favorite plants for teas:
Mint is mentally calming and soothing, and also aids digestion. The flavor is wonderful; most people like mint. Give it a try. Mint likes sun but will tolerate some shade and usually grows to a maximum height of 1-2 feet.
Rose hip tea is slightly tangy, reminiscent of cranberries (mmm!). Rose hips deliver a whopping dose of Vitamin C and are said to be positive for women's reproductive issues. (I can't vouch for that aspect personally, so do your homework.) Rose hips are grown as a bush, so make sure you have the room.
Chamomile is famous for its relaxing properties. It's the ideal end of the night, grab-your-favorite-book tea. Chamomile typically grows to a height of 2' or shorter; seedlings should be planted 6" apart or approximately two to a planter.
Echinacea (purple coneflower) is not only healthy - it's reported to boost the immune system - it's also beautiful, so use these little purple flowering plants along your walkway or in your garden for looks as well as function (dried and steeped as a healthy tea).
Here's another tea plant that pulls double-duty. Passionflower vines are perfect for an arbor, archway or trellis because they're eye-grabbing and truly add beauty to your garden. Passionflower leaves will make you sleepy (and have traditionally been used in teas and other preparations for just this purpose). Be careful with this or any plant or substance that causes sleepiness.
Believe it or not, this pretty flowering plant is where gin and vermouth come from. Angelica is an herb and is closely related to carrots and parsley. The root is used in teas to aid digestion. Give this plant room - it grows up to 4-6' in height.
Lavender is so lovely in little pots all around your house (both inside and out), and the aroma is relaxing all by itself. It has a calming effect when used in teas.
Reprinted from organicgardeningmuse.com.
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