A Cup of Calm

tea leaves

Fresh non-hybrid, heirloom herbs and rose hips brew up a mighty cup of calming tea to serve in Heidi Cole-Chapman’s favorite teacup and saucer with hot steeping water kept warm in her Grandmother Eileen’s antique teapot. Photo by Heidi Cole-Chapman

By Heidi Cole-Chapman

Quiet moments are so rare around my home that, when they present themselves, I want to take full advantage of them.

In these precious few moments, I steal away to put the kettle on, grab some tea, and settle in with my daily devotional, a good book, or the company of a dear friend.

One might think that, as a Southern woman, I am accustomed only to tall, cool glasses of sweet tea (affectionately known around my Mississippi home as “syrup water”). But, this is simply not true.

My love for tea extends to the kind made of natural herbs and spices—some of which you may find right in your own backyard—that not only warm the soul, but heal the body as well.

Most of us know the benefits of chamomile. It’s soothing, relaxing, and promotes sleep. But chamomile is just the tip of the kettle when it comes to teas. There are many other teas available, all with varied healing properties and a variety of delicious tastes that, for me, only need a little local raw honey and/or some fresh squeezed lemon to enhance their natural flavor.

Below are some of my favorite wild herb teas that you might enjoy steeping, tasting, and experiencing, especially on a cold winter’s day. Or, you may want to find a helpful guide on natural or herbal remedies then pick some herbs and flowers to steep your very own natural cup of calm.

Heidi’s Favorite Herbal Teas and Their Associated Actions *

  • Chamomile – Anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, bitter, sedative, prevents vomiting
  • Dandelion Root Liver tonic, promotes bile flow, diuretic, mildly laxative, antirheumatic (Dandelion greens are great sautéed and in soups, too!)
  • Stinging Nettle – Diuretic, tonic, nutritive, circulatory stimulant, promotes milk flow, lowers blood sugar levels, prevents scurvy
  • RosemaryDigestive remedy, nervine, carminative, diuretic, promotes sweating, promotes bile flow, antidepressant, circulatory stimulant, anti-spasmodic, restorative tonic for nervous system, cardiac tonic (And smells fantastic!)
  • Rose Hips – Antidepressant, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, sedative, digestive stimulant, increases bile production, cleansing, expectorant, antibacterial, antiviral, kidney tonic, blood tonic, menstrual regulator, anti-inflammatory
  • Mint – Antispasmodic, digestive tonic, prevents vomiting, carminative, relaxes peripheral blood vessels, promotes sweating but also cooling internally, promotes bile flow, analgesic
  • Valerian Root – Tranquilizer, antispasmodic, expectorant, diuretic, lowers blood pressure, carminative, mild anodyne
  • Hawthorn Berry – Relaxes peripheral blood vessels, cardiac tonic

* Remedy references from The Complete Medicinal Herbal by Penelope Ody

About Sunnyhuckle

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There are 6 comments

  1. Sue Powers

    Great formation, having some black tea with pomegranate, purchased not harvested from wild, love so many different teas, will have to try some of these!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rebecca

    Miss Heidi, I have always wanted to make a cup of rose hip tea. I have found recipes that call for “a tablespoon or two of rose hips to one cup boiling water”, but that doesn’t help someone like me that has zero rose hip knowledge. Are we talking hips plucked right off the plant? Do you have to dry them? Do you just pop them right in your tea cup, or do you have to cut/chop/mash them first? Any particular kind of rose bush, or do they all work? Please post a “Rose Hip Tea for Dummies” recipe. Thanks!


  3. Heidi Chapman

    I have an old rose bush that leaves rose hips at summers end. I pluck them off and have used them right from the bush in a difuser/tea strainer that I set in my cup or pot.
    You can definately dry them for use at a later date.
    No need to chop anything.
    Boil water
    Pick a few rose hips (little balls left on stem)
    Place in strainer
    Pour boiling water over rose hips
    Steep for about 5 minutes or so
    Add raw honey

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rebecca

      I can do that! But does harvest time matter? We are way past “summer’s end”, in fact, I am just waiting for a nice weekend to cut back all my roses… but those overgrown-frozen-troopers are still hanging on to some hips. Could I try them now? Or would it be better to wait for a fresh batch? (Can you tell, I am really anxious to be “hip”!)
      PS. May I trouble you for directions on the rosemary tea also? I have gobs of that growing…. is it the same thing? Just cut a few inches off the branch and steep it in water? Remove the leaves first? OK to use fresh off the plant?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Shelley

    Rebecca…I’m not the expert…but I can say that I have plucked the rose hips from my spent rose bush this winter and used them. I wait for the hips to turn a reddish color before I pick and use them. As for Rosemary…I believe YES! You can pick and steep. I think you can do this with any aromatic type plant (pine, mint, etc.). Just pick and pluck in a cup! 🙂 I don’t even think with rosemary you have to remove anything…just pick stem and dunk in hot water. Heidi…let me know if I’m wrong.


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