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
- Rosemary – Digestive 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