Herbal Tea Love

IMG_2855.jpgI’m sitting here on a chilly winter day.  Our house has been hit by the common cold, I guess it had to happen sometime! Two of four of us are down for the count with congested sinuses, coughing fits and general overall aches and fatigue.  The other two (I’m happy to be in this camp) are just passing out the tissues, making some nourishing soups and trying to stay healthy.

Lately, in an effort to drink more water, I have been making different combinations of herbal teas.  I have discovered that making my own is a lot more affordable, I have the added benefit of using herbs that my body needs, AND I can add flavourings that I really enjoy.  These teas are being enjoyed by us adults but also by my kids.

Today I created a tea that is supportive of the respiratory system, liquifying the thick mucous that has taken up residence, making breathing a little easier.  Drinking warm liquids is excellent in the winter – our bodies need warmth when the temperatures dip.  Warm herbal tea is just what the body needs while the immune system is battling illness, and the herbs that I selected can support the work that the immune system is doing.
My respiratory tea has the following herbs, in differing ratios depending on the action of the herb itself (what the herb does for the body):

  • Muellin – Muellin is a great herb for the upper respiratory tract.  Similar to flax or slippery elm, muellin is a demulcent or mucilaginous plant meaning that it is soothing to the throat.  Muellin is a natural expectorant, liquifying stubborn mucous and stimulating the body to cough it out.
  • Elder Flower – Helpful for colds, cough, respiratory infections and congestion.IMG_2848
  • Oatstraw – Oatstraw is rich in calcium and magnesium.  It is a great way to add minerals to the diet and helps with fatigue.  (It is a great addition while making stock as well to up the nutrient content of your broth).
  • Lemon Balm, Passion Flower and Lavender – In addition to other benefits, I added these three for their calming effects and their ability to promote a restful sleep.  They add a beautiful taste and aroma to the tea.
  • Chamomile – Calming, soothing and relaxing.
  • Licorice Root – Licorice root has a long list of medicinal benefits, including being very soothing to the respiratory tract, however for this tea I added it for its sweetness.

Use a tablespoon of herbs for every cup of boiling water.  The longer the tea steeps, the more powerful the tea will be.  Always steep with a cover, so that you don’t lose the medicinal qualities.  Prior to getting my sexy new teapot with a beautiful filter, we would just add the herbs to a pot or cup, steep and then pour the whole thing through a coffee filter sitting in a strainer into another cup.

If you are making the tea for kids, they can be VERY picky when they see any tiny bit of herbs in the cup!!  Filtering is not required of course, however getting bits of sticks in your teeth isn’t all that pleasant.  For this tea, I added just about a teaspoon of honey to 4 cups of water and 4 tablespoons of herbs.  Honey makes it more palatable for kids.

I have started to make some teas for clients including: Immune Building Tea; Relaxing Blend; Cold Support; and Blood Sugar Balancing Blend.  If you would like to order some tea, send me a message at paula@paulaporternutrition.com.  You will receive a 160z mason jar filled with the herbal tea of your choice for $10.  This is enough tea for about 24 cups of tea.  All herbs used are certified organic.

Stay warm, stay healthy and drink some tea!