Herbal Teas For Busy People

Herbal Teas For Busy People

Herbal Teas Made Easy

From promoting relaxation to boosting the immune system and kick-starting the day, the potential benefits of herbal tea are almost as numerous as there are varieties to try.

Indeed, in Agatha Christie’s Poirot books, the Belgian detective would often attribute the sharpness of his ‘leetul grey cells’ to his herbal infusion or tisane.

Herbal tea is an infusion made from any other plant apart from the leaves of Camellia sinesis, the bush from which we get the green, white and traditional black tea that we are all familiar with.

Since ancient times, the traditional Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies have included specific gestures, rituals and implements to mark social rank, significant life events, celebrations and rights of passage. Even the UK’s own tradition of afternoon tea owes something to the beverage’s Eastern heritage. But just as nowadays we have little time for the highly enjoyable practice of ‘high tea’, herbal teas needn’t be difficult or time-consuming.

In fact, with a little preparation and practice, we can enjoy the benefits of herbs with minimum of fuss. In no time, you’ll be enjoying Nettle (high in iron), Peppermint (great for digestion) or Borage (wonderfully relaxing) as regularly as your regular brew of ‘builder’s tea’.

Though woodier herbs (Ashwaganda or Ginseng root, for example) may require to be simmered in a saucepan on a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, the majority of herbs are easily taken as an infusion in boiling water.

Simply put one or two teaspoonsful of the herb into a teaball (a small mesh or perforated metal container; in the Victorian era no home would be without one!), pop into your favourite cup and pour on the water. Cover and leave for 5 to 10 minutes, remove the teaball and enjoy. Most herbal teas, apart from red bush – the South African tea beloved by Alexander McCall Smith’s No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – are drunk without milk, but you may add some honey or sugar to taste.

An alternative to the teaball is the empty teabag. You could even prefill some and pop them in your lunchbox to have throughout the day at work. T-sac’s range of empty teabags are made from unbleached paper and can be composted after use. Ranging from Size 1 for a single cup to Size 4 for a large, 12-cup teapot, the paper used is considerably finer than coffee filters, allowing as much of the flavour and qualities of the herb to end up in your brew.

Herbal teas can also be used as a compress for specific ailments, so don’t worry if you don’t drink it all up – it won’t go to waste!