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Monday, March 23, 2015

Our Daily Herbal Tea

For a few months now, we have each been drinking two cups of herbal tea a day. At this time, we are buying the herbs that we are using in our tea. We feel like this is a healthy addition to our diet. Here's why.




I start off with:

3 tbsp. dried dandelion root simmered in 2 quarts of water for 20 minutes. I start this time when the water is still cold. This makes a decoction.



The benefits of dandelion root include:
  • liver detoxification/tonic
  • promotes good digestion
  • good for indigestion
  • good for arthritis
  • regular use helps reduce cholesterol
  • gentle laxative
  • good for psoriasis


After the roots have simmered, I turn off the fire and add:

1 tsp. celery seed & 1 tbsp. meadowsweet, which sits and steeps for 10 minutes. Seeds, leaves and flower parts are used to make an infusion, which is the steeping process. Since the roots of the dandelion are much harder and thicker, they need to simmer to release the desired properties.

The benefits of celery seed include:
  • helps reduce high blood pressure
  • good digestive; reduces muscle spasms in the muscles of the intestinal tract
  • purifies the blood
  • helps treat arthritis
  • has anti-inflammatory properties
  • stimulates thyroid & pituitary
  • clears uric acid from painful joints
  • acts on kidneys & is a mild diuretic

The benefits of meadowsweet include:
  • antacid properties
  • astringent
  • anti-inflammatory
  • contains salicylates like aspirin
  • diuretic 
  • calming for overactive digestive system
  • helps acid stomach, heartburn, ulcers, hiatus hernia
  • helpful for rheumatism & arthritis
  • clears sandy deposits in urine





This information has been compiled from several of my herbal books. Not everyone agrees with the effectiveness of herbs upon the body. You will have to do your own research and decide for yourself what is right for you.


Last year we began harvesting and replanting dandelion seed in the herb bed, just for this tea. I know many people see them as the bane of a beautiful lawn. Every time I see them I think of the benefits they are providing our bodies. We will continue to harvest the seeds and spread them all over the herb bed. They are already up and blooming this year, so it won't be long before the seeds are ready. Now I need to learn how to harvest and dry the roots for our tea, as well as start incorporating some of the greens in our diet.

May 2014


I have one meadowsweet plant established (I think, I haven't seen it yet this spring) and need to add many more to provide the amount we are currently using. 




October 2014, over wintered and is coming back out now

Celery seed may be a whole new challenge. I think I will do some more research and see if I can dry the leaves and/or stalks to use in the tea. It would be much easier for us to produce the plants than the seeds. My other research will include celeriac to see if it contains the same beneficial constituents as celery.

The lemon balm is just starting to come out now.
June 2014






We have some other things growing in the herb bed that I will be adding to a tea blend of our own. These ingredients will be chosen for the beneficial characteristics they have, as well as compatibility with other herbs. Lemon balm and peppermint are on the list for now. If I can get a good crop of chamomile and echinacea, I will add them as well. We're trying to cut down on the amount of herbs we buy, because we would rather consume those we can grow and harvest 
Peppermint, May 2014
ourselves. I still have a lot of learning to do when it comes to growing herbs, harvesting them at the appropriate time, dehydrating to retain the most benefit, and usage. This is another dream come true. I have wanted to be able to grow and use herbs for many, many years. Now I am starting down that path, and it's wonderful.

This is just one more way Frank and I are trying to reclaim our bodies from the effects of the chemicals we are bombarded with everyday. I am grateful we still have the peace and freedom to do so. The more I can learn now, the better off we will be if it ever comes down to having to make do with what we know, have and can do. I pray it doesn't reach that point, but it sure looks that way more and more every day. Learn something important this week that will benefit your family should times get hard. It's critical.

Until next time - Fern

19 comments:

  1. Come on over and get all the dandelions you want. We live in a sea of them. A sea of yellow flowers in the pastures.

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    1. I think it's a bit far, Tewshooz...... But it sounds like you can have all of the greens and tea you want. Good for you.

      Fern

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  2. I have added some tea-able herbs to the garden, the mint and lemon balm are easy, I do get a little nervous when putting together herbs and the rx's, take it slow and watch for side effects - but it is so rewarding to have it there in the garden!

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    1. I agree, Kathy, caution needs to be applied when trying new medicinal herbs in all cases. We're lucky to have a doctor that will recommend vitamins or supplements instead of prescriptions. We also let him know about the herbs we are taking or drinking. And, yes, it is wonderful to have these things growing out in the garden. Thank you for sharing.

      Fern

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  3. My son went and dug some dandelion and cleaned it ,bake it till dry and ground it and made coffee tasted like coffee.. I am into leaning about herbs for cooking and medicines, thank you for sharing...

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    1. There are so many sources for learning about herbs, Deborah. Books, videos, online companies, blogs, the possibilities are endless. And I could never learn everything I would like to when it comes to herbs. Just keep on learning. I know I will. Thank you for sharing.

      Fern

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  4. Over at the Deliberate Agrarian, he has several posts on dandelion tea and how he prepares the roots for tea. I'm looking forward to trying some soon.

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    1. Yes, he does, Mare. I read one recently on harvesting, drying, roasting and making tea. It was very informative. We have the Deliberate Agrarian on our blogroll if anyone wants to go over there to check it out. Thank you for sharing.

      Fern

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  5. Thanks so much for your blog. I can't say that often enough. I always learn so much. I do have a question - does it have to be peppermint or will any mint do? SJ in Vancouver BC

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    1. SJ, you are very welcome.

      I don't know if it has to be peppermint. That would take some more research. There are so many different kinds of mint and I don't know if they have differing therapeutic effects. Thank you for the question, even though I don't have an answer. Maybe one of the readers will know.

      Fern

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  6. As children my mother always made Dandelion salad in the early spring. It was made with the new shoots and the pale roots. They came up in the summer fallow farm fields and helping pick them was something we did as children that made us feel like we were really farm help!.

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    1. We haven't started having the greens in salads...yet, Fiona. But we will. Thank you for sharing your memories. It's important to know what worked in the past.

      Fern

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  7. Thanks for the recipe! I want to use more dandelion this spring. We have Motherwort that grows wild here and I like to dry it and add equal amounts of dried mint to make a soothing tea. I believe dried passionflowers and leaves have the same affect in a tea as well.

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    1. You're welcome, Dr. Now you've made me go and look up Motherwort. Thank you! I don't think I've seen any around here, but I will keep an eye out for it now. We have passionflowers growing wild, though. Thank you for sharing.

      Fern

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  8. Oh, and I see Chickweed growing there w/the dandelion in the shot above! Yum, FREE food & medicine! ~Sassafras

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    1. I'm not sure if that's chickweed, Sassafras. I will have to take a closer look. But you're right, there are so many things there for the picking. Thank you for sharing.

      Fern

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  9. Fern, I grow celery in a pot on my kitchen counter. They grow fabulously with excellent flavor. Would that work for your tea?

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    1. Good question. And the answer is, I don't know. I will have to look into that one. Thank you for the idea.

      Fern

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  10. Very informative blog. I was searching for something like this. your blog helped me a lot. Thank you so much for sharing. Natural Sleep Aid

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