speedster7926
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tea herbs

im just starting to make my own herb tea but im very picky when i drink tea i like it full of flavor and not water with a hint of something so right now since we don't have a lot of herbs we use some mint and some peppermint tea bags and some lemon juice w/ some ginger. what herbs can i grow that taste great and full of flavor?
Thanks for all the help and advice Daniel G.

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digitS'
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Daniel, I am particularly fond of lemon verbena and anise hyssop.

Also, I am very happy to be able to grow these here. The lemon verbena has to stay on the floor of the greenhouse through the winter. I don't turn the heat on until March. You should have no hardiness problem.

Anise hyssop grows in my vegetable garden. I've allowed a few plants to reseed themselves each year. They do this so well that even after the tractor guy tills the garden, there are volunteers. My job is just to make sure they are where they can grow thru the season. And, I've got to get them harvested (most of them) before they fully bloom.

At just about equal amounts for tea, they are a great combination!

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rainbowgardener
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Those are some of my favorites too. Here's a thread where I posted some herbal tea recipes and tea herbs I like to grow:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=128195&highlight=herbal+tea+recipes#128195

There's an absolutely wonderful spiced anise tea made with 4 parts anise hyssop to 1 part each of cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla bean. So fragrant and flavorful, it makes your mouth water just to smell it.

Lavender is lovely in tea blends with mint or chamomile or lemon balm (or lemon verbena - I only grow the lemon balm because lemon verbena isn't hardy in my climate).
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ozark_rocks
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Oswego a member of the mint family,is a good one. I don't grow it, but gather it from the wild, it grows in ditches around here.Chocalate mint is good in coffee.

Some more "teas" I like, but are not herbs, are spice bush and sassafras.

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soil
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don't forget chamomile, nothing like fresh picked chamomile tea.
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u might also think of trying jasmine or lavender...very fragrant and tasty teas!

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Re: tea herbs

speedster7926 wrote:im just starting to make my own herb tea but im very picky when i drink tea i like it full of flavor and not water with a hint of something so right now since we don't have a lot of herbs we use some mint and some peppermint tea bags and some lemon juice w/ some ginger. what herbs can i grow that taste great and full of flavor?
I have grown applemint (which is very fragrant and supposedly good in tea, I haven't tried it yet), also melissa/ lemon balm is very good by itself or added to black tea, both are mints and therefore grow very well!!!

Chamomile is a great tea (a personal favorite), but I couldn't get it to grow last year, but I'm trying again this year.

Spearmint is a good one as well. Echinacea tastes pretty good too!

I am more versed in medicinal teas, so ones just to drink for pleasure aren't really a big deal (just a plus when you need a medicinal tea and it tastes good too).

Hope this helps ;)

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Vorguen
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I love tea, I'm hoping to grow my own soon :)

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applestar
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ozark_rocks wrote:Oswego a member of the mint family,is a good one. I don't grow it, but gather it from the wild, it grows in ditches around here.Chocalate mint is good in coffee.

Some more "teas" I like, but are not herbs, are spice bush and sassafras.
Oswego is basically same as beebalm. I have named cultivars Jacob Kline and Coral something. They are mildew resistant. I use the flowers too.

What part of spice bush do you use Ozark_rocks? I have a still small one only 2 feet tall.

I can add Pineapple Sage. I think my NJ Tea shrubs will be ready to harvest this year. Waiting for Carolina Allspice to grow up some more, and I have a tiny Camelia sinensis var sinensis that was planted last year and appears to have managed to survive the winter outside (no harvesting this year).

Some time in the winter, Lorax posted that you can use the foliage of ginger grown from store-bought fresh ginger root. I've been using small amounts from the overwintering Ginger and she's right. Yum!

Oh and definitely add Stevia to the list if you want flavor in addition to fragrance.

P.S. I have all the herbs that have been mentioned so far :wink:

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ozark_rocks
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What part of spice bush do you use Ozark_rocks? I have a still small one only 2 feet tall

Applestar, I use the leaves, and small twigs. Throw a handful in 4 cups boiling water, turn off the heat and let seep 10 minuets,strain, add honey then enjoy. You can use more or less leaves for desired intensity. The leaves can be used fresh or dried. This year I plan to try Stevia with it.

"My" spice bush is by the swimming hole/ fishing hole on the river. Every year I harvest, leaves and berries from it. When I'm fishing I break off a twig to chew.After years of threatening to dig one up and bring it home, I bought two this spring that are only one foot tall. If the wild ones are any indication, they won't produce berries till they are about waist high.

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Sounds good! My little shrub is just starting to leaf out. Can't wait to try it!

Have you thought about taking cuttings from the wild shrub? Location aside, they may not have the same flavor. Early summer is usually a good time to start most semi woody cuttings.

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ozark_rocks
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applestar wrote:Sounds good! My little shrub is just starting to leaf out. Can't wait to try it!

Have you thought about taking cuttings from the wild shrub? Location aside, they may not have the same flavor. Early summer is usually a good time to start most semi woody cuttings.

Yes, but for some reason have never gotten around to it. I will blame it on the kids.Taking all the neighorhood kids to the river is distracting. :D I'd also thought of bending branchs to the ground, and weighting them down without breaking, covering with dirt, and leaving till next year, to see if they would root. But for some reason have never got around to it :oops: . Not sure what you call starting plants that way, but it works well on some .[/img]

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Yep. It's called "Layering" or "Ground Layering" to distinguish from "Air Layering". I've been successful with Blueberries and Azalea so far. If you can be sure to find it again (Placing a rock or a brick over the buried part is what was recommended to me) it's a sure fire way to propagate.

You don't want to break off completely but scraping the bark on lower side to expose the cambium or snapping without severing is a good way to get them started.

With the blueberry at least, I needed to protect the tender young branch from being nibbled by rabbits over the winter.

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Teas

I am growing my own teas this year! I like the various mints for tea and in coffee. I also have hibiscus, bee balm and many, many others. I am growing some stevia seedlings and hope to be able to add stevia to my teas, as well.

It's a new path for me in gardening! I'm excited about it!

speedster7926
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ok so i have these herbs growing : pineapple mint, sweet mint, peppermint, lavender, bee balm, lemon thyme, and chamomile growing i got a few questions. #1 I was told not to use the thyme cause it is a cooking herb and would not taste good in tea is that true? #2 w/ chamomile do i use the leaves or flowers and what do i need to do w/ it to dry it just like the rest?
Thanks for all the help and advice Daniel G.

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speedster7926 wrote:ok so i have these herbs growing : pineapple mint, sweet mint, peppermint, lavender, bee balm, lemon thyme, and chamomile growing i got a few questions. #1 I was told not to use the thyme cause it is a cooking herb and would not taste good in tea is that true? #2 w/ chamomile do i use the leaves or flowers and what do i need to do w/ it to dry it just like the rest?
Thyme can be made into a tea, whether or not it tastes good I don't know (I have only used the tea in my hair...it makes a good natural rinse) and I don't really know that it matters, especially if you are taking it for health (medicinal) purposes. But, I think if you used Lemon Thyme it would actually taste pretty good ;)

Chamomile tea is made from the flowers (and this does taste good!!!), and yes you can dry it like the rest...I dry mine by cutting a good bit of stem and then hanging the flowers upside down, or I take an egg carton (one of the cardboard types) and place the heads in the little holes and let it dry 2-5 weeks.

speedster7926
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i always thought that if it blooms then it will die back is this not true for the chamomile? and ty for the help w/ this
Thanks for all the help and advice Daniel G.

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I didn't know you could make tea from hibiscus. Do you use the flowers or the leaves?

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Runningtrails
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hibiscus tea

I use the flower petals.
I missed this when reading before. Sorry for the delay.

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Has anyone heard of using the leaves of Geranium? My landlord gave me two lovely pots of it and said she used it all the time to make tea. I think I'll try it.
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Hibiscus tea is very healthy, its one of our favorites. It contains vit. C. It is sour so you need to add a sweetener. It is said to also lower blood pressure. I buy mine at the Mexican markets but we are looking for a bush that is hardy in our zone 4.
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I love dried chamomile flowers with a slice of orange (or lemon) and a bit of ginger brewed in a pot for about 5-10 mins. Always best to add more water for a second cup as the orange and ginger take a bit longer to brew.
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rainbowgardener
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klevelyn wrote:Hibiscus tea is very healthy, its one of our favorites. It contains vit. C. It is sour so you need to add a sweetener. It is said to also lower blood pressure. I buy mine at the Mexican markets but we are looking for a bush that is hardy in our zone 4.
(Sorry I missed this post before) True hibiscus is tropical, but Rose of Sharon is in the hibiscus family and is also edible and can be used for teas. It is listed as hardy to zone 5, but that suggests that if you can find a protected spot for it like near a sunny south facing wall, it might well make it for you in zone 4. Just give it a lot of winter protection. In these days of mild winters, it seems worth a try if you really like hibiscus.
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Check out this website: https://www.seedman.com/herbtea.htm

It's pretty neat!

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Thanks for the link, I like it. I find it interesting that they have sweet cicely, which is very difficult to find. I have never seen it listed as a tea herb, but I have looked for it for my native plants hill side and haven't found it.
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It's not an herb, but this seems like the best place to post this :wink:

Right now, my very flavorful Enterprise apple is in the dropping almost ripe fruits for no apparent reason or "because the squirrels or chipmunks gnawed on them and knocked them off :evil: " phase. Being thrifty/cheap I usually pick them up, cut away inedible portions and use the good parts -- often as much as 90% of the fruit is perfecty fine.:roll:

In the process of cleaning up, I go through two stages -- scrub/wash, cut away bad parts, rinse and bring inside. And cut away browned parts and process, putting them in salt (or lemon) water to keep from browning.

I was making a pie that required a 1 gal pail of apples to be peeled and sliced and couldn't bear to compost the thickly pared peelings (I have an injured finger right now that makes the operation difficult -- normally I can peel paper thin skin :P ). So, I sprinkled the sliced off browned parts and peels with ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom and dried them, then crushed them into smaller pieces.

So far, I've added them to my mixed herb tea blend (I have a canister in which I just toss in random tea herbs as the container is depleted) and also ground a French Roast beans and and light roast coffee beans blend with the dried apple peels and chips + a small amount of brown sugar.

YUM both ways! :-()

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apple cinnamon coffee? sounds interesting, I guess. I'm not a coffee drinker at all, so I don't really know. But the apple cinnamon tea blends sounds yummy. I will remember that one -- even though I don't have an apple tree, we sometimes do have store apples that sit around a little too long. Thanks as so often for all your creative ideas! :) :)
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Applestar, I went back and read the first page of this thread, which I hadn't done in a long time and noticed your mention of Carolina allspice. I have a big thriving Carolina allspice shrub, but I've never used any of it. What do you do with it? Thanks RBG
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I also love lemon verbena -so tasty, especially if made from fresh plant. I also love raspberry and blackberry leaves, borage leaves and blooming tops, I add some calendula flowers too(not much of the taste on their own, but good in mix. If I feel like something stronger tasting I use rosemary sprig in the tea. Thyme is very delicious. If you want healing properties, then use 1 tablespoon dried or 2 tablespoons fresh per cup, if for fun, less -to taste.
I don't grow licorice root, but I have some and add a bit sometimes to my tea -makes tea sweet, and increases other herbs medicinal properties.
Hmmm, maybe I could raise licorice. Does it grow in zone 10?

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Re: tea herbs

Wow it has been a while since i have been on here. Thank you for all the comments on this post and i have accumulated some herbs to make tea out of but when i am using the herbs do any or all need to be dried or can i use my frozen herbs? Also when using flowers do they need to be dried or can i use these fresh?
Thanks for all the help and advice Daniel G.

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Re: tea herbs

My guess is that they will simply taste different.

I have decided that I really don't care for fresh catnip, for example. The flavor seems quite different, and better to me, if it is dried.

It wasn't until just a couple of years ago that I tried any herb frozen. I now prefer those anise hyssop and lemon verbena leaves from the freezer.

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Re: tea herbs

I use most everything dried, for teas, partly because that way you can keep them for later use. When I have fresh mint leaves in summer, I may use those for mint tea/ iced tea/ lemonade / mojitos, etc. I also cook with fresh basil, oregano, etc leaves. Drying concentrates the essences, so when using fresh leaves you need to use more.
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Re: tea herbs

anyone here grow ashitaba? i have one but i don't know how to prepare tea out of it :D

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Re:

Barefoot Herbalist wrote:
speedster7926 wrote:ok so i have these herbs growing : pineapple mint, sweet mint, peppermint, lavender, bee balm, lemon thyme, and chamomile growing i got a few questions. #1 I was told not to use the thyme cause it is a cooking herb and would not taste good in tea is that true? #2 w/ chamomile do i use the leaves or flowers and what do i need to do w/ it to dry it just like the rest?
Thyme can be made into a tea, whether or not it tastes good I don't know (I have only used the tea in my hair...it makes a good natural rinse) and I don't really know that it matters, especially if you are taking it for health (medicinal) purposes. But, I think if you used Lemon Thyme it would actually pretty good
Definitely. My grand daughter is always chopping up herbs and making her own pretend concoctions.
I suggested she look up how to make an actual herbal tea. She made thyme/lavender tea by removing thyme leaves and lavender petals, steeping in a container of very warm water and covering it, then straining mixture.
Added a bit of honey for my sweet tooth. Within a half hour my ear that had been plugged for a couple weeks crackled and cleared. Then she read that thyme clears passageways!
Maybe a coincidence, maybe not. I keep drinking a cup every day or so.

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Re: tea herbs

Other things can also be made into tea. ginger can be added to give a different flavor to tea. Plantation tea has pineapple in it. There are also the medicinal teas like kava which is good if you want help to get to sleep, Turmeric, is medicinal and I don't like it by itself but it is good in combination with other herbs. Lemon, orange, passion fruit, raspberry, and probably some other fruit juice, and zest can be added to spice up teas. Speaking of spice cinnamon sticks can also be added to the mix in sun tea.
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Re: tea herbs

On page 1 of this thread I put a link to a different thread where I posted a bunch of herbal tea recipes. I make lots of herbal tea blends. I rarely use any herb alone in tea. Sage is another good healing herb and sage teas are nice against coughs and colds. I would use it with lemon balm, lemon zest, thyme, honey.

Most of my herbal tea recipes have other things besides my herbs in with them for flavorings - cloves, cinnamon, vanilla bean, bits of dried apricot, etc.
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speedster7926
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Re: tea herbs

I was looking for a thread fRom a few Months ago that I read and I can't find it now. It was a plant I'd question and it ended up being a passion fruit flower. Someone made the comment that you can steep the flowers and make tea out of them. Is this true?
Thanks for all the help and advice Daniel G.

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Re: tea herbs

The North American native passion flower "Passiflora Incarnate" also called "Maypop" or "Apricot vine" is a wild vine with purple fringed flowers and five lobed leaves. The leaves and flowers are used to make a herbal remedy for easing anxiety and insomnia, also for digestive problems. All parts of the "Passiflora Incarnata" are used medicinally and one can also eat its fruits. It has a calming herb like that of valerian and the California poppy.

Being a perennial vine it grows wild in the southeastern parts of the U. S. as far north as Virginia and far west as southeast Kansas.

One should not use the ornamental blue passionflower, those in home flower gardens "Passiflora Coerula" for these contain toxic compounds.

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Re: tea herbs

Good response! Welcome back! haven't seen you around here for awhile. ...
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Re: tea herbs

Its always good to add cardamom to the tea for taste. I used to use a herbal blend which includes cardamom and pepper along with green tea.But if green tea is not available, you could use black tea.Herbal blends said to add medicinal value to the tea along with the taste.

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