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applestar
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Re: tea herbs

Have you done the wisteria blossom jelly before? I was recently asked by someone who keeps horses if wisteria is as "very toxic" to horses as she had heard. I looked around and found vague mentions (this is what I wrote to her) :
I didn't know that, so I looked it up -- in many articles, it's not listed among the most poisonous to horses but is mentioned in passing. ASPCA lists it as toxic to cats, dogs, and horses without much detail except diarrhea, vomiting and depression as symptoms.

This one was most informative about other plants, but only mentions wisteria seeds and pods as harmful to horses. I can't tell if this "ornamentals" page at the end of the article where wisteria is mentioned is part of the "Mechanical Injury" subsection.
https://extension.umd.edu/sites/default ... 204-14.pdf

...It was annoying not to be able to tell if the "mechanical injury" from the seeds and pods could be the cause for the "depression" mentioned in the ASPCA article -- in other words, listless.

I still don't know if there are actual, toxic compounds in wisteria, but I thought I would mention it just in case?


My redbud flower buds are is just starting to swell. Thanks for the reminder. :D
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rainbowgardener
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Re: tea herbs

No, haven't done the wisteria blossoms before. But I did check before I started. Wisteria blossoms are listed as edible. The seeds and pods when they form can be toxic.

Looking around, I found this lovely recipe for wisteria and redbud spring rolls, that I will have to try to remember for next year:

https://www.wildedible.com/blog/wildflower-spring-rolls

It not only has the recipe with a nice picture, it discusses the toxicity issue.

Wow, our season really is ahead of yours -- redbud flowers are just about done here.
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Re: tea herbs

Lemon leaf as tea flavor herb —

I admit it — I’m a bit of a tea snob. I like having a selection of teas to choose from depending on my mood or what I‘m eating for a meal. Let’s see, I currently have Irish breakfast, organic Darjeeling, and an organic black tea blend as well as organic oolong... and for green tea, I have organic jasmine green, roasted green (houjicha), sencha, bancha, and genmaicha, as well as a genmaicha-matcha blend.

One black tea I haven’t bought in some time is earl grey, which used to be one of my favorites. But now, I use a freshly plucked lemon leaf, rolled and bruised and steeped with a black tea blend

I’m drinking some now plucked from this rather struggling specimen. It needs to be uppotted since there are three seedlings grown from “Trader Joe’s Lemon from Mexico” — I think it was a Eureka variety. I don’t know if they will ever bloom and fruit, but in the mean time, the lemony fragrant leaves provide another use. :wink:

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Re: tea herbs

very nice! and thanks for bringing this thread forward again. I enjoyed reading back through it.
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digitS'
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Re: tea herbs

The Original Post mentioned a liking for tea that is "full of flavor and not water ..." That's me, a glass of water will go ignored just by accident. On the other hand, I treat myself with tea, herbal teas and coffee. The neighbors have probably come to ignore my activities outdoors, "oh, there goes a cup ... with Steve carrying it somewhere." :wink:

An early-to-bed early-riser, it's 3am and I have been up for 2 hours. Maybe caffeine encouraged me to wake up that early after showering and being in bed by 9pm. I doubt if it's caffeine altho I drank a good deal of oolong yesterday as I slowly came to realize that I have come down with a cold.

DS was here for several days and just left Sunday. He was losing his voice by the weekend and I think that he returned to work with a cold yesterday after leaving some pathogens here at his dad's house . :? .! I haven't had a respiratory infection for several years but the dry summer months and smoke from wildfires must have really set me up for this.

I'm not looking for an herbal cure but having a cup of licorice tea with some Tylenol right now. Congestion over the few hours that I was asleep, a likely touch of fever, and dehydration means that I had better be drinking a good deal today. It can't be licorice altho I love it ... already feel the soothing effect.

Ginger will play a role and I'll have the cup of spearmint/chamomile at hand almost continuously, today.

I know that inactivity is a real enemy for this olde, retired guy. I've been out regularly for walks. It's mostly a comfort for my legs but, of course, the cardiovascular system is a primary concern. I have gardening through the summer and winter has to find me either tramping along or I'd better have the excuse and a snow shovel in my hands, at least part of the day. The weather is turning even drier and colder right now. I'd best be peering out thru sunglasses over a wool scarf when I'm outdoors, today. Yeah ... steaming cups of something to drink and moderate exercise seems best.

Steve
oh, and plenty of veggies and fruit, too!
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Re: tea herbs

One AM isn't early rising, it's the middle of the night. And 9PM to 1AM is only 4 hours sleep. Hopefully that's because you weren't feeling good, not a regular thing. I don't need as much sleep as many people, but I don't feel as good if I get less than six hours and definitely not if I get less than five. I keep reading more about the importance of sleep for health.

One AM is when I am usually going to be or thinking about going to bed.

Ginger and peppermint are good in herbal tea blends for colds and congestion. This is a nice article about herbal teas for colds and flu (if you are really sick, go to the doctor, these aren't meant to be instead of the doctor only along with!)

https://theherbalacademy.com/ten-homema ... lu-season/

Hope you feel better!
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Re: tea herbs

I am not good at making tea from things I grow. My mint comes back every year but I can not make good tea with it. I grew hyssop several times it never made good tea either. I don't like green tea from the grocery store. I like Lipton ice tea if it is made right. When I lived up north I would never drink Lipton Ice tea northerners do not know how to make good tea they boil the tea that brings out the bitter tannin flavor. When I moved to TN I learned how to make good ice tea, put a tea bag in 150 degree water wait 10 minutes it is ready to drink, add sugar to suit your taste. Bitter flavor tannin comes out of all plants at about 180 degree so never boil your tea. I actually learned about tannin making wine 50 years ago but never learned about tannin in other plants until years later. If you would like to make better tasting coffee use 150 degree water, tannin tends to hide the good coffee flavor.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tannin

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Re: tea herbs

You sound like my daughter. She says green tea and herbal teas all taste like grass. LOL :()

— mint ... different varieties have different flavors and aromas. Mint also cross pollinates easily (lots of pollinator activity like bees and wasps) so if you have a stand of mint, you may not have the original flavor you planted. I have peppermint, spearmint, spearmint cross (doesn’t look like spearmint should), and applemint.

- I like peppermint and applemint for hot tea. Good for digestion and to promote appetite.

- peppermint is also the one I use for anesthetic herbal treatments/herbal remedies, skincare products.

- Spearmint taste too much like gum and toothpaste to me when hot. But spearmint is “sweeter” and good for cold/iced tea. I believe mint julep was originally made with spearmint. Spearmint is also good for garnish and mint jelly, type use.

- I’m trying to obtain true mojito mint. I suspect this one will be better in cold drinks, too.

- I’m also trying to decide if I want to get chocolate mint. I can’t find out for certain if they are just a kind of peppermint with brown/purplish stem or some of them actually taste like chocolate. In photo’s the leaves seem more narrow/pointed/veined and shield-shaped like spearmint?
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Re: tea herbs

I've grown chocolate mint before. It did smell a little chocolate-like. The leaves were smaller than spearmint, and some of them had the anthocyanins that made the stems dark rimming the leaves. The mint flavor was still there. My love affair with all things chocolate was already sated with other sources, so chocolate mint was relegated to idle memory.

Herbal teas to me were always "dirty water." I like the sensory complexity of coffee, but not commercial herbal tea in general. Chai is worth making and drinking, but chamomile is just not interesting.

This past year, I reintroduced myself to roselle tea, purported to aid recovery from heat exhaustion. It actually seemed to work better than simply cool water, enough so that I made a pitcher every day in August and September. I did not grow the Hibiscus sabdariffa, aka Florida cranberry or roselle. Also purchased Celestial Seasonings Zinger teas. The red color is from the roselle. Could not find Red Zinger flavor, the original, but was happy enough with a berry Zinger and a lemon Zinger as alternates to my Latin market sourced roselle.

I've used my lemon grass for teas and for cooking many times. Either plain or with green or black tea. Also use homegrown stevia for a sweeter taste.

Rosemary tea was supposed to be good for headaches. Not noticeably effective for me.

Herbs added to black tea or oolong? Yeah.

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Re: tea herbs

chamomile tea by itself does nothing for me. But combine chamomile with lavender and mint! In general I like herbal tea blends, with several different herbs much better than just a mint tea or chamomile or whatever.

I have posted some herbal tea recipes in a couple places around here, including this thread: viewtopic.php?p=128195&highlight=herbal ... pes#128195
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Re: tea herbs

That's a good point, RBG. The synergy of some ingredients is sometimes hard to anticipate. Like a touch of honey to a curry, a touch of mustard to mashed potatoes, lime to beer, cayenne and cocoa. Probably tons more. I'll just have to try some more tea mixtures.

My sister is buying these cute little jars and spoons with a tea blend inside, sometimes Camellia sinensis, sometimes not. When she went to drop a serious chunk of change for a jar of Herbes de Provence tea, I reminded her that she had the spice mix jar unopened at home. I suggested trying a tea from that before buying something so pricey. Now, months later, both jars sit forlorn and tightly sealed. She also was going to buy Crown Royal on sale two for one. I said, "But you don't do hard liquor!" She said, "I love those bags they come in though." We actually did grow up together, shared a room and everything.

Anyhow, I might raid her superfluous spices to see what I can come up with. She bought ingredients for a dry chai mix but hasn't used them. Why do we have two cardamom jars? Silly. One's for chai tea (sic).

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Re: tea herbs

I tried making some roasted tea with toasted rice grains. I had some bruised tea leaves fermenting, and blended them with freshly plucked and torn up tea leaves and roasted them in a small anodized aluminum wok with grains of sweet glutinous rice.

Image

It didn’t brew up as dark as I thought — probably added too much ratio of the fresh green tea leaves. It was amber-colored, with sweet and fragrant herbal notes and strangely reminiscent of dandelion blossoms. I was pleasantly surprised.

...eta... this batch contained maybe 3 tea blossoms — maybe they were enough to add the floral note?
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Re: tea herbs

I was looking for this thread but didn’t find it in time :roll:
:arrow: Subject: Totally New to Growing. Need Advice about growing tea plant

For my next batch, I will try some different techniques to see if I can come up with another kind of flavor :D
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Re: tea herbs

thanrose wrote:My sister is buying these cute little jars and spoons with a tea blend inside, sometimes Camellia sinensis, sometimes not. When she went to drop a serious chunk of change for a jar of Herbes de Provence tea, I reminded her that she had the spice mix jar unopened at home. I suggested trying a tea from that before buying something so pricey. Now, months later, both jars sit forlorn and tightly sealed. She also was going to buy Crown Royal on sale two for one. I said, "But you don't do hard liquor!" She said, "I love those bags they come in though." We actually did grow up together, shared a room and everything.
This reminds me of a woman I know every spring she buys $100 worth of beautiful flowers at Lowe's & Home Depot. She takes them home and puts them where she wants them planted. A month late she is throwing them all in the trash can because she never watered them or planted them. She gets a lot of enjoyment going to the stores, looking & smelling all the flowers, dreaming about how beautiful they are & how beautiful they will be at home.

I am starting to think herb tea is a lot like wine. There are 1000s of different wines. Red wine, white wine, sweet wine, dry wine, semi sweet wine, full body wine, pink wine, port wine, grape wine, fruit wine, berry wine, mixed wines, 100s of others. The name is an indication of what the wine is. Names are an indication what country the wine came from. Champagne wine comes from a certain country all other champagne wines are not allowed to be called champagne, they are all Sparkling Wine. Barolo wine is from Italy no other wine can be called Barolo but the label can say, Barolo type wine. If you walk into a wine store not knowing anything about wine that is like going to the grocery store with a blind fold over your eyes you have no clue what your buying there is a 99% chance you will not like the wine you picked out. Best thing a person can do is go to a wine tasting group you get a taste of many wines, take notes on paper which wines you like so you can buy them at the wine store.

There is a women on I-70 west of Denver Colorado in 1 of the old gold mining towns (maybe Georgetown) she has a herb & tea shop. When I walked into her shop, WOW.......the smell was totally amazing all those herb smells. Walk around the room the smell changes every few feet, walk slow and enjoy it, she has bundles of dry herbs on all 4 walls and the ceiling too. Out side are 100s of herb plants in pots. She has herb tea & we had no clue what is good. We ask what is good, she ask us a few questions then recommended a certain herbal tea mix. I don't recall what we had but I do remember that was the best herb tea I ever had it was very good.

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Re: tea herbs

So I once again made up a bunch of herbal tea blends for Christmas baskets, from some of the recipes I have posted. Spiced Anise Tea, Love Charm Tea, Devoted Remembrance Tea, Headache Soother Tea, Tummy Tamer Tea and a couple of others. Also lots of jams and jellies: peach wine jam, peach blackberry jam (with peaches from our tree), purple basil jelly, marigold petal jelly, and some others . Also just made spice jars of my garden oregano and garden sage. I didn't get it together to make soaps or some of the other things I have done in the past. But I made a bunch of lavender biscotti (biscotti being twice baked travels well for packages being mailed) and some Christmas cookies, to fill out the baskets.
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Re: tea herbs

I seem to be coming down with something and have been coughing — so now I’m drinking summer-harvested and dried peppermint/applemint tea with a splash of elderberry liqueur and a glug of blackberry syrup. Yum! ;)
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Re: tea herbs

I took inspiration from one of my favorite turmeric teas and made a version of my own — fresh ginger and turmeric peels, fresh orange tree leaves, dried orange peel, fennel seeds, black pepper corns.

After steeping what I thought was about right, I took a sip and was astonished to find it tasted sweet, even though I didn’t put any sweetener in... I enjoyed several more sips, then got distracted. When I remembered to take another sip, I had to take out the large tea ball I had used in a hurry — I was greeted with a developing bitterness. I think this is coming from the finely minced citrus leaf, though it has also turned somewhat peppery as well. Next time, I will remember to remove the tea ball as soon as taste quality is perfect.

I think I need to grow anise hyssop for the licorice flavor.... hmm, I wonder would holy basil or blue spice add a similar flavor? I have those — I guess I will try them, too.

I’ve tried different commercial turmeric and ginger teas, but this one is my favorite:

https://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article/4022
Organic Ginger Turmeric Herbal Tea

...we received information from the supplier that was so entertaining we felt compelled to share it with you. In answer to the question, “What does ginger turmeric tea taste like?” they replied, “It tastes like you are lying in a meadow full of yellow daisies on a hot day, while you sip ginger ale.” While we pride ourselves on vivid descriptions of our products, we just don’t think we could have said it better.
[…]
INGREDIENTS: ORGANIC GINGER ROOT, ORGANIC TURMERIC, ORGANIC LICORICE, ORGANIC ORANGE PEEL, ORGANIC ORANGE OIL, ORGANIC BLACK PEPPER.
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Re: tea herbs

I thought I might share the way I “organize” my teas — these are actually mostly different packaged teas. Herbal teas are in the top right pocket ... Japanese teas are in the bottom left pocket ... and so on. Narrow pockets hold canisters of loose-leaf teas. (I’m not sure if I want to reveal how I’m storing/organizing my harvested and dried garden herbs/herbal teas.....)

This is a canvas pocket wall organizer that my DD’s used to use for their Barbie and Madeleine dolls and the dolls’ clothes/accessories until their “collection” got too big. When I couldn’t fit all my teas on the pantry shelves anymore, I decided to hang this on the wall next to the pantry door.... No it won’t even fit inside the pantry. :>

Image

...I do have my “dream” idea for storing them — those tiny apothecary drawers ... I think I’ve always wanted them ever since I fell in love with Pippi Longstocking stories. :D
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digitS'
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Re: tea herbs

Wow, AppleStar!

You may remember that I had a good harvest of ginger out of big pots in the greenhouse. I was wondering what to do with all those fresh roots. Then ... I caught a cold ... with a lingering cough ...

I used all the fresh ginger and bought several boxes of ginger tea :wink: . (A favorite was one which touted itself as ginger with mint but it had a number of ingredients and tasted like licorice :). (The fresh was best for my throat, however.)

Between the Camellia sinensis teas and the ginger teas, my little corner of the cabinet is getting crowded :).

Steve
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Raymeow
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Re: tea herbs

I'm addicted to a tea from currant's leaves with a bunch of mint. If you have a ginger, then it's even better. Melissa is fine too

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