I'm very much a lover of herbal teas, but the ones I like are those which use herbs fresh from my own garden.
At the moment my teas contain any mix of three types of mint, as well as olive leaf and lemon balm - all nutritious with their own unique healing properties. With the addition of ginger, lemon and raw honey you can make the most delicious herbal brews for any time of the day or night.
My favourite morning tea is mint and ginger, which I brew in a small Bodum coffee press (it's only used for herbal tea). Mostly I choose spearmint or common mint for this tea because I already have fresh ginger for that extra zing, though sometimes I'll brew a ginger mint tea with just a trickle of honey and a squeeze of lemon.
Mint teas are excellent for the digestion and to quell nausea, and ginger has similar properties with the addition of being an anti-inflammatory.
Lemon balm, ginger and raw honey is delicious too. Though a member of the mint family, lemon balm tastes quite different with it's lovely citrus flavour, and is wonderful as a calming or bedtime tea to aid sleep and rest.
I had never considered olive leaf as a tea until recently, when we learned that the olive tree we planted more than two years ago would probably never yield fruit in our climate. It's a beautiful tree and I love brushing by it's willowy branches on the way from the laundry to the clothesline each day.
Fresh olive leaves are full of vitamin C and have more antioxidants than green tea! Olive leaf tea is also beneficial for relaxing or easing arthritic pain; reducing bad cholesterol; lowering glucose levels and blood pressure; as a heart tonic; helps fight infection; and stimulates the immune system.
Once I discovered all this I was thrilled we had planted an olive tree, regardless of whether it ever fruits or not (highly unlikely it will). The thing to remember with olive leaf tea is not to boil it, just let it steep in a pot - the longer the better when it comes to health benefits.
You can add ginger to the leaves while it steeps, lemon balm is good too...or just lemon and honey. You may even prefer it without anything else, just the olive leaves.
Our garden has so many different herbs, and I use a variety every day in salads, teas, soups, roasted vegetables and even biscuits (cookies). What herbs are you growing and how are you using them?
I finished my linen and Tilda tea cosy last night and am rather pleased with it. Though the colours aren't really my style, that does not detract from the pleasure I gained making it.
Before sewing the front and back together, and adding a lining, I added running stitch through the appliqued leaves and a line of very light turquoise stem stitch between the green linen and the floral fabric. A little loop at the top for lifting off and on the pot, and binding along the bottom edge were the final touches.
I made this for a tall white tea pot we often use when Blossom and the children are here because Cully May and Rafaella 'always' ask for a second cup of tea and this way we don't run out.