Making your own herbal tea at home is a rewarding experience, especially for seniors who can receive many benefits from the medicinal properties, creativity, relaxation, and potential social opportunities that crafting and drinking tea with loved ones can bring. Plus, it is a fun and easy activity to enjoy indoors when the weather is cooler. Preparing and drinking tea is soothing and can be a meditative experience.
To maximize the healthful advantages of making and drinking tea in the comfort of home, it is wise to check the expiry date on herbs and other ingredients to ensure freshness, as well as consulting a medical practitioner and one’s elder home health care services to check against allergies and sensitivities, and to ensure that all ingredients agree with and do not counteract one’s medications.
Herbal tea blends often consist of a primary herb plus complementary ingredients that coexist to enhance the effects of one another. Ingredients can be found at a local herb store, bulk store, and/or some grocers and markets.
Martha Stewart has a feature that explains the basics for making tea blends based on traditional herbalism, as well as simple recipes. Here are a few of them. The general quantities for most blends are 1 teaspoon of herbal blend per cup of boiling water.
Good Digestion Tea
- 3 1/2 oz. peppermint
- 3 1/2 oz. chamomile
- 1 oz. licorice
- 1 oz. orange peel
- 1/2 oz. ginger
- 1/2 oz. cinnamon
Mix the ingredients and store in a tightly sealed container to seal in freshness.Steep 1 tsp for every cup of boiling water.
Common Cold Tea
- 2 1/2 oz. peppermint
- 2 1/2 oz. elder flowers
- 2 1/2 oz. yarrow
- 1 oz. mullein
- 1 oz. licorice
- 1 oz. echinacea
- 1/2 oz. ginger
These ingredients will make two mixtures to blend upon brewing. Mix the peppermint, elder flowers, yarrow, and mullein in a jar. Mix the licorice, echinacea, and ginger in a second jar.
To prepare, simmer the licorice mixture, 1 tsp per cup of water, for 15-20 min. Take off the heat and add 1 tsp per cup of water of the peppermint mixture and let steep for another 15-20 minutes. Strain the herbs and sip ¼ cup every 30 min. to soothe a cold.
Stress Soother Tea
- 3 3/4 oz. chamomile
- 4 oz. lemon balm
- 1 oz. oat tops
- 1 oz. mixed hawthorn berries and leaf/flower (sold as separate ingredients)
- Stevia leaf, organic rose petals, and orange peel as desired
Mix the ingredients and store in a tightly sealed container to seal in freshness. Steep 1 tsp for every cup of boiling water.
For more healthful herbal tea recipes, visit Wellness Mama. To enhance one’s tea making experience, practice mindfulness. This, essentially, is focusing on the present moment and paying attention to one’s actions. Focus on the act of pouring the water into the kettle and listening for the rolling boil and seeing the swirling steam. Measure out the ingredients with care and enjoy the scents of the herbal blend and its colourful mix of textures. If you have a clear tea pot, you can watch the tea steep from the tea ball or filter and see the pigments spread throughout the liquid. After the mixture has steeped and cooled, enjoy and ponder the flavours of every sip.
Enjoying tea with others is a time-honoured tradition in many cultures, so invite your loved ones over to enjoy the fruits of your crafts together.