Homemade 'House Blend' Lemonbalm-Fennel Tea Mix!

Christmas Giving On My Mind!

The Lemonbalm and Fennel tea mix is the ninth item that is ready for the Christmas gift baskets. (Check out this hub for more details about the Backers dozen gift baskets. I've also added the links at the bottom of the hub)

http://hubpages.com/hub/Christmas-giving-on-my-mind

Lemonbalm
Lemonbalm
Fennel
Fennel
Mint
Mint
Lavender
Lavender
Ginger
Ginger

This herbal tea blend is best suited as an after dinner or evening tea, especially when you don’t have anywhere to go as it can act as a calming, mild sedative.

Lemon balm, fennel, peppermint and lavender have been used widely for thousands of years for a great number of reasons. The combination of these four herbs together in a tea have a tremendous wealth of benefits. These are very safe herbs and there are no known or substantiated adverse reactions. It's a very pleasant tasting blend and great to use when the body is achy and a little feverish from cold or flu.

  • The Lemon balm has a lemony-mint smell and taste.
  • Fennel tastes a combination of anise and licorice.
  • Peppermint obviously tastes like mint.
  • Lavender taste like it smells, pleasant, kind of a floral and spicy mixture.

I grow all the herbs in the garden and because they are so easy to grow always have an abundance every year.

I use this tea blend as an after dinner tea. With the heavy meals of the holidays soon upon us once again it can relieve that uncomfortable full feeling, it can relieve the pain and discomfort of indigestion, as well as gas and bloating.

Other benefits of this herbal tea, it can help relieve stress headaches and migraines nervousness and mild insomnia. It's very calming aroma acts like a mild tranquilizer putting the body at ease. Because it reduces stress it can also help to lower high blood pressure. Each of the herbs also has potent anti-viral properties which don't just reduce cold and flu symptoms but they actually can eliminates the virus causing the symptoms and are known for their abilities to boost the metabolism

In addition, herbal tea is caffeine free.

Ingredients!

  • 4 cups Lemon Balm dried and crushed
  • 3 cups of fennel green dried
  • 1 cup of fennel seed ground
  • 1/2 cup peppermint leaves dried and crushed
  • 1/2 cup lavender leaves dried and crushed
  • 1/2 cup lavender blooms
  • 1/2 cup ginger (optional)

Methodology!

Mix all ingredients together gently you do not want to powder-ize the herbs too much (because then you get the dregs between your teeth and that's yuk)

I use a tablespoon's worth of tea-blend in my infuser per cup. (I own quite a few different styles of infusers but my favorite is the little screen basket its called 'swissgold TF200' there is one showing in the amazon ad) 3.5 tablespoons of the tea-blend is enough in my 4 cup teapot. The tea needs to steep for at least 5-6 minutes but then I do not like my tea too strong.

This recipe will make about 10 cups of dried tea-blend. I filled in 22 pretty jars of almost 1/2 cup each which will be a nice addition to the Christmas baskets. I also made self-sticking labels with the ingredients and the amount needed per cup and teapot.

Extra tips for harvesting, drying and storing herbs!

Harvesting:

~The best time to harvest herbs (leaves and blooms) is shortly after the sun has dried off the morning dew but before it gets really hot. The oils are traveling into the leaves and blooms at that time and their aromas at their most potent power then too. Seed pods and seeds should be collected when they're brittle and turn dark brown or black.

~Try not to pick leaves when the conditions are rainy or really humid because the oils in the plants are not at their top quality. (logical=>too much water is sucked into the plants which in turn dilutes the essence or oils of the plants)


Drying:

~Large quantities of drying is best done on racks, on screen windows or hung upside down by their stems. The place for drying your herbs should be well ventilated with plenty of dry air circulation away from direct sun light. You need to turn your herbs every couple of days. (I built a frame out of 2x4's with "shelves" at 14" intervals and use some old storm window frames with nylon screening to dry all my herbs. I have the "drying frame" it set-up in the corner of my screened in porch and as it's always windy here it has plenty of air movement. The last batches of fall herbs and such in the fall usually need a bit of help drying then I set up a small heater with fan underneath the rack on a low-low setting. As mentioned before the air circulation in between the drying herbs is the most important issue.)

~For smaller batches another alternative to drying is to use the microwave by laying the herbs out on absorbent paper toweling and using the lowest possible cooking setting in one minute intervals. Flipping them each time until totally brittle and dry. Careful not to overcook and thus burn the herbs. 3-4 minutes should do it with most microwaves.

~A dehydrator is also another obvious option. However they do not come large enough to do big batches.

A time saving tip:

To dry big bunches of leafed herbs tie three stems together then when the bunch feels totally dry the brittle leaves can be crumbled off and the stems can be thrown into the composter.

Storing Herbs and Specialty Teas:

~Store herbs in small glass or plastic airtight containers and away from the sunlight in a cool, dark place. Keeping your dry herbs in humid conditions and excessive light will result in them losing their flavor more quickly.

~Keeping the herbs in the kitchen in the cupboard above where the coffee is brewed and the kettle are being boiled daily is a no-no. The damp could result in the herbs getting moldy.

~If stored properly, dried herbs will retain their flavors for a year. (you can still use them but you will have to add more to have the same taste and benefit results)

~Larger quantities of herbs can be stored in tightly sealed containers in the freezer. (the containers should be as full as possible with the least amount of airspace to keep at their ultimate)


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Comments 50 comments

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 3 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you for dropping in, reading and commenting Alise-Evon. I hear you about the Microwave however if there is only a small batch to be dried... Naturally they'll loose some of their strength in the microwave. As far as herbs go both lemon balm and fennel are strong potent contestants.

regards Zsuzsy


Alise- Evon 3 years ago

Sounds like a really good tea blend I will have to put together, Zsuzsy Bee. Oh, but the thought of killing your good herbs by drying them in the microwave just makes me shudder!:)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Melis Ann, I too can hardly wait to get back out in the garden. On that note I'm going to make myself a cuppa... wanna join me? Thank you for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


Melis Ann profile image

Melis Ann 4 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

With spring approaching, I'm excited to start growing herbs again this year. I will have to try your combinations to make homemade teas! Wonderful information all in one resource. SHARED!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

oceansnsunsets, thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

This sounds really great, thank you for sharing. Good hub!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

katiem2, nice to see you. Always glad when you come for a visit. I adore herbal teas too.

Love and peace to you

kindest regards Zsuzsy


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

Zsuzsy Bee, YOU had me at tea, great hub I enjoyed learning something I did not know! Thanks and Peace :)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Pollyannalana glad skipping out on the OJ a bit helps. Re blood pressure have you tried Niacin? It's added to cereals and white bread regularly but can also be bought at health food stores in powder or pill form.

Let me know how it works for you.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

I cut it out and so it had to have been that juice added to the tea. Thx so much, I hate being kept awake with a belly ache. But I saw somewhere lately that chives will help lower blood pressure and it did the second dose I had of it today so I am going to start experimenting with that...I just love all this natural stuff and it drives the government and doctors crazy doesn't it? I will have to say though my Dr age 72 told me about glucosomine for pain though and it works.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Pollyannalana, I love orange juice too and it has its own great health benefits, however if you drink this herbal blend especially at bedtime it is better without the acidity of the oranges.

zs


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Martin thank you for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 7 years ago from US

Wow I bought some fennel seed but just came back and noticed the 1 cup plus greens called for, I better get some planted soon! I've been researching the herbs for over a year now, trying this and that and the only thing so far I grow easily is rosemary.I start my day with wheat toast and a combination of herbs I've ground together with allfruit jelly and even add them to the combination teas I drink all day. My main problem is I am allergic to all blood pressure medicines and its hard trying to keep it down on my own. Celery seed has taken all the swelling from my ankles using as a diuretic but its just not enough, a constant battle. Oh and thx for the OJ tip, sometimes I do get unexpected tummy aches, so I will cut down on the OJ awhile.


Martin V 7 years ago

great hub! thanks for sharing!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Pollyannalana, thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

You can drink the tea either hot or cold. In the summer if I need a sleepytime tea I drink it much like iced tea. Now if you are drinking this blend for tummy troubles it's best not to add OJ. It will not have the same soothing properties as orange juice is quite acidy.

regards Zsuzsy


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 7 years ago from US

Great hub, I love tea and drink it daily, decaf,green,white,chamomile ect, a medley, but never these you speak of. I will certainly try it. Do you drink it hot? I make most of mine up to do me a few days and add a little OJ as I pour a glass, but if hot is better I will certainly fix it that way and I too always use honey.Thx for drying tips too!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hi Nell, glad you popped in for a visit. I totally believe that all our needed cures can be found in our plant life. I've been working on my thesis for Master Herbalist for quite a few years already and am still ways from finishing. I grow most of the herbs that I use for my experiments and trials but buying them from a reputable shop is just as okay.

Let me know what you think of the tea.

regards Zsuzsy


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

Hi, I have always used herbs, mind you I cheat and buy them at the shop! But I use Camomile to go to sleep, Elder flower for the flu, and Comfrey is great for chest colds, and also Comfrey used to be called Knit bone because it helps to mend broken bones or bruises. Can't wait to try your tea! any help with herbs is appreciated. Nell


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

C.S. always glad when you pop in for a visit. You can still make the tea without lavender. It will still have a calming effect and put the body at ease. I have never grown ginger but I also use very little of it. I only buy a tuber maybe twice or three times per year, that's it. I actually don't even know anything about growing ginger....hmmmm....time to go find out "me thinketh".

Hope you get a chance to try the tea even without the lavender.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 7 years ago from NW Indiana

Had to bookmark this one for later. I did not grow any Lavender this year, opps! I will be sure to get some for next season. Achy is my middle name. Sounds like my cup of tea.

And do you grow your own Ginger?


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

akirchner, I know I always get panicky when I hear the date as I'm no-where where I should be with regards to the Christmas gifts.

Glad you came for a visit.

regards Zsuzsy


akirchner profile image

akirchner 7 years ago from Central Oregon

Sounds like a good addition to my gift basket~ Thanks for the hub.....it is frightening how quickly the holidays are approaching but it happens every year somehow.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Sandi thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Sandi 3m 7 years ago

Not only does this sound delicious, what a wonderful gift idea, thank you.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Cazort, the combination of herbs is really nice and mild tasting. I also use these herbs for iced tea.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


cazort 7 years ago

My family and I grow both lemon balm and fennel in our garden; we use lemon balm as tea both on its own and blended with mint and other herbs, especially in the summer when we use it to make iced tea.

I had never thought of mixing fennel with lemon balm, but now I'm going to try it out. Thanks for the idea!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

RGraf I forgot to mention in the hub that all the ingredients can be found at a health food store. Naturally you would make smaller batches if you were buying the dried herbs.

Glad you stopped by

regards Zsuzsy


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin

Great piece. I love tea and this would be wonderful to have around.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Dolores always glad when you pop in for a visit. If you have lavender in your garden you can still use some for a mild nice relaxing tea. It has a really pleasant taste.

regards Zsuzsy


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

I love herbal tea and have made some myself from various garden herbs. I did not know you could use the lavender leaves and never thought of adding lavender to a tea blend. But the lemon balm is great! I wish I had dried some out. Well, always next year! What a wonderful Christmas gift!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Good Cook, that's exactly what its just perfect for. It makes you feel all nice and cozy.

Thanks for dropping by.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


The Good Cook profile image

The Good Cook 7 years ago

A gift? I'd want to keep it all to myself, thanks. It sounds as though it would be perfect "the perfect pre-bedtime drink"


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

GPage, I'm a tea totter too, but mainly herbal teas, year round if it's not hot tea then it's iced. I probably have about 20 blends that I mix myself I will share them all eventually as hubs.

Thanks for checking out the hub

regards Zsuzsy


GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 7 years ago from California

Thank you for this! I LOVe tea!!!! I have even learned something that I was curious about! Awesome! GPAGE


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Smireles always happy when you come by. Hope you get to try the tea real soon too.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Laura you got time for a cuppa? Hope you have a chance to try the tea soon.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Tammy, glad you dropped in for a visit. Thanks for taking a look and for commenting. Hope you have a chance to try the tea soon.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Dohn, this tea blend is really soothing. Thanks for taking a look and for commenting. I'm always glad when you pop in for a visit.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Smireles profile image

Smireles 7 years ago from Texas

Thanks for sharing this great tea idea. Sounds wonderful!


Laura du Toit profile image

Laura du Toit 7 years ago from South Africa

What a great idea. Thanks for sharing!


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago

I will definitely have to try this. Thanks for the recipe. Tammy


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Maybe I'm getting a bit older (who isn't???) but I'm starting to get into the habit of having a cup of tea in the evening instead of drinking coffee (I do that during the morning and have to). Growing your own tea (home brew) is a great idea. I like your blends as they sound great. Thanks, Zsuzsy Bee.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Leop, thanks for dropping in and taking a look. It is the most calming tea. I have been experimenting with the right amounts in the blend for many years. I believe it now is just right and the best part is the pleasant flavor.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Leop profile image

Leop 7 years ago

Excellent work you just wrote here. I am a tea lover, so I have definitely adding this to my tea collection. Thanks for writing about it, and thanks for adding the recipe.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Mighty Mom, it's really delicious especially with a bit of honey. Warms the whole innards.

Always glad when you pop in.

cheers back at ya, Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

I just made a cup for myself...I think I'm coming down with something so its bed time for me soon.

Hope you're well, thanks for taking a look

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Hi Zsuzsy! I feel calmer already just reading about this delicious tea. What a delightful hub. You have so many great ideas for the holidays and always. Cheers, my dear. MM


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

This sounds like the most wonderful tea! I can almost smell, so soothing! Thanks for another great hub!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hi Bob, how are you? This tea is a nice change from the ordinary.

Glad you popped in for a visit.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

Now that would be tasty and a great gift, thanks.

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