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Recipes for Relaxing Herbal Tea
Stress can be a major problem in today's busy world, and there are plenty of strategies out there for combating this ubiquitous foe. One of the easiest and healthiest remedies for stress is drinking herbal tea. In this hub I'll outline which herbs work best to de-stress and how to brew the perfect cup.
**Important: Some of these herbs have contraindications with certain medications. Be sure to consult with your doctor if you're unsure before using these recipes.
Choosing Your Herbs
There are many herbs you can choose from that can help you relieve stress. You can either stick to a single herb, or you can combine a few of them for an enhanced effect and unique flavor. Refer to my list of Ten Best Herbs that Help You Relax for more detailed information. As far as tea is concerned, some of the best tasting and most readily available options are chamomile, basil, mint, lavender, lemon balm, and passionflower (though the latter has a bit of an acquired taste).
For a milder effect, stick to chamomile, lavender, basil, and the mint family. If you're looking for a stronger relaxing effect, opt for lemon balm, passionflower, or Valerian root.
There are a few options for acquiring your ingredients. You can purchase boxed tea containing a single herb or a mixture of herbs. You can also purchase liquid extracts and add them to tea or hot water. Lastly, you can create your own blend at home using fresh or dried herbs from the store or your herb garden (I prefer this method).
Preparing the Tea
Once you've selected your herb(s), brew your tea as you normally would. If you've chosen to create your own tea blend at home, add 1 rounded tablespoon of fresh or dried herbs to a tea ball for each 8 oz serving, then add boiling water, cover, and steep for 5-10 minutes or until the tea has reached your desired strength. The following are two of my favorite homemade tea recipes:
Add equal parts chamomile, peppermint, and spearmint leaves to a tea ball (you can also add one part basil if you like), add boiling water, cover, and steep.
For a stronger calming effect, add equal parts chamomile, lemon balm, and passion flower (or liquid passion flower extract, using a little less than the dose on the label) to a tea ball, add boiling water, cover, and steep.
If you like, add milk or lemon and/or a sweetener of your choice (I recommend stevia or agave), or wait for it to cool and pour it over ice for a refreshing twist. Enjoy!