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The subtle flavors of herb teas are distorted by chlorinated (tap) water, metal pots (especially aluminum), milk, honey, and reheated water. Use freshly boiled spring or bottled water and a glass, crockery, or enamel container which is absolutely clean and has been pre-rinsed in hot water. If you drink much tea, a stainless steel strainer or teaball, available in coffee and tea stores, is a worthwhile investment. The alligator type teaball which opens and closes at a touch is easier to use than the screw-top type.
Boil the water, while it is heating rinse the teapot and measure in 1-2 teaspoons of herbs for each measuring cup of water you will be using. Pour the hat water over the herbs and let them stand 5-15 minutes, until the tea is brewed to your taste. Because herb teas except yerba mate do not contain tannic acid or theine (caffeine derivative) in significant amounts, most do not become bitter with long brewing.
Hops, which have a strong sedative effect, become both bitter and more potent with longer brewing.
Fresh flowers including nasturtium, jasmine, honeysuckle and roses can be used in teas, provided you are absolutely certain they have not been exposed to pesticides or automobile pollution.
For larger amounts of tea, it takes about 3/4 C herbs to brew 1 gallon of herb tea. If your tea base includes aromatic spices (cloves, cinnamon, cardamon, coriander seed, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, mace, orange or lemon peel) less herb will be necessary.
Some culinary herbs such as basil, parsley, thyme make flavorful herb teas or herb blend ingredients.
Herb Blend #1
The herbs in this blend are traditionally reputed to have a sedative effect.
Use 1t per cup
Herbs to be avoided by pregnant women, reputed to induce or encourage abortion: Cohosh, goldenseal, pennyroyal, ergot, birth root, rue, tansy, motherwort, cotton root, thyme, yarrow, potassium permanganate, St. John's Wort, valerian.
Herb Blend #2
The herbs in this blend are reputed to have a good effect on muscle tensions, including menstrual cramps. Do not use during pregnancy!
Cold Herb Tea
Herb teas, especially those containing mints, lemon herbs, rose hips, make delicious iced teas.
Since this is unadulterated carbohydrate, it is best used at meals, where some supporting protein is being eaten.
Use 1-2 t per cup of water, the larger amount if the tea is to be iced.
Four Friends Tea Blend
This tea may be served with milk in the East Indian style or plain with honey.