Herbal teas made with dried herbs can be enjoyed all year round, but nothing beats fresh herbs in summer! It’s a completely different experience using the herbs fresh from your balcony or garden, both for the eye – I love serving it in a see through glass pot – and it’s just as pleasurable for the taste buds.
Herbal teas are not only light and refreshing, but they also have many health benefits. The herbs and flowers mentioned below all contain lots of healthy ingredients: essential oils, and flavonoids, to mention some. The following are my favourites right now.
Elderflower (Sambucus nigra)
Elderflower syrup is lovely, but too sweet for my taste. Instead I pour boiling water over 5 to 6 flower heads, add some lemon juice and make an infusion. Elderflowers (and berries) contain vitamin C and are good against cough and colds. NB: This infusion tastes better well chilled than warm.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
I love the fresh taste of lemon balm tea, and it’s nice to combine with e.g. peppermint. Besides the standard ingredients of medicinal herbs lemon balm contains saponin and thymol. This herbal infusion has a calming effect, so a cup an hour before bedtime is a good idea.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Peppermint is refreshing and cooling, calms an upset stomach and is antibacterial. During summer I love making Moroccan mint tea!
Rose geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
This plant does not support cold winters. I grow it in a big pot, which I move outside when the risk of night frost is over. The rose geranium leaves make a flowery fresh infusion, which has a calming and antibacterial effect.
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
You either hate or love the taste of sage. I love it! ☺ Sage is one of the most versatile medicinal herbs, working well against menopause, thyroid problems and a sore throat, among other things.