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Loose Leaf Tea: Delicious Herbal Magic

Loose Leaf Tea: Infusing Yourself with Nature’s Magic

The Art of Herbal Magic in a Cup

Let’s talk loose leaf tea. We’ve already discussed how essential oils and infused oils are a modern version of herbal magic. We continue the discussion on another form of herbal magic as we approach the topic of loose leaf tea. There are natural qualities in plants that help us to accomplish what we desire. Whether that’s promoting sleep, helping calm an anxious mind, or helping soothe a grumbly tummy, you name it, and there’s a remedy for it somewhere in the beauty of our Earth.

Tea is an art form; it’s magical, and it’s a ritual. Tonight I brewed myself some lavender chamomile tea, and while I did so, I was thinking about what this would help accomplish for me. The same goes for when I’ve made morning tea and evening tea for my husband the last few days as he is getting over a cold. The act of making the tea and putting your intentions into what the tea is being made for, is magic, in a loose sense. As we’ve discussed before, magic is all around us!

Tea as a Holistic Practice

Herbal tea is more than just a soothing beverage; it’s a potion of wellness steeped in history. It’s very easy to walk into almost any store that sells groceries and find an herbal tea, but it’s just as easy to create your own unique blend of loose leaf tea. We live in a world of convenience, and I believe that’s part of the reason why knowledge has been lost over the generations. Instead of going to the store and buying tea, let’s make our own.

Every herb we pick and choose for our loose leaf tea blends carries its own energy and healing properties, making tea an excellent medium for holistic healing. Drinking herbal tea can be a calming ritual, aiding in stress relief, promoting relaxation, and enhancing meditation practices. It’s a moment of connection with the earth’s gifts, a simple pleasure that nourishes both body and spirit. I don’t know about you, but I always feel accomplished in a way whenever I brew myself some tea to enjoy.

More Medical Ways To Use Tea

The natural properties found in various teas can be beneficial for skin care, hair treatments, and even soothing minor ailments. Here are some common uses of different teas for the outside of the body:

Chamomile Tea: Known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile tea bags can be used to calm skin irritations, such as sunburns, rashes, and eczema. It’s also effective for reducing eye puffiness and treating styes due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Green Tea: Rich in antioxidants, green tea is excellent for rejuvenating the skin. Used tea bags can reduce under-eye dark circles and puffiness. Green tea also has astringent properties, making it useful for acne treatment and toning the skin.

Black Tea: The tannins in black tea have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Cool, used black tea bags can soothe insect bites, minor cuts, and bruises. They can also reduce razor burn when applied to the skin after shaving.

Peppermint Tea: Peppermint has a cooling effect and can soothe itchy skin and sunburn. Used peppermint tea bags can also provide relief from tension headaches when applied to the forehead.

Rooibos Tea: High in antioxidants and with anti-inflammatory properties, rooibos tea is great for treating eczema and acne. It can also soothe irritated skin and improve its appearance.

Lavender Tea: Known for its calming properties, lavender tea can be used in baths to alleviate stress and promote relaxation. It can also help in treating insomnia.

Calendula Tea: With its antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, calendula tea is ideal for healing wounds, soothing eczema, and relieving diaper rash.

Hibiscus Tea: Hibiscus has natural alpha-hydroxy acids, which can exfoliate and improve skin tone. It’s also used in hair rinses to promote shiny and healthy hair.

Jasmine Tea: Known for its soothing and moisturizing properties, jasmine tea can help in hydrating dry skin. It’s also used for its calming and aromatic properties in baths.

When using tea for external applications, ensure that the tea is cooled to a safe temperature to avoid burns. Also, it’s important to be aware of any allergies or sensitivities to particular herbs or plants. As with any natural remedy, what works for one person may not work for another, so it’s always good to do a patch test first.

Creating Your Own Loose Leaf Tea

Crafting your own herbal tea blends allows you to tailor ingredients to your specific needs and intentions. Here are a few simple recipes to get you started:

Soothing Sleep Blend

Ingredients for Loose Leaf Blend:

  • 1/2 cup dried Chamomile flowers
  • 1/2 cup dried Lavender flowers
  • 1/2 cup dried Lemon Balm leaves

Instructions for a Single Serving:

  • To brew one cup, use 1 teaspoon of this mixed blend.
  • Steep in 8 ounces of boiling water for 5-7 minutes.
  • Drink before bedtime to aid in relaxation and encourage restful sleep.

Energizing Morning Mix

Ingredients for Loose Leaf Blend:

  • 1/2 cup Green Tea leaves
  • 1/4 cup dried Ginger root, chopped or shredded
  • 1/4 cup dried Lemongrass

Instructions for a Single Serving:

  • Use 1 teaspoon of the blend per 8 ounces of water.
  • Steep for 3-5 minutes in boiling water.
  • This blend is perfect for a morning energy boost and to kickstart your day.

Love and Harmony Blend

Ingredients for Loose Leaf Blend:

  • 1/2 cup dried Rose Petals
  • 1/2 cup dried Hibiscus flowers
  • 1/4 cup ground Cinnamon or Cinnamon sticks broken into small pieces

Instructions for a Single Serving:

  • For one cup of tea, use about 1 teaspoon of this blend.
  • Steep in 8 ounces of boiling water for 5-7 minutes.
  • This blend is great for creating an atmosphere of love and emotional warmth.

Clarity and Focus Blend

Ingredients for Loose Leaf Blend:

  • 1/2 cup dried Peppermint leaves
  • 1/4 cup dried Rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 cup dried Ginkgo Biloba leaves

Instructions for a Single Serving:

  • Measure 1 teaspoon of the loose leaf blend.
  • Steep in 8 ounces (about 1 cup) of boiling water for 5-7 minutes.
  • This blend is excellent for enhancing mental clarity and focus, particularly during study or work.

Digestive Soothe Blend

Ingredients for Loose Leaf Blend:

  • 1/2 cup dried Chamomile flowers
  • 1/4 cup dried Fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried Peppermint leaves

Instructions for a Single Serving:

  • Use 1 teaspoon of the loose leaf blend per cup.
  • Steep in 8 ounces of boiling water for 5-7 minutes.
  • Ideal for soothing the digestive system after meals or to alleviate occasional stomach discomfort.

Immune Boosting Blend

Ingredients for Loose Leaf Blend:

  • 1/2 cup dried Echinacea leaves and flowers
  • 1/4 cup dried Elderberries
  • 1/4 cup dried Ginger root, chopped or shredded
  • Optional: a few strips of dried Orange peel for flavor

Instructions for a Single Serving:

  • Add 1 teaspoon of the blend to 8 ounces of boiling water.
  • Steep for 8-10 minutes.
  • Enjoy this tea at the onset of cold symptoms or during flu season to support the immune system.

Brewing and Storing Tips

  • Ensure the water is just off the boil when brewing to extract the maximum flavor and benefits from the herbs.
  • Feel free to adjust the quantity of each herb according to your taste preferences.
  • Store your tea blends in a cool, dry place in an airtight container to maintain freshness.
  • Any unfinished tea can go in the fridge for a couple of days before you should dispose of it.

Cold Steeped Tea

Cold steeping tea, also known as cold brewing, is a method of extracting flavor and nutrients from tea leaves using cold water instead of hot. This process takes much longer than using boiling or just under boiling water, because cold water extracts flavors more slowly and gently than hot water.

Simply add loose leaf tea or tea bags to a pitcher of cold water in the recommended ratio, generally about one to two teaspoons of loose leaf tea per cup of water, but this can vary based on personal preference. Then, place the pitcher in the refrigerator for the suggested duration. Once the steeping time is complete, strain out the tea leaves or remove the tea bags.

What I love about cold brewed tea is that it tends to not extract as many catechins and caffeine from the tea leaves as hot brewing does, so you often get a tea that has a smoother taste and is less bitter. I don’t know about you, but I prefer my tea iced anyway, and I’d rather not pour hot tea over ice.

The duration of cold steeping can vary depending on the type of tea and your flavor preferences, but here are some general guidelines I’ve found after doing some research:

Green Tea and White Tea: These teas are more delicate and require less time. Cold steep for about 2 to 6 hours. Over-steeping can lead to bitter flavors, especially in green teas.

Black Tea and Oolong Tea: These can be steeped for a longer period, typically around 8 to 12 hours. They are less prone to bitterness and can develop a richer flavor profile when cold steeped for longer.

Herbal Teas and Fruit Teas: These are quite forgiving and versatile when it comes to steeping time. You can cold steep them for about 4 to 12 hours. Some herbal teas, like hibiscus or chamomile, can even be steeped overnight without becoming too strong or bitter.

In conclusion, it’s safe to say that brewing tea and making your own blends of loose leaf tea are another form of herbal magic. The art and ritual of tea seamlessly offers a delightful and accessible way to incorporate magic into your daily routine. Whether seeking healing, peace, or simply enjoying the earthly pleasures of herbal flavors, each cup of tea holds the potential for magic and joy. Embrace the ritual, savor the flavors, and let each sip bring you closer to the natural world and your inner self.