Herbal Love

We are fortunate to have an abundance of herbs, wildflowers and trees on the land. This year we decided to dry as many as possible and make up some herbal tea blends for winter. We are only starting to delve into the fascinating world of healing herbs and there is so much to learn.

We are very fond of the American band The National and decided to name our different tea blends after a few of their songs. To tell you the truth we are not sure we would have survived all the hundreds of hours of work on renovation and building our house if it was not for the silky smooth voice of the lead singer Matt Berninger keeping us company. Like dark chocolate, deep ruby wine and coffee he has kept us sane and safe. So this tribute makes a lot of sense.

Sleep well beast 😴

We dried all the different ingredients in our dehydrator. Here in the West of Ireland it is difficult to dry them any other way as our summers are always a bit unreliable. Our first blend is named after the song “Sleep well beast” and as the name suggests it brings you relaxation and good dream. It consists of lemonbalm, lavender, camomile and rose petals.

Wasp nest 🐝

The second blend is for regulating hormones, alleviating hot flushes and improving moods and would be beneficial for most women and in particular anyone going through the menopause. We named it after the song “Wasp nest”. It consists of fermented raspberry leaves, lady’s mantle, sage, fennel, red clover and honeysuckle flowers.

Cold girl fever πŸ€’

To chase away cold and flu and to alleviate any symptoms if you do get ill we made up a mixture named after the song “Cold girl fever”. It consists of meadow sweet flowers, lawn daisy, fennel, plantain, mint, sage, yarrow, honeysuckle flowers and raspberry leaves.

Racing like a pro 😎

Our next blend is named after the song “Racing like a pro” and as the name suggests it gets you rearing to go. For this blend we added one ingredient that we did not grow or forage ourselves. It is the South American plant Yerba Mate that has many health benefits and contains caffeine for a nice lift but it leaves you less jittery than coffee. To the mix we also added lemon verbena, rose pelargonium, calendula, mint flowers and leaves, sweet cicely, strawberry mint and fermented black currant leaves.

Yerba Mate

If you plan to make your own herbal tea mixes we suggest you do some research as some herbs might not be suitable for everyone. For instance if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or on medication, you will need to look into if certain herbs are off bounds.

We did make up one last blend that is brilliant for detoxing the body and is named after the song Bitters & Absolut. It consists of Birch leaves, dandelion leaves and nettle tops. With all the different herb teas it is important not to drink the same one every day for a long time. Take a break now and again and swap between the different mixes. Although it can be tempting to display your teas on a shelf in the kitchen, the best place for them is in a dark, dry and cool cupboard where the medicinal properties will be preserved.

11 thoughts on “Herbal Love

  • Wow, those look fabulous, Maria! So colourful and I just love your idea for naming and labelling the different teas. I feel very inspired to try a few differnt mixes, I haven’t found it easy to love herbal teas so tend to keep going back to my favourite mix of lemon balm, lavender and thyme ~ seems a bit tame compared to yours! I think a little wandering and herbal / floral foraging might be on the cards today . . . πŸ™‚

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    • Glad to have inspired you Lis! I know you like the fresh herbs more than dried and we do use them a lot in the summer. The season of fresh herbs and flowers is just too short here though as you know. I find it is just lovely to be able to save a bit of summer and when drinking the teas you get a lovely connection with the herbs and flowers and you remember the time spent picking and drying them. Hope you enjoyed your forage…

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  • Oops, forgot to ask . . . do you have a really good reference herbal that you use? I find a lot of conflicting advice when researching herbs for tea which is a bit frustrating. For instance, we have masses of passionflowers here which I’ve read make a good bedtime tea, but then I’ve seen warnings in other places that it can be very damaging to health and shouldn’t be touched! 😦

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      • Thank you! I have James Wong’s book and have used it a lot over te years, also hoping to get a copy of Alys Fowler’s herbal which has been recommended to me. I’ve been experimenting with a version of Wasp’s Nest this week, I’ve never been able to establish lady’s mantle here which makes me sad as it’s one of my favourite plants but everything else is to hand. Thanks again for sharing, hope all is well with you and your family and that you wil be able to start that course very soon! 😊🀞

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  • I’m not at all familiar with the Nationals, and will make an effort to listen to some of their music. I love the idea of naming your teas after their songs. Those teas look very interesting and I like the appearance of the mixtures – all those leaves and flowers in together.

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