Tag Archives: herbal tea

Licorice Root & Hibiscus Tea (Another Cold Remedy)

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The last few weeks have been rather eventful.

First and foremost, I married the love of my life. We had a huge elaborate wedding planned, but it started to get out of control. One day, we looked at each other and said “why are we doing this to ourselves?” And with that we decided to elope. In the blink of an eye, we were in a chapel in Las Vegas and became husband and wife. It was absolutely perfect. But I’ll save that for another post.

So with all the wedding planning, eloping and everything else, I never really got to tell you about my new venture. When I have more time, I will do just that. Because right now, unfortunately, I’m sick as a heck. The cold started a few days after we got back from Las Vegas, and about 4 other friends/family also became sick. I’m not sure if it was the smoking in the casino, the drinking, the lack of sleep, something else or all of the above, but as of right now, I’ve lost my voice and can’t eat.

I’ve been drinking a tea for the last few days along with taking some OTC meds. Really, I’d prefer not to take store bought meds, but nothing knocks you out at night like Nyquil. FYI, I will apologize now for the pictures. I can’t find my camera so I’ve been taking pics with my cell phone. And now then…The tea I’ve been taking is a mixture of:

-Licorice Root: This herb has been used for centuries to treat coughs and sore throats. It’s very soothing and calming on the throat and it also works as a phlegm expectorant. Licorice can be used for a variety of ailments, from internally to externally, so do your research to see if it’s something you want to try. Licorice is not intended for long term use, but for coughs and colds, it’s not too bad. You can chew the root or make it a tea like I do.

-Hibiscus: Full of vitamin c and great at decreasing inflammation, hibiscus is a tart and tasty herb you’ll want to keep in stock. Unlike licorice, you drink hibiscus tea long term. I’ve also read it’s really great for colds, but I suspect it’s because of it’s high concentration of vitamin c.

-Honey: I’ve said it many times, honey tastes great! Also, it’s very soothing on a sore throat, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial.

Something to note about hibiscus and licorice root is that they are both mildy diuretic. You will find that you use the bathroom more than usual when drinking this tea. Also, if you have some elderberry on hand, you could add this to the brew as well. Generally I would, but I’m not feeling flu-ish yet. Mainly just tons of congestion and major sore throat.

I prepare my teas the same way I make tinctures. I let them simmer down until I’m left with half the water I started with. With any types of root herbs, I’ve found that I get better concentration of the herb when I let it simmer a good long while. Also, I follow the Chinese tradition of using the herbs in 3-4 rounds of teas. Meaning, when I drink up my first batch, I use the same herbs again in a new batch. But, I only use the herbs the same day, I don’t carry them over to the next day.

I realize these look like ordinary branch twigs. But that’s just an illusion as these are herbal wonders.

Recipe:

1. Break 1-2 twigs in smaller pieces in a pot. Add 1-2 teaspons of hibiscus. Add 4 cups of water.

2. Bring all 3 ingredients to a boil.

3. When the mixture is boiling, turn down to a simmer. Simmer until about half the water is gone. For me, this is about 20-30 minutes. You can really drink your tea any time, but let it simmer awhile.

Whats left of the herbs after they’ve been simmered for about 30 minutes.

4. Once you get the tea the concentration you like, strain and pour into a mug. This is where I add a teaspoon to a tablespoon of honey.

This is my brew after it’s boiled down half way. It’s a rich purple color and is about as thick as rich red wine.

5. Drink and enjoy.

The lower you let the water boil out, the thicker the tea will be. You can’t go wrong with any amount of tea you end up with, so don’t feel like you have to boil it as long as I do.

Bottoms up!

Swamp Tea Cold Remedy

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Remember I mentioned I was sick? I had a chest cold with hard heavy mucus, a super sore throat and I could barely speak. I was exhausted and frustrated I couldn’t cough anything up. Of course, my beloved Fernando went to the store and got me all kinds of Nyquil and other cough syrup expectorants. Guess what? Other than putting me to sleep, none of them worked. Why in my time of need, did I forget I was a medicine woman?

Being as sick as I was, I knew I wouldn’t be able to drive around looking for any fancy herbs. I went back to my herbal class notes and Kami’s new book The Herbal Kitchen (which I HIGHLY recommend) to remember which ingredients I had at home to help me get over this cold.

What did I pick?

Here’s a rundown of my selections.

Honey: It helps stuff taste better and it helps with sore throats. Plus, being anti-bacterial, I needed all the help I could get with killing germs.

Cinnamon: To help break down the mucus and as an expectorant. Also it just tastes and smells good.

Garlic: In Kami’s book, The Herbal Garden, she mentions some thing about garlic that I didn’t remember from class. Garlic boosts the production of white blood cells. If that’s not reason to eat it, drink it, slather yourself in it, I don’t know what is. But beyond that, garlic just helps get rid of colds. And it tastes good.

Cayenne Pepper: Now I know that it’s also like cinnamon, as it helps break down mucus and an expectorant. Plus it just gets your blood moving!

Ginger: My family believes  in the medicinal properties of ginger. If I felt naseaus, my grandpa would give me preserved ginger to suck/chew on. If I had a stomach ache, here came more ginger. Plus, he cooked a lot with it. For me, I don’t care that I don’t know how it works. All I know is that this is a staple in our house. Oh yeah and it tastes good too.

Did you notice a theme about stuff tasting good here?

What I love about this tea, is not only did it kick my cold’s a$$, but really, it’s stuff we all have in our house. And this tea was insanely easy to make. For the most part, I don’t use measurements, but I’ll try and give you approximates.

First, cut off a small piece of ginger and grab a clove of garlic. Dump them both in a pot of water and bring to a boil. I usually let the water boil down a little bit, but you can decide how strong you want this mixture.

While this is boiling, get your other ingredients in the cup.

Generally, I put in enough cinnamon to thickly coat the bottom of my mug.

Then add a dash of cayenne. (Or more if you like)

And lastly, a little honey. In this picture, it’s probably about a teaspoon, but you can add more to your taste.

After you’re done boiling your garlic/ginger water, add it to the cinnamon/cayenne/honey mix.

Now stir, stir, stir! And there you have it. Swampy, murky looking water that tastes almost like real Mexican hot chocolate. This stuff had me up and moving again within a day of drinking it. I started coughing things up, sweating like crazy and within 3 days, I was able to go back to work. I still sounded like crap, and not everything had come out, but I was able to finish a whole day at work without being overly exhausted.

I don’t know why I forgot to make my own medicinal teas at the onset of my cold, but believe you me, it won’t happen again.

P.S. As always, I’m not a doctor and use your own judgement when it comes to your health. But let me know if you try this tea and if it works for you too.

Camille

store: www.havelinasoap.com

Insanely Good Tea Blend

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Last weekend I went crazy in my local herb store. My initial reason for buying herbs was to fill the lavender sachets I made for Raquel. Instead of just buying lavender, I came home with bags of other herbs. With them, I put together this insanely tasty tea blend.

What’s in it you ask?

Roses

Chamomile

Elderberries

Hibiscus

Peppermint

Here it is put together.

Pretty huh? It’s nicely tart, with a light berry taste and I actually like it better cold than hot.

Most of these herbs are available at a herb or health food store. And of course, you can always order them online. For this particular blend, I just included about equal amounts of each herb. Try it yourself and see what you like best.

-Camille

store: www.havelinasoap.com