Tea blending is daily magic in its most basic form: creating a healing concoction of herbs to create well-being.
The curanderas, or medicine women of New Mexico, have been doing it for years to promote health and prevent, or in some cases cure, illness. Tea blending draws from the power of the earth to nourish ourselves with the gifts of nature. I'm not saying that I'm above using Tylenol for headaches or a good antibiotic when I get sick, but a strong ginger and echinacea tea does wonders to prevent a cold, and Valerian and hops chill me out better than any shot of whiskey. Plus, taking the time to blend my own teas allows me to consciously imbue my tea drinking habit with self-care.
I feel like an alchemist when I'm in my kitchen adding a pinch of this herb and a handful of those flowers, thinking about what tastes, colors, and healing properties best work together to create a nourishing brew.
All if which is my way of saying that I've been tinkering with a new tea recipe. I've been marinating on this idea of nourishment--how do we feed ourselves, our souls, or minds, our bodies? What we ingest both physically and psychically determines our sense of personal well-being. So with this in mind, I went to work in my kitchen, playing with herbs that would both soothe and nourish for my latest blend.
This new tea has got chamomile in it, the ultimate all around comforting flower. It is known for soothing restless minds and minor aches and pains in the body. To boost the soothing properties of my tea, I also added the happy flower calendula aka marigold. This flower brings a burst of golden color to my blend, along with skin soothing and heart healing properties. The key nourishing ingredient in my blend is alfalfa, which is chock-full of vitamins A, E, K, B, and D, and minerals like iron, magnesium, and potassium to name a few. The final touch to this blend is fennel seed. It helps balance the grassiness of the alfalfa with its subtle sweetness--and let's not forget that these little seeds aid digestion.
I made a cup of this tea for my mom when she was frazzled after a sleepless night. What a change it caused! Twenty minutes after a cup of this nourishing blend, she was back to her tranquil self, restored and ready to tackle the day's adventures.
I'm including the recipe here and hope that you will try it. You can find these herbs at your local herb store (mine is actually called "The Herb Store") or online at Rose Mountain Herbs. I look forward to hearing about the results!
1 cup chamomile flowers
1/2 cup alfalfa leaves
1/2 cup calendula (marigold flowers)
1/4 cup fennel seeds
Blend all ingredients in a bowl and transfer to an airtight container. Keep away from direct sunlight and heat. To brew, use a heaping tablespoon per cup of hot water. Makes 2 1/4 cups. Enjoy!
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