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Dandelion Leaves and Tea Health Benefits

 

By Meg Price3613438960_bf944c7cef

“I was a dandelion ..Some saw the beauty in me and stooped quietly to admire my innocence. Others saw the potential of what I could do for them, so they uprooted me, seeking to shape me around their needs.  Yet still others saw me as something that was unworthy and needed to be erased.”
Nicole Bailey-Williams

What comes to mind when one thinks of a dandelion, are those annoying yellow flowered weeds that pop up on their green lawns: but I view them very differently.

In the summer months I am the nut scouring my lawn weekly for those yellow flowers, when I see them I grab my scissors and cut the leaves off for additions to my salads. They are also wonderfully delicious to add to a stir fry of either spinach, Kale, turnip greens or beet Greens. ( please read my archived post on Dandelion Greens and their nutritional benefits) The flowers are rich in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus, while boasting  many other complex vitamins, trace minerals, organic sodium, and vitamin D. Did you know that Dandelion contains protein too, more than spinach?

But another fascinating part of this plant is the root to be used in a tea which is high in Beta Carotene that’s converted into Vitamin A by the body.

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How to Dry your Herbs & Store Them

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Tis’ the season to start drying the herbs you don’t use for everyday cooking or Teas. I prefer the slow method to retain the flavors and the herb oils verses the microwave methods used by some, which reduce the natural oils in the leaves.  My method does not bundle the stems up to dry as I have found that enough air does not circulate resulting in occasional mold or rot. Starting this process now will ensure that you have mason jars full of herbs for cooking and loose tea for the winter months.

Remember you can also dry your garden rose petals, in this manner, to add to teas on a 50/50 split for a fabulous Rose tea. The leaves/petals I dry for cooking and loose teas , on a continual basis, are 2 kinds of Basil, Rosemary, Lemon Balm, Mints, 2 kinds of Parsley, Thyme, Tarragon, green onions/chives, Russian Sage and Rose Petals. There are so many more herbs, that are also beneficial for flavor and medicinal purposes, so it’s best to research the ones you would like to have on hand.

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5 Health Benefits of Fresh Peppermint Tea

 

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“All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes.” George Orwell, English novelist and journalist, A Nice Cup of Tea

On my kitchen porch I grow many herbs for cooking and teas; but the peppermint seems to love the part sun , and is thriving. Usually I add some to my lemon balm tea but a friend suggested I try all mint tea with honey, and it was fabulous!

 

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Lemon Balm Tea with Rosemary and Mint: Anti Anxiety & Antiviral Tea

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“Then there’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance”.

William Shakespeare: from Hamlet

 

 

My relaxing mid day habit is to make myself a coffee press full of Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) Tea with Rosemary and Mint. Using the coffee press is perfect for me, to use with loose tea, as I seem to constantly misplace the other tea balls and tea strainers. You can certainly follow this recipe below by using a different method of brewing the loose tea with water. Thanks to my daily habit of drinking Lemon Balm w/ Rosemary & Mint Tea you’ll see me relaxed &  centered even during the most challenging of work days.  For trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, drink a nightly large hot cup of lemon balm as its widely used to treat insomnia as well as anxiety & stress.

Lemon Balm is easy to grow as it requires weekly watering and just needs to be trimmed before it goes to seed at about 18 inches tall. While the lemon Balm grows in the backyard garden due to its size, the other 2 herbs grow in a flower pot on my kitchen porch for easy picking. All 3 of these herbs can be purchased at most garden shops for a small price; even though the herbs look like they die during the winter months, they come right back with the first sign of spring.

To dry: Cut the branches off the bush leaving about 5 inches. Pull off all the leaves from the branches and place on a cookie sheet to dry. Once dry, keep in a mason jar for future use; you can also dry the rosemary and mint in this same method. Storing the dry herbs is perfect to have for the cooler months but since its late spring you’ll want to only use fresh herbs for this tea!

To Use Fresh: Cut off a few branches and place leaves and branches in the coffee press; eyeball the leaves and see if there are about 4 tablespoons of leaves;  guesstimating will be fine. :-}

 

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Fresh Greens in your Yard, Dandelions

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In American society the value of commodities is linked directly to the cost in many eyes; organic foods are higher, yielding purity from chemicals. Gardeners are so fond of fresh greens but many hesitate to look right in their own back yard. There are green that grow in nearly every yard in America. Two cups of these greens gives you a full serving of vegetables per the FDA; containing many vitamins & nutrients such as A, B, C, K, calcium, lutein, potassium, zeaxanthin and fiber. This green is listed among the best 4 greens available, in produce, for it’s complete nutrient value.  You can easily identify the common dandelion by the yellow flower atop; but the leaves and roots are the source of nutritional value.  Read more

The Amazing Benefits of Nettles Tea

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Nettles tea was first noted, as far as I can find, in  the 12th century by Jetsun Milarepa; who was said to have lived on Nettles tea alone for decades to enhance his meditations. Note: Milarepa is considered one of Tibet’s most famous yogi and poet. 

Nettles aka Stinging nettles is a: diuretic, astringent,  nutritive, hermetic, anti-rheumatic, anti-allergenic, decongestant, expectorant, anti-spasmodic & anti-histamine. Preparing the loose dried leaves is so easy by putting about a tablespoon into your coffee press, with a teaspoon of honey, and pouring hot water over it to brew. After about 5 minutes of steeping it’s ready to drink,  this has become my favorite tea! One 1 Lb Nettles Leaf, Cut & Sifted, Organic  This is the brand I buy for quality at a great price. Read more

Tea Gardens & Tea Cups of Old

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“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”
 ~~Henry James- The Portrait of a Woman

Tea Gardens were a fashionably acceptable place to frequent, by women & men both, in the late 1700’s; where they fancied the outdoor surroundings alongside entertainment. Tea Gardens developed into a prominent place to gather for socialization. History states that Anna Marie Russell – the Duchess of Bedford created the notion of the afternoon tea get together when she initiated visitors to join her in the gardens for tea. Since many Englishmen, at the time, only at breakfast & dinner; the hours of 3-5  (Low Tea) became a perfect time for tea & a light meal. This custom soon transpired in the lower class population as well, except they hosting a later tea time 5:30 -6 (High Tea) to accommodate the working class. Read more

The Benefits of Oil of Oregano

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Since I have asthma I am always looking to prevent upper respiratory infections from setting in.  The other issue is I do not take antibiotics, so alternatives are always used. Someone had suggested, from positive recent research, that oil of oregano can rid even the worst bronchitis. I put it to the test with my once a year bout and it worked like a charm. Before I go further~ as always seek medical advice from your naturopathic doctor or primary.  The recipe for treatment calls for adding 20 drops of oil of oregano to a gallon of water. Shake before each use and drink in a 24 hour period. Continue for 6-7 days. It’s easy and very effective in ridding bacteria in the pulmonary area. I bought the tablets which contain 10 drops in each tablet. Then I drank almost a gallon of water in a day for 7 days.  Read more

The Many Benefits and Uses of Lemon Balm

 

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Lemon Balm is my all time favorite herb for its many beneficial uses. It is very easy to grow and even though most of the plant dies off in the winter; it flourishes once again as the warm springtime sun shines upon it. It can grow to almost 3 feet tall but for the purposes of harvesting, I clip the branches as soon as they reach about a foot or less. This eliminates the flowering/seed process and makes the drying and separating leaves from twigs much easier.

Lemon Balm is a member of the mint family that is known for it’s calming and antiviral properties.  Many uses include stress & anxiety reduction, bloating & gas discomfort, insomnia,  and is a common ingredient in cold sore remedies from herpes simplex. Read more