Growing your own herbal tea

I am a new tea drinker and I am really enjoying it. As I was looking at ingredients on my teas (I drink mostly herbal/caffeine free) I noticed that most of them are just plants, sometimes just leaves of plants. So I got to wondering if I could make my own.
I have a huge vegetable garden with tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, sewer potatoes, radishes, onions, summer squash, winter squash, and some fruits like watermelon, cantelope, and honeydew. I also have lot of perennial fruit producing plants including grape vines, apple trees, pear trees, cherry tree, raspberry plants, and blackberry plants. I don’t have many herbs growing, I do have tons of spearmint and I’d like to plant some lavender. I am open to planting more herbs if they would be useful. I do have 2 small rose bushes too. I also have many other (as far as I know) inedible plants and trees.

Anyways I was wondering what of that could be used to make my own teas. What parts of the plants are usable, how to use them, do they need to be dried (I do have a dehydrator) what to mix them with, how to store them, how to steep them (how long, what temp etc). Also what plants would be good to plant to make my own tea? I live in northern Indiana. As you can see any information is helpful. I can do google searches, but I thought it would be good to get some tried and true information.

I also thought it would be fun for people to list their favorite recipes that they have made.

Thanks all!

12 Replies
chadao said

Spearmint is an exellent herb to brew, fresh or dried. As for the fruits, there’s nothing to stop you from drying them and steeping them along with your mint :)

Lavender is very easy to grow. The seeds and blossoms make a potent brew. You could also try growing peppermint, licorice root, kitchen sage, wild rose, German Chamomile, elder bushes, hibiscus, or lemon balm, to name a few. Hope this helps :)

Arshness said

Mind tho, be careful planting Chamomile. It’s lovely but it attracts wasps if you’re in a warm enough climate to have them. >_< Planting some echinacea nearby supposedly helps combat the issue and hey! Then you have Echinacea!

Seriously?! D: what if you plant them inside? will they grow?

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Thanks I will look for seeds for those plants. I am excited about all the fruit possibilities later this summer :)

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Rosemary is easy to grow, I love a good rosemary tea. Also you should be able to get rosehips from the rose bush and sometimes rose petals make a nice addition to an herbal blend (as long as you’re not using pesticides on them).

Uniquity said

I had a smallish rosemary plant that died very suddenly over the start of winter (it was kept inside and warm with sun). I’ve since decided that rosemary must be hard to grow to spare my feelings. I loved having fresh rosemary!

I was able to keep my rosemary plant alive since December, but I went away for two weeks and no one looked after it so it died :( I chalked it up to that, but maybe rosemary is difficult after all!

I had a rosemary plant last year that died too. Although I think forgetting to water it may have been the cause of death

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Sounds interesting what does rosemary tea taste like? I am hoping to get some rose hips when they are ready,I’m assuming after the roses are done? Some of my favorite tea blends have rose hips in them. Do you use rose petals dried or fresh?

Rosemary has it’s own unique taste so it’s hard to describe. Some might compare it to sage. I’ve only ever used rose petals dried but they can be used fresh all well.

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SarsyPie said

Lemon balm. But it’s best grown in a pot. It’s in the mint family and will take over the garden. :)

Ooh, I like lemon balm! I’ll have to find a pot to grow it in.

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