preparing tea from own garden herbal preparing tea from own garden herbal

How to Make Herbal Tea from Your Garden Herbs

How to Make Delicious Herbal Tea from Your Garden Herbs

Making your own herbal tea using fresh or dried herbs from your garden is a wonderful way to harness their natural healing properties. Drinking herbal tea can provide a variety of wellness benefits, from soothing anxiety to boosting immunity and beyond. By preparing herbal tea at home with your own herbs, you can customize the flavors and potency exactly to your liking. Follow this beginner’s guide to get started with making your own delicious, nourishing herbal tea using garden herbs.

Key Points:

  • Herbal teas provide natural healing compounds from plants.
  • Making your own herbal tea is easy with garden herbs.
  • Harvesting and drying herbs at home saves money.
  • You control the ingredients and customize the blend.
  • Connecting with plants you grew is deeply rewarding.

What is Herbal Tea?

Herbal teas, also called tisanes or herbal infusions, are beverages made from steeping various parts of plants in hot water to extract their beneficial compounds. This releases the aromatic volatile oils and other phytochemicals from the herbs into the water. Herbal teas differ from true teas, which are made from the leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. Common herbal tea ingredients include the leaves, flowers, roots, seeds, stems and fruits of medicinal plants and culinary herbs.

Top Benefits of Drinking Herbal Tea

Sipping herbal tea made from garden herbs provides a range of wellness advantages:

  • Natural relief – Herbal teas can alleviate headaches, digestive issues, anxiety, insomnia and more
  • Immune boosting – Antimicrobial and adaptogenic herbs help prevent illness
  • Hydration – Flavorful herbal teas motivate increased water consumption
  • Nutrient absorption – Compounds in herbs increase bioavailability of nutrients
  • Emotional balance – Relaxing and uplifting herbal teas enhance mood
  • Minimal side effects – Herbal teas are gentle with few medication interactions

Why Make Your Own Herbal Tea from Garden Herbs

Brewing your own herbal tea using fresh or dried herbs from your backyard garden or windowsill offers many benefits:

  • Quality – You control the ingredient sourcing and quality
  • Freshness – Use herbs immediately after harvesting for maximal potency
  • Convenience – Access medicinal herbs right outside your door
  • Affordability – Avoid expensive pre-made herbal tea products
  • Sustainability – Grow herbs organically and harvest renewably
  • Customization – Cater the ingredients and strength to your needs
  • Connection – Develop a personal relationship with healing plants

Choosing the Best Herbs for Herbal Tea

Many culinary herbs also offer medicinal effects and make excellent teas. When selecting herbs for tea, look for leaves, seeds or flowers with aromatic, volatile oils that will infuse well into water. Avoid toxic plants. Some top herbal tea herbs include:

  • Chamomile – Relaxing, soothing, sleep aid
  • Peppermint – Refreshing, cooling, digestive
  • Lemon balm – Uplifting, calming, concentration
  • Rosemary – Energizing, stimulating, memory booster
  • Lavender – Stress-relieving, relaxing, headache remedy
  • Echinacea – Immune boosting, anti-inflammatory
  • Ginger – Warming, circulation aid, nausea relief
  • Elderberry – Immune support, vitamin C, antioxidant

The right herb depends on your desired therapeutic benefits. Do research before ingesting unknown herbs for safety.

How to Harvest and Dry Herbs for Tea

To access garden-fresh herbs for tea all year long, proper harvesting and drying techniques are key:

  • Pick leaves in morning after dew dries but before the heat of midday
  • Use scissors or pruning shears for clean cuts
  • Cut stalks just above leaf nodes to encourage bushy growth
  • Gently wash leaves if needed and pat dry
  • Dry herbs quickly on screens or hang bundled stems to retain oils
  • Store fully dried herbs in airtight jars out of light

Now that you know how to grow and harvest herbs for tea, let’s get into the simple process of making a delicious cup of tea.

brew a team at home

Basic Steps for Making Herbal Tea

The basic process for making a wonderful cup of herbal tea is very simple:

  1. Gather ingredients – Have your dried or fresh herbs, tea cup, strainer, timer, water and any optional add-ins like honey or lemon ready. Use 1-2 tsp dried herbs per cup or 2-4 tsp fresh herb leaves.
  2. Heat water – Bring pure filtered water to a boil, then remove from heat and allow to cool to 160-180°F. This is the optimal temperature range to extract herbal compounds. Boiling water can destroy some of the delicate volatile oils.
  3. Steep – Place herbs in a teapot or directly in a cup. Pour the heated water over them. Let them infuse for 5-10 minutes covered, adjusting time based on the herb.
  4. Strain and serve – Strain the herbs from the water through a fine mesh strainer or tea basket into your cup. Enjoy the herbal tea immediately for the freshest flavor and strongest effects.

Follow basic ratios and infusion times, then adjust to your taste as you gain experience with making herbal tea.

Tips for Making the Best Tasting, Most Potent Herbal Tea

Here are some key tips for maximizing flavor and therapeutic benefits when making garden herb tea:

  • Grinding dried herbs slightly releases more oils. Don’t powder them completely though
  • Use filtered water for better flavor; hard water can impact taste
  • Steep covered to retain volatile oils and prevent evaporation
  • Infuse flowers and leaves for 5-10 minutes; roots and barks for 15-30
  • Remove herbs before oversteeping to prevent bitterness
  • Compost spent herbs or reuse for one additional infusion
  • Sweeten with honey, maple syrup, or stevia if desired after straining
  • Add lemon, ginger or other herbs to create custom flavor blends
  • Start with a small amount of herb and increase next time if stronger potency needed
  • Drink herbal tea when fresh for maximum medicinal effects

The optimal steeping time, ratio of herbs to water and ideal serving temperature depends on the individual herb. Continue reading for recipes…

Recipes for Soothing Herbal Teas Using Garden Herbs

Here are some nourishing herbal tea recipes to make using fresh and dried herbs from your garden:

Chamomile Tea for Relaxation

  • 2 tsp dried chamomile flowers or 4 tsp fresh flowers
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Steep covered for 5-10 minutes
  • Sweeten with honey if desired
  • Sip slowly to ease anxiety and prepare for sleep

Peppermint Tea for Indigestion

  • 2 tsp dried peppermint leaves or 4 tsp fresh leaves
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Steep covered for 5-7 minutes
  • Add lemon juice and sweeten with honey if desired
  • Drink after meals to settle the stomach

Ginger Tea for Nausea

  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger root or 1/4 tsp dried, ground ginger
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Steep covered for 5-10 minutes
  • Sweeten with honey or lemon if desired
  • Slowly sip the warming ginger tea to ease nausea

Lavender Tea for Headaches

  • 2 tsp dried lavender flowers or 4 tsp fresh flowers
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Steep covered for 6-8 minutes
  • Add honey if desired
  • Drink to help relieve tension headaches

Lemon Balm Tea for Focus

  • 2 tsp dried lemon balm leaves or 4 tsp fresh leaves
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Steep covered for 5-7 minutes
  • Sweeten with honey if desired
  • Sip the bright herbal tea to aid concentration

Explore using other herbs from your garden like sage, thyme, rosemary, hibiscus, fennel, bee balm, lemon verbena, holy basil, mints, and more. Creating your own herbal tea blends is enjoyable and therapeutic.


s someone who loves gardening, natural health, and a hot cup of tea, learning to make my own herbal tea from the plants I grow has been an immensely rewarding experience. I’ve discovered just how easy it is to dry and store herbs for year-round use. Now I have jars of chamomile, peppermint, lemon balm and other herbs ready for crafting fresh batches of soothing, energizing or immune-boosting tea anytime I want.

I love the control I have over the ingredients when I use my homegrown herbs. I know exactly where they came from and when they were harvested at their peak potency. It feels so gratifying sipping a cup of lavender tea made from the very lavender I nurtured from seed in my garden. The connection I’ve developed with these plants by caring for them and transforming them into medicine feels sacred.

Making tea from garden herbs has also saved me money compared to buying pre-made tea bags at the store. Why waste money on grocery store tea when I have an abundance of healing herbs just steps from my kitchen? I can blend them into custom formulations tailored to my needs each day.

While I’m still perfecting my herbal tea craft, this simple, natural wellness practice has brought me closer to my garden, given me peace of mind, and helped me treat minor issues like headaches, anxiety and upset stomach without medicine. I love having the power to grow my own herbal remedies. I hope you’ll consider harvesting some herbal tea from your own garden soon. Please let me know in the comments what herb you most want to try growing for tea! 

Frequently Asked Questions About Making Herbal Tea

Here are answers to some common questions about making and drinking herbal tea:

What are the best herb-to-water ratios?

Use about 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 grams) of dried herb per cup of water or 2-4 teaspoons (10-15 grams) of fresh herb leaves or flowers per cup of water as a general guideline. Adjust up or down to taste.

How long should different herbs steep for?

  • Leaves and flowers: 5-10 minutes
  • Seeds and roots: 15-30 minutes
  • Berries: 8-10 minutes

What are safe daily intake amounts?

Drink 1-3 cups per day of lighter herbs like mint, chamomile, and lemon balm. Use more potent herbs like echinacea or elderberry in cycles of 3-5 days on, 2-3 days off.

Are there side effects or herb-drug interactions?

Some herbs may interact with certain medications or cause reactions in those with sensitivities. Research potential side effects and drug interactions thoroughly for any herb new to you. Talk to your doctor to be safe.

Can pregnant or nursing mothers drink herbal tea?

Many herbs are likely safe in moderation, but check with your doctor. Avoid potentially hormone-altering herbs like chasteberry. Limit intake of stronger diuretic, laxative, and stimulant herbs.

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