Selecting Herbs for Herbal Tea

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,195
    Herbalist Deb Friedman discusses how to manage your stress levels with herbal tea, including how to select the herbs.

    Deb Friedman

    Deb Friedman is a trained Herbalist with a master of science degree in herbal medicine from the Tai Sophia Institute (located in Laurel, Maryland). She recommends herbs to people with problems as diverse as arthritis, allergies, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and a number of other health issues. She also writes, gives talks, and teaches classes on herbal medicine. Believing that herbal medicine is the medicine of the future as well as the past, Deb bases her herbal practice on both evidence-based scientific research and on a 1000-year-old-plus tradition of herbal medicine use throughout the world. Deb also has a master’s degree in Botany from the University of Massachusetts and enjoys searching the woods and fields for medicinal plants.

    Deb Friedman: Hi! I'm Deb Friedman. I am a trained clinical herbalist, and I am showing you how to make herbal teas to help you deal with stress. Right now, I am going to tell you about the herbs and where you can get them.

    Now, herbal teas to deal with stress are made from herbs known as nervines, which are herbs that support and nourish your nervous system. You can buy most nervine herbs in a health food store either as loose tea or as tea bags. Most herb teas are made from the leaves, flowers, and sometimes a little bit of stems of herbaceous plants. A good example is chamomile tea. Chamomile is a small daisy-like flower; it s in the daisy family, and it s a very good tea for stress. It also helps with digestion, so it's a good tea to take after dinner to help you unwind in the evening. Here is a picture of the plant from which the tea is made. Now, a few people are allergic to daisy family plants and they probably wouldn t want to drink chamomile tea, but the allergic reaction is very mild and is very short-lived, so don t worry if you are not sure, and you can still try chamomile.

    Another really excellent nervine tea to drink is lemon balm. The tea is made from the leaves. It s also a good digestive tea as well as being a nervine tea. It has a very nice lemony, minty flavor. Here is a picture of the lemon balm plant. Also, what are called the milky tops of oat plants in seed are very nourishing to the nervous system. If you make a tea from this and drink it long-term, it can be very helpful if you have a lot of stress. So, where do you get these herbs? It s really important to get good quality herbs from a reliable source. If you go to your health food store and they have a bulk section, you can check yourself when you go to look at the herbs. You want to make sure that they are a nice green color. You don t want something, for instance, that's kind of brown and doesn t look as fresh, even though these are dried herbs and not fresh herbs, of course. We also want to try smelling the herbs. You could take a little bit out, take a whiff, and it should have an aroma; you should be able to smell the herb. If not, it s probably been around too long and you don t want to use it. If you are not sure, talk to a trained herbalist.

    Okay, now let s get started making a cup of herb tea.