Herbal teas have been used for millennia to treat minor ailments such as colds and fever but are also highly effective for treating and preventing everything from stomach and respiratory problems to depression and sleep disorders.
Whether you’re stockpiling essential natural remedies for a prolonged emergency situation or simply maintaining your current healthy lifestyle, you should definitely keep a number of different herbal teas on hand.
If at all possible, grow your own herbs organically or at least make an effort to find a trusted source of fresh, naturally grown herbs and flowers for use as tea ingredients.
Daisy Luther, of TheOrganicPrepper.ca website, has suggested a list of 10 easy-to-grow or easy-to-find herbal tea ingredients.
Here are the 10 essential herbal teas to have in your cupboard or bug-out bag, according to Luther:
Mint – Delicious mint tea not only is full of flavor but has many medicinal properties as well. Easy to grow (in fact, it can take over your garden, so plant with care!), mint can be used to alleviate congestion, gas, cramps and fever.
Ginger – This root is used to make tea and ginger ale, both of which aid digestion and are useful in treating coughs. Ginger has many health-promoting qualities and is useful in cooking, too. It’s relatively easy to grow, requiring little care when planted correctly.
Chamomile – Tea made from chamomile flowers is effective in relieving anxiety and can be used as a sleep aid or for treating coughs. Chamomile can be grown from seeds and is available in perennial and annual varieties.
Cinnamon – Rich in antioxidants, cinnamon also has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Cinnamon is surprisingly easy to grow, apparently, although it is not commonly cultivated. Cinnamon is good for circulation, digestion and treating colds or sore throat.
Lemongrass – A versatile herb that can also be used in cooking, lemongrass has several medicinal properties which make it useful for treating infections, inflammation, parasites and fungus. It can be easily grown year-round indoors and is helpful with reducing blood pressure, aiding digestion and improving circulation.
Echinacea – One of the most powerful medicinal herbal teas, echinacea is a highly effective immune system booster with anti-bacterial and pain-relieving properties. Echinacea can be grown outdoors and is planted in early spring. The flowers and leaves contain the health-promoting compounds.
Rosehips – Rose bushes not only bring beauty to a garden with their lovely blooms but also provide an important source of vitamin C and other health-boosting compounds in the form of rosehips. The seed-filled pods found at the base of the rose bloom are used to make a tea packed with minerals and energy-enhancing properties.
Blackberry Leaf – Tea made with blackberry leaf can be helpful with pain relief and relieving some digestive ailments. Rich in vitamin C, tannins and antioxidants, blackberry leaf tea can be very beneficial. Care should be taken with blackberry leaf, however — over-consumption of tannins can cause liver damage.
Clove – With a number of medicinal properties along with their distinctive flavor, cloves are an essential herbal tea ingredient. Unfortunately, cloves are not easy to grow in most places; they require a tropical Asian climate to thrive. Cloves are easy to find, however, and are effective in treating strep throat, tonsillitis and congestion while also relieving pain.
Lemon Balm – Also known as bee balm, lemon balm has been cultivated since ancient times and used as a general health-boosting agent. It grows easily in an outdoor setting and is valued for its antiviral properties as well as its beneficial effects on the digestive system. Lemon balm also works as a sleep aid and in relieving anxiety.