The Secret of Peppermint Herbal Tea

by Elena Popec 28. February 2013 23:11

As more Americans become interested in a more natural and holistic lifestyle, many are turning to herbal tea remedies instead of pharmaceutical options for treating minor ailments.  With its aromatic and health properties, as well as a pleasing flavor, peppermint is a popular and readily available herb.  One of the most common preparations is peppermint tea, although peppermint tea isn’t a true tea.  This herbaceous plant is completely separate from camellia sinensis, the plant that produces all varieties of true tea.  The more accurate name for peppermint tea would be peppermint infusion, or peppermint tisane. 

A peppermint infusion is made by steeping the dried leaves of the peppermint plant in boiling water.  The essential oils in peppermint leaves provide a wealth of health benefits; for the strongest concentration of these oils in your peppermint infusion, cover the cup while it steeps.  A cover traps more of the essential oils in the cup, creating a healthier and tastier infusion.  These essential oils are packed with compounds that have a relaxing effect on the digestive system; the peppermint tisane is effective in, and perhaps best known for, its ability to calm an upset stomach.  Regular consumption of peppermint tisane has been shown to reduce the symptoms of certain chronic digestive conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome.  The analgesic properties of peppermint aid the associated discomfort, while the relaxing effect is calming and soothing.  Peppermint also has some anesthetic properties that may be effective against a number of other conditions and disorders.

Menthol, a main component of peppermint, is a powerful compound with multiple benefits.  Its strong and refreshing aroma has an invigorating and energizing effect; it can help to increase mental alertness and fight fatigue.  The physiological impact of menthol can bring welcome relief from the symptoms of allergies and the common cold.  The menthol in peppermint thins mucus; the steam from a hot peppermint tisane can be inhaled to clear the nasal passages, and ingested to break up congestion in the throat.  It also acts as an expectorant, and can soothe the pain of a sore throat.  In fact, frequent consumption of peppermint infusions may be more effective at easing the suffering of a cold or allergies than pharmaceutical remedies.  It’s also safer, gentler, and presents with far fewer side effects.

A peppermint tisane is also a great source of antioxidants, which can keep you healthy.  It’s hot and comforting in cold weather, and can be served over ice for a refreshing summer drink.  If the flavor and aroma of a pure peppermint infusion is too strong for you, there are plenty of options out there.  Peppermint is nicely complemented by a variety of other herbal flavors; berries, vanilla, cacao, and earthy herbs like jasmine taste great when blended with peppermint.  It’s easy to find a blend from the many brands on the market, or to create your own favorite combination with loose dried herbals.  Treat yourself to great flavor, energizing aroma, and countless health benefits with a refreshing and invigorating peppermint tisane.

Embrace Fall With Autumn Tea

by Elena Popec 30. October 2012 20:52

The days are growing shorter and the nights are becoming cooler, and summer is coming to an end once again. Fortunately, autumn tea will help you usher in the next season with joy. It will have you embracing the cooler weather to come and have you pining for the golds, oranges and reds of the autumn season. Autumn Tea is the perfect drink to usher in the cooler weather. It’s easy to make and even easier to enjoy!

Harvest your ingredients:

-5 cups apple juice, unsweetened

-5 cups boiling water

-5 teaspoons loose leaf tea

-2 cups cranberry juice

-1/3 cup sugar or honey

-5 tbsp lemon juice

-1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Start by placing the tea into your filter or strainer, then place that filter into a pitcher (make sure this pitcher is heatproof). Add the hot water and allow the tea to steep for approximately 5 minutes. Then, remove the tea leaves and/or strainer.

Add your apple juice, cranberry juice, sugar (or honey), lemon juice, and the pumpkin pie spice. Stir until the sugar or honey is fully dissolved. The Autumn tea is ready to be served and enjoyed!

This recipe should make about 3 quarts, which serves about 12 people. However, after you have a sip of this drink – 3 quarts might not seem like enough! The notes of spicy chai will warm you inside and out and delight your senses with a warm aroma and flavor. The mixture of the tea with the cranberry, pumpkin pie spice and lemon will make you feel sunny and happy even as the temperatures begin to drop.  Just cuddle up with your mug of Autumn tea and some friends and relax.

Our recipe uses a spicy chai black tea blend but you can use any black tea like a darjeeling with its aromatic and mild flavor which would blend well with the rest of the ingredient. Don’t get confused by the chai tea we used. Chai tea usually refers to masala chai which literally means mixed spice tea. In the tea our recipe uses, those mixed spices include aniseed, cinnamon, ginger and other special spices.

Or, you can use a fruit or herbal tea if you so desire! A berry blend or apple tea blend would be a welcome addition and make for a sweeter and fruitier beverage.

Do not fear or dread the oncoming change of seasons! Instead, embrace the short days and long nights and face them head on with a steaming cup of Autumn tea in your hand!

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