The Health Benefits of Fresh Herb Tea

Health Benefits of Fresh Herb Tea

Summer gardens are in their full glory. The roses are blooming, the lavender is buzzing with bees, and citrus trees are bowing under the weight of their tangy fruit. And did you know you can make tea out of all of them? No drying required. The many health benefits of fresh herb tea are well worth a foraging run into your backyard garden. It’s quick, easy, and intensely satisfying.

The Health Benefits of Fresh Herb Tea

In general, the health benefits of fresh herb teas come from their higher concentration of essential oils. When you pick the plants straight from the garden, their oils are in their purest forms, giving you greater benefits than dried herb teas. And, let’s not forget about the benefits of aromatherapy (fresh herb teas smell wonderful!). Lavender and chamomile calms, orange invigorates, lemon balm helps with mood and concentration, peppermint wakes you up, etc.

The Easiest Fresh Herbs to Use in Tea

Mint – Peppermint tea relieves muscle spasms, nausea, gas and bloating.

Chamomile – Chamomile tea helps calm mind and body, perfect for a restful night’s sleep. But did you know it’s also an anti-inflammatory? You can use it to sooth sore throats and coughing too.

Lavender – Lavender promotes relaxation, reducing anxiety, stress and depression. You can also use it to sooth indigestion and nervous stomach, and prevent gastric ulcers.

Lemon Balm – Minty and lemony in flavor, Lemon Balm helps improve concentration, and some say helps lift the spirits.

Stevia – Everyone knows stevia as a natural, no-calorie sweetener, but it also has health benefits! It’s anti-bacterial, anti-septic, anti-microbial, anti-glycemic, and contains anti-oxidants.

Rosemary – Rich in antioxidants, rosemary also supports digestion and increases blood circulation to the brain (helping with cognitive function).

Thyme (or Lemon Thyme) – Thymol, one of the oils in thyme, is a powerful antioxidant, and studies indicate that it can increase omega-3 fatty acids in the brain, which may help curb age-related dementia.

How to Brew Fresh Herb Tea

Fresh herbs have a more gentle flavor than their dried and bagged descendants, and for two good-sized mugs (or 4 dainty teacups), you’ll want a large handful – roughly about 1 cup of loosely gathered fresh leaves. From there, the flavor profile is only limited to your supplies and imagination. I love a mint-lavender-stevia blend, or lemon balm-rosemary-stevia, or lemon balm-lavender-stevia!

  • Place rinsed, fresh herbs into your teapot or French Press.
  • Bring filtered water to a boil.
  • As soon as your kettle whistles, pull it off the heat and pour the hot water into your teapot or press.
  • Let steep for 5-8 minutes (too long and the tea can turn bitter).
  • Enjoy as is, or try this delicious recipe for Sleepy Time Herbal Honey from TheDabblist!

Want more inspiration for fresh herb teas? Check out my new Fresh Herb Tea Pinterest Board! Fresh Herb Teas

6 Reasons to Jump on the Turmeric Trend

Health benefits of turmericWhen mixologists start making cocktails out of something, you know it’s officially become a trend, and turmeric is right there. It’s been featured on NPR as “the new green tea,” and on Dr. Oz as the cure for seasonal depression (just as effective as anti-depressant medications, without the side effects). The health benefits of turmeric span thousands of years and dozens of studies. Are you ready for the new Super Food?

“It’s literally plant medicine!” – Dr. Oz

Turmeric has been used medicinally for almost 4000 years to cure everything from eczema to allergies, and even stopping poison in its tracks.

In Western medicine, turmeric hasn’t been studied nearly as extensively as it should be, but what they’ve found so far is nothing short of amazing.

6 Scientifically Backed-Up Health Benefits of Turmeric 

  • A powerful anti-inflammatory, used for arthritis relief, bladder infections, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis to name a few. And, it’s better for you than Aspirin.
  • A powerful antioxidant which can prevent infection and cancer growths.
  • A study showed that turmeric, when combined with chemotherapy, makes the chemo more potent while decreasing side effects.
  • An effective antibacterial (but if you use it topically to treat acne or sores, prepare to turn yellow!).
  • A liver-cleanser – Curcumin, the main component of turmeric, improves liver function, allowing the liver to get rid of bad cholesterol.
  • New studies have shown Turmeric may be able to prevent Alzheimer’s, and slow its progression.

At Intelligent Gourmet, we often put turmeric in with our fresh juices. Come by and try! Apparently, everyone is doing it (or soon will be!).

5 Exotic Superfoods You’ve Never Heard Of

Tokyo farmers market

Ancient cultures, Eastern cultures, native cultures – they all have so much to offer with their traditional foods and we are discovering more of them every day. This year, have a little fun with your healthy food and try some of these wild, fun, and freekeh superfoods!

Yes, I said Freekeh.

5 Exotic Superfoods You’ve Never Heard Of

1. Freekeh – This ancient Middle Eastern dish is made from green wheat that has been roasted. Compared with other grains, it has four times as much fiber and has a low glycemic index, making it ideal for dieters and diabetics.
2. Kukicha twig tea – Literally made from the sticks of the kukicha plant, this green tea has towering levels of antioxidants and has an alkalizing effect on the body. Curative bonuses include reducing bloating and easing nausea.
3. Cupuaçu – A pulpy tropical fruit that has both antioxidants and essential fatty acids, the Cupuaçu might show up in your face cream before it appears in the produce section of your grocery store. That’s because it nourishes, repairs and regenerates skin cells.
4. Fenugreek – Often used in Indian and Asian cooking, this herb just might contain the cure for the common cold and relieve sore throats. It’s also been claimed that it may improve diabetes symptoms, menopausal symptoms, and menstrual cramps.
5. Jerusalem artichokes – You’ve seen them, thought they were ginger, and when you found out they weren’t, you wondered “what do you do with these?!” Don’t let these unusual roots intimidate you. You can cook them just like you would potatoes or parsnips, though they taste like a nutty, crunchy artichoke. Boil, sauté, bake or steam – or eat them raw – and enjoy this rich source of inulin, vitamin C, fiber, potassium and magnesium.