Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
When I took my first sip of regular iced tea in undergrad school, I recoiled at the bitter taste. Before that the only iced tea I'd ever had was made from the plants that grew in my yard. Of course, as soon as I got my own yard I returned to my former habits.
What I had thought of as iced tea was mint tea using mint picked fresh from the yard, gently boiled, steeped and lightly sweetened.
My current favorite is a blend of spearmint and lemon balm (which is also in the mint family). Besides being refreshing, this tea is also very cooling, which is especially welcome on hot summer days. Members of the mint family also calm the stomach, which is comforting after a large meal or if your stomach, like mine, tends to be a bit sensitive when exposed to warm temperatures.
Mints also help calm the nervous system, which can support a clear mind. Chewing a fresh sprig of mint also works as well if not better than chewing gum to freshen the breath.
Of course there are many other yard edibles that make excellent tea. Next time you run low on teabags, why not check your yard first for some of these:
All of these choices have health benefits as well as refreshment value. Parsley clears and supports a healthy urinary tract and kidneys. Sage helps keep blood sugar balanced and is a wonderful antioxidant. Dandelion strengthens the liver and helps your body rid itself of toxins. Lavender calms the nervous system and supports the digestive system. Red Clover tea helps to minimize hot flashes and has lots of antioxidants. Rose Hips contain bioflavanoids, lots of vitamin C and help the body rid itself of inflammation, which can reduce pain from arthritis.
Make sure your yard is pesticide and chemical plant food free so that your weed tea will have the greatest benefit.
All of the teas mentioned here can be used hot or cold. Though I enjoy all of the teas mentioned here, my favorite will always be the tea I knew as a child as 'iced tea'--cooling, calming mint!