It’s that time of year again: The holidays have passed, the daylight hours are short, and the cold is whipping at the windows. January is a tough time of the year to feel like doing anything except curling up with a cozy blanket and a good book, especially if you’re living through a Midwestern winter. But we have just the thing to brighten your day: A cup of tea, of course!
It’s not just a British thing
Sipping on a hot cup of tea is a tradition in many cultures. When it comes to staying healthy and happy during the cold winter months, there aren’t many things that beat a good cup of herbal tea. Plus, it’s a much healthier alternative to caffeinated beverages, soda, and even fruit juices. You may have heard of herbs like chamomile or mint, and maybe your grandmother even made you a special cup of it when you were younger, but did you know there’s a whole world of herbal tea out there just waiting to tickle your taste buds?
Whether you need some energy or want to sleep better, herbal teas get the job done. Plants are highly medicinal and, in fact, some of the herbs you grow in your back yard can be used either dried or fresh for a lovely cup of tea. Mint, rosemary, catnip, lavender, chamomile, and lemon balm are just a few common plants that have true health benefits when used properly.
Boost my mood
Need a mood lift? Look no further than herbs like rose, lavender, and lemongrass. You can even combine these three to create a beautiful aroma that will have you waving goodbye to the winter blues in no time. Other add-ins, such as dried orange peel, hibiscus, and ginger, also have a nice flavor profile and offer a mood boost. Play around a bit and see what smells and tastes best for you! For a recipe that feels a bit more earthy and less flowery, try this Happy Hippie Herbal Tea blend.
Looking for a way to beat the afternoon slump without relying on a shot of caffeine? Try rosemary or peppermint teas. Although we generally think of rosemary as a cooking herb, it has a lovely, savory taste in an herbal tea blend. It’s also highly medicinal and prized for its ability to help your immune system fight off infections. Citrus-based teas, ginger, and lemongrass are other great options to try as well. For something a bit spicy and very different from your average afternoon beverage, try this great Energizing Herbal Tea Blend.
Bring on the calm
One benefit of herbal teas is that they help you feel calm without making you overly drowsy. If you suffer from anxiety or digestive upsets, especially during these dark and cold winter months, chamomile might be your new best friend. A beloved herb, chamomile is gentle enough for both kids and adults to sip throughout the day. Adding honey and lemon gives it a little zip and is great for alleviating sore throats. Rose petals and lavender make lovely additions to a cup of chamomile tea as well.
For great sleep, passionflower tea can’t be beat. Check out this simple recipe for a cup of passionflower tea and learn about other herbs that blend well with it and make it a winner when you need to get some shut eye.
Now start experimenting to see what tastes best and what herbs work best for your particular needs. Bulk tea is your best bet and is available in some specialty stores as well as online. Herbal tea is a great way to sip something lovely while increasing your immune system function and overall health and well-being during the colder winter months. Cheers to your good health!