Herbs are not only delicious and are great for cooking, but are also packed with health benefits. For example, lemon balm soothes anxiety, helps bring about sleep and is tied to improving memory. Another powerhouse herb is ginger root which cleanses the body, eases cold symptoms, settles the stomach and prevents motion sickness when travelling.
While at a workshop at the Palisade Gardens Retirement Community in Cobourg with Canada’s first registered Horticultural Therapist, Mitchell Hewson, I learned all about herbs. Hewson explained a variety of herbs’ health benefits, how to grow your own and went over the steps required to make a tall revitalizing glass of herbal iced tea. I’m taking this opportunity to share what I learned from him at the Palisade Gardens.
Green thumbed advice
The first step starts in the garden. Here are a few tips on how you can garner beautiful greenery:
- Grow herbs in spaces with lots of sun
- Plant herbs in containers, which are small space friendly, as herb plants are very invasive
- Use well-draining soil
- Cut the herbs frequently to prevent seeding and to use in your own delicious concoctions
- To prevent plant diseases, it is best to water in the morning
Quench your thirst
Once the herbs are grown, the next step is to create thirst-quenching herbal iced teas…
Use can brew with fresh or dried herbs. The rule of thumb for dry herbs is to use two teaspoon per cup of boiling water and for fresh use six teaspoons per cup of boiling water.
For the cool evenings, make a steaming hot cup of tea by cutting the measurements in half. Use one teaspoon per cup of boiling of boiling water and three for fresh herbs.
Once you have measured, gently crush the herbs and put them in an infuser. Then pour boiling water over the infuser and let it steep for three to five minutes. For iced tea, just add ice and sit back and relax!