By Julia Vinokur

What manufacturers add to your teas:

We can find a great variety of teas on the shelves of grocery stores.  Black, green, white, flavored, mixed with fruits and flowers, decaffeinated, and infused with different aromas and flavors. Most of the time manufacturers do not use fresh tea for the flavored types, but rather those gathered a year or so ago, which come to life again with flavors.  There are mostly four ways to flavor the teas:

  • Naturals oils
  • Dry flowers and fruits
  • Synthetic flavors
  • Mix of natural and synthetic flavors.

Most of the time all the ingredients are stated on the box and it is wise to at least avoid any teas with synthetic or natural flavors, and added coloring.  It is even better to prepare them at home!

Home Herbal Tea Recipies:

Our family loves tea.  We drink them hot most of the time, but can also go with iced tea during summer months.  If I prepare teas for my children, I obviously stay away from the ones with caffeine.  I personally prefer a bit of caffeine in my teas, therefore choose high quality white, green or black teas that I infuse with herbs and flowers at home.

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Mint Tea

Add several leafs of mint to your tea, or just hot water with mint to get a drink that can calm you down and bring relaxation.  It is a very good remedy for coughing (to soothe passages) and fever during cold or flu. Every time I do grocery shopping, I buy some fresh mint and keep it in the fridge for a week.  

 

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Chamomile Tea

I usually buy dry chamomile flowers at the health store and add them to tea.  Chamomile has a wide spectrum of naturopathic properties that help to heal our bodies.  It helps to clean the liver, calm down an upset stomach; it has antiseptic properties, so also very helpful with cold, sore throat and coughing.

 

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Cranberry Tea

Either berries or leafs can be used to make this tea.  Fresh berries have the most effect on our bodies, however frozen keep healing properties for as long as a few months.  Cranberries have vitamins: C, B1, B2, B5, B6 and vitamin K1 and will make your tea taste great!  

 

 

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Black Currant or Red Currant Tea

For some reason I mostly see these berries at the farmers market during summer months, so they may be hard to come by in other seasons.  Both, leaves and berries are great for your tea.  The berries themselves have a huge amount of vitamin C, although not all children like it as it has a very sour taste.  Hot tea is great; however it makes for an even better iced tea!  Just add a bit of honey if your children are not used to its sour taste.    

 

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Rosemary Tea

Rosemary in your tea can help you with the following conditions:

  • Upset stomach and constipation
  • Soar throat (it has antiseptic properties)
  • Headaches
  • Eczema

Even though it is beneficial for adults and older children, pregnant women should not consume rosemary tea.  

 

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Sage Tea

Here are the benefits of the sage tea:

  • Antiseptic properties
  • antioxidants that will help to clean your body from free radicals
  • Calming and recovering properties
  • Upset stomach, stomach flu recovery.

Breastfeeding mothers should be careful, as sage reduces milk production.  It is a very good solution during weaning process.  

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Orange Peel Tea

Just collect your peels and cut them up for your tea. You would be surprised how much more aroma you will get compared to any commercial orange flavor tea.  

 

 

How to Prepare Your Flavored Tea.

For brewing mix all the herbs that you would like to use.  Boil water, let it stand for 2-3 minutes, then pour over the herbs in a cup or a tea pot.  Let it stand covered for at least 15 – 20 minutes. 

Enjoy your tea!