Preparing and working with herbal tea is one of the easiest and most effective ways to enjoy the many benefits of natural plant medicine. From choosing the herbs and blends you want to work with to enjoying the last sip in your cup, the process of working with herbal tea is an enjoyable one that involves us in every step of the healing journey.
One of the things I like most about working with plant medicine through herbal tea is that there are always things I can do to deepen my relationship with the process while getting more from the tea I create along the way. I’d like to introduce you to one of the simplest ways to work with whole herbs and herbal blends that will supercharge how much flavor, aroma, and healing potency you get from your tea. This simple step takes just seconds, and it’s just another way that you can come to know your herbs more intimately and create a lasting personal relationship with what they do for you.
If you read my blog or Facebook page regularly, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of buying herbs and herbal tea blends whole. The only exception to that rule is when a shop pulverizes and bags their blends fresh when ordered. Whole herbs are a good choice for a variety of reasons…
- They retain color and fragrance better
- They have less surface area which means that the good stuff inside breaks down and evaporates less
- They allow us to interact with the plants we love in their whole form
- They give us a reason to be more involved and intentional about our herbal healing process
Here’s where the fun begins!
Right before you brew your herbs or blend, give them a little crush to open up the plants and expose more of their surfaces to the water you’ll be steeping them in. I cannot convey how much of a change this will make in your tea experience! The colors, flavors, aromas, essential oils, and other healing goodness will interact with the water more readily and you’ll end up with more healing and happiness in your body.
There are several ways that you can crush whole herbs before you brew them…
- A classic mortar and pestle made from wood, marble, or other stone
- The back of a spoon can be used to crush herbs in a small bowl
- You can crush herbs between your fingertips as you drop them into your infuser
- A 1 or 2 second ride in a grinder or food processor
The next time you brew your favorite herbal tea, take a moment to crush and open up the herbs and you’ll see why this is such a great step to add to your process!