Many people have been switching to a raw plant-based diet as of late to benefit from the endless blessings that fresh, whole foods offer. A raw diet gives your body the chance to be empowered by fruits and vegetables that haven’t been processed by heat, and many people believe that a mostly raw diet comes with a whole array of powerful health benefits. Because so many health conscious folks have ‘gone raw’, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about whether or not herbal tea is considered a raw food, and how it can be made without the use of altering heat. Today, I’d like to give you some hassle-free options that will help you bring the healing power of herbs into your life without the heat!
Why Go Raw?
One of the biggest reasons why people choose a raw diet is to ensure that all enzymes, fats, proteins, medicinals, and essentials all stay in tact. It is understood that heat can change or even destroy some nutritional elements in some foods, so raw fooding helps your body get more of these good things. Eating fresh, organic, raw veggies is suggested by just about every nutritionist, so it’s a good addition to any diet. While many vegetables are great raw, some are better cooked, so a diet of raw and gently cooked veggies is often the best choice for most people.
Raw Herbal Tea
In order to get all the benefits of your favorite medicinal herbs without adding any heat, you’ll want to use a cold steeping method. This can be done at room temperature or in a refrigerator. Some folks also use a sun tea brewing method which may be worth a try if you really fall in love with this slow-steeping technique.
In order to benefit from a raw herbal tea, you simply need to infuse the water with the herbs without using heat. When herbs, fresh or dried, are soaked in water long enough they will infuse the water with a great deal of their medicinal properties and nutrients. Many experts believe that a hot steeping will get more goodness into the water, but a heat-free soak also has a great deal of effectiveness.
Recently I did a photo how-to showing the simple ways of cold steeping. To get all the details about making a super easy cold herbal tea, click here.
If you want to do a room temperature or sun steeped herbal tea, just follow the simple instructions below…
- Prepare your herbs. You’ll want to use about 15% more herb in your blends then you would in a hot steeped tea.
- Use a clean, lidded glass container for this process in order to keep things clean and to preserve the flavor of the herbs. I like using upcycled canning jars and kombucha jars.
- Add the right amount of herbs to your container, about 1 heaping teaspoon in total per 8 ounces of water. Top off with water.
- Secure a lid on the jar, especially if you’ll be steeping outdoors.
- Sun herbal tea can be steeped for up to 6 hours, but I find it best at around the 4 hour mark. Room temperature herbal tea can be soaked for up to 12 hours. Make sure the tea looks and smells right before consuming.
That’s all it takes to make simple, healing, delicious raw herbal tea!
You’ll find that making a raw tea delivers a different flavor than hot steeping. This is because the plant materials break down slower and they may deliver a different level of nutrients and medicinals along the way. Feel free to experiment with your favorite blends to see what works well using this method.