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Borage tea with borage plant - Brew up a cup

The following has been excerpted from Forgotten Ways for Modern Days, in which author Rachelle Blondel explores a simpler past to offer readers natural solutions to issues we may experience with our home, garden, health, or beauty routine. Below, six of her health-promoting tea recipes are provided. 

Forgotten ways for modern days book cover - Brew up a cup

Rejuvenating borage and honey tea

Borage is a beautiful plant that is easily grown in any garden. Its blue star-shaped flower is a favourite of bees, and borage has a long list of medicinal properties. Taken as a tea, borage can help to rejuvenate you after an illness, and it can lift the spirits and bring the body and mind back into balance. This mixture is especially good for sickly children who need to build up their strength after an illness.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) dried borage flowers and leaves
  • 2 cups (500 mL) water
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) honey per cup

Directions

  1. Place the borage into a bowl.
  2. Boil the water and let it cool for five minutes, then pour it over the borage and let infuse for 30 to 40 minutes.
  3. Strain the liquid and add honey to sweeten. Sip a cup every couple of hours. You may wish to gently warm the tea before you add the honey.

Caraway tea for an upset stomach

Caraway tea has been used for generations to cure all manner of ills, from bronchitis to colic, but it’s best known for its gentle soothing action on the digestive tract. Sip a warm cup of caraway tea to help ease an upset stomach or have a cup after your meal to help settle any uncomfortable gas or bloating. Caraway seeds are powerhouses of micronutrients, so adding a cup or two of this brew into your daily diet can be beneficial. Below are two methods for making the tea—a quick one-cup method, and a longer cold-fusion method that produces a tea you can keep in the fridge for a week at a time. The latter is ideal if you wish to drink this tea daily.

Ingredients

  • Caraway seeds
  • Boiling water
  • Jar (for overnight brewing)

Directions

One-cup method

  1. Place one tablespoon (15 grams) caraway seeds into a cup and cover with boiling water. Cover to keep the heat in and allow the seeds to steep for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Strain into another cup and sip slowly. Add honey to taste if you like a sweeter brew.

Overnight brew

  1. Place 0.25 cups (59 grams) caraway seeds in a heatproof jar and fill with boiling water. Fix the lid on the jar and let cool. When cool, place in the fridge and leave overnight.
  2. Strain the seeds from the brew and re-jar. Keep in the fridge for up to a week. To use, dilute to taste with hot or cool water, depending on your preference. Add honey for sweetness.

Fragrant bath teas

There’s nothing quite like a soak in a hot bath to ease away the dirt and worries of a tough day. Why not add a little natural goodness to your bath to help soothe and naturally heal your aches and pains?

Following the recipes below or making up your own from your favourite herbs and florals, mix the dry ingredients together and then fill a reusable muslin tea bag.

Place the bag into a bath of hot water and let it infuse for a minute or two before you climb in and soak away the day.

Good for aches and pains:

Dry lavender flowers - Brew up a cup

  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) dried lavender flowers
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons chamomile flowers
  • 2 tablespoons Epsom salts

Rest and relax:

  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) dried rose petals
  • 2 tablespoons dried chamomile flowers
  • 2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers
  • 2 tablespoons oatmeal

Wake-up call:

  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) dried mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons dried orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary

Soothe a weary head:

  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) dried calendula petals
  • 2 tablespoons dried lemon balm
  • 2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers
  • 2 tablespoons oatmeal

What are some of your favourite teas? Feel free to share them in the comments section below! 

Rachelle Blondel lives in Yorkshire, Northern England, where she creates “handmade accessories and vintage whatnot.” She is the co-author of Granny Chic. Rachelle’s work and home have been featured in publications across the globe including You, Country Living, Mollie Makes, The Simple Things, and Frankie. She’s a mother of three, and a herder of pigs, chickens, a wayward Jack Russell, several cats and a few thousand bees. Learn more at www.dockandnettle.com.

Excerpted from FORGOTTEN WAYS FOR MODERN DAYS: Kitchen Cures and Household Lore for a Natural Home and Garden by Rachelle Blondel, with a foreword by Dottie Angel, to be published by Tarcher Perigee, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2016 by Rachelle Blondel.
image 1: Glass cup with borage tea via Shutterstock; image 2: Dry lavender flowers via Shutterstock

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