Using up herbs – part 1: blending herbs

Before I started harvesting herbs this year I had already run out of space to store them so I took advantage of a spare afternoon and decided to go through some of my older herbs. I don’t worry too much about adhering to storage dates. It’s more important for me to consider how herbs are stored. I try to keep mine in glass jars in a cupboard. If they have lost colour and scent they are probably less effective. I would certainly never use dusty or mouldy herbs.

I decided that some of the older herbs would be fine for general use teas. I made up four teas and one general purpose herb mix for cooking. I’ll list the ingredients at the end but for reference purposes only as these were intended to use up what I had and provide me with free beverages rather than to treat any specific conditions. The quantities were variable depending upon how much was left in the jar and whether larger quantities would be too overpowering. The blander and abundant herbs like nettles tended to be the main ingredients.

All blends got put through my mini chopper until they were a uniform size. I use a tea ball at work (similar to the picture above) and if the pieces are too big it won’t shut properly so the contents escape through the middle; too powdery and it escapes through the fine holes.

All the blends have been OK but nothing exceptional. I had a really good night’s sleep after the stressbuster tea and the goddess tea was probably the most pleasant to drink.

Hopefully I will be following up the using up theme over the next couple of weeks.

Blend #1: Cleansing tea

  • Cleavers
  • Nettles
  • Dandelion
  • Red clover flowers
  • Ginger
  • Calendula flowers
  • Golden rod
  • Ground elder
  • Peppermint
  • Corn silk

Blend #2: Goddess tea

  • Lady’s mantle
  • Rose
  • Motherwort
  • Sage
  • Red clover
  • Nettle
  • Fennel seeds
  • Hops
  • Hibiscus

Blend#3: Winter health tea

  • Elderberry
  • Elderflower
  • Ginger
  • Calendula
  • Nettle
  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint
  • Sage
  • Ground ivy
  • Marshmallow

Blend #4: Stress busting tea

  • Chamomile
  • Lemon balm
  • Vervain
  • Rose
  • Nettle
  • Catnip
  • Betony
  • Orange peel
  • Hibiscus

Blend #5: General pot herb blend

  • Nettle
  • Dill weed
  • Coriander leaf
  • Shepherd’s purse
  • Hyssop
  • Lovage
  • Cajun spice blend
  • Coriander seeds
  • Basil
  • Fennel seeds
  • Marjoram
  • Yarrow

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