When making honey, vinegar or liquor infusions, do not discard the fruit, herbs, citrus or spices that you've strained out. Those can be successfully used to make your fresh tisane.
When harvesting your herbs, dry some to use for making tisanes and for gift giving. The dried combination in a decorative jar or tin is always a welcome gift.
Citrus and Honey is often recommended by medical doctors to soothe sore throats and clear sinuses from the onset of a cold or flu. Another often recommended is a tisane made from cranberries to ease symptoms from urinary tract infections.
I use a simple formula of equal parts. If I'm using a combination of herbs, it's equal part of each herb or more of one than another if I have one I favor over another. Herbs have known health benefits and anti-bacterial, anti-fungal fighting properties, so they are an obvious choice to have on hand for the cold and flu seasons, along with Citrus that has a very long history of benefits for many ailments. When using flower petals, I mix with some buds as well as petals, and often include an herb to compliment the floral choices. Whole Spices or citrus peels can be added to either herb or floral tisane mixtures, using the flavors you prefer.
An easy mixture of herbs is the Scarborough Faire mixture of Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme, and Parsley. Rosemary can be overpowering, so you may want to use equal parts of each herb, but a little less of the rosemary unless you enjoy the very perfume-y taste that it can impart. If you prefer one of the herbs over another, add more of the preferred herb and less of the least preferred. Adjust to your own preferences. Parsley has little flavor of it's own, so you can fill in with the Parsley and reduce the amount of the stronger herbs. You can use the leaves of rosemary, leaves, bud and flowers of the lavender, leaves and flowers of Thyme and the leaves of parsley. Dehydrate the herbs, which air dry quickly in non-humid weather or are easily dried in a dehydrator or oven (on a low setting).
There's really no recipe for a Tisane. The best formula is the one that suits your tastes, and the use of the herbs, spices, edible flowers of your choice, that you enjoy, in combination or on their own. Adjust the flavors to your liking. It's as simple as that. An equal portion of each is an easy launching point and adjust from there with more or less of the flavors you enjoy most.
To make a Cold and Flu Tisane
What you Need:
Dried or fresh Citrus and herbs such as Basil, Thyme or Sage
Cup or Mug (8 oz.)
Wholes spices (your favorites)
Tea infuser (optional)
Honey (optional, but has added health benefits-see link below for herb infused honey)
Cut up citrus rind (either orange, lemon, lime or a combination of all) Add some lemon balm, lemon verbena or Lemongrass if desired. Dry the peels and break or cut into small pieces. Combine the ingredients. Place in an air-tight tin or jar until ready to use.
To Use: Place 1 or 2 tsp. of the citrus mixture in a tea infuser. Place the diffuser in a cup or mug. Pour boiling water over the mixture to fill the cup. Allow to steep 5-15 minutes, depending on how strong you want your tea. Sweeten with herb infused honey or plain, pure honey. Enjoy while hot to soothe a sore throat or cold or flu symptoms. Drink at least one cup daily to help clear sinuses and relieve symptoms.
Note: You can add whole spices individually or a combination, such as cloves, cinnamon, allspice or ginger for added flavor and health benefits. If you like garlic or turmeric you can add a little of each to suit your taste and for the added benefits in fighting cold and flu symptoms.
Tip: If you are making up dehydrated herbs, and flower tisanes, be sure to label with date, ingredients and measurements, so that if there's any you especially enjoy, you are able to duplicate it in the future. If gift giving, include the same information, so you are able to make more if the receiver especially enjoyed the tisane mixture. Include instructions on how to prepare the tisane drink. Including a tea infuser with the gift or in a gift basket is a thoughtful addition and even adding a small jar of homemade infused honey that compliments the tisane will be a welcome addition. (see link below for infusing honey)
Tip: I dehydrate fresh fruits, herbs, edible flowers while in season, store in labeled air tight containers, then add a little of this or a little of that to combine flavors either for individual tisanes, or when making up mixtures to use or give as gifts. Having the array of ingredients handy, I can just reach for what I want at the time. Small, clear storage jars, make selection easy. Always be sure to label. It's amazing how once dried, many herbs and flowers look alike.
CAUTION: If you are wild crafting for your ingredients. KNOW YOUR PLANTS. Not enough emphasis can be placed on this very topic. If you cannot positively identify a certain plant material, then avoid it until you can. An example is Queen Ann's Lace. Poison Hemlock and Hog Weed look similar, but are very toxic even if brushed against. Wild crafting is a fun and educational excursion, however unless you know the plants you're gathering it can be very hazardous.
Precaution: Use only herbs and fruits that have not been exposed to pesticides. Florists are not a good source for flower petals or buds since those flowers are grown with known pesticide treatments and preservatives are used to keep the flowers fresh longer. Farmer's markets, herb and flower farms, may be a good source but don't be afraid to ask if they have used any chemicals before you make the purchase. If you do not grow your own herbs and flowers, you can order organically grown and dried products online or see if a family member or friend will share some with you that have not been treated with chemicals.
Sound Advise: Research flowers and herbs so you know which are edible and their health benefits and possible interactions with supplements or prescription medications that you may take. Your local University Extension Service office is a good source of information and your State Agriculture University offers a lot of free information on their website. Random websites or forums do not always offer good advice, nor researched advice. It is up to you to locate professional advice and information. One bit of poor advice, can cause you a lot of grief and can even be fatal. The terms, Organic, Natural or Herbal do NOT always mean safe for all individuals. As an example: Digitalis/Foxglove is organic, natural and herbal, however it is very toxic if improperly used.
Disclaimer: The author nor this website has offered Medical advice nor implied it, for making tisanes. Make and use at your own discretion. As always consult your medical provider for advice if using any prescription medications or supplements. Pregnant females and lactating mothers should always seek advice from their personal medical provider before using any herbs. If you or others have known allergies to flowers or herbs, refrain from use. Use good judgment, natural, organic, herbal does not always mean safe or suitable for all individuals.
Refer to the link to make your own Herbal Infused Honey:
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