Herbal Teas are some of the best home-grown medicines! This time of year infusions of herbs from Harlequin’s Gardens plants you’ve grown can keep you well, and warm.
One recipe we make every winter, called Heartsease Tea, is adapted from herbal remedy pioneer Rosemary Gladstar’s “Medicinal Herbs, a Beginner’s Guide.” If you’ve grown and dried the plants in this recipe, you have everything you need. You can also purchase these dried herbs at local herbal apothecaries.
Heartsease Tea will lift you from any winter doldrums and lethargy. Hawthorn leaf, flower and berry strengthens the heart. Lemon balm leaf adds delicious scent and taste and is valued as an anti-viral — Paracelsus called it “the elixir of life.” St. John’s Wort has been used for centuries to alleviate feelings of loss and grief and as a general tonic since the time of the ancient Greeks. Note that St. John’s Wort is considered a noxious invasive weed in Boulder County, making it illegal for us to sell.
If you’d like to grow some of these plants and create your personal herbal pharmacy, check with us in the Spring for young Hawthorn trees. We carry several species of Hawthorne, including the native Crataegus succulenta. Hawthorn takes full sun, and grows 15 – 20’ tall. It can live 100 years, so site it carefully. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is a fast-growing, spreading perennial. It would be happiest in partial shade.
Heartsease Tea, from Rosemary Gladstar
2 parts dried hawthorn leaf, flower and berry
1 part dried green oat top (milky top of just-ripening oats)
1 part dried lemon balm leaf
1 part dried St. John’s wort flower and leaf
Honey or stevia (optional)
To make the tea:
Place crushed herbs in a teapot or infuser. Add hot water and steep for 5 – 10 minutes, drink 3 – 4 cups a day, and enjoy!