Herbal Teas, the Ideal Green Gift for Any Occasion

What exactly is a herbal tea?

It is in fact a herbal infusion made from anything other than leaves of a tea bush.

They can be made from more or less anything. Known flavours include caraway, artichoke, ginger, fennel, dill, dandelion, lemon grass, pine, rosehip and nettle to name but a few. They can be made with leaves, roots, seeds, or dried or fresh flowers.

Typically boiling water is poured over the plant source and left to sit for a few minutes whilst the flavour permeates the water. The plant is then removed from the water. For ease of use many herbal teas are available today in the form of tea bags.

In her book “The Herbal Tea Garden”, Marietta Marshal Marcin describes herbal tea as: “the leaves or flower buds of shrubs in the genus that was named Thea sinensis by Swedish botanist, Carlous Linnaeus. Since Thea sinensis tea is a close relative of the camellia flower, it is sometimes referred to as Camellia thea or Camellia sinensis. Broadly speaking, however, tea is any drink made from steeping fragrant leaves, berries, seeds, flowers, roots, or bark in boiling water.”

All the tea in China

Tea itself is thought to have its origins in China nearly five thousand years ago. According to legend, the Emperor Shen-Nung had been purifying some water by boiling when leaves from a tea bush apparently blew into his pot without his knowledge. When he began to drink his water he noticed, and liked, this new taste. Whatever the truth of the story, it is known that the popularity of tea rapidly spread throughout the world.

As regards herbal tea, its origins are thought to trace back as far as Imperial Rome. Ironically its popularity is thought to have increased following the Boston Tea Party, when the imported tea product was banned and patriotic Americans instead began to produce their own herbal versions, known at the time as “liberty teas”.

Made with natural herbs and unsullied by added ingredients, pure herbal teas are organic and will be certified by the Soil Association, a registered charity with over 200 certification inspectors active around the United Kingdom.

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