In winter, I keep both the teapot and the soup pot filled. Warm liquids are, in my opinion, the key to staying healthy in the winter.
After growing, harvesting, drying and blending my herbs, I find plenty of uses for them when the weather is cold.
My favorite beverage is tea. I enjoy my black tea in the morning because it has just the right amount of caffeine to get me going, but the rest of the day, I drink herbal teas. Some of my favorite herbs for tea are listed below and I blend them, depending on how we are feeling that day.
lemon balm 1,2,3,4
cinnamon 1, 5, 6
rose hips 2, 6
chamomile 1, 2, 3, 4
mint 1, 2, 5, 6
hot chili pepper (cayenne) 1,2,4, 5
hibiscus flowers 2,3,6
lemon verbena 1,2,3,4,5,6
2) cold and flu
4) aches and pains
6) flavoring for tea
Making Herbal Tea : To make a ginger, mint, hibiscus, rosehips, elderberry tea for signs and symptoms of a cold - use 1-2 teaspoons of each herb for a pot of tea. Add fresh ginger to the cold water and boil. Then pour over the herbs. Brew for about 10 minutes and strain. Serve with sweetener of your choice. (I use stevia.)
Other favorite combinations:
Ginger, mint, fennel, chamomile - to settle the stomach.
Chamomile, lemon balm, lemon verbena - for sleep.
Lemon balm, ginger, hot pepper - to warm up after being out in the cold.
My favorite herbal recipe for a sore throat involves pouring boiling water over a generous amount of thyme, sage and oregano leaves and steeping for 10 minutes. This can be used in two ways. If you have a sinus headache, cover the pot and your head with a towel and inhale the fumes, being careful not to burn yourself. If your throat hurts, cool the 'tea' and gargle with it. It works!