The tradition of serving hot beverages (usually tea) as a form of emotional support is widespread. How that happens changes according to the country or region, and some families carry the tradition with them to places where it is less common. Regardless of its ubiquity, sharing a hot cup of tea is a social practice that often brings about a sense of connection.
Herbal tea is one of the most common ways to socialize in many cultures. It even allows for a real-time need to sleep or rest your mind and body. On the flipside, it can also be used to wake you up and sharpen your senses, readying both mind and body for a bit of work.
What happens when you make tea? In short, a lot. Herbs are full of beneficial compounds. Many of them are pulled from the herb when exposed to a range of heat. And when you add your herbs to the hot water, it allows for a wonderful smell, the same lovely scents you pick up on by standing next to herbs in the garden, where fragrances can often fill the air. Olfaction has strong links to memories and emotions, more so than any other sense. When you sit in a familiar environment with people you have feelings of trust and love for, the scent of those herbal compounds reacts within your body. Comforting sensations are triggered.
The practice of sharing tea with your loved ones is as important as the physical benefits of drinking tea. Using a favorite mug can help you center yourself and calm your nerves while sharing stresses or joys with a friend.
You can find lots of tea blends made with herbs intended for stress, sleeplessness, and even calm and focus. Want to grow and make your own blends? It’s entirely possible. These ideas will point you in a right herbal direction:
- Chamomile: For generations, this herb has been known to help with relaxation.
- Skullcap: For some, chamomile is not the ticket. Skullcap is a worthy alternative.
- Lavender: A great choice that tastes lovely. It can help improve the taste of your herbal blends and has remarkable properties for relaxation.
For blends that induce a sense of calm while also keeping you sharp and focused, add either of these:
- Gotu Kola: This herb can often serve as a pick-me-up during a long day.
- Mint: With so many varieties, you can experiment with finding the one you prefer.
Your growing options are endless. Many herbs are easy to grow, will do so fast, and are easy to dry and store. So do a little homework. Check out what herbs you want most; make sure they can grow in your area. Talk with a local garden expert for guidelines and give it a try!
It’s always special to use something you grow yourself for your health and happiness. It is even better to get to share that with others, at a tea party for example. Here's to many happy cups of tea!