At first thought, a tea bag spells convenience. Oh yes, one may say that they don’t have enough time to make a proper herbal infusion. Or, the thought may not have even crossed your mind. Allow me, an herbalist (who has made and drank many herbal tea formulas), to share my 25 plus years experience on this topic.
If you enjoy herbal infusions as much as I do, you may as well go all the way and soak it loose! A proper steeping vessel, such as a French Press, makes it super easy and much more beneficial for your health. You simply measure 2 tbsp. of your loose leaf blend of choice into the press, and pour 16oz. of just boiled water over the herbs. Cover and allow to steep for 10-15 minutes. Decant by pressing the herbs to the bottom and pouring into your favorite mug or to go cup. There you have it, a brew chocked full of readily available vitamins and minerals, plus full bodied flavor.When you consume herbal teas this way, 4 to 5 times weekly for 6 to 8 weeks, you will experience a tonifying effect to the organ systems of the body. It works much like super nutritious food would, yet without taxing the digestive system, as the nutrients are readily absorbed into the blood stream. So easy and so satisfying! In our house, we love the ritual of nourishing and nurturing ourselves in this way. At the moment, our daughter enjoys a blend to keep her acne prone skin at bay. I’m enjoying and benefiting from herbs blended to ease menopausal changes, and my husband is toning the organs (lungs and large intestines) most vulnerable in the autumn season.
The herbs in our blends are hand picked from the optimum part of the plant for flavor and health benefits, and cannot be properly brewed in a tea bag.
Oh yes, I got so excited about sharing my brewing preference that I nearly forgot about the good old tea bag. Well, typically tea bags contain herbs whereby the leaves are crushed, so the freshness and quality can be compromised. As soon as you breakdown the cell wall of a plant to that degree, you lose volatile oils and nutrients. Plus, the amount of herbs in a typical tea bag is a tablespoon if you’re lucky. By the time you fill your mug with water and the steam escapes with whatever volatile oils are left, you end up with a weak cup of tea.
This could mean you need 2 tea bags for a decent cup of tea, and it ends up being an inferior quality brew, plus less cost effective.
Now, there are exceptions for having a decent cup of tea bag tea. Examples of herbs that loan themselves to this method, would be the mint family such as, peppermint, spearmint and catnip. Chamomile and lemon balm also give their energies easily to this use.
In summary, you get the most for your buck and body with a loose leaf herbal infusion. Once you get used to doing it this way, plus have what you need for convenient brewing purposes, you will not look back! I would not be without an on going favorite brew for anything. This, for my family and me, has been a powerful health enhancing ritual that I would not trade for any other. Give it a try, and you too may feel the benefits and get hooked!