Growing herbs for tea- what have you tried?

Megan Venturella
Megan Venturella Posts: 678 ✭✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Growing Medicinals

I haven't actually grown the tea plant itself, but last year I made some great tea with a combination of basil and mint. I sweetened it lightly with honey and served it iced. Everyone loved it.

So this year, in addition to a few varieties of basil and mint, I'm adding Navajo Sunset agastache, rose mint agastache, hyssop, bee balm, and I forget the exact name, I think it's Thai purple podded pea or something similar. It turns your tea blue or pink if you add lemon. But I haven't actually tasted any of those yet.

Have you? Any recommendations? Special recipes? What tastes great? Just curious.


  • nksunshine27
    nksunshine27 Posts: 343 ✭✭✭

    i raise catnip for tea and chamomile, oregano, peppermint , dandelions, raspberry leaves, rose hips. the ones your doing sound more interesting lol

  • SherryA
    SherryA Posts: 314 ✭✭✭

    Bee balm is wonderful. Also Holy Basil (Tulsi) tastes wonderful & is very good for you. Lemon balm, chamomile, hyssop & skullcap are some of my favorites. Nettle tea is super healthy. Another less common herb that tastes wonderful is black currant leaf. Also, of course, blackberry & raspberry leaf. There are so many!

  • Jens the Beekeeper
    Jens the Beekeeper Posts: 651 admin

    @nksunshine27 sounds like an interesting and fun project

    I grow the obvious 😉mint in three varieties, lemon balm, nettles, sage, raspberry leaves, lavender.

    You can add dried apple peels for a apple tea.

  • Megan Venturella
    Megan Venturella Posts: 678 ✭✭✭✭

    Wow such great suggestions! I'm so glad I asked.

    @nksunshine27 I forgot I'm growing a couple of those too! But I didn't think of the dandelion or oregano as being for tea. How smart! I was thinking salad and pizza, lol. I'll have to give those a try.

    @figsagee We have wild blackberries growing everywhere locally. I never thought to try that as a tea. Thank you! Also I'd like to grow skullcap.

    @Jens Finally a use for dried apple peels. Thank you!

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,102 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great ideas, have always wanted to blend my own teas. We have Labrador tea growing wild here. Have not tried it yet. The person who showed it to me said it was best picked very young and somehow my schedule and the weather have combined to keep me from getting that done yet. Will have to try harder this spring if our snow ever goes away.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,632 admin

    @Megan Venturella Other dried fruits make a good addition to teas. Dried citrus peels. Dried berries. Lemon Verbena is lovely. Hibiscus gives a beautiful colour as well as flavour. In another post, someone mentioned Strawberry Mint. It is a fairly recent introduction at garden centres but it is a lovely tea plant. Fruit -scented Salvias (Pineapple Sage, Peach Sage, Fruit Cocktail Sage, etc.). Linden flowers. Calendula, rose, and violet petals. And during these times, savoury teas (rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, marjoram, savoury, etc.) can be very useful for respiratory issues.

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have lemon balm, catnip, and peppermint growing. Also rose and lavender to add some flavor.

  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    @Megan Venturella I have grown and used Basil (Lemon Basil, Sweet Basil, Holy Basil, etc.), Oregano, Garden Sage, (White) Yarrow, Borage, Goldenrod, Elderberry, Stinging Nettle, Lemon Balm, and much more.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,456 admin

    Check out yaupon holly - it is a native plant that makes a caffeinated tea. It is a good substitute for black tea.

  • herbantherapy
    herbantherapy Posts: 453 ✭✭✭✭

    @Megan Venturella pretty much anything you like the flavor/smell of can be dried and put in an herbal tea!

    a couple more I grow that have not been mentioned and I use in teas are hibiscus, schizandra, Ashwaganda and ginger. Also all the thymes. Were thymes mentioned? Lemon thyme is my fav if I don’t have lemon verbena that year and apple thyme is so good too!

  • herbantherapy
    herbantherapy Posts: 453 ✭✭✭✭

    @Lisa K I bought a plant from a nursery in Sandy, Oregon about 7 years ago.

  • burekcrew86
    burekcrew86 Posts: 248 ✭✭✭

    Dried peppermint leaves is great as is red raspberry leaves.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    I'm working on a sleepy time tea. Using lemon balm, skullcap and linden leaf, all fresh. Make up a brew after dinner, have a cup before bedtime. So far I feel relaxed and sleepy going to bed but it doesn't last. I need to work out amounts or add or subtract different herbs for a longer sleep.

  • Momma Mo
    Momma Mo Posts: 138 ✭✭✭

    My favorite is a 1:1:1 ratio of spearmint, chocolate mint, and lemon balm. Delicious and relaxing!

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    Apple mint added to the mix for sun tea is awesome! For hot teas or infusions I've been adding some spearmint to the blend - I prefer the taste over peppermint for whatever reason. I confess I stick all kinds of herbs in the hot water for tea lol.

  • Megan Venturella
    Megan Venturella Posts: 678 ✭✭✭✭

    @seeker.nancy I've heard a few people refer to apple mint recently. Is the flavor really special? Maybe I can find some seeds online. My son LOVES mint.

  • StacyLou
    StacyLou Posts: 89 ✭✭

    Lemongrass, mint, chamomile, hibiscus (although I have a problem with actually getting to harvest it since the Japanese beetles find it irrestible), catnip, yarrow, echinacea - to name a few!

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    @Megan Venturella the flavor is wonderful in my opinion, as is the scent. I got my original from a local nursery. Like mints, it is easy to propagate. I hope you can find seeds but if not maybe I can send you some I have saved. Where are you located? I'm in central Texas.

  • Megan Venturella
    Megan Venturella Posts: 678 ✭✭✭✭

    @seeker.nancy I'm in California! I'd love some seeds, but hate to put you to the trouble!

  • solarnoon.aspen
    solarnoon.aspen Posts: 219 ✭✭✭

    I purposely grow Holy Basil, catnip, raspberry leaf, stinging nettles and Japanese burdock. The rest is foraged - lemon balm, mullein, heal all, pineapple weed, plantain, yarrow, marrow, pine needles,etc.etc. This year, however, I hope to start a medicinal garden and have seeds for 15 herbs. So excited.

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    @Megan Venturella that's no problem as long as the mail keeps running lol. Message me your address and I will try to get it sent out this week.

  • smockv
    smockv Posts: 44 ✭✭✭

    I am considering adding ginger to my tea garden; has anyone in zone 6a had luck with naturalization?

  • Melinda
    Melinda Posts: 123 ✭✭✭

    I have grown the usual - peppermint, chamomile, and catnip. This year I am adding lemon balm, calendula, stevia, St. John’s wart, and a few others. I’ve been on the fence about purchasing some green tea bushes.

  • karen
    karen Posts: 80 ✭✭

    In the past i have grown every sort of lemon flavoured herbs for tea. then i would add strawberry leaves and some edible flowers. it was always fun. right now I am trying to grow lemon basil and have a lemon verbena bush and tons of lemon balm. Other attempts such as bee balm and lemon grass have failed miserably. But I do have lots of regular and alpine strawberries. and of course tulsi - for the aroma alone is worth it but it is also medicinal.

  • jmachledt
    jmachledt Posts: 26 ✭✭✭

    I like peppermint and lemon balm!

  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    @Megan Venturella I have tried Holy Basil/Tulsi, heirloom culinary Basil (use them fresh), Garden Sage, Purple Deadnettle, Sassafras leaves and bark, Dandelion root, Goldenrod, Shagbark Hickory bark, Lemon Balm, Oregano, Rose Hips, Narrow Leaf Plantain, and much, more.

  • maimover
    maimover Posts: 359 ✭✭✭

    Wow! Some really great suggestions. @seeker.nancy I just picked up apple mint plants last week. Am looking forward to trying it. I grow chocolate mint, lemon balm, thyme (love the lemon as well), oregano, sage, peppermint and have a few new things to start this season.

  • Leediafastje
    Leediafastje Posts: 97 ✭✭✭

    I grow bee balm, oregano, parsely, borage, dandelion, lemon thyme, calendula, chamomile, stevia (for sweetness) and lavendar. My favorite is hops! For me, hops makes a wonderful tea that doesn't need any additional flavors for sweetness.

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    @Leediafastje is the hops easy to grow? I use it for pain and it really helps. I'm trying to get as self sufficient on my herbs as I can. Plus growing things just makes me happy. @maimover I hope it does well for you. Mine has grown very well thus far. I also love chocolate mint but use it somewhat differently. I have spearmint and peppermint as well as a lemon something or other plus another mint (I bought these two years ago and was SURE I would remember the names - ha!). My lemon balm as seeded itself in my herb corner in the yard...a lot lol. I'm going to dig some of the smaller plants up and pot them to trade for other plants locally. I asked in the local Master Gardener group if anyone was interested and got good feedback. I used to have a lot of varieties of geraniums as well. Once I get this years stuff all going I think I will start collecting them again.

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