When I started my balcony garden two years ago I was looking for beautiful and useful plants. I initially started with herbs, then planted some flowers and have recently growed some tomatoes and carrots.
A year ago, I decided to reduce my coffee consumption and started looking for alternatives. I do not think that quality coffee is bad as such but when you drink more than 5 cups a day of instant coffee 😦 you have to do something! Why didn’t I replace it with tea or mate? I partly did but was also looking for cheaper and greener alternatives….
As a child growing up in Southern France I used to drink lots of herbal teas (or “Tisanes”) and I thus decided to grow my own herbal teas: chamomile, lavender, rosemary…
Even if you only have a balcony or a windowsill, you can grow your own herbs to use for tea.
Rosemary and other herbs…
Herbs are extremely easy to grow on a balconny and can also be used to make lovely herbal teas!
This is a matter of personal taste but here is a list of herbs that can be used to make herbal teas (and that can easily be growed in Ireland):
– Lemon Balm
Whatever herb you choose, the process is simple: pour boiling water over crushed herb and let steep. Again this is a matter of taste but I personnaly use teaball or “Chinese tea cups” to infuse them.
Note that if you use them fresh, you need more flowers /leafs to make a tea.
I grow all of the plants mentioned above on my balcony but my favourite herbal tea is Chamomile.
If your space is limited chamomile is probably the best option: they are easy to grow and look beautiful in small balconies and patios.
Chamomile tea has been regarded as a medicinal cure-all for centuries and can be used to help relieve a wide range of health ailments. I personnaly drink it to ease menstrual cramps and before going to bed to help with sleep.
You can use chamomile fresh or dry it. You’ll harvest the flower heads at their peak and dry them whole. After they are completely dry, you can store them in jars.
You can also use Chamomile tea to cure cunjunctivitis:
1) Make some Chamomille Tea (a small spoon of flowers for a cup)
2) Let it cool with the Chamomille flowers in it
3) Once cool, get some gauze pads and deep the pad in the tea
4) Squeeze most of the liquid out and then very gently wipe the eye
For further information on this plant please click here.
For further information on how to harvest and use the other plants as herbal tea please visit Roots to Fruits’ page on the topic.
I hope that you find this information useful and don’t be afraid to mix and combine herbs!