Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Herbal Teas: Creeping Charlie and Henbit

Herbal Teas: Creeping Charlie and Henbit

Just finished a couple of herbal teas, made from two different plants I harvested from my yard today.

First cup of tea: Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea)


Result: I like it!

The taste was richly "green", much like a well-steeped cup of green tea, smelling deeply of freshly mown grass, with a gentle taste, absolutely no bitterness. I usually must sweeten my tea, whether herbal, green or black. But I was intent upon giving my Creeping Charlie tea a fair shake, so I prepared it with no sweetening. It had a comfortable, "healthy" taste.

Second cup of tea: Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)


Result: Acceptable.

This tea was a bit more stronger, with a decidely "dry" feeling. Again, I prepared it with no sweetening, but next time I probably will add sugar or honey. The taste was acceptable, but I really preferred the smoother taste of the ground ivy, Creeping Charlie.

Preparation:

I found both plants growing together in a sunny spot of our yard next to our driveway. They are very young, very succulent. I picked a handful of each and washed them together in a strainer held under running cold water.

I heated a potful of cold, filtered water on the stove while I separated the two types of herbs and chopped them finely.

Just as the water was beginning to boil, I put four teaspoonfuls of Creeping Charlie into an empty teapot (two teaspoons per cup of tea, plus "two for the pot") and poured in enough hot water for one cup of tea.

The covered teapot steeped for five minutes and then I poured the tea through a strainer (my teapot infuser) into a mug.

The same process was followed for the Henbit.

Potential Benefits of Creeping Charlie:

  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Catarrh (mucous membrane inflammation, especially respiratory)
  • Diarrhea
  • Bile disorders
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Tonic (invigorating)
  • Tuberculosis
  • Lead Poisoning
  • Ulcers
  • Asthma
  • Cancer

Creeping Charlie contains a high iron content and may be useful for its antibiotic or anti-inflammatory effects.

Caution:

Because the plant contains the essential oil pulegone, women who are pregnant or lactating should avoid it. And common sense requires that anything remotely approaching excessive use would be extremely unwise.

Potential Benefits of Henbit:

  • Rheumatism
  • Laxative
  • Stimulant
  • Diaphoretic (sweat-inducing)
  • Febrifuge (fever-reducing)

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