Saturday, August 31, 2013

Herbs for Teas

In Bulgaria herbology is an old and very popular discipline. We all grow up drinking camomile teas when down with common cold and are familiar with the saying "where there is an ache, there is a herb to cure it". And we even have a day, Eniovden (Jun 24th), on which, it is believed, herbs you pick have magically increased power.
Because I grew up during the socialism, when there was no mass import of foreign teas, the only ones I knew back then were the herbal ones. The first green and black teas I tested were well after my teen years and to be honest
with you, I still prefer the herbal ones. As I have mentioned a few times I grow my own herbs on my balcony:

Home grown herbs

Home grown herbs
Home grown herbs

Whenever I need a herb to either spice up a dish or to prepare a tea, I go out and pick what I need. Of course it's more difficult than that during the winter and that's why I've decided to try drying some for the cold months of the year.
During my weekend at Vratsa Mountain, I got the opportunity to pick some really good herbs: wild mint, thyme, oregano, white yarrow, St. John's wort:

wild herbs
I have to admit! Nothing could've happened without the help of my assistant - the little injured cat I rescued a few months ago, who's now checking on everything, which is going on at home, and giving a paw, whenever needed :-p
Blackberry helping with herb-drying

At home I had to develop a special system for drying, as at this point I didn't have a dehydrator. Now I've bought one but back then I used the following system of strings :)
drying wild mint, thyme, oregano, white yarrow, St. John's wort

I don't want to go into details of what those herbs are good at, but instead will share with you only their most common use:
1. Mint: to threat stomach ache, common cold and chest pain, and mint tea is also diuretic.
2. Oregano: antiseptic, as a cure for stomach and respiratory ailments, sore throat; treats and relieves bacterial and viral infections and their symptoms;
3. Thyme: antiseptic, effective against various fungi; thyme tea for coughs and bronchitis;
4. White yarrow: one of the most commonly used herbs in healing, some even call it "the magic cure"! It helps with uterine bleeding, menstrual pain, menopause, has blood-purification powers and is ideal for body detoxification;
5. St. John's wort: that's the herbal treatment for depression, stomatoform disorders, alcoholism, against gram-positive bacteria, a remedy for wounds, abrasions, burns, and muscle pain;

This is the end result of my herb-drying effort:
home dried herbs

I couldn't resist trying trying out my new produce and I can guarantee you that the taste is heaven!
home dried herbs and herbal tea

Cheers :)
herbal tea


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