An herbal tisane is, essentially, a medicinal tea made with fresh or dried herbs. Herbal tisanes are made by letting the aerial parts of herbs—that’s the leaves or petals—steep in boiling water just long enough to release the active constituents contained in an herb’s volatile oils.
They’re incredibly easy to prepare:
- Use two teaspoons dried or fresh herbs for each cup water
- Bring water to a boil first, then pour over herbs.
- Let the infusion steep for 10-15 minutes before straining (no longer—prolonged heat exposure can decrease herbs’ potency).
- Drink hot or cold, adding honey or lemon for flavor if you like.
When it comes to what herbs are best for helping with various ailments, there are books upon books, studies upon studies and enough folklore to make your head spin on the subject. I consulted Andrew Chevallier‘s Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants to put together this basic guide to common herbs and what making an herbal tisane with them is said to help cure:
Nausea & motion sickness: Ginger
Gas & bloating: Peppermint
Migraine prevention: Feverfew
Have you ever made your own herbal infusion—and did it work? I’d love to get your comments on whether lavender and dandelion can really contend with aspirin and Gatorade…