Sun teas add a valuable subtle quality over stovetop versions of tea. It’s easier too once you know how to make herbal Sun tea.
The Sun offers a gentle heat source for your summertime herbal brewing. It provides the energy for life here on Earth and always adds a special touch to our medicines.
Sun tea brings out the flavor and medicinal qualities of herbs and also infuses with that solar energy. It’s truly health-giving to capture the natural element of the Sun while making your healing tea.
Sun tea is one of those simple pleasures in life. Enjoy the refreshing goodness of a cooling hibiscus tea brewing on your deck or hot sunny windowsill. It’s quite beautiful to watch as the essence of the crimson-colored herb slowly releases into the water.
Summer is the best time to practice this nostalgic way of extracting the herbal virtues from plants. The Sun is high in the sky with it’s rays most intense. This Sun tea is often also called a solar infusion.
Best Herbs to Use for Cooling Summer Teas
While any herbal leaf, flower or berry can be used to make Sun tea, the best herbal teas for summer are those that are refreshing, not only in taste but to your body as well. These plants cool the system and help to bring the body temperature down. This is known as herbal energetics.
Energetics of herbs relates to how an herb acts overall on the body. Are they cooling, warming, moisturizing, drying, stimulating? While this discussion of herbal energetic action belongs more in advanced discussions of herbs, it’s important to start thinking about these actions as you learn about the individual traits of each plant. A great place to start is with the cooling herbs.
Use the following cooling herbs on their own or combine them for unique flavors. They are all quite delicious! While each of these herbs have medicinal uses, they can certainly be enjoyed simply for their cooling attributes. Fresh fruits can also be used since they are refreshing and many such as raspberry, blueberry and strawberry are very high in those beneficial anthocyanins.
• Hibiscus – sour, delicious and beautifully red
• Lemon balm – lemony and light
• Peppermint – stimulating and spicy
• Spearmint – refreshing and uplifting
• Rose petals and/or hips – soothing, light and floral
• Elder flower – sweet and floral
• Lemongrass – lemony and spicy
• Cucumber – cooling and moistening
• Raspberry, blueberry, strawberry and peach – fruity
How to Make Herbal Sun Tea
Start with a clear glass container. This can be a pitcher, ball jar, clear coffee pot or any fun clear glass vessel you have on hand. Just make sure it’s clean. Add your herbs and cover. If the container does not have a cover, you can simply use some plastic cling wrap.
If you are using fresh herbs, add a heaping tablespoon for each cup of water. Be sure to crush the herb a bit to release the flavors. If using dried herb, use a heaping teaspoon per cup of water.
Place the herbs and water in a sunny spot outdoors or in a sunny window to infuse for three to five hours. The time required will be shorter if using dried herbs and longer for fresh. You will know when the tea is ready by the color and the aroma. Taste the tea to see if it is to your liking. Your tea will have wonderful flavor as is but feel free to add honey, agave, maple syrup, lemon or lime.
Now that you know how to make herbal Sun tea, you can freeze it into popsicles for extra cooling effects. For those of you a bit more adventurous, you can also try a lunar infusion or Moon tea. Teas made with the rays of the Moon pick up a more magical energy for awakening the creative dreamer in you.
Feel free to leave any comments or questions below. If you would like to learn more about herbal medicine, check out the Home Herb School at www.homeherbschool.com