After a long winter, we often feel sluggish from heavy foods and hibernation. But now spring is in the air and it's time to wake up the body and the senses! Here's an herbal tea to renew and nourish as we shift seasons.
This tea has a refreshingly clean, bright flavor and herbs that gently support the body's ability to carry away waste, break down fats, and clear the blood. (Some people might refer to this as a "detox" or "cleanse," but I prefer to avoid such vague terms.) The tea is equally delicious warm or cool, sipped first thing in the morning or throughout the day. Drinking it regularly can lead to increased energy and even a reduction in hay fever symptoms.
Nettle: Stinging nettle has a long history of use as a spring tonic. Nourishing, mineral-rich nettle leaves can restore energy, support the liver and kidneys, and decrease seasonal allergies. Cooking, pulverizing, or drying nettles removes the sting.
Burdock Root: Known as a "blood purifier," burdock root can stabilize blood sugar and support metabolism and liver and kidney function. Its gently sweet flavor also balances the bitterness of the calendula and saltiness of the nettles.
Calendula: Calendula can help clear lymphatic congestion and aid digestion. The golden petals also bring a sunshine-y element to the tea blend.
Lemon: Lemon peel can support the liver and gives the tea a bright, awakening flavor.
Rose: Rose hips give this tea a mildly tart, fruity flavor. They are also high in vitamin C. Rose petals provide a pretty color and floral essence.
Note: Nettle and burdock both have diuretic effects, so you may want to avoid them if this is a concern. As always, listen to your own body and the advice of your health practitioner. If you're curious about the research associated with some of these ingredients, check out the University of Maryland Medical Center's guides to stinging nettle, burdock, and calendula.
Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.
To make the tea: For 1 cup of tea, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 rounded tablespoon of the tea blend. Cover and steep for at least 20 minutes (ideally 4 hours or overnight). Strain and sweeten with honey, if desired.
You could also infuse all 4 cups at once (a quart mason jar works well) and sip it throughout the day.
To substitute fresh herbs, use 3 to 4 times the amount of dried herbs called for.