December Tea Blend - Winter Cheer!
Many cold days and wind storms have descended upon us already this December in the Pacific Northwest. Frost covers the land like snow and cold winds numb my face on my morning explorations into this dark and silent time of year. I feel myself yearning for more naps and quiet times under blankets working on small projects. I try to allow myself the pleasure of hibernation.
It’s also a time of year that I am unable to resist small gatherings of friends and the warmth it brings us to eat and drink and laugh together.
This month’s blend is something to evoke the crisp solitude of the bare Earth and the joy of good company!
Juniper Berries bring to mind the resinous scent of evergreens and their dry spicy flavor is delicious in a blend. Lad says of them in Yoga of Herbs that “they are good for weak digestion, weak immune system function, and one of the best diuretics. Their purifying action extends to the aura and subtle body, as they help destroy not only resistant Bacteria but also negative astral influences.”
Fennel seeds add sweetness and a slight licorice flavor to the blend. I always keep them around in case of digestive upsets, as they are one of the best Ayurvedic herbs for such complaints. Lad also says of them “They are calming to the nerves, their aroma acts upon the mind and promotes mental alertness.”
Mugwort has a unique earthy, root-like flavor to it that I’ve always found very soothing. I had a small amount left in my herb cabinet this month and decided its comforting flavor would be perfect for this blend. It is known mostly for its emmenagogue properties, or as Tierra says in The Herbs of Life, “It circulates the blood, especially through the lower abdomen and uterus, aiding in menstrual difficulties and cramps. As a bitter tonic, it treats stomach disorders, improves digestion and cures and prevents parasites and worms.”
This is one of my larger blends that incorporates some past favorites of mine that I’ve featured in previous tea blend blog posts. (I can never resist the soothing properties of Oatstraw, and the immune boosting qualities of Astragulus.)
1oz of Juniper Berries – crush these a bit using a Mortar and Pestle
1.5oz of Goji Berries
.25oz of Mugwort
.5oz of Fennel Seeds
.5oz of Astragulus (if you’re tired of Astragulus being in every winter blend, try Lemon Balm instead!)
You will want to crush up the Juniper Berries a bit to allow them to release more flavor into the tea when steeped. Use a mortar and pestle or spice grinder if necessary, just be sure to pulse it quickly and leave them coarsely ground.
As always, mix these lovely herbs together by hand to greet and thank them for their medicine.
To steep: take a heaping tablespoon per person into a tea ball or teapot with strainer. Pour boiling water over and let steep for 5-7min.
Relax and Enjoy!