Growing your own herbal tea garden is one of the best ways to ensure you have natural healing at your fingertips in a survival situation. You can purchase herbal tea garden seeds and grow them indoors or in a small tea garden outside. It doesn’t require a lot of space and you can pick and choose which herbs will best suit your needs.
What to Plant in Your Herbal Tea Garden
There are dozens of herbs that you can grow in your tea garden, so which ones should you start with? That depends on what you feel you might need, as well as what you will actually use. If no one in the family will touch mint tea, then there’s not much point in growing a large mint plant, for example.
Here are some of the most common herbal teas that you might want to add to your garden.
One of the best known herbal teas, chamomile is pretty easy to grow. In fact, it’s considered a weed in some areas! Not only is it a soothing tea with a very mild flavor, it also has a myriad of health benefits.
What it’s good for: Chamomile can help calm nerves, ease PMS symptoms, aid in maintaining blood sugar levels steady, soothe diarrhea and stomach upsets, as well as help you sleep better. The tea is also an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and may even protect your liver.
How to grow it: This herb likes cooler weather, shade, and dry soil. It can spread fairly easily, so be careful. It’s a perennial, so it will come back year after year.
How to use it: Harvest the flowers when they are wide open, with the petals flat. You can either brew your tea with fresh flowers, or dehydrate them and save for later use. To make tea, use 1 tablespoon of fresh flowers or 1.5 teaspoons crumbled dried flowers and steep in hot water for 7-8 minutes.
Get chamomile seeds here.
Echinacea is usually used for colds and to boost the immune system. It’s a pretty strong tasting plant, so you may want to mix it with something else to help ease its strength.
What it’s good for: Echinacea is best known for its immune boosting properties. Many people take it to ward of colds and flu, and a cup of tea is soothing and calming. In a disaster scenario, you’ll need as much of an immune system as possible, so it’s a good idea to add this herb to your herbal tea garden.
How to grow it: This herb is a perennial and will return year after year. It can be grown from seeds or clippings and may be divided later to create new plants once established. It’s an easy plant to grow, but it does require plenty of water.
How to use it: Harvest the flower buds in the second year. You can also harvest leaves and dry them along with the buds. To make tea, use 1.5 teaspoons crumbled dried flowers and leaves. Steep in hot water for 15 minutes.
Get your echinacea seeds here.
Tasty on its own, lemon balm also blends well with other teas. It can be a little strong, but the benefits are well worth dealing with the flavor. It’s also very easy to grow.
What it’s good for: A good strong cup of lemon balm tea can help calm you down when your nerves are frazzled or if you’re stressed out. If you suffer from insomnia or heartburn, the tea can help, too. It’s also good for cold sores or genital herpes and acts as a soothing agent for your body’s mucus membranes.
How to grow it: Grow lemon balm from clippings that you root in water, or from seeds. The plants should be planted well after the first frost, in an area that protects from full sun.
How to use it: Lemon balm is most potent when fresh, but you can also dry it for tea. Pick the leaves after the dew is dry and dehydrate them, then store in an airtight container. To brew, add a tablespoon of leaves to hot water and steep for 5-7 minutes.
Get your lemon balm seeds here.
Who doesn’t love a good cup of peppermint tea? Did you know you can grow this easily in your garden? It’s actually best to keep the plant in a pot, since it does tend to spread fairly quickly.
What it’s good for: If you have an upset stomach, peppermint tea does wonders for soothing it. It’s also used to relieve headaches naturally and to help with fevers. For those dealing with allergies and colds, the tea can also help soothe mucus membranes and reduce sinus pressure.
How to grow it: Regular mint plants will do well in full sun, with well-drained soil. However, the variagated varieties need to be in partial shade. You can grow peppermint from seeds or get seedlings to transplant.
How to use it: Harvest the leaves as soon as the dew has dried up and dry in the sun or a dehydrator. To brew, use a tablespoon of dried leaves in boiling water and steep for 5 minutes.
While most people collect rose hips from wild roses, there’s no reason you can’t grow your own in your garden. They make an amazing, lightly flavored herbal tea and are packed with Vitamin C. If rose hips aren’t already on your herbal tea list, they definitely belong there.
What it’s good for: Rose hips are super nutritious and form after the flowers on the rose bush die off. They contain several nutrients, as well as special fats that help reduce inflammation throughout the body. These berries can also help your body fight pain, infection, and may even help with obesity.
How to grow it: These plants love soft, sandy soil and plenty of sunlight, but they also require water. You’ll likely have to wait a couple of years to see any rosehips, but it’s worth the wait. If you can find Rugosa seedlings to grow the roses from, this works best, but they can also be grown from seed.
How to use it: Wait until the hips are full and red. They should be slightly soft, but not mushy. Use scissors or clippers to cut them off the bush and cut the berries in half. Scrape out the seeds and dehydrate or sun dry until leathery. Steep a few berries in hot water for 10 minutes to make a lovely tea. The rest of the rose hips can be blended and added to sauces or smoothies for a Vitamin C boost.
Get your rose seeds here.
What it’s good for: Most people know sage for smudging your house, but it also works as a tea, albeit, a rather strong tasting one. It promotes heart and brain health and has been linked to improved colon health, as well.
How to grow it: Sandy, well-drained soil is best for growing sage and it does very well in containers, so you can grow it indoors or on a patio.
How to use it: Harvest the leaves after the dew has dried and dehydrate them. To make tea, use 1 tablespoon dried leaves and steep in hot water for 7-8 minutes.
Get sage seeds here.
Of course, there are literally dozens of herbs you can grow from herebal tea garden seeds and clippings, but these ones will get you off to a good start. They cover the most basic needs and are, for the most part, pleasant to drink as tea. Start your tea garden now so you’ll have them should something happen in the near future.