It can be quite satisfying to sit down to drink a freshly-steeped cup of tea, especially if you have grown the tea ingredients right in your own backyard! Herbal teas are a gentle way to include healing herbs in your everyday routine. While they don’t have the potency that other herbal preparations have, teas can be a safe way to consume a little dose of an herb regularly throughout the day and over a long period of time. This can be beneficial for chronic imbalances or to support more rigorous treatments for health and wellness. Whether you have a small space or large plot of land, you can always fit in a tea garden.
Growing herbs is simple and low maintenance, and they can be used in so many ways. An herbal tea garden moves beyond rosemary, sage, and thyme, to a whole host of sweet and flavorful—and deliciously decorative—plants that can be harvested for tea.
There is a huge list of herbs and flowers that make wonderful tea. Some have healing benefits and some are just plain yummy. As a seasoned herbal tea drinker, I have a number of perennial favorites (or annual favorites, as the case may be) that I grow year after year in my home garden.
The Best Herbs for Tea
These are some of my favorite tea herbs that are easily grown in the home garden and the reasons why I grow them. When planning what you will grow this year, why not include some herbal tea?
Bee Balm (Monarda)
Brew the leaves into an aromatic, medicinal tea that tastes similar to mint but milder. It is purported to combat colds and flu, and the tea is soothing on a sore throat.
Zones 9-11 (but can be grown as an annual in colder zones)
Calendula’s natural anti-inflammatory properties make it wonderful for curing a sore throat and it can also help to heal urinary tract infections. Read more about the benefits of Calendula here.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
Catnip leaves and flowers can be brewed into a tea that is purported to help promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. Catnip tea tastes similar to mint but earthier and with slight cirtusy notes.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
Chamomile is a good go-to tea just before bedtime because it is purported to promote sleep and treat insomnia (read more on that here). It may also reduce anxiety and soothe an upset tummy.
Dandelions aren’t just annoying weeds, they are actually a nutrient-packed superfood! They are rich in potassium as well as Vitamins A, C, and K, and dandelion tea is often used to help treat digestive problems.
Echinacea tea can help to boost your immunity and fight off colds and flu. Echinacea tea has a strong floral taste which many people like to pair with a sweetener like honey or stevia.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Fennel tea is purported to aid in digestion and painful menstrual cramps. The tea has a delicious, slightly bitter licorice taste.
Be sure to choose an edible variety of hibiscus for making tea, as some are bred just to be ornamental. Hibiscus tea tastes fruity and tart. Hibiscus is rich in Vitamin C, aids digestion, and may help to lower blood pressure.
Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum)
Holy basil is full of vitamins and also contains zinc, magnesium, calcium, and iron. It is said to boost immunity, reduce stress, and promote overall health.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
Lemon balm has a citrusy, slightly minty taste that makes for a delicious tea. It is also thought to have stress-reducing properties, so sip this when you need to calm your mind.
This herb is one of the most popular for tea, and it’s no wonder why. The comforting flavor of mint tea is perfect for a hot drink on a cold day. It can help soothe a sore throat and is thought to improve sleep. There are a ton of different mint varieties out there, so you can brew all kinds of tasty teas like chocolate mint, pineapple mint, and lots more!
Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans)
Zones 8-11 (but can be grown as an annual in colder zones)
Pineapple sage makes a lovely tea because it has the sweet taste of pineapple combined with the earthy flavor of sage. It also contains antioxidants, so this is a sweet treat you can feel good about putting into your body.
You can use rose petals and rosehips to make tea. Rose petal tea is full of Vitamin C to boost immunity and can help ease the pain of menstrual cramps, plus it has a lovely floral flavor. Rosehip tea has a tart, fruity flavor and is packed full of nutrients such as Vitamin C, calcium, and zinc.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Rosemary has a ton of health benefits, including helping to boost memory and mood and decrease inflammation. You can read more about rosemary’s numerous medicinal properties here. Rosemary tea is quite strong tasting on its own and is delicious blended with other herbs such as thyme or mint.
Stevia leaves contain Vitamins C and A as well as iron, potassium, zinc, and calcium. Since the leaves are so sweet, I like to add them to other teas instead of using honey or other sweeteners. Read more on how to use stevia here.
More Tea Tips
Small space? No problem! Plant your tea herbs in a strawberry pot or turn this mosquito repelling planter into a tea garden with some of the herbs listed in the previous articles.
No garden space outside? Grow inside! You can create this vertical herb garden and harvest tea all year round.
Read this post on how to harvest and prep herbs for the perfect cup of tea every time.
You May Also Like:
- More than just a Garden Beauty: How to Grow, Dry, and Use Calendula
- Sun Tea: Two Ways, Hundreds of Possibilities
- Herbal Guide to Stevia Leaf: How to Grow, Harvest, and Prepare Green Stevia
- Ornamental, Delicious, and Unique Varieties of Mint You Should Be Growing
- Rest Easy with These Herbs for Sleep
- Fascinating Herbal Histories from Around the World