Herbal Tea

Liquorice, Turmeric & Ginger Anti-Inflammatory Tea

This is our current favourite soothe-all tea. Perfect for these dark winter days and full of healing properties. The roots in this tea are both grounding and nourishing. If you’re struggling with stomach problems, a cold, cough or respiratory issues then these herbs can help your body reduce inflammation and soothe any uncomfortable aches and pains. It also tastes great - a delicious combination of sweet, cooling liquorice with the heat of fresh ginger and turmeric. We love to make a big saucepan of this and drink it throughout the day. Let’s explore some of these beautiful herbs in more detail …

Liquorice Turmeric Ginger Tea

(Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Liquorice root is a sweet herbal ally that’s rich in soothing properties. Its anti-inflammatory and detoxifying actions make it a beautiful herb to work with to help heal gastrointestinal issues, reduce pain and help heal from a cold. It’s a demulcent herb, which means it can bring quick relief for sore throats, as it forms a protective film over mucuos membranes in the mouth. It also moistens the lungs, which can help heal a cough.

Liquorice root is also a saviour for the adrenal glands - which can be put under a lot of stress during this time of year! It’s an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it helps the body regulate cortisol (the stress hormone) more efficiently. This gives our adrenals a break and helps our bodies adapt to stressful situations.

It’s quite a cooling herb, which is why we’ve combined it with more spicy, hot roots/spices like ginger, turmeric and black pepper.

(Zingiber officinalis)
Ginger is a well-loved root found in many kitchens around the world. It’s great to up your ginger intake during the colder months of the year as its warming properties help promote good circulation & assist our immune systems. Ginger is also anti-inflammatory and helps both stimulate & regulate digestion. If you ever feel nauseous, travel sick or have cramps then ginger is a great ally to have around.

Liquorice Root Tea

(Curcuma longa)
Another of our favourite ingredients, turmeric root is also warming and highly anti-inflammatory (if you’ve read this far, you’ll have noticed a theme here!). Although turmeric has been treasured in Ayurveda for hundreds of years, it has really come into the global spotlight recently for its ability to reduce inflammation and mucus throughout the body. It has also been used in various studies as a method to treat cancer. Turmeric’s bitter flavour helps stimulate gastric juices, which in turn encourages healthy digestion. It’s a wonder root with such a beautiful vibrant colour. To help absorption of turmeric’s medicinal properties, we like to combine it with black pepper…

(Piper nigrum)
We don’t commonly think of black pepper as having much use other than adding flavour to meals, but it’s often used in different remedies in Ayurveda. A little black pepper goes along way, & we’re probably all familiar with the heating properties of the spice. This powerful heat stimulates our digestive system and helps us metabolise food. It also helps clear congestion in our lungs/throat, so it’s great to use if you’re suffering or recovering from a cold.

Liquorice Turmeric Ginger Tea

Liquorice, Turmeric & Ginger Anti-Inflammatory Tea

INGREDIENTS (Makes 1 litre of tea, feel free to adjust amounts)
a 2-3 inch piece of ginger
1 thin stick of liquorice root, broken into pieces OR 1 tablespoon of chopped liquorice root
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric OR a 2 inch piece of fresh turmeric root
5-6 black peppercorns
1 litre of water

1, To prepare the ginger, either grate it or crush it in a pestle and mortar. This ensures that all the essential oils are released and that the water can extract all the medicinal properties.

2. Add it to a sauce pan with all the other ingredients. Bring the tea to a boil and then simmer on a low heat for around 10-15 minutes.

3. Strain the tea before serving. If you don’t want to drink the tea all at once, you can leave everything in the pan to allow it to infuse for longer. If the taste becomes too strong you can add extra water.

4. Relax and enjoy!

What’s your favourite type of tea to make during Winter?
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Homemade Dandelion Root Tea / Coffee

It's a pretty incredible thing that we have such easy access to so many foods from around the Earth. We can pick up tropical fruits in our local shops, cook with a huge variation of spices and generally find inspiration from cuisines all around the world. It's a huge privilege, but we often fail to see the abundance of life growing on our home land...maybe even in our own back garden. 

As we begin to learn more about medicinal herbs & foraging, we're discovering so much about what's growing in the UK and how we can appreciate these incredible wild plants. And with Mama Earth in her current state, we could all do with eating a little more locally & seasonally, as well as healing ourselves in more natural ways...

Roasted Dandelion Root Tea Coffee

Dandelions are so abundant in the UK that most gardeners are trying to work out how to get rid of them rather than harvesting their goodness. They're a persistent plant, but their sunny yellow flowers can brighten up the dullest of November days. They're also treasured in the world of herbalism, with the root, flower and leaf all having different benefits and uses. 

The root is particularly beneficial in helping cleanse and purify the liver - something a lot of people need assisting with this time of year. As Christmas approaches & people begin to overindulge and drink more alcohol, the liver can become congested, causing one to feel sluggish and tired. Incorporating natural liver cleansers into our daily routine can be a game changer for this! Dandelion also contains a lot of calcium, iron, potassium & vitamins A, B & C, as well stimulating the digestive system and helping skin problems. It's basically an everyday superfood - and it's free to forage too! 

If you're trying to cut down on caffeine intake or just want to try a different, satisfying hot drink, then dandelion root is an amazing alternative to coffee. And it's a fun project foraging, drying & preparing your roots! Roasting the roots brings out a really incredible & unique flavour - somewhat caramel, somewhat earthy. And it's even better made into an uplifting spiced drink or mocha during these colder months of the year. 

Roasted Dandelion Root Tea Coffee

Picking your Dandelion
As with any foraging or wildcrafting, be mindful about where you are harvesting & how much you are taking. Take only what you need and leave enough for the local wildlife. 

You'll have to dig a little to pick your dandelion, so best not to dig on private land or in your neighbours prized front garden! If you're lucky enough to have a garden, it's very likely that you'll have some dandelions growing in it, so that's the best place to start. If you can avoid picking near busy roadsides or driveways then it's much better too, as plants here will be effected by pollution. 

Roasted Dandelion Root Tea Coffee

Preparing the Dandelions
1) The Leaves - To make the dandelion coffee, you'll only need to use the root of the plant. But the green leaves are full of nutrition and goodness, so we reccommend saving these to try! They do have a slightly bitter flavour, but we throw ours in a juice/smoothie. In the Mediterranean they are sauteed with lemon and olive oil. 

2) Wash the Roots - Once you've gathered your roots, you'll need to thoroughly wash them. We leave ours in a bowl of warm water for a while, and then scrub them with a cloth to remove all the dirt.

3) Chop! - One washed, you can chop your roots into very small pieces and place them on a lined baking tray. 

Before Roasting:

Roasted Dandelion Root Tea Coffee
Roasted Dandelion Root Tea Coffee

4) Dry & Roast - If you live somewhere hot, you can then dry them in the sun for a few hours before roasting in the oven. Because we live in the UK and it's currently freezing cold, we dry & roast ours in the oven on a low heat for roughly 4 hours (checking them every so often). Once ready, the roots will be dark in colour and completely dry. They should have a fragrant smell too. 

5) Cool & Grind - Allow your roots to cool after you remove them from the oven. Place them in a clean spice or coffee grinder and whiz them into a fine powder. You're now ready to use your Dandelion coffee! Store in an airtight jar (where they should last for a long time)

6)To Prepare your drink - To use your powder, there are a few options ... 
* Place a heaped tablespoon of powder into water and bring to the boil for a few minutes. Drain and serve ... tastes best with added nut milk and a pinch of coconut sugar. 
* Use the powder in a mocha pot, as you would to make espresso
* Use a french press to infuse the roots in water for around 10 minutes. 

Next week we'll be posting our favourite recipe for Dandelion root,  making a medicinal hot chocolate with delicious spices! 

After Roasting : 

Roasted Dandelion Root Tea Coffee
Dandelion Root Tea coffee

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Have you ever tried Dandelion leaves or coffee?