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Dry Aromatic, Healing Teas From Your Own Garden

Homegrown herbal tea is a popular thirst quencher and offers help with minor health problems. If you grow the tea herbs yourself, you can also be sure that they have not been contaminated by chemical agents. However, it is important that you dry the tea properly so that the various ingredients are preserved.

When should teas be collected?

The harvest time for tea herbs is quite short because the plants should be brought in before flowering begins. Other herbs such as stinging nettles or marigolds form fresh shoots and flowers throughout the summer, which you can always harvest fresh.

  • Bring the plants in on a dry day, preferably in the late morning.
  • The dew should have dried off, but the sun should not yet developed its full power.

If you keep this in mind, not only is the aroma more intense, but the tea plants also dry significantly faster because they have not stored any unnecessary water.

How is the tea dried?

Preparation:

  1. Unless the plants are very dirty, tap them out gently.
  2. If it is necessary to wash them off, only briefly rinse them under running water.
  3. Then carefully pat dry with kitchen paper.

Drying outdoors

  1. If dry weather is forecast and you have a sunny, airy place outside, you can dry the tea here.
  2. Tie the tea plants into small bouquets and hang them up.
  3. The tea is dry when the leaves rustle softly when touched.

Drying indoors

  • The room where you dry the tea should be airy and dark.
  • For example, hang the bouquets on a beam in the attic.
  • Alternatively, you can place the tea plants on frames covered with gauze. Turn daily so the tea dries evenly.

In the oven or dehydrator

Drying is particularly quick and easy here.

  1. Spread the herbs out on the drying racks. If they are quite coarse, place baking paper or gauze underneath.
  2. When drying in the oven, place baking paper on a tray and spread the tea herbs on it.
  3. Set the temperature to the lowest level. This is important so that the tea plants do not burn.
  4. Leave the oven door ajar to allow moisture to escape. In the dehydrator, this happens by itself through the circulation of the air.
  5. Turn occasionally so the tea dries evenly.

Depending on the device, the drying time is four to six hours. Then take out the dried herbs, grate them if you like, and pack the tea.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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