The garden volunteers are at it again! There are bags of library-grown tea available for free to our patrons! Check out the basket next to our suggestions box! The following information is provided by Eli Arlen, a garden volunteer.
Most of the plants are perennial, so you can grow and harvest your own tea year after year. This year an area of the Topsham Library Garden was dedicated to growing herbs for tea. We grew lavender, thyme, rosemary, spearmint, peppermint, tulsi, lemon balm, lemon verbena, sage and stevia. Throughout the summer these herbs were harvested and dried. Each bag of tea will contain some combination of these herbs. The tea is easy to make, simply place the dried herbs in a mug or pot, cover with boiling water and allow to steep for at least 3-4 minutes. Enjoy!
Here is a little information about some of the herbs used in the tea.
Tulsi, also known as Sacred Basil, is native to India, but it can be grown as an annual here in Maine. It has been shown to help support respiratory health and the immune system. It is also a wonderful stress reliever and soothing to the digestive system.
Lavender is native to the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean. Inhaling the aroma of Lavender can help slow nervous system activity, promoting relaxation. This can help with anxiety, insomnia, stress and depression. Another common traditional use for lavender tea is for digestive issue relief, including nervous stomach and indigestion.
Lemon Verbena, native to South America, has a bright citrus-y scent. Health benefits attributed to lemon Verbena include helping with weight loss goals, protection of muscles, reduction of inflammation, boosting the immune system, calming the stomach, reducing fevers, soothing, nerves, and clearing up congestion.
Lemon Balm is native to the Mediterranean and Central Asia. It is related to mint and has a mild honey-lemon flavor. It is a potent stress reliever. Thus it can be great for insomnia, depression, anxiety, and reducing high blood pressure. Lemon balm can also help to soothe an upset stomach and improve digestion.