On Sunday, August 7th, I took a selection of herbal teas, otherwise known as local weeds, to the Knowsley Flower Show for some herbal tea-tasting. There are loads of local weeds and trees that are used by herbalists that can be taken as teas, some better known than others. However, picking and using local plants is generally not a terribly good idea for several reasons – picking may not be allowed, the plant may be mis-identified with ensuing dangeers of toxicity and plants may have been sprayed with chemicals. They are better obtained from reputable sources. A few examples of local plants are:
Netttles are wonderful weeds and all parts are used medicinally – the root, leaves and seeds, although each part has different applications. Nettle leaf is the commonly known part used as a tea for relief of hayfever symptoms and ‘detox’, but the root has particular importance in prostate problems and the seeds may help the body deal with the effects of stress on the body.
Dandelion is another well-known weed – the leaves are diuretic, helping for example with hypertension and the root aids elimination of waste chemicals via the liver.
Couch grass root is used to help prevent cystitis and urinary tract irritation, together with corn silk – the dried hairs surrounding a corn cob.
Lime tree blossom is used as a relaxing tea and to aid in cases of mild hypertension
German chamomile is used for many reasons including a relaxing tea and digestive aid as well as being healing and antiinflammatory topically.
English marigold is also used for a wide variety of problems, both topically as a healing, antifungal, antiinflammatory and orally to help with hormonal imbalance and digestion.
Lemon balm is another relaxing tea
Horse tail tops are rich in silica and this is reportedly why it is used traditionally to aid healing.
Lady’s mantle is is used traditionally to balance hormones and reduce bleeding
In general, teas made from these local plants are quite mild and pleasant-tasting, however doses used medicinally are very strong and not generally taken for pleasure, hence herbs are often taken as concentrated liquid extracts in small doses (tinctures).
Caution: If using plants for medicinal purposes, obtain from a reputable source. The information is offered for its educational value only and should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent disease; please contact your health care practitioner.