Chill Out and Cheer Up with Herbal Infusions
A cup of hot water with leaves at the bottom might not sound particularly appealing, but with the right plants and treatment, a herbal infusion can be delicious. What's more, it can make you feel better. Many plants have medicinal properties that soothe, calm and refresh. Choose your favorites from the wide selection available and let them help you through the day. If making your own infusion, check ingredients first for any toxic elements.
Every day has its little ups and downs, and an herbal infusion can help you through them all. Here are some examples of when and how they can serve you.
When you're trying to wake up
When your alarm clock rings in the morning, you probably feel like dropping straight back to sleep. But a reviving herb or fruit infusion can sweep away that drowsiness and freshen you up for the day. Mint tea works well for some people, and red bush or lemon balm works for others. Try a different infusion each morning to find out which works best for you.
When you're feeling down
If you're feeling melancholy, a warm, mild infusion will raise your spirits. The fine texture and delicate aroma will soothe mind and body alike, inspiring inner strength to overcome those negative thoughts. Choose a sweet, mellow flavor, like rose hip and hibiscus, orange blossom or chamomile, for a positive feel.
When you're anxious
Are you a worrier? Do you let little worries build into big, black clouds that bring on headaches or insomnia? If so, an herbal infusion can help. Choose a gentle flavor, such as nettle, wild berry or raspberry leaf, and add a drop of vanilla or cinnamon for comforting sweetness. As you slowly swallow it down, you'll feel the tension and any associated pain fade away as your muscles relax. For extra calming, wrap your palms around the warm mug or hold it against your cheek or forehead between sips.
When you've had a busy day
After a long day's work, a light herbal infusion will help you chill out. Add a shake of ground ginger or cinnamon to spice up your mugful - and your mood. Inhale the balmy steam and feel your face relax. Sip the drink and feel your muscles ease out through your body.
When you're celebrating
If you're marking a special occasion but want to avoid alcohol, why not celebrate with a chilled fruit cocktail tea? Brew up your favorite herbal mix with a few cloves thrown in. Then leave it to cool, remove the cloves and add slices of assorted citrus fruits. Chill your concoction in the freezer for a short time, then serve in glasses with chinking ice cubes.
When you want to get to sleep
Many people find chamomile an effective herb for calming down the mind before bed. A small cupful of the infusion is advisable, to save the need for trips to the bathroom in the small hours. Settle yourself in bed first, ready to drop off as soon as your cup is empty.
If you're a caffeine lover or a fruit juice fan, you can fit in your coffees and juices around these delicate infusions. You might even have room inside for something stronger at the end of the day - if you really feeling up for it!