Summer is here! Does the thought of hot tea, just make you cringe? How about getting those much needed immune building herbs through Sun Tea and Iced tea? During the summer our bodies have to work over time just as in the winter to maintain body temperature. Extra liquid is a must. Also with the added “Summer Cold” and increased allergies to blooming flowers, immune system maintaining herbs can be a irritation saver. I suggest trying out some immune system herb teas.
For herbal sun tea you need a few basic items:
½ gallon to 1-gallon glass jar (NO PLASTIC! It leaches into your tea and will negate the healthful effect for which you are going)
Herb tea—preferably decaffeinated, caffeine is a diuretic and shouldn’t be drank in the heat of the day!
Honey—no sugar or sweet-n-low type sugar substitutes. As little as 9 mg of sugar lowers your immune function by 50% ( a soda has 29 GRAMS), and sweet-n-low type of sweetener is about the worst thing for herbs. Honey is a natural healing catalyst. The natural healing enzymes in honey facilitate herbal function!
4—9 teaspoons or tea bags depending on the size of your jar
Plenty of SUN!
Start around 10am to 2pm with your sun tea; these are the hottest hours during the day. Fill your jar with cold water. Add 4—5 tea bags or teaspoons of tea for the ½ gallon jar or 8—9 bags for the 1-gallon jar, to the water. Set in a sunny, safe place so the jar won’t be broken and let it brew anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on temperature and strength for which you are going. When done, strain out tea or bags and add honey. Make sure honey is added prior to the ice or refrigeration; it will dissolve much better if the tea is warm.
Some Great Herbal Teas
My favorite is the Berry teas, such as Celestial Seasonings Organic Berry Teas. But you can make your own from loose herbs. Some I have tried are chamomile, which is a tasty herb on its own, but you could mix it with peppermint or spearmint for a nice refreshing addition. Also, try throwing in clove buds or cinnamon sticks for a “healthful bite”. I particularly like packaged herbal teas because many come with rose hips (the round orange or red bulb that is left after the petals of the rose have fallen off) and hibiscus. Both these herbs are intense immune boosters. For example, one tiny rose hip has as much Vitamin C then 1 large orange and there is no ascorbic acid to deposit in you kidneys. Packaged teas are easier and as long as they are organic they are safe!
An alternative to sun tea would be regular brewed tea with ice. There two ways to accomplish this either make a large batch or just a cup with ice. For the large batch make a very strong tea, such as 9 teaspoons or bags to a quart then fill with water to a gallon. Again, while warm add the honey and then the ice! Also, just add ice to your cup of tea.
Some words of warning …generally no more then 6 –8oz cups of tea a day…but if you know your body a little more will probably be ok. Try out these whole health tips for a brighter, healthier summer!