Prepackaged paper squares of dried tea may be convenient, but the delicate taste of fresh floral blends can’t quite be captured via the supermarket shelf. The solution? You can easily unleash the power of just-picked petals with simple DIY brews, says Prevention magazine.
“If you can pick it from your garden and eat it, then you can definitely infuse it in water,” says Meghan Mercier, master herbalist and cofounder of The Loose Leaf tea company. Here’s how — and what — to brew to take your tea-sipping experience to a whole new level.
HOW TO BREW
Use only organically grown flowers — whether they’re from your backyard or from a florist — and pick them when they’re in full bloom for peak flavor. You’ll need about 1 tablespoon of petals for every 8 to 10 ounces of water.
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Prep petals by rinsing off any bits of soil. Then place whole petals in a silicone tea ball or wrap in muslin or cheesecloth, and toss into a teapot when the water hits 190 degrees (as soon as bubbles start rising to the surface). Turn off the heat, and after 2 to 3 minutes of steeping, scoop out any loose petals with a small mesh strainer and serve.
Tip: You can store used petals in the refrigerator for a few days and reuse them until they stop releasing color — typically three to four times.
Fresh rose petals are one of the most popular picks. “If you have a good quality organic rose, you get that rose taste — exactly like what you smell,” Mercier says. Bonus: Roses pack plenty of vitamin C and help relieve water retention in the body and other forms of congestion in the digestive tract.
You’ve probably had chamomile in its dried form, but opting for the fresh version means you’ll enjoy a much more vivid, floral taste. Plus, chamomile’s calming effects can relieve gastric distress and help you relax, too.
This tea has a light, earthy, grassy taste. Marigolds can help improve your body’s lymphatic flow and provide anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, all of which help keep the growth of unfavorable bacteria in your body in check.
The petals of this plant are slightly sour, but its heart-health benefits sweeten the pot — research published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests that hibiscus tea significantly lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.
Lavender contains plenty of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that has been linked to the prevention of heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis. This variety has the most potent taste, so avoid steeping for too long. “It tastes exactly the same as it smells,” says Mercier. “Either people love lavender, or they don’t like it at all.”
For more health tips, visit prevention.com.