As it happened the first part of this year proved to be extremely busy for me – I will write about the reasons in my next blog. Without my conscious realisation winter turned into spring and then spring turned into summer. And here I am, six months deep into the year, six months older, and six months wiser. Summer for me is the time of slow contemplation and reflection. I love the moments of total stillness, when I’m in my garden allowing the world to pass by. I feel like a deserted island and whenever I’m ready to invite something more in I can just open myself up to the experiences of nature on my door step – and what a busy and multi-layered world it is. But summer for me is also a time of garden tea drinking. Summer tea can be hot or refreshingly cold – you are the creator of your own summer experience. So invite a friend to share this experience with, or simply enjoy relaxing beneath the trees with your favourite book in hand. Whatever you choose, here is my favourite summer tea recipe.
8-10 leaves of Olive leaves (Oleae folium)
½ teaspoon ground rosehips (Rosa spp.) or 1 teaspoon of whole rosehips
Put the herbs in a strainer, place in your favourite cup and pour hot water over your herbs. Make sure your strainer is large enough so your herbs can float and mix freely releasing all their goodness into the water. Cover the cup and let it steep for 10 minutes. When ready, remove the plant material and compost it. Drink hot, or leave to cool and serve in a high glass with plenty of ice cubes.
Olive leaf – has anti-hypertensive and diuretic properties. It is also antipyretic (which means that it’s great to reduce fevers and to cool the body) and antispasmodic. It is also known to boost immunity, to reduce inflammation and is very helpful in fighting herpes infections due to its antiviral properties. It is a very potent source of antioxidants.
Rose hips – are a heart and circulatory system tonic, with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. They are great hormone regulators and are also nourishing, with high vitamin and mineral content. They are especially high in vitamin C, and also have aphrodisiac actions. Rose generally is emotionally uplifting, nervine, neuroprotective, nutritive, aromatic, restorative and soothing and healing for skin (try using rose hip oil on your skin during massage or self-care and you’ll see for yourself).
Do not drink this tea in excess if you are diabetic, currently taking blood thinners, or medication to help control blood pressure.
- Ben-Erik van Wyk, Michael Wink, Medicinal plants of the world. An illustrated scientific guide to important medicinal plants and their uses, Timber Press, Portland 2004.
- Kimberly Gallagher, Aphrodisiac. The herbal path to healthy sexual fulfilment and vital living, Hay House, Carlsbad 2021.