Backyard Herbal Tea {everything you need to know to make your own}

I love a good cup of tea and I especially love the kind that I can make right from wild things growing in my backyard. Here is a step-by-step {with everything you need to know} to create your own Backyard Herbal Tea Blend!

how to make your own backyard herbal tea

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How to make Backyard Herbal Tea

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My suggestion would be to use a combination of clover (either variety or both), red raspberry leaf, pineapple weed, and mint. My mother-in-law also enjoys parsley tea, which may not be a technical “wild” herb, but it is certainly growing wild at my place!

Clover: I usually just collect the flowers (though you can use the rest of the plant for tea as well. It is just a matter of preference). You want to pick them while they are blooming but before they start to turn brown. The best time is spring or early summer, but you can find fresh blooming clover all summer and into the fall.

Red Clover Benefits

White Clover Benefits

Red Raspberry Leaf: this is exactly what is sounds like, the leaves of red raspberry plants. They can be picked any time during the spring, summer or fall.

Red Raspberry Leaf

Mint: wild mint grows in most parts of the country. It is most often found in swampy areas and can be easily transplanted (unless you love tromping through ditches, in which case, have at it!). Northern wild mint has a reddish stem and a very fragrant scent. The leaves and stems are both usable.

Wild Mint

Pineapple Weed: it’s terrible that the name of this plant includes the word “weed” because this is one of the more delightful herbs available. The wild variety of chamomile, it is fragrant (with a sweet pineapple-y scent) and grows most anywhere. It is identifiable by the small yellow “pineapple” shaped head early in the growth cycle and the mini-daisy like blooms later on.

pineapple weed benefits

Parsley: I know this doesn’t usually grow wild but if you happen to have a plant in your garden then you probably have more than you can use. It is also readily available year-long at grocery stores and farmer’s markets.  And the health benefits are amazing. 

Parsley Benefits

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Backyard Herbal Tea

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There are 3 basic methods of drying herbs:

1. Air Dry {this is usually done by cutting the plants with long stems still attached and tying the stems together, then hanging them upside down in a dimly lit area. The upside? this method allows you to enjoy the smell of the herbs over an extended time and makes you look all industrious. The downside? It’s easy (at my house as least!) for the herbs to get rather dusty and there isn’t really any way to get them cleaned off afterward.}

2. Use a dehydrator. {this is done by spreading the herbs on the dehydrator trays. You may need to move the trays around to insure even drying. The upside? it’s very simple and quick and the herbs retain most of their color. The downside? it uses electricity and you obviously have to own a dehydrator.}

3. Use your oven. {this is done by spreading the herbs on a baking sheet and turning your oven to the lowest setting. The upside? Simple and relatively quick. The downside? You have to stay nearby and remember to stir them periodically.}

The amounts of each herb can vary, depending on taste. I like 3-4 clover flowers, a pinch each of pineapple weed, raspberry leaf, and parsley, and a good teaspoon of mint. (I love  mint, so this combination makes a nice mellow mint tea. If you don’t prefer mint then feel free to vary the amounts according to your desires.)

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backyard herbal tea blend

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To strain the tea, you want something with tight weaves. These are your best options. {affiliate links}

You can also use a regular disposable coffee filter by placing the herbs in the center and gathering the edges together with a rubber band.

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Backyard Herbal Tea

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You can also use a teapot {I have a few lovely ones from relatives and friends} but I most often make tea only for myself, so I put it directly into the cup. And speaking of cups, isn’t this one lovely? My father-in-law bought this set of old-fashioned dishes for me at an antique shop one day. He’s simply grand.

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Backyard Herbal Tea

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Honey, in my mind, was made for tea. We’re blessed to have neighbors who raise their own honeybees and graciously give us quarts of honey each year, and oh, the difference of home-grown honey. But even if you don’t have any local honey available– anything will do. Or try a dab of sugar, a dollop of maple syrup, a tiny drop of stevia. Better yet, you can forgo the sweetener all together. While I was in college, I drank plain mint tea and learned to love it without any sweeteners at all. But, of course, that was before I had neighbors who gave me honey. 🙂

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What is your favorite kind of tea? Have you ever made your own herbal blend?

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21 thoughts on “Backyard Herbal Tea {everything you need to know to make your own}

  1. This was the neatest thing! I don’t know if I’m this adventurous. I’m… more likely to stick with my black tea bags from Wegmans. BUT. If I ever do decide to get all crazy with my tea, or if the economy collapses and I have to live from the land (Oh nooooosss) I may be upset about my general lack of Target merchandise, but at least I will know how to make my own tea!

    (PS. Which one is the caffeine weed? I need that one listed. Thanksomuch.)

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  2. I loved reading this post and emailed it to my husband, since he planted a tea-garden this year {he’s becoming quite the evening tea drinker in his old age}. I’ve never liked tea, but the herbal teas are growing on me.

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    • My husband loves tea as well. I jokingly told him one day that his “love language” is making me tea when I’m feeling sick or sad or lonely. 🙂

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  3. I love herbal tea also, Natasha. I’ve never tried clover or mixed my herbs, but I have used raspberry, strawberry, goldenrod, and mint. Catnip is my most consistent. I air dry them. I’m always looking for new herbs to use. Maybe we can share a cup someday. 🙂

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  4. I dry herbs in my ‘frig. Put them on something like a plate so the dry, cold frig air can circulate around them. They keep their color, too. When dry, store in glss containers. Since my frig is lots bigger than I need, this works well for me. Then there is the freezer method. Freeze and cut off a frozen chunk & brew. And, yes, my freezer also has lots of room but herbs don’t take much room.

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    • I have actually done this before, but didn’t think of it when I was writing the post! Thanks for this reminder.

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