Herbal Tea Plants for the Garden

Sadly, too many gardeners fail to take advantage of the many delightful herbal teas available to them from their own garden. Herbal teas are healthy, refreshing and can be sweetened to taste with honey or dried licorice root.

Brewing herbal teas is very simple. We recommend using the infusing method, that is pouring boiling water over the herbs and allowing them to steep for 3-5 minutes, then straining the tea and serve. Teas can be served cold or hot, according to preference.

Making the perfect tea is a personal preference, we recommend using the following guidelines starting out:
For one cup of herbal tea, use 3 teaspoons of fresh herbs, or 1 teaspoon of dried herbs. For one gallon, use 6 ounces ( about 2½ cups ) of fresh herbs, or ¾ cups dried herbs. If using fresh herbs, gently bruise or crush the leaves to help release flavor and aroma. Never let the herbs set in the tea for over a day as this may allow tannic acid to release into the tea, which can be irritating to the stomach.
Be sure to use only herbs that have not been treated with pesticides.

There are many herbal teas that can be made from exotic herbs, but we have chosen to list the more common herbs that gardeners are apt to raise for other purposes as well as tea.

We offer the following seed packets for growing your own herbal tea plants:

HR101 Agrimony ( Agrimonia eupatoria )
Agrimony has long been used in place of tea in Europe. It is a hardy perennial reaching 3-5 ft. and prefers full sun to light shade in ordinary well drained soil. Parts of plant to use for tea: Flowers, leaves and stems harvested when plants are in bloom.
Taste: Delightful taste, with a somewhat apricot like flavor. Can be sweetened with licorice or honey.
  Package of 10 seeds $1.95
1A009 Medico Alfalfa ( Medicago sativa )
Alfalfa is very high in vitamins A, D, E, G and K, as well as 16 important minerals. It is a hardy perennial with many small flowers growing off of the stems. Grows well in full or partial sun in well drained soil. Averages 1-3 ft. in height.
This strain of alfalfa can be made into a tea by placing two teaspoons of dried leaves in a cup of boiling water and soaking for 15 minutes. This tea is used to treat arthritis, boils, digestive disorders, urinary tract infections and bowel disorders. The chlorophyll in this brew will also dispatch of bad breath. Eating the sprouts in salads is also very beneficial.
  Package of Small pack.( several hundred seeds ) $1.95
Parts of plant to use for tea: Leaves and seeds.
Taste: Somewhat of a bland taste, some describe it as the taste of new mown hay. We recommend mixing with red clover, mints or lemon verbena and sweetening with honey. Your really should drink this tea for it's nutritional benefits.
HR301 Angelica
Angelica is a biennial plant often grown as an annual. Flowers have a sweet honey smell. An oil made from the stems and roots is used in flavoring liqueurs and stems are often candied and used in decorating cakes.
Angelica will grow to a height o 4-6 ft. and prefers partial shade and a moist, slightly acidic soil.
  250mg package ( about 30 seeds ) $1.95
Parts of plant to use for tea: Leaves, seeds.
Taste: A very light taste, somewhat like celery. Best if sweetened with honey.
HR310 Anise ( Pimpinella anisum )
An annual plant growing to 2 ft. tall. Prefers growing in cultivated soil with compost worked in and full sun.
Anise tea is one of the best herbal teas that you could ever hope to make. It has a delicious flavor, and is said to be helpful in the treatment of asthma, colic, bronchitis and nausea. It is also said to be helpful in promoting milk production in nursing mothers. A cup of Anise tea just before bedtime will help you rest better and sleep soundly. Leaves and seeds used to flavor licorice.
Delicious in salads. Seeds often used in applesauce, cakes, breads, soups and stews. Seeds have also been used for ages as a mousetrap bait, it is said that mice cannot resist the aroma of the seeds.
  250mg Package of about 50 or more seeds $1.95
Parts of plant to use for tea: Leaves and seeds.
Taste: Very pleasant sweet licorice like taste and delightful aroma. Needs no sweeteners or other flavorings.
HR105 Lemon Balm ( Melissa officinalis )
A hardy perennial growing to 2-4 ft., prefers light sandy soil and full sun to partial shade. Lemon scented leaves and sprigs used to make teas and cool drinks. It is thought to relieve asthma, migraine headaches and toothaches. Good for potpourri and the flowers attract bees.
  35mg pack ( about 40-50 seeds ) $1.95
Parts of plant to use for tea: Leaves
Taste: A light, lemony flavor that needs no other flavorings added, in fact it is a good flavoring herb to mix with other herbal teas.
HR320 Large Sweet Italian Basil
A fast growing annual to 2 ft. tall, can be grown in full sun to partial shade. Should be grown in rich garden type soil. Basil has long been used to relieve stomach aches, gas and constipation. The leaves are excellent for tomato sauces and salads. Adds zest to everything. Very fragrant flowers and leaves. Good potpourri addition.
  Package of 50-100 seeds $1.75
Parts of plant to use for tea: Leaves
Taste: Unique, spicy clove-like flavor.
HR370 Borage ( Borage officianalis )
The ancient Greeks believed that this herb imparted courage and was often added to wine. Has been used to treat fevers and as an antidote against poisons. It is an annual plant growing to 3 ft. tall. Does well even in poor soils and can grow in full sun to partial shade. Cucumber flavored leaves used in salads and summer drinks. Good bee plant.
  Package of 50 seeds $1.75
Parts of plant to use for tea: Leaves, flowers.
Taste: A pleasant cucumber flavor.
HR109 Burnet ( Sanguisorba minor )
A very hardy perennial that grows 1-2 ft. tall and likes well drained sandy soil. Has long been used to treat wounds and stop bleeding. Leaves used to flavor cold drinks and herb vinegars. Tender, young leaves add a hint of cucumber to soups, casseroles and salads.
  Package of 50 seeds $1.75
Parts of plant to use for tea: Leaves
Taste: Fresh cucumber like flavor.
HR400 Caraway Seeds ( Carum carvi )
A biennial often grown as an annual in most types of soil. Needs full sun. Caraway tea is often used to stimulate appetite and digestion and to relieve cramps and flatulence. Flavorful seeds used in breads, cheese sauces and sauerkraut.
 800mg Package ( over 100 seeds ) $2.25
Parts of plant to use for tea: Seeds
Taste: Unique sweet flavor with a slight bite to it.
HR123 Catnip ( Nepata cataria )
Often grown by cat owners as cats love to find this plant, proceed to destroy it and roll around on top of it. It is a hardy perennial with attractive heart shaped foliage. Grows 2-3 ft. tall in moist rich soil. Grows in full sun or partial shade. Catnip tea has been used to relieve upset stomachs, hysteria, nervousness and headaches.
  105mg package ( over 100 seeds ) $1.95 Parts of plant to use for tea: Leaves
Taste: An aromatic tea with a minty flavor.
HR114 Sweet Cicely ( Myrrhis odorata )
A hardy perennial growing to 2-3 ft. Prefers moist, but well drained soil and shade or at least partial shade. White flowers are very aromatic. Fresh leaves used in salads. Seeds used in pastries and salads. Peeled roots are grated and eaten raw or steamed. Tea made from cicely is considered to be an excellent tonic and is considered a mild laxative.

Note: These seeds need to be cold statified before sowing. We recommend using the Seedman's Cold Stratification Kits for cold stratification.
  Package of 10 seeds $2.75
Parts of plant to use for tea: Leaves
Taste: Has a sweet, anise flavor.
1A008 Red Clover ( Trifolium pratense )
A perennial that is usually grown as an annual. Grows in most soils and needs full sun. Red Clover has long had a reputation as a cancer fighter. The plant contains large amounts of tocopherol, a potent antioxidant form of vitamin E that has been shown to prevent tumor formation in animal studies. It may also provide effective relief for menopausal symptoms as elements of the plant behave like estrogen. A tea can be made by boiling three teaspoons of dried flower tops per cup of water and steeping 15 minutes. Drink 3 cups a day.
  Small Pack $1.95
Parts of plant to use for tea: Flowers ( Dried )
Taste: Clover has a sweet, delicate flavor. Excellent with a few drops of honey.
G040 Dill ( Anethum graveolens )
A hardy annual that grows in most soils in full sun. It has been said that nibbling dill seeds will stop hunger pains. Dill tea is a popular remedy for stimulating the appetite and relieving stomach aches due to a full stomach. Dill is very easy to grow and is used to flavor pickles, salads, soups and more. To harvest Dill, cut flowering stems when in full bloom. Spread out to dry on trays. When dry, rub off flowers and stems and discard the stems. Store the flowers and stems in an airtight container until ready to use.
  350mg Package ( about 100 seeds ) $1.50
Parts of plant to use for tea: Leaves and seeds
Taste: A rather pungent dill flavor.
H264 Fenugreek ( Trigonella foenum )
An annual plant that is widely cultivated for its medicinal properties. Needs sandy soil and direct sunlight. A decoction made from the seeds is give to strengthen those suffering from tuberculosis or recovering from an illness. Also used as an aphrodisiac. As a poultice, it has many uses.
 400mg pack ( about 20-25 seeds ) $2.25
Parts of plant to use for tea: Seeds and Leaves Taste: A rather pleasant taste, although slightly bitter.
W206 German Chamomile ( Matricaria recutita )
An easy to grow annual with pretty daisy like flowers, the flowers are scented, and only the flowers are used for making tea.
If you want to harvest flowers for making Chamomile tea, it is best to collect flowers on a sunny day (ensuring that the flowers are fully open), then dry them in the sun. Discard the stems and leaves and store the chamomile flowers in an air tight container.
German Chamomile is most often used for medicinal purposes, and is usually administered as a tea. It can also be administered as a compress for external healing and as a bath for babies. Here are a few uses:
Soothes and relaxes at bedtime.
Relieves restlessness, teething problems, and colic in children.
Relieves allergies, much as an antihistamine would.
Aids digestion when taken as a tea after meals.
Relieves morning sickness during pregnancy.
Speeds healing of skin ulcers, wounds, or burns.
Treats gastritis and ulcerative colitis.
Other Uses
Makes a relaxing bath or footbath.
Lightens fair hair and conditions complexion. Make a rinse by simmering 2 teaspoons dried flowers in 8 ounces of water for 15 minutes.
Potpourri (dry flowers face down.)
  50mg Package ( couple of hundred seeds or more ) $2.15
Parts of plant to use for tea: Flowers only. Taste: A rather pleasant taste, made very nice with a little bit of honey.
SF084 Roman Chamomile Chamaemelum nobile
A hardy perennial with aromatic, threadlike leaves that fill the air with a pleasing apple-pineapple scent. Walk on it for instant fragrance. White, daisylike blooms appear in summer. Spreads unevenly as a groundcover by self-sowing. Young leaves and flowers can be gathered to make a calming tea, both fresh and dried. The leaves can be used in potpourri. Thrives in moist, rich soil and grows to 12 inches tall. Cut back regularly to encourage dense, compact growth.
Grows well in zones 4-9.
 45mg pack ( about 500 seeds ) $2.75
HR141 Horehound ( Marrubium vulgare )
A hardy perennial that likes sandy soils and full sun. Used since ancient times as an antidote for poisons and for bronchitis, coughs and colds. Leaves are used for flavoring juices and teas. Juice used for medicinal candies.
  40mg pack ( about 50 seeds ) $1.95
Parts of plant to use for tea: Leaves
Taste: Has a bittersweet, musky flavor. Much improved by adding honey.
HR145 Hyssop ( Hyssopus officinalis )
A hardy perennial growing 1-2 ft. tall that needs light, well drained soil and partial shade. A popular remedy for coughs, asthma and lung disorders. Similar to mint flavor, use small amount in salads and other dishes.
  Package of 50 or more seeds $1.75
Parts of plant to use for tea: Green tops of the herbs for best tea. Taste: Minty, slightly bitter taste.
HR163 Lavender Vera ( Lavendula vera )
A hardy perennial growing to 3 ft. tall , prefers dry, well drained soil in full sun. Used to treat nervousness heart palpitations, fainting and dizziness. Also called English Lavender, the dried flowers of this beautiful plant have long been used to perfume linens.
  Package of 20 seeds $1.75
Parts of plant to use for tea: Flowers
Taste: Sweet, very aromatic.
H595 Mugwort ( Artemisia vulgaris )
A tall growing plant perennial usually grown as an annual, reaching 3 ft. or more. Often used to flavor drinks. An infusion made from dried roots at a rate of 1 ounce of herb to one pint of water makes a stimulating tonic for tired blood. Doses should be 1/2 teaspoon while still warm. The infusion is also helpful for palsy, fits and epileptic affections.
  10mg Package of about 100 seeds $1.95
Parts of plant to use for tea: Flowers and Leaves
Taste: Very refreshing, tangy taste.
HR180 Pennyroyal ( Mentha pulegium )
A hardy perennial growing 12 inches tall. Likes clay heavy, moist soil and partial sun. It has been used to stimulate digestion and relieve flatulence. A strong but pleasantly scented plant used to repel insects and protect linens. Makes a beautiful ground cover .
  3mg package of about 25 seeds $2.25
Parts of plant to use for tea: Tops and leaves before flowering.
Taste: Strong sweet, minty flavor. Very aromatic.
HR183 Rosemary ( Rosmarinus officinalis )
A tender perennial often grown as an annual. Likes well drained soil treated with lime and partial sun. Often used to ease nervousness and induce sleep. Aromatic leaves and stems used to flavor meats and sauces. Excellent for potpourri.
  15mg Package ( about 20 seeds ) $1.95
Parts of plant to use for tea: Leaves and Flowers. Taste: Somewhat piney taste, should be flavored with other herbs.
HR229 English Thyme ( Thymus vulgaris )
A hardy perennial growing only about 12 inches tall. Prefers dry soil treated with lime and full sun. Thyme tea relieves indigestion and calms the nerves. Also used as an antiseptic. Seasoning for poultry chowders, stews, sauces and pickles. Good honey plant for bees.
  75mg package ( 75-100 seeds ) $1.95 Parts of plant to use for tea: Leaves
Taste: Pungent, spicy flavor.