Herbal Teas, the ideal Green Gift for Any Occasion

Published: 07th February 2011
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What exactly a herbal tea?

It is in fact a herbal infusion made from anything apart from leaves of the tea bush.

Herbal teas can be made from more or less anything. Known flavours include caraway, artichoke, ginger, fennel, dill, dandelion, lemon grass, pine, rosehip and nettle to name but a few. They can be made with leaves, roots, seeds, or dried or fresh flowers.

Typically boiling water is poured over the plant source and left to infuse for a couple of minutes whilst the flavour permeates the water. The plant is then removed from the water. For simplicity of use many herbal teas can be found today in the form of tea bags.

In her book “The Herbal Tea Garden”, Marietta Marshal Marcin describes herbal tea as: “the leaves or flower buds of shrubs in the genus that was named Thea sinensis by Swedish botanist, Carlous Linnaeus. Since Thea sinensis tea is considered a close relative of the camellia flower, it is occasionally referred to as Camellia thea or Camellia sinensis. Broadly speaking, however, tea is any drink produced from steeping fragrant leaves, berries, seeds, flowers, roots, or bark in boiling water.

All the tea in China

Tea is thought to have its beginnings in China nearly five thousand years ago. According to legend, the Emperor Shen-Nung was purifying some water by boiling when leaves from a tea bush apparently blew into his pot without his knowledge. When he began to drink his water he noted, and liked, this new taste. Regardless of the truth of the story, it is known that the popularity of tea rapidly spread all through the world.

As regards herbal tea, its origins are believed to trace back as far as Imperial Rome. Ironically its popularity is thought to have increased following the Boston Tea Party, once the imported tea product was banned and patriotic Americans instead started to produce their own herbal versions, known at that time as “liberty teas”.

Made with natural herbs and unsullied by added ingredients, pure herbal teas are organic and will be certified by the Soil Association, a registered charity with over 200 certification inspectors active round the United Kingdom.

Delicious and attractively boxed, herbal teas make the ideal eco gifts for Christmas, anniversaries or any other occasions.

The list of flavours in which they are available today is almost endless.

For a tempting variety of eco gifts, try Green Tulip, the UK's leading online ethical gifts shop.

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