A good cup of tea can help you calm down, warm up and feel better. Add lemon and honey to it, and it’s great for a sore throat. Add mint or verbena and it’ll help calm an upset stomach, and if you need to relax, brew some chamomile. Teas and infusions have been part of civilization for thousands of years and variations exist all over the world. But why settle for processed tea when you can easily grow your own fresh tea at home?
The tea plant:
The tea plant is a species of the Camellia plant - a favorite amongst gardeners as it flowers in the fall and winter, producing beautiful flowers. Most kinds of tea are produced from the subspecies Camellia sinensis, including white, green, oolong and black tea.
One subspecies, the Camellia sinensis var. sinensis, thrives in sunny and partly-shaded environments. It can be grown in a pot, but make sure it’s in a location that will protect the roots from severe temperatures. To make it easy to harvest, prune its height at around three feet (1m), or just let it grow naturally (it will become a large shrub or even a small tree). The soil needs to be well drained, slightly acidic and rich in humus. For planting, refer to the standard advice of "Dig the planting hole twice as large as the root ball and one and one-half times as deep". As for watering – camellias prefer a soil with some moisture, but that doesn’t mean wet soil, so make sure to water well depending on the weather conditions. During the blossoming period, be extra attentive with watering, as under-watering will yield smaller flowers. (You can dry the white camellia flowers and add them to the tea, giving it extra flavor.)
Harvesting & Preparation:
Green tea – Rich in antioxidants, which prevent the growth of various kinds of cancer. Prevents clogging of arteries, burns fat, improves cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Black tea – Protects the lungs from damage caused by cigarette smoke and can prevent strokes.
White tea – Potent anticancer properties.
Oolong tea – Helps lower bad cholesterol levels.
|Name||Mint||Lemon Verbena||Rose Geranium||Artemisia Capillaries|
|Benefits||Rich in antioxidants, reduces cold symptoms, helps with indigestion and IBS.||Rich in antioxidants, reduces fever, antibacterial, eases muscle-cramps, soothes the digestive system.||Aids in relaxation, soothes the digestive system, reduces headaches and muscle cramps.||
Helps digestion problems, eases menstrual-related pain and bleeding, and has antibacterial properties.