Tea time: a healing ritual
Updated: Nov 19, 2021
As an avid tea drinker, I think tea is a wonderful way to sneak healing herbs into your daily life - without feeling like you're having to take a medication or supplement.
If you're also a tea lover, read on to learn more about some of the medicinal tea blends I've created and which ones might be best for you!
The medicinal teas below are carefully blended for taste as well as herbal medicinal value. If a sweetener is desired, try a touch of raw honey (unless pregnant or under 1 year old) mixed into the tea after it has cooled to drinking temperature. If the tea is too hot when honey is added, the antibacterial benefits of the honey will be lost!
A long steep time is recommended for all medicinal tea blends (10-15 minutes, covered).
Medicinal Teas - (custom teas are available to patients based on your specific needs)
Common cold buster - includes elderberries, rosehips, catnip, nettle, mullein, ginger
Use at onset of any symptoms – all ages (it’s tasty - and has anti-viral, anti-histamine and cough supportive herbs!)
Change of season soup - includes a blend of herbs from Traditional Chinese Medicine: astragalus, codonopsis, Chinese wild yam, goji berries, ginger root
Use to support the body as the weather cools and fluctuates - to help fortify digestion, support lung health and energize so that your body can efficiently defend against the pathogens it will encounter this cold & flu season! Can be added to a bone broth or soup stock, or drank as a tea. More info here
Rest & Digest - includes holy basil, chamomile, catnip, fennel, motherwort, licorice root, ginger
As needed, for tummy soothing, as a sleep aid or calming nerves any time of day – all ages (safe for kids - note: licorice root is sweet and not at all reminiscent of black licorice, though fennel does have a slight black licorice flavour)
Daily detox – includes milk thistle, nettle, holy basil, schisandra, rosehip, ginger, elder flower
Gentle & balancing, supports healthy liver and hormone function, with a hint of nuttiness from milk thistle, for any time of day
Sun-Shine - includes holy basil, nettle, milk thistle, chamomile, lemon balm, ginger
A variety of anti-histamine herbs support the immune system to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms (if started 2 months prior to usual symptom onset) - also a daily tea for anyone seeking an uplifting, nutritious and calming tea.
Serenity - includes Saint John’s wort, motherwort, milk thistle, schisandra, rosehip, oatstraw
A gentle mood balancer, with hormonal support – do not take Saint John's Wort if you are currently taking other medications (unless under professional advice)
Customized Medicinal Teas: custom blends are typically provided as part of a treatment protocol when a patient sees me for a naturopathic visit (if you are interested in a tea, please ask me at or before your next visit!).
If you like a tea above but can't tolerate one of the herbs, I may be able to substitute it for you.
Looseleaf teas are available for purchase in 85g bags for $12 + HST.
Tea purchases can be made online (please email email@example.com with your order and I will provide an invoice you can pay with VISA or etransfer) Please note: all teas are pickup only - by appointment! Pick up at Northstar Naturopathic Clinic, 804 Bloor St. W. near Christie St in Toronto.
*Other holiday drinks/gifts available are listed here
Learn more about herbal teas as medicine:
A word of herbal wisdom: many wonderful herbs do not make great medicinal teas because their medicinal properties are not extracted by the hot water infusion (steeping your tea). Examples:
Licorice root (glycyrrhiza glabra): is useful in a tea as a demulcent herb, to soothe irritated throats and stomachs, and it also adds a sweet flavour (not like black licorice at all) - but the adaptogenic (stress-reducing) constituents are not well extracted in this method (a long boil called a decoction will help, or an alcohol-based extraction in the form of a tincture are better choices). If you want stress-reduction in your tea, read about holy basil below!
Ashwagandha (withania somnifera): an incredibly powerful adaptogenic and hormone balancing herb when extracted in alcohol, but the dehydrated root cannot compare medicinally
The herbs used in my change of season soup (astragalus, codonopsis, wild yam) are other examples of roots that require a longer boil ('decoction') to extract their medicinal value.
Holy basil for stress and sleep:
Holy basil (ocimum sanctum, or 'tulsi') is an adaptogenic herb that is incredibly well-suited to a simple tea because it's stress-resilience and cortisol-balancing constituents are in its leaves! This versatile herb is also a 'carminative' meaning it aids digestion - relieving bloating and flatulence. It helps balance your blood sugar, and has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. As a regulator herb it balances cortisol (and stress) in your body - drink it in the evening to help you sleep better (lowers cortisol) and in the morning to help you wake up (gently raises cortisol to give you energy for the day).