Tea time with Adriaan

herbal tea

Improve your well-being by growing your own herbal tea

Chapter 1: The backstory…

Using Rooibos tea to improve your blood pressure

I’d like to share my tea-journey with you. But let’s start at the beginning. A year or two ago, I had a cold and needed to go to the doctor. As part of this visit, the doctor measured my blood pressure. He found it to be dangerously high for my age. The doctor instructed me to have it checked again. It, unfortunately, remained too high. The doctor said that if I wasn’t able to make sufficient lifestyle changes to lower my blood pressure, I would have no option but to take prescription medication.

Herbal tea
Health Benefits of Rooibos tea

This gave me quite the fright and I was not sure what I should do.
The problem is that I am not someone who believes in diets. When my brain knows that it is not allowed to have something, it wants it even more. So instead of cutting certain things out completely, I decided to still eat what I love but to limit my sugar, coffee and salt intake.

Even after these changes, my blood pressure did not change much. The doctor encouraged me to persist with lifestyle changes as he said that once one starts with anti-hypertensive medication, it is difficult to stop using them.

I decided to limit my coffee to one cup in the morning and began to drink Rooibos tea with honey instead of sugar. And lo and behold, the next time I went to the doctor my blood pressure was significantly reduced and I was back in the healthy range. Consequently, I became a firm believer in the health benefits of Rooibos tea and honey

Chapter 2: Choose your flavour!

And this is where my journey into the wonderful world of flavoured teas and iced-teas began! I realised that I would quickly become tired of just drinking plain Rooibos (as delicious as it is) and decided to experiment a bit. I attended the 2019 Appetite Fest, where I came across the Carmien tea stand. They produce Rooibos tea, but with a multitude of different added flavours to choose from, such as hibiscus, moringa & acai berry and ginger & chilli.

I thoroughly enjoyed tasting all the different flavours they had on offer and ended up stocking up on quite a few. This inspired me to attempt to grow my own herbs for making flavoured Rooibos and iced-teas. But now the question was, where does one begin? I then decided to take things step-by-step. Which meant I that the first thing I did was to work my way through Carmien’s whole Rooibos range to determine which flavours I liked. I also experimented with these to see which ones would make good iced-teas.

After deciding which flavours I enjoyed, the next step was to make a list of the herbs, flowers, spices and fruit that I could grow to make my own flavoured Rooibos teas:  

Herbal Tea

Next, I suggest to head to your local nursery and ask about which herbs and flowers are available, what their growing conditions are (full or partial sun, soil requirements, watering requirements, size of the grown plant etc). In the next chapter, I will be demonstrating how to prepare the soil for your tea-garden.

Chapter 3: Information gathering

After deciding what herbs and flowers you want to grow, head to your trusted local nursery ask about the following
1. which herbs and flowers are available,
2. what their growing conditions are
2.1 full or partial sun,
2.2 soil requirements (pH & type of compost)
2.3 watering requirements
2.4 size of the grown plant
2.5 whether the plant will grow well in a pot. (You can use these to strategically landscape your tea garden)
(For a great resource on all things herbs, we would suggest visiting our friends over at Healthy Living Herbs. You will always find their extensive range of herbs in-stock at Heckers.)

Visiting a nursery should be an immersive sensory experience where you can get a literal taste for works your palate prefers

From this information, you should be able to have an idea of the surface area which you will use for your tea garden. Next, we will use these measures to estimate what we will need for our soil preparation.

Stay tuned for the next chapter…

(Disclaimer: This article is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your medical practitioner.)