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Tea 101 - Tisanes, The Un-Tea


Teas & Tisanes
Teas & Tisanes


Here’s a fun fact for you: there are teas that are not made from tea leaves. Gasp!  Technically this means that these are not ‘teas.’ Instead they are called tisanes, or herbal teas.

The word tisane is derived Greek word ptisanē, which means crushed barley.  This is in reference to an old drink that was made from crushed barley.  Essentially you could throw any herb, flower or spice into a pot of boiling water and voila you have a tisane.  Once you add tea leaves to the mix, and then it is officially tea.  Just so you know, since the tisane are lacking in tea leaves, there is usually no caffeine.

Tisanes have been popular for years for their health properties.  People have been creating these herbal teas for centuries.  If you are interested in finding a tea to cure certain ailments, here are some herbs and their properties:

To invigorate: rosemary, rosehip, lemon verbena, peppermint, borage

To calm: chamomile, lavender, basil, dill, orange peel

To relieve a sore throat or head cold: elderberries, rosehips, peppermint, sage, and cayenne

To treat a cough: thyme, rose petals, eucalyptus, linden, licorice

To sooth an upset stomach: ginger, peppermint, lemon balm, and chamomile

To ease a headache: rosemary, willow bark, peppermint


However, I must note that these herbal teas, like or medication, contain components that can cause unwanted side effects so please be wary of using it while on other medication.  If you are interested in creating your own concoction, please discuss this with a trained health care professional.

I have a particular fondness for tisanes.  When I want to sleep, I immediately go for a cup of chamomile.  When I have an upset stomach, there is always a cup of peppermint tea by my side.  Teas and herbal teas have a lot of health benefits; it is more than just great flavor.


What do you think, dear readers?  Do you use tea to cure your own ailments? If so, what teas do you go for and why?