By: Amber Graziano, Clinical Herbalist & Nutritionist, General Manager
One of my favorite parts of the day is preparing a delicious cup of herbal tea. There is a meditative and self-care aspect to making an herbal infusion that soothes the soul, not to mention the myriad of health benefits. We take great pride at the apothecary in selecting organic and wildcrafted herbs that are high quality, fresh and medicinally potent. I love so many of the tea blends from the shop, but one of my favorites is the Lung Tea Blend.
The Lung Tea Blend was formulated during the summer of 2012 when Colorado experienced a devastating season of wildfires. Customers were coming into the shop complaining of chest tightness, difficulty breathing and respiratory irritation. Rebecca responded by making a sample tea of the day with traditional respiratory herbs as an offering to the community. This sample tea soon became a staff and customer favorite and is now the Lung Tea Blend.
Over the years, the herbalists at Rebecca’s have offered this tea blend to customers for a wide range of intentions including supporting reduction of asthma, cold and flu symptoms, smoking cessation, strengthening weak respiratory systems, and alleviating lung or sinus congestion. It can also double as gentle support to enhance digestion.
This blend is a must in my household for anytime I am experiencing cold and flu symptoms and when I am traveling. The slightly sweet and nourishing taste helps to calm irritated states and the delicious blend of peppermint and spearmint opens and clears. My husband loves drinking this blend before he plays guitar and sings to soothe his throat and airways. I find that it helps me to take a deep breath on days when I am feeling congested due to air pollution or seasonal allergies.
Rebecca’s Lung Tea is a harmony of five herbs used to bring respiratory health. One of the beautiful aspects of blending herbs together is that the strengths of each herb are highlighted, and they work together to bring an overall therapeutic impact with a delicious flavor.
Ingredients in the Lung Tea Blend
Nettle Leaf (Urtica dioica)
Deeply nutritive and gently anti-inflammatory, Nettle leaf has a long history of being used by European herbalists for lung conditions. It has been used to support a healthy immune system and balanced inflammatory response.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Soothing and decongesting, Peppermint leaf has been shown to increase lung capacity by increasing respiration and oxygenation.
Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
The slightly sweeter cousin to Peppermint. The pair of the mints in this tea blend is irresistible.
Thyme (Thymus officinalis)
Rich in volatile oils that are antispasmodic, antimicrobial, and expectorant, Thyme is a common cooking herb often overlooked for its effectiveness in expelling mucus and relieving shortness of breath.
Ginger (Zingiber officinalis)
An essential spice and medicine, Ginger is warming and helps to improve circulation throughout the body and to the lungs. Traditional cultures have used Ginger for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties for both acute and chronic respiratory issues.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Demulcent and sweet, Licorice root has traditionally been used to boost the immune system. It helps to harmonize all the different herbs in this blend and soothes inflamed lung tissue, sore throats, and coughs.
Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis)
The ultimate soother, Marshmallow root has the ability to calm inflammation and alleviate irritation of all the mucous membranes in the body, including the respiratory, digestive and urinary tracts.
To prepare a cup of Lung Tea, add 1 Tablespoon to a cup or glass jar. Pour 8 ounces of just-boiled water over the herbs. Cover with a lid and let steep loosely for 15-30 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh kitchen strainer into your drinking vessel of choice. Add honey if desired. The tea can be made in batches and stored in the fridge overnight. Ultimately, it will taste best if made fresh.