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Ever have a herbal tea that was so good you couldn't put it down? What about one that, despite your best efforts, you were unable to complete because it tasted like muddy water? Herbal tea blending is an art that requires experience, experimentation, and observation to master. It involves familiarizing yourself with various herb varieties and their flavors in order to be able to forecast intuitively which herbs would go well together and which ones should never be used together.

A simple and enjoyable way to introduce herbs into your life is through herbal tea. It can be thrilling and empowering to be able to create your own tea blends to satisfy a particular craving or further a personal health objective. Yet, there are so many different herbs available that the choices can be confusing. You may learn how to create your own tea blends that not only taste fantastic but also have many health advantages by using this article as your guide to the art of herbal tea formulation.

Choose the Reason

The majority of tea mixtures are made with a specific objective in mind, such as promoting healthy digestion, boosting the immune system, reducing stress and anxiety, or offering a delightful, energetic herbal substitute for coffee.

The first step in making tea blends is deciding what they are intended for. When you have a certain result in mind, you may start looking into herbs that can aid in achieving it.

Make a list of all the herbs that are appropriate for your tea's purpose, then consider their flavor profiles. You might wish to make a cup to taste-test if you're not sure how a certain herb tastes in tea form so you can learn more about its qualities. While the tea's intended purpose is crucial, it is also crucial that the tea is delicious because if it is not, people might not drink it. As you continue your brainstorming process, it is wise to keep both the intention and the appeal to the senses in mind.

Herbal Decoction vs. Infusion

What precise section of the plant is being used and the best method to extract its beneficial properties are two more key factors to take into account when designing tea blends. Herbal tea can be made primarily through infusion or decoction. For tea blends prepared from the more fragile parts of a plant, such as aerial, or above-ground portions like leaves, stems, and flowers, a herbal infusion is perfect. For tougher plant components like roots, bark, seeds, or berries, a decoction is preferable since, occasionally, an infusion isn't a powerful enough brew method to penetrate the hard exteriors of these plant parts and extract all of the contents and benefits of the plant.

The ideal outcome is to combine related plant components to make a tea blend with a particular preparation in mind. Consequently, pairing fragile plant elements with hardy parts rather than blending the two often produces superior results. Yet, depending on your blend, it's sometimes impossible to prevent mixing them, and that's good. The tea can then be made as an infusion with a longer steeping time to promote ingredient extraction if that is the case.

Infusions and decoctions can be made in a variety of ways, however the following are typical recommendations. Depending on the herbs used and the desired strength of the tea mix, infusion and decoction times may change.

Herbal Infusion

Steep 1 tablespoon of dried herbs in 8 fluid ounces of boiling water, cover, and let sit for 5-15 minutes. Strain and enjoy!

Herbal Decoction

Add 8 fluid ounces of water to 1 tablespoon of dried herbs in a small pot. Place it over low heat in a saucepan and simmer. Making sure that the water doesn't boil, cover the pot with a lid (this step is optional; some herbalists prefer not to cover when creating decoctions). Gently simmer for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy after straining into a tea cup!

The Organization of Tea Blends

There are three basic categories of herb kinds in the structure to take into account when creating a herbal tea blend: base or lead; supporting; and accent, catalyst, or synergist. These functions may go under slightly different names, depending on the herbalist.

Typically, you should attempt to make a tea blend with three parts base component, one or two parts supporting ingredient, and somewhere between one-quarter and one part accent item (Kendle, 2018). These ratios are an excellent place to start, but feel free to play about and tweak them as necessary. Making one cup of your new mixture, tasting it, and adjusting the components from there is a decent rule of thumb. A talent that is developed via constant practice, experimentation, and working with the herbs themselves is learning how they taste and blend together.

As you gain expertise creating tea blends, you may note that the function that a herb performs might change from one formulation to the next and that there are occasionally numerous herbs that play the same function. For instance, a blend might contain three supportive herbs or two base herbs (Kendle, 2018).

Lead or Base Herbs

The primary goal of your tea mix should be supported by the lead or base herbs. Since it will make up the majority of the recipe, it is preferable to select herbs with a mild or neutral flavor profile rather than those that are potent, powerful, or harsh. Try for your foundation herbs to make up between 40 and 70 percent of your tea blend. The basic herbs chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), oatstraw (Avena sativa), mullein (Verbascum thapsus), and peppermint are other examples (Mentha x piperita).

Supportive Herbs

By bolstering or amplifying the characteristics of the main herbs, or by producing a flavor or effect that is comparable, these herbs assist them. Typically, supportive herbal constituents make between 20–40% of a tea blend. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), and marshmallow root are a few examples of herbs that provide support (Althaea officinalis).

Accent, Catalyst, or Synergist Herbs

These are the substances that support the other herbs by enhancing or balancing their effects and a formula's overall effectiveness. The idea that the combination of two or more substances results in a combined impact that is greater than the sum of their separate effects is known as synergy (Zhou et al., 2016).

Certain herbs work better as a blend than they do alone because they complement one another's effects. In one scientific investigation on colon cancer cell growth, the effects of sage and peppermint were enhanced, and this combination had a much greater influence on preventing the spread of colon cancer cells than did sage and rosemary (Yi & Wetzstein, 2011). Nonetheless, despite positive results like these, more has to be done in terms of scientific research and data on the synergistic effects of several herbs (Zhou et al., 2016).

Regardless of research, synergistic herbs can enhance the flavor of a combination or simply harmonize it. These herbs represent the adage "a little goes a long way," and they should make up between 10 and 20 percent of your tea blend. They may have a more intense flavor profile or stronger energetic activity than the other groups. Lavender (Lavandula officinalis), lemon peel, sage (Salvia officinalis), cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), and ginger are some examples of accent or synergist herbs (Zingiber officinale).

Tea Blend Sample Recipe

Soothing Sleep Tea

The purpose of this tea blend is in the name—all of the chosen ingredients are herbs that are traditionally used to help support sleep. Ingredients 1 cup dried chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) (base herb) ½ cup dried lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) (supporting herb) ¼ cup dried rose (Rosa spp.) petals (synergist herb) 1 tablespoon dried lavender (Lavandula officinalis) (synergist herb)


  • Place all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Gently mix with a large spoon until all of the herbs are blended.

  • Store in an air-tight container for up to one year.

  • To use, steep 1 tablespoon of dried herbs in 8 fluid ounces of boiling water, cover, and let sit for 5-15 minutes.

  • Strain and enjoy!

This article is meant to be a guide on the basics of herbal tea formulation, but in no way is it a box by which to be confined. An herbal tea may look and taste however you wish and creating blends can be an intimate, creative way for you to connect with plants. Have fun with formulation and be sure to take notes so that you can recreate your favorite tea blends in the future!

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