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Richard Kilgore

Herbal Teas/Tisanes - what are your favorites?

34 posts in this topic

A very nice tea the last 2 days, soothing to my irritated throat during a cold: korean hydrangea leaf (gamro), chamomile, tulsi, hibiscus, lemongrass--the chamomile gives a nice base, hydrangea adds sweetness, tulsi (holy basil) adds spice, and the hibiscus and lemongrass give it a nice fruitiness. Yum.

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Richard asked me to post this recipe here. This is traditional Lojano Horchata, a 42-herb blended tisane that's usually served iced. I mix up a big jar and just dump 2-3 tablespoons in my diffuser pot, and drink it hot (scandal!)

1. Ataco (Amaranthus muricantus) - 1 TSP

2. Dried bracts of purple or red Bougainvillea - 1 TSP

3. Dried petals of red Hibiscus - 1 TSP

4. Dried petals of Rosa rugosa or similar aromatic rose - 1 TBSP

5. Dried flowers of Marigold (Tagetes spp) - 1 TBSP or 1 flower, if you dried them whole

6. Malva olorosa (Marshmallow) - 1 TSP; I like the dried flowers, but others swear by the leaves.

7. Toronjil (Melissa officianalis) - 1 TBSP

8. Basil - 1 TSP

9. Horsetail (dried frondlets) - 1 TSP

10. Chamomile - 1 TBSP; I like the dried flowers, but whole-herb is good too

11. Hierba Luisa (Lemongrass) - 7-8 long blades or 1 TBSP of dried

12. Mint - 1 TBSP

13. Peperomia congona - 1 TSP

14. Blackberry leaf - 1 TSP (Raspberry may be substituted; they have the same properties.)

15. Cedron (Aloysia triphylla) - 1 TBSP

16. Lantana camara - 1 TBSP; I prefer a mix of leaves and flowers

17. Matico (Piper anduncum) - 1 TBSP; leaves

18. Mariapanga (Piper peltatum) - 1 TSP; leaves

19. Ishpingo (Cinnamon flower) - 1, crushed

20. Passionflower (P. ligularis) - up to 2 dried crushed flowers

21. Arrayan (a true myrtle) - 1 TSP; leaves are best, but berries are great when you can find them.

22. Hierba Buena (Lemon Verbena) - 1 TBSP

23. Hoja Dulce (Stevia) - 1 TBSP

24. Paico (Epazote) - 1 TSP

25. Senna glandulosa - 1 TSP

26. Boldo - 2 TSP

27. Ilex guayusa - 1 TBSP

28. Flor Blanca - 1 TSP

29. Sanguarachi (Amranthus cruentus) - 1 TSP (leaves)

30. Rosemary - 1 TSP

31. Oregano - 1 TSP

32. Vervena - 1 TSP

33. Valerian root - 1/2 TSP

34. St. John's Wort flower - 1 TSP

35. Calendula oficianale flowers - 1 TBSP

36. Berries from Fuchsia dependens - 2 or 3, dried and powdered

37. Mortiño berries - 3-4, dried and powdered

38. Joyapa berries - 2-3, dried and powdered

39. Achupalla flowers - 1 TSP

40. Cat's claw bark - 1 TSP

41. Poma Rosa leaves - 1 TSP

42. Chrysanthemum flowers - 1

ETA - Ingredients 1-32 or so are considered the canonical root of the tisane and aren't changed from province to province. Further north in the highlands, dried spices (cinnamon, gingerroot, cardamom) start to replace the paramo berries.


Edited by Panaderia Canadiense (log)

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Wow, that's a lot of quite distinct herbs etc in one drink. Sounds very complex. I've only heard of about half of those. I like to vary my herbal tisanes based on whim or mood,'from spicy to minty to tart, but hardly ever use more than 5'or 6 ingredients at a time.

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I have a bougainvillea in my yard: it's Tisane talent comes as quite a surprise. For me it's mostly a nuisance plant needing a lot of trimming and getting it's throne between me and the figs above it. What flavor or property does it add to the tea?

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The whole point of Horchata is that it's not only quite tasty (and each person blends it differently, so it's quite distinct between families) it's also very good for whatever ails you. In Loja, the saying is that with a cup of Horchata each day, you can live past 100.

Apart from the canonical 32, I vary the ingredients in Horchata as well - now that I live at 10,000 feet, I find myself including Coca Leaf in place of Fuchsia more often than not (it's extremely useful for altitude-related troubles), and I have a friend who uses wild violet flowers in place of Calendula (I'm not sure I like it as much with the violets - they're very bitter.)

ETA - Bougainvillea is a strong vermifuge and liver tonic; the purple bracts also add a nice pinkish colour to the final brew.


Edited by Panaderia Canadiense (log)

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Where do you get your stevia? I can only find powder and extracts, which I honestly think taste too much like their artificial counterparts (terrible). I haven't spent any time looking, but have been wanting to find a source for fresh or dried stevia to play with...

Your mix sounds really good. Does the basil not make the brew bitter?

At a herb class this summer I had and then started making at home a mix of lemon balm, mint, lemon basil and stevia.  Very nice.

If the Stevia is making your tea taste metallic and artificially sweetened, you've used water that was too hot to steep it. Like Yerba Mate, boiling water bruises Stevia and causes the release of some rather unpleasantly flavoured bitter alkaloids. Try using water that's hot but not boiling next time, and you'll find that the bitter metallic taste disappears.

Depending on where you are, you shoud be able to find live plants at specialty nurseries - it's becoming a popular landscaping shrub in the US. If not, I can certainly send you dried leaves.


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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I'm sure fresh clover is the best but I am looking for some red clover tea bags and was wondering if anyone has any opinions on any they've tried? Thanks

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I've never had red clover tea. What's it like, and how do you prepare it 'fresh'?

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Where do you get your stevia? I can only find powder and extracts, which I honestly think taste too much like their artificial counterparts (terrible). I haven't spent any time looking, but have been wanting to find a source for fresh or dried stevia to play with...

Your mix sounds really good. Does the basil not make the brew bitter?

Nature's Tea Leaf is located in the U.S. and carries organic dried steavia leaf. Also, the herbal tea (tisane) selection is pretty large. You can find everything from red clover to uncut hibiscus to moringa. 


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