One of the easiest ways to utilize herbs and spices is to make a delicious healthy herbal tea, also called a tisane. Most of the healthy compounds of the herbs and spices get dissolved into the tea water. Herbal tea has been used for centuries by human because of its flavour and medicinal properties. As the Japanese Okakura Kazkuzõ describes it in his book on tea, “Tea began as a medicine and developed into a drink”.

Making your own herbal tea from your fresh and dried herbs or spices is also much cheaper than buying the pre-packaged herbal tea bags that are for sale in the stores. You can combine all kinds of different herbs and spices and change the quantities, and so develop your own recipes.

Travel gear for making herbal teaTo make an herbal tea, you only have to boil water in a kettle and add the herbs and spices. After letting it simmer for about ten minutes, for fresh herbs 5 minutes is sufficient, you’ve made your own herbal tea packed with all sorts off healthy compounds from the used herbs and spices. When you leave a little water in the kettle along with the spices you’ll only have to add some more water for the next time you’re going to drink the tea . Some spices take up to two hours to completely release all their flavours and healthy properties.

Below are some ingredients for a herbal tea that I normally make while travelling, with the approximate amounts that I use to make a half a litre of herbal tea. With the quantities you can of course vary according to your own taste.

Ginger:       I use about a thumb-sized piece sliced for a warming tea.
Turmeric:   1 to 2 centimetres of turmeric cut into pieces.
Pepper:      About 15 coarsely ground peppercorns

Cinnamon: A piece of about 3 centimetres to give your tea a sweet taste.
Cloves:      3 Whole cloves are sufficient.

People who have a sweet tooth could add a spoonful of good quality honey, or add more cinnamon for a sweeter taste.

Other spices you can add are anise seed, caraway, cardamom, cumin, fennel seed & star anise. Just try and find out which tastes you like.