Herbal Teas from Lightfoot Farm
Lightfoot Farm offers a selection of farm grown herbal teas grown here in Northfield, VT. We have four herbal teas in stock right now, Tulsi Tea, Wild Mint Tea, Lemon Balm Tea, and Special Tea.
Tulsi Tea, also know as Holy Basil, is an annual herb. Owner Carol Noyes took a class on Herbal Adaptogens and learned about this herb at that time. Tulsi is known as an adaptogen, immunomodulator, antibacterial, antidepressant, antioxidant, and anti-viral. Studies have shown tulsi to be useful in the treatment of diabetes as it reduces blood glucose levels. It has also been show to reduce total cholesterol levels and shows some promise in protection from radiation poisoning and cataracts. An adaptogenic herb is an herb that helps to regulate matabolism while helping a person to adapt to environmental stressors and to avoid damage from these stressors. The stressors can be physical, chemical or psychological. Adaptogenic herbs increase ones resistance to stress.
Lemon Balm is a perennial herb in the mint family, Lamiaceae. The herbal tea can be used both hot and iced. It is claimed to have antibacterial and antiviral properties (effective against herpes simplex) and it may also be used as a mild sedative or calming agent. Lemon Balm should not be used if one is on thyroid medication, such as thyroxine, as it may inhibit absorption of the medicine. Lemon Balm contains eugenol which kills bacteria and which has been shown to calm muscles and numb tissues.
Wild Mint Tea
Wild mint growing on the farm is harvested and dried to make this tea. It has a very nice, aromatic flavor. Originally mint was used to treat stomach aches and chest pain. Mint tea is a diuretic so if one uses it iced in the summer one may need to drink more water. Mint has been used as a mild decongestant for illnesses such as the common cold. In fact menthol, a key ingredient in Vicks VapoRub, was originally obtained from mint oils but is now made synthetically. I sometimes put the dried mint leaves in a bowl of hot water and breath in the steam as I hold my head over the bowl, covering both the bowl and my head with a towel. This is a great home remedy to relieve nasal and sinus congestion.
Special-tea is made up of a blend of dried lemon balm, lavender, skullcap (Mad dog), and stevia. You don't need to add sweetener to this tea as the stevia provides natural sweetening. All three main ingredients in this tea have been known to have a mild sedative effect. This tea may promote calmness and a sense of peace, allowing one to fall asleep easier at night.
The lavender in this tea is the cold-hardy Munstead variety. Lavender is said to be particularly beneficial to disorders of the nervous system. It may help to calm a person who is nervous and anxious. Lavender is also said to alleviate stress, upset stomach, and headaches.
The skullcap is the Mad-dog variety, (Scutellaria laterifolia) a hardy perennial in Vermont. The plant is harvested just as it begins to flower and mainly leaves are used for the tea. The leaves are high in flavonoids which are easily extracted by hot water and these compounds have an anti-oxidant effect. Mad-dog has been used as a mild sedative and sleep promoter. In a small, double blind, placebo-controlled study it was shown to have anxiety reducing effects.
Stevia is in the sunflower family (Asteraceae) and is grown as an annual in Vermont. Stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose levels and is therefore a good choice as a natural sweetener for those who want to control carbohydrates in the diet.