Ever heard of a DIY Garden Bath Tea?
As Stephanie Rose founder of Garden Therapy says,
“It can be quite satisfying to sit down to drink a freshly-steeped cup of tea, especially if you have grown the tea ingredients right in your own backyard! Herbal teas are a gentle way to include healing herbs in your everyday routine.”
And she’s right, much like drinking herbal tea, a DIY garden bath tea can also be enjoyed long past the last sip, or in this case, soak. You see, when you soak in a relaxing herbal bath tea, not only does your skin soak in the calming, stress-relieving herbal benefits, but the herbs and warm water are soothing to the muscles as well.
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So, whether you’re choosing plants based on color and texture, such as lavender and calendula, or plants with the most robust flavors like lemon balm and peppermint for your herb garden—you can double your efforts and choose to include colorful and flavorful herbs known for relaxation in a DIY garden bath tea.
In fact, there is a multitude of herbs that can be grown for beauty, sleep, and relaxation in the garden. For example, chamomile can be grown for dry skin, and sage for oily skin just to name a few. In Nourishing Nature: Beauty Recipes from the Garden I introduce you to plants to grow for specific skin types and common skin issues. Let’s take a look at tips and ideas for planning a tea garden perfect for bathing!
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Things to Keep in Mind When Planning a Tea Garden
When planning an herbal tea garden, the most important thing you can do, in addition to caring for plants without the use of pesticides, is to only buy organic plants and soil.
Obviously, you wouldn’t want to sip on any harsh chemicals when drinking your tea, now would you? The same goes for using herbs on your skin which is the case when you harvest herbs from your tea garden and use them to make a summer DIY garden bath tea.
Speaking of harvesting, using fresh ingredients can shorten the life of beauty products, such as bath tea. So, whether you intend to drink or soak in your bounty drying is recommended. Use the tips below to help you harvest and dry herbs.
- Cut the herbs mid-morning, after the morning dew has dried from the leaves to avoid mold.
- Tie small bunches of herbs together versus large bunches for quicker drying time.
3 Ways to Dry Herbs for a DIY Garden Bath Tea
Hang dry herbs that have a low moisture content, such as rosemary, sage, thyme, dill, or oregano.
- Cut matured herbs from plants and gather into a bunch.
- Shake each bundle of fresh herbs to remove dirt and bugs.
- Gently rinse with water and pat dry with a towel.
- Remove any discolored brown or yellow leaves.
- Tie the stems together with twine or a rubber band at the base of the stems.
- Hang each bunch to air dry upside down in a dark place away from sunlight to protect the color. Hang bundles with adequate space at an ideal temperature between 65 F and 70 F degrees.
- Allow drying for 1 to 4 weeks, depending on the herb.
- When the stems easily break or the leaves easily crumble between your fingers it’s a sign that the drying process is complete.
Towel Dry Flat
- Pick flowers buds, such as rosehips, calendula, or lavender from mature plants.
- Lay them over old fashioned flour sack dish towels in large baskets to air dry for 1 to 3 weeks.
Fast Drying Methods
Modern fast-drying methods work wonders for herbs that have a high moisture content such as basil, mint, and lemon balm.
- Cut mature herbs from plants and remove leaves or pick flower buds
- Place each leave or bud on a paper towel-lined platter.
- Place another paper towel over the platter and microwave on high for one minute.
- Repeat if necessary for an additional 30 seconds or until leaves are dry and easily crumble between your fingers.
You can also speed up the process, dry herbs using a dehydrator. Thin herb leaves and flower petals take a very short time to dry, generally less than an hour in a dehydrator. I have used this fast herb drying method many times with success in addition to the hanging bundles to dry over the space of a few weeks.
How to Store Dry Herbs
No matter which drying method you choose, when your herbs are dry, carefully remove all flowers and leaves from the plant stems, to prepare to store.
When you spend time and money to grow your own herbs – you want them to last!
How you store your herbs configures into the time your dry herbs and recipes such as garden bath tea will last. To get the most out of your harvest use the general guidelines below.
Oxygen & Temperature:
Store dry herbs in airtight, labeled containers such as mason jars or apothecary jars. This will ensure to keep out oxygen and airborne germs. Then store in a cool, dry location away from heat for best results.
Direct and indirect sunlight can shorten the life of dried herbs and even decrease their potency over time. Store herbs away from direct sunlight to help ensure they will last for at least a year.
Moisture & Bacteria:
When withdrawing dried herbs from their container avoid dipping your hands or fingers into the container. Instead, use a clean scoop or spoon to help prevent moisture accumulation or bacteria growth during storage.
For more helpful herb gardening tips to make the best of your summer bounty, keep reading in my article at the Herbal Academy. You’ll find a selection of our top five tranquil herbs to include a DIY garden bath tea. Alongside instructions to fill your bath with the aroma of a summertime garden in a botanical medley of herbs and citrus to calm the mind and soothe the body. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this – check out here!