So my wife asked me a simple question the other day... What are herbal extracts?
I've been selling my tea infusions - whole-leaf teas infused with herbal extracts, so this seemed like something that I already understood, but I haven't yet properly explained, hence this blog post!
Here's the deal: I have very bad seasonal allergies, and I drink tea every day.
One day I came into work in the middle of a terrible allergy attack. I was fed up, and an idea donned on me...
Could I use my tea drinking habit to help alleviate my allergy symptoms??
After months of experimentation, the answer is a resounding YES!
So back to the original question:
What are herbal extracts? And why do I put them in my tea?
Tea-drinkers have made herbal teas for thousands of years. By steeping fresh or dried herbs in a hot liquid, you can draw out essential vitamins, enzymes, minerals and oils present in the herb. I call these the "active constituents".
The multiple benefits of herbal teas have been covered by thousands of reams of paper over time, so I'm not going to bore you with all the details. But suffice it to say, adding herbal teas to your diet is a great idea for anyone. (Assuming you're not allergic to the herbs!)
So What are Herbal Extracts?
Herbal extracts are a concentrated version of an herbal tea... Large volumes of herbs are dried and mixed with an alcohol or vegetable glycerin and water to extract or pull out the herb's active constituents.
But not all herbal extracts are equal - the amount of dry herbs to the liquid used in extraction can vary greatly from 1:3 to upwards of 1:10.
In our infusions, we use a concentrated dose of liquid herbal extracts in the ratio of 1:3. We've found that this concentration allows for the desired dosage of herbs without over-saturating the whole leaf teas we use.
How are Herbal Extracts Different from Essential Oils?
In actuality, liquid herbal extracts are very similar to essential oils. The difference is concentration.
When I was tinkering with this idea, I initially used essential oils in my tea. However, this created some issues:
Why do we add herbal extracts to our tea?
This is really the million dollar question.
There are multiple benefits created by using herbs in tea. So why wouldn't we create a tea that is super-charged with herbs?
I had 2 goals that I wanted to achieve with my creation:
- The tea has to taste great.
- The tea has to provide numerous benefits for the tea drinker.
By infusing a concentrated amount of herbal extracts into my whole-leaf tea, I've been able to achieve both of these goals.
The tea smells and tastes like it should, and it provides an unprecedented array of health benefits because it's infused with so many different types of herbs.
- Water soluble (they mix well in water),
- The right concentration so they don't overpower your system,
- Don't smell or taste medicinal or astringent,
- Have a long shelf life (we use alcohol-based extracts to further prolong shelf life),
- Are not as expensive as essential oils,
- Provide the benefits we are targeting from these amazing herbs.
How do you know the tea is working?
This is another simple question my wife asked, and there is no easy answer.
However, there is anecdotal evidence based on a very small data set: me.
Since I started drinking my Allergy Symptom Support tea infusion, I haven't had a major allergy attack. You'll have to take my word for it, but I suffer from year-round allergies and this has been a major breakthrough (other than my once-yearly shot in the arm I get in June).
In addition, both of my daughters are in day care, and as all parents know, kids are germ factories, and when they get together, germs spread like crazy!
I've been able to fight off 2 colds since I started making and drinking my Immune System Support tea.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you are willing to give our awesome-tasting and super-healthy teas a try!