What are Herbal Extracts? And why do I put them in my tea?

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!

Herbal Tea and Extracts Infusion

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 Extract Botanical Tincture

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:

First - We all know that oil and water don't mix.  So adding essential oils to our tea created a film on the top of our brew.  It's also been noted in popular blog posts about essential oils, that the extreme concentration of the oils can cause issues when ingested:  burning reactions on the lips, tongue and/or throat.  
Second - Essential oils have a very strong taste and smell, even in tiny doses.  My office started to smell like a medicine cabinet.

 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:

  1. The tea has to taste great.
  2. 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.

Herbal Extracts:

  1. Water soluble (they mix well in water),
  2. The right concentration so they don't overpower your system,
  3. Don't smell or taste medicinal or astringent,
  4. Have a long shelf life (we use alcohol-based extracts to further prolong shelf life),
  5. Are not as expensive as essential oils,
  6. 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!

1 comment

  • Jessie Tian

    Hi, This is Jessie, the export manager from Hunan Xiaoxiang Tea Industry Co.,Ltd. We are tea manufacturer with 30 years’ exprience from Hunan, China. The company is composed of tea gardens, processing factory and export business. Management is under rules of ISO 9001:22000, HACCP etc., and we have obtained Organic Certificate since 2010.
    We have regular exports to Germany, France, U.K., Spain, Austria, Australia, Italy, Canada, Russia, Ukraine. By learning that you might need source China teas, I’m writing to build a contact for future cooperating,
    Our mainly products are teas as follows,
    Green Tea: Chunmee, Gunpowder, OP, TBC, Maofeng, Maojian, Needles, Bi Luo Chun, Sencha, Long Jing, Matcha and etc.
    Black Tea: Hunan Black, Dian Black, OP, Golden Monkey, Black Maofeng, Black Needle, Jin Jun Mei and etc.
    Jasmine Tea: Jasmine Maojian, Jasmine Green Tea, Jasmine OP, Jasmine Tea Fanning and etc.
    Oolong Tea: Tie Guan Yin, Ginseng Oolong, Da Hong Pao, Feng Kuang Dan Cong and etc.
    Pu’erh Tea: Loose Puerh and pressed cakes, Tuo Tea.
    White Tea: Bai Mu Dan, Bai Hao Yin Zhen, White Tea Fannings
    Blooming Tea: Lily QIAN Ri Hong and etc.
    Flavored Tea: Apple Green Tea, Strawberry Green Tea, Banana Black Tea, Milky Oolong Tea and etc.
    Dark Tea(Hei Tea): Tian Jian, Fu Cake and etc.
    So when you have any tea related products from China, please freely to send inquiries. All help will be provided accordingly.
    Thanks for your reading and wishing to get a reply! Have a nice day!

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