I asked Helen Carmichael to design a herbal tea blend specifically for use during Autumn, with the accompanying aspects of the Chinese Five Element of Metal in mind. These are her words:
Herbal teas are a great way to gently introduce herbal remedies into our diets. For Autumn I’d like to share an intuitive blend that packs a flavoursome, aromatic fruit punch, and yet is still supportive of tender emotions.
Red clover is a wonderful, nutritive tonic, which can help us to clear waste from the body. I’ve paired this with hibiscus, high in vitamin C and a great immune system booster for the cold and flu season. Hibiscus also calms the nervous system and is said to be a mild antidepressant.
For further emotional sustenance I’ve added rose petals. Soothing and aromatic, rose is perfect for opening the heart and particularly dealing with grief or loss, which may come up with Metal being the season of clearing and letting go. Finally a pinch of warm spice from the incredible cardamom. With too many benefits to list this precious spice supports the lungs, soothes digestion and circulation, and helps the body to detox.
2 tablespoons rose petals
2 tablespoons red clover
1 tablespoon hibiscus
1/2 tablespoon cardamom pods
Mix these all together and keep dry in a container.
Steep around 2 teaspoons of tea with around 300ml of just-off-the-boil water in a large lidded teapot (a saucepan with a lid will do fine). This blend only needs to steep for around 4 minutes, don’t leave it longer or tannins from the rose petals can make it bitter.
Strain and enjoy. Optionally, sweeten with 1/2 teaspoon of honey first.
Herbal teas at this strength are highly unlikely to cause health issues. However I am duty-bound to mention that hibiscus is not recommended if you are pregnant, breast feeding, taking blood pressure medicine, antimalarial drugs or anti-inflammatories. It is advisable to avoid red clover also if you are pregnant, breast feeding, are shortly due to have surgery, or have any hormone-sensitive condition (e.g. endometriosis, breast or ovarian cancer, etc.)
Please check with your GP or with a medical herbalist if you have any doubts.