Mint Fusion, a Terra Basics Herbal Tea, can be enjoyed any time of day. Its herbal base provides great flavor and nutritional benefits while being free of caffeine.  As with all Terra Basics teas, it is free of anything artificial. Mint Fusion’s digestive benefits make it the perfect tea to be enjoyed after any meal.

Let’s explore some of the fusion of the Mint family below.

Spearmint & Peppermint are both from the Menthol genus of the mint family (Labiatae), and usually remind us of chewing gum, candy canes and various other rather sugary delectables. Many of these delectable treats are artificially flavored, but the real herbal flavor comes from the green plants we call spearmint and peppermint.  These two herbs have been used medicinally by many cultures all over the world. Their beginnings started in the Mediterranean and over the centuries, have spread world wide.

Nicholas Culpepper, who wrote in 1649, The Complete Herbal, refers to spearmint (Mentha spicata), “Mint is a herb that is useful in all disorders of the stomach…”. He also states that peppermints (Mentha piperita), “They take off the nauseousness, retchings and looseness. The simple water give to children remove the gripes.”

In today’s world, the mints are used frequently for culinary purposes. It also has many uses medicinally.  It can indeed reduce flatulence, reduce nausea, and vomiting. Peppermint (Mentha piperita) can help reduce pain in the stomach and help in treating insomnia, anxiety and dizziness.

The ‘cool’ thing about these mints is that they can help to reduce fever.  In the summer months it can help to naturally cool us on a hot summer day.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), is another ancient herb from the Mediterranean area. It is less known than its cousins, spearmint and peppermint, but is no less fragrant when picked in the herbal garden. As with its cousins, it is uplifting of the spirit, yet calming and aiding in sleep, can reduce heart palpitations and has anti-viral properties. It eases digestive distress because of its carminative and mild bitter properties.  Lemon Balm is another of the mint family that helps to ‘cool’ and is helpful during the heat of summer.

Anise Hyssop, (Agastache foeniculum), was the 2019 Herb of the Year.  Its flavor is potent and well enjoyed by itself in culinary dishes and has uses as a medicinal herb. When combined with other herbs its complex flavor can help balance the flavors. The herb is an anti-bacterial,  anti-inflammatory, and can help relieve congestion. The relaxing characteristics of Anise Hyssop is perfect as an addition to Mint Fusion, a tea designed to be enjoyed after a meal anytime of the year or to refresh on a hot summer day.

Bee balm, (Monarda didyma), also known as Oswego tea and wild bergamot, is grown in many gardens for its bright red plumes that attracts many butterflies and hummingbirds.  It is a pleasure to be quietly picking bee balm and sharing the loveliness of this plant with the butterflies and hummingbirds. Both Monarda didyma (red flowers) and Monarda fistulosa (purple/pink flowers) have similar properties. Both are antimicrobial and are used as a boost to the immune system. It has long been used as a digestive tea by the Native Americans of the New York region, where it is native. As a tea, its benefits are many, not to mention adding an infusion of “Earl Grey” flavor to every cup of brewed tea.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria), makes one think of cats as most people do.  How could you not after seeing the effect this plant can have on many cats.  Need a chilled out cat, give them some catnip! Most people don’t know that this long-ago remedy was given to children to calm them down.  Made into a tea, it is given to babies and young children as a safe calmative. It has the same effect to adults as well. When combined with its mint cousins, it is very complementary and helps to relax and cool while providing aid to the gastric system.  Catmint, is a very close relative to catnip, but does not have the same potency of catnip.

Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum), is one of the powerhouses of the herb world.  Known as Tulsi and associated with the Hindu god Vishnu, it is used in Ayurveda medicine to protect from illness. In Sanskrit, it means, “Beyond Compare.”  It helps to protect against infection, fight oxidative stress and inflammation. In the digestive system, it helps to protect against ulcers. It is considered a strong anti-inflammatory and an anti-viral among its many properties.  Along with Lemon balm is it considered one of the longevity herbs. Its ability to help reduce stress makes it a great addition to Mint Fusion Tea.

Lavender (Lavandula augustifilia), is another Mediterranean herb that has thankfully, spread to our part of the world. Known for its unique fragrance in many perfumes and bath products, its medicinal properties don’t stop there.  It can relieve stress, and aid in sleep. It is wonderful for the skin, which is why it is used in so many topical products. It is a powerful antiseptic and antibacterial. Lavender calms the spirit and mind, which makes it a perfect addition to a relaxing tea.

Nettle (Urtica dioica), is the nutrition of nature. Nettle grows in many fields and to some is a bother.  It is a packed nutritional herb and food which should earn its place in our diet. This herb and food is loaded with nutritional benefits. Nettle Tea provides Vitamin A, many of the B vitamins, calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium to name some.  It alone does not have much flavor as a tea, but when combined with other more aromatic herbs, it brings all the benefits of nettles nutrition with its earthy flavor to a nutritious cup of tea.

Sage (Salvia officinalis).  Are you already thinking Thanksgiving?  We often only eat this herb once a year.  What a shame, it is a lovely herb. Sage improves digestion, fights intestinal pathogens and helps in fat digestion. Perfect for after a meal. That might be why it has traditionally been used in stuffing to help digest all that butter and fat of our Thanksgiving meal. As with our culinary uses of sage, a little goes a long way.  Sage, in history, was to bring wisdom, understanding and protection from illness.  

Terra Basics teas bring a new light to the idea of a cup a tea.  Enjoy your cup of Mint Fusion Tea knowing you are receiving all the nutritious benefits and the enjoyment of a cup of tea.  Mint Fusion Tea is available online through our website or visit us on Saturdays (9:30a-12:30p) at Cole Gardens Winter Farmers Market.