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Homeschooling The Well Prepared Child: Dried Applemint And Other Herbal Stuff

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dried Applemint And Other Herbal Stuff


      My extremely awesome neighbor gave me some Applemint cuttings that sat in a cup of water to root in my kitchen window. I transplanted it a couple of months ago into a flower pot that sits under a tree in my front yard. Not sure why, but it does not smell like apple like it used to. Still smells nice, just not like green apples and mint anymore. 

     After getting my dehydrator, and our bananas not being ripe enough, I decided we needed to try dehydrating the applemint. My daughter went out with me and helped pick leaves. 

Then we brought them in and rinsed them off, making sure there was no dirt, dead leaves or bugs left on them. 

After they were dry, my daughter placed them on the dehydrator trays and we turned on our machine for the first time.
Yes, we actually clapped.

We let our leaves dry until they were crispy. It took about 3 hours. 

We did not want to break up the leaves, so we were careful when we placed them into the little jar we recycled from a minced garlic jar. We love recycling, re-purposing and reusing!
     But now what do we do with it? I have never tried making my own herbal tea. My daughter can't stand any sort of hot tea or herbal tea. (Insert sad face here!) I nibbled on a piece of dried mint leaf. Ya... not so good. I still wanted to try making an herbal tea from them though! I asked my friends if anyone knew of any posts, blogs or articles on making your own herbal teas with dried mint leaves and I got a lot of different responses. Not all were about teas, but definitely worth the read! I will list them at the bottom of this post so you can read and learn too! 
     It just so happens, a few days after reading about mint's herbal properties I ended up with a tummy bug. I was miserable. Anyone that walked into the bathroom after me was miserable as well. (Sorry for the TMI!) So I took the leap and decided I would make my very first home grown, self brewed cup of Applemint herbal tea to help with my upset tummy. Tea leaves in the bottom of the cup are something I did not want. I have nothing to hold tea leaves or a tea pot. My dilemma was solved when I saw the tulle I used to strain out the tomato seeds in. I cut a 6x6 piece of it off, added some tea leaves, gathered it at the top and them secured my little bag with a small rubber band. 
 Pretty ingenious don't you think? It worked! 
Barely any tea leaves!

     I seeped it for about 5 minutes. I was worried because it was not very dark. When I tasted it, I was pleasantly surprised. It tasted just like an herbal mint tea I would have up in my cabinet. I added a bit of local raw honey and enjoyed. I could not get my daughter to try it, but the hubby did. I expected all sorts of funny faces, (was kinda the point in letting him try it,) but he liked it as well. Success! AND, it settled my stomach enough that I was not running into the bathroom every 10 minutes. 

Now onto the learning links!

The Medicinal Mint Family and Herbal Instruction:

More Mint Ideas From The Nerdy Farm Wife:

Amazing Herbal/Medicinal Properties of the Raspberry Leaf:

Great Info Explaining Tinctures, Elixirs and Cordials:

Robin's Nest Naturals- great video tutorials on making Tintures:

Learning Herbs- Free Herbal Remedies and Kits You Can Buy:
http://learningherbs.com/ Also, if you sign up for their newsletter you get a very cool ebook on wildcrafting herbs

Richter's Herbs- The Best Source For Everything Herbal