Sun tea style herbal tisanes offer a refreshing and flavorful way for you to achieve your summer hydration goals, so you can have that glass of wine later (#healthyish).
“It’s funny how eight glasses of water a day seems impossible, but eight glasses of wine can be done in a meal.”
I’m not sure to whom that wise observation should be accredited (aside from the world of Instagram memes), but isn’t that so true? Why is it so hard to drink enough water, but glass after glass of wine goes by with ease?
In a perfect world, drinking our fill of sangria or frosé would count as hydration, but alas, that’s not the case. For optimal health, we should really pay attention to our water intake because dehydration affects more than thirst.
Dehydration can lead to headaches, fatigue, weight gain, and a lack of cleansing/detoxification can lead to a weakened immune system. The effects are serious, especially when the outside temps soar, and heat exhaustion is more of a risk.
And more recent studies show eight glasses of water might not be enough. More precise guidelines suggest you need to drink half your body weight in water, eg: 64 oz is your ticket if you weigh 128 lbs. Plus, if you’re drinking coffee and wine (obviously), then you’ll need to up that number even more to compensate.
Luckily, there are ways to make your water a little more exciting so you can better meet your Healthyish hydration goals, and one of those ways is through simple Herbal Tisanes.
Herbal Tisanes are simply tea minus the tea. In other words, herbal tisanes are brews of florals and herbs minus the caffeine. For individual servings, you can make these homemade blends with a reusable tea bag or tea ball and hot water, then drink hot or chilled.
However, in the spirit of summer and preserving the more tender fresh ingredients, I recommend sun-tea-style herbal tisanes and let your window do the work for you. Once infused, serving these blends over ice makes for a more refreshing and flavorful way to tick off those 64+ ounces you need to drink.
Herbal Tisanes: Suggested Combinations
- Fresh Lemon Balm + Fresh Basil + Dried Stinging Nettle + Dried Lavender
- Fresh (rinsed) Honeysuckle Flowers
- Fresh Mint + Dried Stinging Nettle
Directions: There’s no precise measurements necessary. Follow your palate on this one. Simply add the [cleaned] ingredients to a clean jar, fill with filtered water, cover and place in the sunlight for a few hours. Then strain, chill, and enjoy! Store in the refrigerator.
In addition to helping you hydrate better, these herbal tisanes have added health benefits.
This time of year, my entire neighborhood fills with the aroma of honeysuckle, and I try to take in the deepest inhales to enjoy it while it lasts. Herbalists have long used honeysuckle for its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and calming properties. Picking the flowers is also pretty calming, and the resulting flavor is a refreshing and mellow, sweet floral taste.
While you may associate stinging nettle with the stinging reaction that occurs when the skin comes into contact with the plant, the dried version is easy to handle and beneficial. Studies have shown stinging nettle has antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-ulcer, astringent and analgesic capabilities, and my allergy-ridden boyfriend swears by it this time of year. Nettle adds a green-tea-like flavor to your herbal tisanes without adding caffeine (save that for your iced latte habit). You can typically find stinging nettle at your local coop or online.
Mint makes for very cooling herbal tisanes, but mint also has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any food (learn more here)! It can also soothe your stomach, aid in digestion, detox the body and freshen your breath.
So what are you waiting for? Get to chugging!
Quelcy is a Pittsburgh based food stylist, photographer, dessert advocate and crazy dog lady. She shares seasonally inspired recipes rooted in nostalgia on her blog, WithTheGrains.com. Her favorite Healthish combo is tangy lemon cake with a dollop of dark chocolate frosting.