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Elite tea: what garden plants will make the drink healthier and tastier – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Date: July 17, 2024 Time: 16:23:20

Pick up and dry

Many summer residents have long been engaged in this fascinating and useful activity: they grow aromatic and vitamin-rich herbs, experiment with the recipe, and then surprise their friends and acquaintances with an unusual drink. Now is the time to make such “green” preparations. Since time immemorial in Russia, most aromatic herbs began to be collected in mid-June with the beginning of flowering, the peak occurred on the day of Ivan Kupala – July 7, and continued for another two or three weeks, until the end of mass flowering. Then there is time.

“Many medicinal plants are easily grown in gardens. They do not contain toxic components, which only in a certain dose and when grown in specific conditions reveal their medicinal properties and therefore are safe to use, for example, to prepare vitamin teas. Moreover, most of them are herbs that bloom beautifully and can decorate any garden,” said Ivan Shaferov, founder of the Garden Group landscape design ecosystem.

Which herbs are easiest to grow: oregano, mint, lemon balm, chamomile, hyssop, sage, elecampane, thyme.

“It is important to remember that these plants are, of course, not a panacea for all diseases; their main function is to assist and complement the treatment,” the expert noted.

Thus, tea with lemon balm (melissa) and other types of mint helps relieve headaches, calms the nerves, reduces tachycardia and helps to fall asleep. Chamomile tea is good to drink in pure form (the aroma is too specific, it is recommended for gastritis and other gastrointestinal diseases); By the way, thanks to its mild choleretic effect, chamomile tea is indispensable after large banquets and country barbecues – it will help you quickly recover after overeating.

Most herbs, we repeat once again, are collected at the time of flowering, when they contain the greatest amount of bioactive substances. They should be dried individually, in the shade; for example, you can hang them in bunches somewhere in the kitchen. Once dry, chop them and put them in jars with tight-fitting lids. You should not store them in paper or cloth bags, as they will lose their aroma.

There are no flowers anymore, no berries yet.

Cherry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry and blackcurrant leaves are also excellent raw materials for tea. The strongest aroma comes from cherry and currant leaves. It is true that if you simply add fresh or dried leaves to tea, the tea leaves acquire an unattractive brown tint, although this does not affect the taste or smell in any way. And yet, if you want a particularly fragrant and beautiful tea, it is better to ferment the leaves before drying and process them in a special way. More on this later.

Raspberry and blackberry leaves have a mild odor. But this tea is healing. Great for colds. “Raspberries, both the berry and the leaves, contain a lot of salicylic acid (natural aspirin). That’s why, when you have a cold, it’s good to make tea from dried or frozen raspberries and raspberry leaves,” said nutritionist and doctor of science Mikhail Ginzburg.

As for currants, everyone knows that black berries are the champions in terms of the amount of vitamin C (more only in rose hips). But brewed leaves also contain this vitamin (and many other vitamins and beneficial microelements). Only you need to brew it not with boiling water, but let the kettle cool down a little – this way more bioactive substances will be retained in the drink.

Why is fermentation necessary?

Why leaves are fermented to obtain dark varieties of “real” tea, said the head of the food chemistry laboratory of the Federal Research Center for Nutrition and Biotechnology, Doctor of Biological Sciences Vladimir Bessonov.

“Fermentation is a natural chemical process that occurs in tea leaves under certain conditions of temperature and humidity; in particular, the oxidation of polyphenolic compounds occurs, which changes the taste and colour of tea,” Vladimir Bessonov explained.

To obtain green tea, the harvested leaves are dried without fermentation. In Russia, dark and fermented tea varieties are traditionally more popular. In our country it is black tea, but in China it is called red tea. In fact, there are many varieties of tea: white, green and black. This depends on the place of growth, the time of harvesting and the technology of processing and drying tea leaves, including the time of fermentation.

“If we talk about the composition, the main beneficial components of tea remain in it even after fermentation. Both green and black tea contain caffeine, thanks to which tea invigorates, tannins and catechins – tannins that give tea its tart taste, and other bioactive substances. During the fermentation process, the amount of theaflavins in the tea mass increases – as a result, the color of the drink becomes richer and more fragrant, the aroma of green tea becomes closer to the natural smell of the tea leaf. The color of the drink becomes very light after fermentation, but this, of course, is a matter of taste – who prefers which aroma and taste,” concluded Bessonov.

Those who prefer green tea often say that it is “healthier” than black tea and attribute special healing properties to it. In fact, both green and black tea have approximately the same effect on our body. The effect depends rather on the strength of the drink and the concentration of bioactive substances.

“To start the fermentation process, so that the enzymes start to act, the tea is dried, then crushed, rolled into tubes, thus breaking the surface of the tea leaf so that the cellular content falls to the surface and the oxidation process begins. And a slight fermentation begins. The process can last different periods, which influences the variety, and after its completion, the tea is dried and ready for use,” explained Vladimir Bessonov.

How to prepare leaves at home.

In fact, the same fermentation process, only in a simplified form, is carried out at home: with cherry, currant, raspberry and blackberry leaves.

Step 1. Preparation. The leaves are washed and dried, then kept for a few more hours to allow them to lose their turgor and wither.

Step 2. Fermentation. To start the process, you need to crush the leaves. There are several ways: someone kneads them with their hands, and then each person rolls them into a tube and places them tightly, in layers, in a glass or enameled container. It is laborious. But the end result will be a tea that, when brewed, will unfold beautifully into whole leaves. A simpler and faster way is to, without bothering, fill a glass jar tightly with crumpled leaves, and fermentation will take place in it. This takes several hours, sometimes up to a day, the time depends on the ambient temperature. The leaves should completely lose their green color and darken.

Step 3. Drying. After fermentation, the leaves need to be chopped: chopped with a knife or passed through a meat grinder with the largest grid. It is best to use an electric dryer (for some reason it is now fashionable to call them dehydrators). The main thing is that the temperature should not exceed 50 degrees. You can also try it in the oven, at the lowest temperature and with the door open. Of course, you can also do it outdoors, spreading it in a thin layer on the table. But an oven or electric dryer greatly speeds up the process and the aroma spreads throughout the house.

It is important to keep the tea in the right conditions; if it is not dried, it will not be stored and will become mouldy. If you dry it too much, it will not have the same aroma. But it is not difficult to get used to it.

Well, when the tea is ready, you can turn on your imagination. Mix different herbs and leaves, add dried petals (calendula, cornflower, monarda), dried berries or zest of lemon, orange, tangerine.

Advice

Although many people make tea with boiling water, as soon as they remove the kettle from the heat, it is better to wait a little while for the water to cool down to 10-20 degrees. Tea made with such water will be more fragrant and will retain more biologically active substances, including vitamins.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.
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