Nutritionist Lucy Hyland

Warming Herbal Teas

December 2, 2010
Posted by Lucy

Homemade herbal teas

At this time of year, it can feel as though you never warm up! And that is in spite of the extra layers and central heating.   Or you could be one of those people who come to see in my clinic that say that they are always cold and just can’t seem to get warm. For these ’cold’ people, I often recommend warming spices and herbs, as well as food that have a more warming effect on the body. So what are these?

Firstly, there are some simple principles that will help you remember which foods are more warming than cooling. Food that takes longer to grow, such as carrots, parsnips and cabbage are generally warmer. Colour can also be an indicator, as the reds, yellows and oranges tend to have more warming effects. Not only colour but also the length of time things take to cook can increase the warming properties. I always think that is why we love our root vegetable soups in the winter to keep us warm - check out my website for a wide variety of them.

Raw foods or foods eaten cold generally have a cooling effect on the body. Simply switching to a bowl of hot porridge rather than cereal and cold milk will help you warm up for the day. Or buying a flask and taking some nice hot soup to lunch will also help.

Secondly, there is not only the individual foods and how we cook them, but also the herbs and spices that we can add to dishes to increase their warming effects. Simple everyday spices such as cinnamon and ginger are great at warming you up: try adding cinnamon to porridge and ginger to your favourite soup.   Star anise, fennel and fenugreek and spearmint are also great to add flavour and warmth to a dish.

I came in from a walk this afternoon and was frozen! So I made a pot of my warming herbal tea and it got me warmed up in no time.

Food for Living’s Warming herbal tea

½ inch of fresh root ginger – grated
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon fennel seeds

Place all of the ingredients into a tea pot and fill with about half a litre of hot water.
Stew for about 5 minutes.
Use a strainer to pour into a cup and warm up instantly!

 

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