Looking for ways to stay cool as the temperatures rise? Yeah, me too. Admittedly, I’m kinda bad at staying hydrated in the heat, but this herbal, caffeine-free iced tea is just too delicious NOT to drink. So if you love the scent of lemon and lavender – who doesn’t – this might become your favorite summer drink, too!
Lemon balm, a perennial herb in the mint family, is hardy and very easy to grow in your garden. If you’re companion planting, it goes well with most fruits and vegetables; herbs like rosemary, basil, and sage; blooming plants like zinnias, daisies, and cosmos; and drumroll please – lavender! Growing lemon balm and lavender together is a great way to deter pests. As with mint, however, it tends to take over a garden; container planting works well if you’re looking to control rampant growth.
Used frequently in alternative medicine, lemon balm is used to reduce stress and anxiety, improve appetite, and ease discomfort from indigestion. I also love to use lemon balm when I’m suffering from insomnia; I’m counting sheep before I know it. And the other ingredient in this tincture, lavender, is well-known for its calming properties. While this tea is fantastic iced (recipe below), it also works well as hot tea in the colder months. I’m using fresh herbs from my garden for this recipe, but both lemon balm and lavender can be dried and stored for future use.
lavender + lemon balm iced tea
- 1 pint (about 2 cups) water
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon balm leaves
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh lavender
- 2 tbsp agave nectar or raw honey
In a large pot, bring the water to a boil. Remove pot from stove, and add lemon balm leaves and lavender to the water. Cover and steep for 10-20 minutes (or longer if you desire a full-bodied flavor). Strain leaves and lavender and pour into a jar. Enjoy this tea warm or chill for iced tea.
Drink up! Chill out. Rinse. Repeat.