People have been drinking tea in some form or another and in many cultures for thousands of years in the known historical record. Who knows really when the first of our ancestors might have boiled some dried herbs or other leaves in some water and drank the resulting infusion? Historians say this refreshment likely originated in southwest China during the Shang dynasty as a medicinal drink. An early written record of drinking such concoctions dates to the 3rd century CE, in a medical journal by Hua Tuo. Portuguese priests and merchants were first introduced to forms of the drink in China during the 16th century and drinking it became popular in Britain during the 17th century. The British brought tea production, and consumption, to India, as an answer to the Chinese monopoly on the brew during that time.
Annie’s Remedy has a fine collection of do it yourself tea recipes that you might want to consider trying. Here’s one from their collection I borrowed to share and entice you to visit her site for more:
Chamomile, Lavender And Lemon Balm Tea
This good tasting tea is formulated to calm nervous tension and lift mild depression.
Cautions: Avoid licorice root if you have high blood pressure
Add Ginger and licorice root to taste. Add 10 drops of skullcap tincture if anxiety is preventing relaxation
Additions: Honey (optional)
Recipe Instructions: Use one teaspoon of herbal mixture to each cup of hot water. Infuse for 5 minutes and drink warm before retiring.
Song of Tea by Lu Tung
The first cup moistens my lips and throat.
The second cup breaks my loneliness.
The third cup searches my barren entrail,
but to find therein some thousand volumes of odd ideographs.
The fourth cup raises a slight perspiration;
all the wrongs of life pass out through my pores.
At the fifth cup I am purified.
The sixth cup calls me to the realms of the immortals.
The seventh cup – ah, but I could take no more!
I only feel the breath of the cool wind that raises in my sleeves.
Where is Paradise? Let me ride on this sweet breeze and waft away thither.
This poem is in the public domain.