Healthy Herbal Tea with Fennel and Thyme

Healthy Herbal Tea with Fennel and Thyme

By 30/09/2012

Italians love to get herbs for free, and they use them everywhere: they sneak them into meat, fish, pastas, soups, teas... EVERYWHERE.

It must be part of the Italian heritage trying to get by and to live with what's on the land.

Italians love foraging and there is something addictive about that. The fresh air, the colours of the countryside and the good stuff you take home, make it a very relaxing, therapeutic and pleasant experience.

My dad is one of them. He has been making his own herbal teas for years now. It started as a Sunday afternoon hobby and it turned out to be a "factory-like herbal tea making" at home.

He dries the herbs by leaving them on a cloth for a week or so. Then he takes the leaves off the stalks and mixes them all up.  He combines different herbs together depending on how they taste and their properties. Since he began making his own I struggle to enjoy any shop bought ones. None of them will taste as good.

There is something very soothing about having a "tisana" or herbal tea, especially during winter months and they are a blessing if you have a cold! A  generous teaspoon of good quality and local honey will make it just perfect, like a medicine.

Two herbs that are easily available at this time of year are thyme and fennel. Thyme is recommended for coughs and bronchitis and fennel for digestive problems. If you don't have a garden you can buy the herbs in supermarkets and dry them yourself or find them dried in health shops. Or what about buying a plant, put it in a large pot and just cutting the herbs as you need them? The plant will grow all the time and ultimately it will be cheaper then buying the herbs every time. Don't forget that you can use them in your cooking too.

Herbal teas have now become fashionable in Italy and some coffee bars will serve many types. They make them look really posh with pretty labels, lots of info about their properties and they are served in beautiful cups. So you think you are going to drink something really special but, sadly, they are miles away from the tisana you could make yourself at home.

We all know that herbs have many healing properties and they can be considered medicines on their own. Have a go at making this simple thyme and fennel tea:

  • Prep Time : 2 minutes
  • Cook Time : 10 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

Put the thyme and fennel seeds in a cup then pour the boiling water over it. Cover up and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Se eve and enjoy.

A good tsp of honey will make this drink very soothing and pleasant.

A comfortable sofa, a good book and a warm blanket will complete it all!

thyme and fennel

Fennel and thyme I picked ready to be dried.

Thyme and fennel tea

I am entering this into "Herbs on Saturday" hosted by Lavander and Lovage.

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24 Responses to Healthy Herbal Tea with Fennel and Thyme

  1. Anu

    Nice herbal tea.

  2. Mich - Piece of Cake

    I love to cook with herbs and I even grow my own in little pots. Thanks for sharing this, never knew I could make tea out of thyme. Only know its for cooking with meats.

  3. stefania shade

    sai che non avevo mai provato la tisana al timo? qui si trova anche il timo limonato, quello dev’essere buonissimo in infusione!

  4. Olga Lopez

    I am glad you like the sugar free banana bread.
    Have a nice week.
    Regards
    Olga.

  5. unikorna

    I love the idea of this post and I like your way of taking photographs…I am a tea person but never tried thyme…we use thyme to flavor ours sour soups. Kisses lovely Alida.

  6. lory b

    Questa poi è la stagione giusta!!! Adoro le tisane. Se poi riusciamo a prepararle in casa con materie prime di qualità, ancora meglio!!!!
    Grazie per l’idea!!!!
    Un abbraccio e felice settimana!!!!

  7. petra08

    I agree that everything fresh just tastes so much better! Love the idea of the tea and will pick the last of my thyme this weekend and try it 🙂

  8. claudia @whats cookin italian cuisine

    I remember my grandmom in Italy had some cups like these and her tea to me would always be a special event she would have loved this as much as I if she were still here. Made me think of her. Thank you .. bella.

  9. Marina@Picnic at Marina

    Alida, I could definitely refer to that: I love herb teas, and have many dried herbs in my pantry for teas and cooking. I love your presentation, very inviting… 🙂

  10. la cucina di Molly

    Cosa c’è di meglio che gustarsi una bella tisana, magari accompagnata da un dolcetto! Fa bene tuo padre a prepararle in casa! Che bella presentazione, mi piacciono molto quelle tazzine, complimenti! Un abbraccio!

  11. elly

    Il tuo papà ti sta tramandando un’arte veramente nobile! Conoscere i segreti delle erbe è qualcosa di fantastico. So che mia nonna paterna era bravissima in questo. Purtroppo ci ha lasciati quando io ero veramente piccola e non ho potuto imparare da lei tante meraviglie!! Bel post, Alida e complimenti anche per le ricette che ancora non ho avuto modo di commentare!!! Un abbraccio grande

  12. Suzanne

    The combination of thyme and fennel sounds lovely. I do love fennel, so adding thyme will be a interesting change of taste. I live in an apartment, so growing certain plants has its limitations; however, Victoria has many herbal shops that you can buy organic freshly dried herbs. I love to go and smell each one and see which I like the best. I do love the thought of being out in the fields picking and enjoying a relaxing day outdoors. Wonderful!!! Great post!!!

  13. Balvinder

    Aida, I am loving your photography.
    I have never made herbal teas but I do add herbs to my tea. I am totally familiar with the taste of fennel and now I am going to combine with thyme.

  14. Zoe

    This is interesting. Never thought of using thyme as tea before. Your thyme tea must be be very fragrant.

  15. Karen @ Lavender and Lovage

    STUNNING photos and a WONDERFUL entry into Herbs on Saturday! I often drink herbal teas and thyme is a favourite of mine! THANKS so much, the new Herbs on Saturday post will be up soon, as soon as I post the round-up! Karen

  16. Pingback: September Herbs on Saturday Round-Up and the Winner of The Herbs Book is announced....

  17. My Little Italian Kitchen

    thank you Catherine. I had a look at your blog and there is lots of interesting stuff there! X

  18. Cuisinedeprovence

    We grow lemon verbena which is a great herbal tea to drink just before going to bed – it calms you and in winter nicely warms you.

  19. Catherine

    Dear Alida,
    A lovely tea-time recipe. blessings dear. Catherine xo

  20. unikorna

    Alida I invited you to join the Sisterhood of the world bloggers, it’s a blog award. You can pass it on or not…whatever you choose is ok :)…kisses and congrats.

  21. Maggie

    A really lovely posting. I wouldn’t dare to forage because I would possibly end up poisoning us all.

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