In the midst of Southern California’s sultry summer, Silk & Jade invites you to cool off and unwind with one or more of our soothing floral teas.
Rethink your “nightcap” with a tasty tisane — a healthy, flavorful alternative that will lull you into a tranquil slumber with every sip. This month we are featuring our organic chamomile, lavender & hibiscus teas. Packing a versatile flavor profile, each flower offers a distinctive taste that speaks to a wide spectrum of palates — sweet, sour, subtle — we’ve got you covered.
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
The petite daisy-like chamomile flower presents a smooth, fruity taste reminiscent of pineapple. Chamomile blossoms have powerful anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. You can add a strong (strained) brew of tea to your bath water to soothe hot, itchy skin — it is great for conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and even a painful sunburn. The plant’s added anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties make the tea a great mouth rinse to fight bacteria and infection. Chamomile makes a sweet tea with a powerful purpose.
Steeping chamomile for a longer period enhances its medicinal properties as a digestive bitter. This bitter quality stimulates the appetite, activating our gastric juices to effectively break down and absorb the nutrients in our food. Drinking a floral infusion of chamomile before meals can help normalize digestion and alleviate issues associated with gas and heartburn, or indigestion if taken after a meal.
Preparation: For a light brew, we recommend bringing approximately 200 mL of water to a boil. Pour the water over 3 grams of the flower in a small teapot and allow it to steep for two minutes (or to taste). Strain and enjoy!
Lavender (Lavandula x Intermedia)
Though lavender carries a distinctiveness that is all its own, this flower offers many of the same healing qualities as chamomile. Both herbs are widely known for working as potent nervines, relaxing the nervous system — putting our minds and bodies at ease. The dainty lavender buds offer a flavor as mild as their hue; slightly sweet and beautifully aromatic. But don’t be fooled — if you steep these tiny blossoms for a longer duration, they can pack an intensely bitter kick, offering the same benefits to our digestive health as chamomile. In any case, the two together make a tasty pair. A light brew of this dreamy duo leaves the body in a state of serenity and ready for peaceful sleep.
Lavender contains saponins, a constituent responsible for the cleansing quality we often associate with soap. Like an organic, plant-derived soap; lavender’s medicine works both internally and externally to break down congestion of any kind. This menthol-like effect makes it an amazing addition to a warm bath, clearing areas of tension in the body.
Bath Tip: Add Lavender tea to your nightly bath for a relaxing experience. When preparing lavender tea for a bath, be sure to cover the water as the lavender steeps to retain the medicinal goodies from the essential oils.
Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
Though each of these floral tisanes may be prepared as hot or cold beverages, the hibiscus roselle plant provides a particularly refreshing treat when the tart, zesty flower is served over ice.
Originally from West Africa, hibiscus is recognized for its health benefits and regularly consumed as a tea in many parts of the world, including Iran, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The deep maroon pigment of this flower denotes its rich source of antioxidants, revitalizing the body’s immune system with the strength and ability to fight cold, flu, and disease.
Hibiscus tea can also work wonders for the heart, blood, and circulatory system as a whole. Studies suggest that hibiscus can help lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels. However, women should be aware that drinking a hibiscus infusion moves stagnant energy in the pelvic region, stimulating menstruation and should not be consumed when pregnant. Though there are a few exceptions to whom the plant may benefit, hibiscus is generally recognized in traditional cultures as a medicinal agent used to cool and nourish the body.
Hibiscus tea is also caffeine-free, which makes it an ideal refreshment to enjoy during a warm summer evening. Recreate the classic mint lemonade with an alternative infusion, blending hibiscus and lavender for a cooling citrus-like beverage.
Beauty Tip: Hibiscus tea water can be used as a hair rinse to naturally condition hair.
Miss Nina’s Summer Blend: A Midsummer's Night Tea
If you’re feeling adventurous, try all three flowers in this bright and cozy blend. We have listed our suggested measurements and method but encourage you to experiment and adjust to taste!
Preparation: In a separate pot or kettle, bring water to a boil. Using the “small pot brewing method” (gong fu) pour boiling water over blend in your 250 mL teapot and let steep for two minutes. Once finished, repeat method using the same flowers from your first brew. This double brew strategy gives the tisane a full-bodied depth — the first brew highlights the tangy hibiscus, the second brings in the stronger notes of lavender, while the chamomile holds a subtle fruity balance.
- Ratio: 1 g flowers to 50 mL water is our general rule for tea
- Preparation: For all flower-based teas, we recommend pouring boiling water over the flowers and steeping them for two minutes. Strain immediately.
- Written by Mariah Monet
- Edited by Nina Burke
- Photos by Joe Chou