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The flowers from the chamomile plant have an apple-like scent and have been used for thousands of years to treat a number of conditions. Drinking a cup of this refreshing herbal tea can help calm nerves, promote a good night's sleep and treat gastrointestinal problems such as stomach cramps, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and excess gas. Using the tea as a mouthwash can help reduce gum inflammation and when used externally, it can help heal wounds and treat skin conditions like eczema.
To prepare a cup of tea, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried flowers, cover and steep for 10 minutes. Drink between meals. For external use, make a stronger tea, soak a clean cloth in it, wring the cloth out a bit and apply to the affected area. You can also add it to a basin of water or bath water and soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
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Hibiscus has a fruity taste and can be used to make a soothing cup of hot tea as well as a refreshing glass of iced tea. There are over 200 species of hibiscus that come in a variety of colors. According to studies, the bright red flowers (Hibiscus sabdariffa) helped lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure which can reduce one's risk of heart disease.
There are a couple of ways to prepare this tea. You can pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of dried flowers, cover and steep for 10 to 15 minutes or you can soak dried flowers in water for two days.
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In folk medicine, linden tea is also called "fever tea" because it is said the sun's rays are stored in the flowers and when a person drinks a hot cup of tea, the sun's warmth is instilled in the body which causes one to sweat, reducing the fever. Linden flowers contain about 10 percent mucilage which coats mucous membranes and can benefit the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. Other health benefits include relieving stress and increasing appetite.
To prepare a cup of tea, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried flowers, cover and steep for 10 minutes. When treating a fever, drink it as hot as you can without burning yourself and lie under covers for at least 30 minutes to help break the fever. Drink up to three cups a day.
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Flowers used in herbal teas also include red clover, a perennial plant that can be found growing in the wild in most temperate climates. Red clover has been used for centuries for many conditions, including treating a number of female problems. It contains phytoestrogens, compounds that have estrogen-like effects, and is said to help treat infertility, chronic miscarriages, PMS, and menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. It is also said to treat an upset stomach, calm nerves, relieve arthritis pain and heal skin problems like eczema.
To prepare a cup of tea, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tablespoon of dried flowers, cover and steep for 10 to 15 minutes. A stronger cup of this tea can be used topically (see chamomile).
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Red clover Garry's pics/Flickr
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