Updated: Jan 30
What is a Tisane?
Let's start with what is tea? Tea comes from the plant called Camelia Sinensis. The tea leaves are then dried or cured in different ways to make black, oolong, puerh, green or white tea leaves. From there you can steep these leaves in hot water for 2-5 minutes depending on the kind and enjoy a wonderful infusion.
So what on earth is a tisane? A tisane is also a hot infusion but is usually steeped for 5-10 minutes. It is made up of different herbs and spices and sometimes even fungi. Tisanes do not include any Camelia Sinensis. This is what most often found on store shelves with the name of herbal tea.
What is a Long Infusion?
A long infusion is generally used for a specific ailment or health benefit. While similar to a tisane, long infusions use more herbs and are steeped for 4-12 hours to extract all of the benefits from the herbs. Many herbs can be used to increase your vitamin and mineral intake if steeped as a long infusion. One of the most well known and used herbs for this is stinging nettles. This herb is rich in folates and vitamin K, as well as other vitamins. They are an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron and have small amounts of potassium, and zinc. When brewed as a long infusion using 1/4 cup of nettles to 1 litre of boiling water poured over the leaves, covering it and letting it steep for 4-12 hours you can use this to help replenish your vitamins and to aid in increasing depleted iron levels. Now to be clear this is not always like sipping on a refreshing and relaxing tea, the strong flavours do take some time to get used to, but wouldn't it be great to replace some of those pills with a drink you may come to crave?
Tisane or Long Infusion: When to Use Them?
By now you've come to see that tisanes and long infusions both have their place in everyday life. Steam wafting from your mug with the scent of chamomile or peppermint so relaxing and enjoyable as a tisane. Or sitting with a warm or cold infusion of nettles, oatstraw and hawthorn sipping on it knowing that it is nourishing your body and providing benefits that our bodies need. Which will you make today? I know I'll be creating both as a treat to my health.