December is usually a month of indulgence. I often end up spending most of the month working and rushing around trying to find presents for my loved ones. As the days come to their shortest on the 21st I’m attending Christmas socials after a long days work. Only for it all to culminate in Christmas celebrations with family. It’s normal in my family for at least a few of us to get some sort of horrible cold as we are simply exhausted.

Not only does this deplete our energy but we also eat the most indulgent, rich foods at this time of year as well. After which I often feel the urge to cleanse with some sort of detox. January detox programmes are very popular but it’s not always the best time of year to do some types of them because it is so cold outside*. Rather than cutting things out it’s best to focus on warming roots, soups and broths instead.

I have put together my idea of a perfect herbal tea for the month of January to address the issues of low energy, low immunity, slow digestion and coldness which most of us will be experiencing. You can get the ingredients from Neal’s Yard Remedies,Baldwin’s or Starchild.

ROSEMARY. Rosmarianus officinalis

This herb which has been a traditional addition to the Englishman's Sunday roast for centuries is actually a wonderful medicinal herb originating from the mediterranean. It is a great circulatory stimulant and can help to warm your extremities as well as digestion.

DAMIANA.Turnera diffusa 

This herb is native to North and South America as well as the Caribbean. Damiana helps us replenish our energy stores after doing too much.

DANDELION ROOT. Taraxacum offcinalis rad.

This humble herb is one of my favourites because every part of it can be used medicinally (though it’s not all edible). It contains Vitamins A, B, C and D and is a great source of potassium (more than a banana). The root is great for improving digestion as it increases bile in the digestive system. It especially helps us break down fats.

NETTLE SEED. Urtica dioica fruct.

It’s not easy to find the seed in shops but you can use the leaf instead. The seed is particularly potent for its adaptogenic properties. This means it helps the body deal with stress better and will replenish our energy supplies. A happy side effect of this action is the strengthening of your immunity as well.

OAT TOPS. Avena sativa

We are all familiar with the humble oat but oat tops is a little different. The tops have a wonderful nourishing property to the nervous system. It is rich in Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Potassium and Zinc. As well as, Vitamin B, A, C and E. This all helps to nourish us and reduce sensitivity to the outside world when it has all become a little over-whelming. It will also help to balance your blood-sugar levels and reduce bad cholesterol.

Here’s the quantities I used:

  • Rosemary 2g
  • Damiana 3g
  • Dandelion root 20g
  • Nettle seed 20g
  • Oat tops 10g

Share pictures of your tea time with us on instagram or twitter using the hashtag #forageteatime or on our Facebook page.

*it’s best to avoid juice cleanses or fasts during the cold months as it can be depleting on your energy and overall wellness.


By Natasha Richardson

Disclaimer: Please check with your health practitioner before using any herbs medicinally.