Grow your own wellness tea

Tea drinkers may already know that drinking tea may help prevent strokes, heart disease, and cancer, and a report in the most recent Journal of Nutrition states that tea is the number one source of flavonoids (those cancer- and cholesterol-busting antioxidants) in the American diet. But if you’re buying your tea at the store, you’re missing an opportunity to set yourself up with a lifetime supply of tea that’s as fresh and pure as you can make it.
The Camellia plant genus, from which all forms of tea are harvested, is amazingly resilient and adaptable, says Douglas Ruhren, a horticulturist at the American Camellia Society. And while most forms of the camellia bush are decorative, the varieties you can use to grow your own tea are getting to be just as popular among home gardeners. “I know a number of people who have camellia nurseries, and for some of them, tea bushes are their biggest-selling camellias.”

Buying the Right Variety

If you want to grow your own tea, stick with a Chinese Camellia variety. In Latin terms, that’s Camellia sinensis var. sinensis, not to be confused with Camellia sinensis var. assamica, which is an Indian tea; Indian tea plants are less tolerant of the cold. Tea bushes grow best in zone 7 climates (mostly Southeastern states), which could be why the only domestic tea plantation in the U.S. is located just outside Charleston, South Carolina. But you can grow them just about anywhere as long as you keep them indoors or in a greenhouse in the winter.

The plants also aren’t very picky about soil. They’re acid-loving to the extent that most of our common garden plants are acid-loving. You can usually grow them in the same type of soil you would a vegetable garden. They grow as well in full sun as they do in shade, but if your plants are competing with trees that are thirsty, they won’t grow as strongly. And regarding water, camellia bushes are drought-tolerant and usually survive dry summers better than your average vegetable garden. Tea bushes can succumb to mites, scales, aphids, and caterpillars, but  most pest problems can be solved with horticultural oil, a mechanical (not chemical) pesticide that kills pests by suffocating them, without harming birds or other insects.  If you can’t find Camellia sinensis var. sinensis at a local nursery, you can order the plant online from Camellia Forest Nurseries in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Brewing Your Tea

Chinese tea varieties are used for green and oolong teas, while Indian varieties produce black teas—which is good for home growers, considering that most of tea’s health benefits have been attributed to green tea. It takes about two years before the bush is mature enough that you can harvest sufficient tea to brew a reasonable amount, and about five years before the bush reaches the point where you can harvest tea leaves regularly.

To make the tea, you have to pick the two to three newest leaves, and the leaf bud, on each shoot. What you do with those leaves after that will determine whether you end up with green tea or oolong tea (which falls somewhere between green tea and black tea in terms of taste).

For green tea, the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida says to steam or pan-heat the leaves at 480 to 570 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes while constantly stirring them to keep them from burning. Then dry the leaves in a standard oven or toaster oven at 212 to 302 degrees for another 10 to 15 minutes, and they’re ready to brew.

For oolong tea, you need to allow the leaves to wilt, first in full sun for 30 to 60 minutes then in the shade for another eight to 10 hours. While they’re wilting in the shade, you need to stir them once every hour. Bring the leaves inside, and pan-heat them on low heat, between 121 and 149 degrees F for 15 minutes. Oolong tea doesn’t need to be dried, as green tea does. Traditionally, the leaves are rolled up, either into thin strips or into tiny balls, preserving the leaves’ oils and flavors. As you brew the tea, the leaves unfurl and release their flavor. In China, oolong leaves are customarily brewed two to three times because each steeping process changes the flavor a little bit.

So that is how you grow and brew your own tea…now to make it even more healthy for us:

Did you know that you could add essential oils to your tea?  Yep!  By using doTERRA essential oils, which are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils.

What does CPTG mean to you?  

The CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®* mark represents dōTERRA’s own internal standards for sourcing and testing pure aromatic botanical extracts using independent testing laboratories. The dōTERRA brand and registered CPTG mark represent dōTERRA’s guarantee of pure essential oil extracts that meet high standards for both purity and material composition and accurate product labeling.

CPTGlogo Grow your own wellness tea

dōTERRA’s therapeutic-grade essential oils are pure natural aromatic compounds carefully extracted from plants. They do not contain fillers or artificial ingredients that would dilute their active qualities.

Proper extraction and quality control methods also ensure that dōTERRA’s essential oils are free of any contaminants such as pesticides or other chemical residues. In addition to being pure and natural, dōTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils are subjected to further quality testing that ensures the correct composition of the active natural compounds found in each oil.

Even though an essential oil may be pure, if the right species or part of a plant has not been used, or if the plant has not been grown in the right environment or harvested at the right time, or if it has not been distilled under the right conditions, the natural chemical makeup of the extraction will not provide as predictable and powerful a benefit. In some cases, the wrong plant harvested at the wrong time may result in an extract that contains harmful levels of some constituents.

dōTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils are guaranteed to be pure and natural and free of synthetic compounds or contaminates. They are subjected to rigorous mass spectrometry and gas chromatography testing to ensure extract composition and activity. dōTERRA’s pure essential oils represent the safest and most beneficial essential oils available today.


So now you know how pure and safe doTERRA’s Essential Oils are….lets look at a few we can add to our teas to “health-ify” them even more:


Peppermint 15ml 2.jpg.570x440 q85 224x300 Grow your own wellness tea

Benefits: Promotes healthy respiratory function and clear breathing, soothes stomach upset, frequently used in toothpaste and chewing gum for oral health,

To Use Internally: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid


Lemon 15ml 2.jpg.570x440 q85 224x300 Grow your own wellness tea

Benefits: Cleanses and purifies the air and surfaces, naturally cleanses the body and aids in digestion, supports healthy respiratory function, promotes a positive mood and cognitive ability.

To Use Internally: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid.

Wild Orange

WildOrange 15ml 124x300 Grow your own wellness tea

Benefits: Powerful cleanser and purifying agent, protects against seasonal and environmental threats, high in antioxidants which are essential for overall good health, uplifting to mind and body.

To Use Internally: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid.

Like more information on Essential oils? You might like to read this: Simply Essential Oils

Want to buy Essential Oils NOW???

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This article is hopping around the following Blog Hops:

Homestead Barn HopWildcrafting WednesdayFrom the Farm Fridays, Simple Saturdays Blog Hop, Simple Life Sunday Blog Hop.


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Medical Disclaimer:

Nothing in this post is to be construed as medical advice, simply a sharing of things that have worked for me & my family. If you have any symptoms of serious illness, taking medication, pregnant or nursing, or have never worked with herbal materials or essential oils before, please consider consulting a medical professional before use. I am unable to offer advise for your particular medical situation; please ask your Doctor, Nurse Practitioner or Naturopath for further guidance.  The statements made here have not been approved by the Food & Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act.

Ornamental Rule Lines in Different Design 2 150x44 Grow your own wellness tea

About Simply Living Simply

I am a "red-neck country wife" to one wonderfully amazing man, mother to many outrageous children, daughter of the ONE Glorious God. Learning to be more self-reliant & self-sufficient in a semi-homemade, homesteading way!
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