Tea drinking has been traced back to approximately 5,000 years ago in China. One of the popular legends says that Shennong---an emperor and herb farmer---was the first person to drink tea. Legend states that Shennong boiled water to make it potable. He used branches of an herbal plant to create the fire to boil the water. Some of the leaves fell into the water, and Shennong drank the water, curious to see how it would taste. Five thousand years later, we are still drinking herbal teas.
To have control over the quality of the plants, as well as to save money on herbal teas, you can grow your own herbs for tea at home. For best results, grow the plants in containers, to prevent invasive herbs from taking over the whole garden.
Choose the herbal teas that you like or want to drink. Consider the medicinal benefits of various herbs when making your selection. Chamomile is used for calming nerves and inducing sleep. Echinacea is used to boost the immune system. Mint teas calm upset stomachs and aid in digestion.
Fill a flower pot with potting mix for each of the herbs. Water the soil and allow the excess water to drain out.
To use seeds, plant the seeds 1/4-inch below the soil's surface. To plant seedlings, dig a hole in the center of the flower pot and bury the seedling's root system in the hole.
Provide plenty of bright, unfiltered light for the seeds or seedlings. Indoors, place containers in a window with western or southern exposure. Outdoors, place containers in the area of the yard where they receive at least six to eight hours of full sunlight each day.
Water seeds with a spray bottle of water. Keep the soil moist to help the seeds germinate. Water seedlings by hand with just enough water to moisten the soil. Thereafter, water the plants when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.
Prune the plants regularly to promote new growth. Use your fingers or finger nails to break off cuttings of the plants. Use the leaves either fresh or dried to make herbal tea.