And then the tea and sugar! -Jane Austen
An herbal tea, tisane, or ptisan is an herbal infusion made from anything other than the leaves of the tea bush (Camellia sinensis). Typically, herbal tea is simply the combination of boiling water and dried fruits, flowers or herbs. Herbal tea has been imbibed for nearly as long as written history extends. Documents have been recovered dating back to as early as Ancient Egypt and Ancient China that discuss the enjoyment and uses of herbal tea.
Ginger, long been used to soothe upset stomachs and ward off colds, makes a wonderfully spicy and invigorating tea. With its restorative properties, it would have been a natural choice for women battling morning sickness at the start of their confinement. Lady Catherine suggests just such a "Ginger Tisane" in Jane Odiwe's latest novel, Mr Darcy's Secret.
Ginger Tea Pour one half pint of boiling water on a teaspoonful of ginger; add sugar and milk to taste. From How to Cook (1810)
To make your own ginger tea, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Peel a 2" piece of ginger root and cut it into slices. Add the ginger to the water and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. Strain and enjoy! Many people like to add lemon juice or honey to their tea to enhance the flavour. As with any natural remedy, expectant mothers should check with their health care provider before consuming quantities of any herbal tisane.
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