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Herbs in your Teacup

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

You know what coffee is, you know what tea is, but do you have any idea what a tisane is? Even if you may have heard this term, it must have been used interchangeably with tea but the two terms are certainly not one and the same. Essentially, a herbal infusion, or tisane is any plant-derived drink other than true tea. Tisanes are infusions majorly made from leaves, bark, roots, berries, seeds, and spices. Common tisanes include mint, chamomile, verbena, and rooibos. In addition to serving as a beverage, many tisanes are also consumed due to a perceived medicinal benefit.

There are clear characteristics that distinguish true tea from a tisane. True teas come from the Camellia sinensis plant but tisanes come from a water-based infusion of herbs, spices, flowers, leaves, etc. Teas contain caffeine, tisanes, contrarily, contain no caffeine, but have diverse herbal components.

With this information, you will be able to relate well with our venture Peyaa, where we manufacture herbal tisanes bring the goodness of herbs to you in a teacup. Since the discovery of tisanes in China 5,000 years ago, it has been delighting consumers as a fresh alternative to caffeinated beverages. Tisanes are being appreciated for their numerous health benefits, just to name a few, aiding in building a stronger immune system, cleansing the respiratory tract, helping with high blood pressure and blood circulation.

Tisanes can be tailor-made according to your health requirements. The catechins in green tea can decrease iron absorption from food which can cause anaemia. If you are already anaemic, it would be wise to give it a final adieu and switch to a healthy tisane.

Tisanes can be made with fresh or dried flowers, leaves, seeds or roots, generally by pouring boiling water over the plant parts and letting them steep for a few minutes. Seeds and roots can also be boiled on a stove. The tisane is then strained, sweetened if so desired, and served. Brewing times and proportions for tisanes vary widely. They may be as short as two minutes or as long as 15 minutes, and may require as little as a pinch of plant material per cup of water or as much as several tablespoons per cup.

Most retail tisanes sold as beverages could be considered safe, but medicinal tisanes could easily contain herbs that cause damage in large amounts.

Tisanes can also have different effects from person to person, and this is further compounded by the problem of potential misidentification. So with all the benefits also comes a word of caution, some herbs are very potent and may cause allergic reactions or interfere with your medication, so be very careful while you experiment.

The challenge before Peyaa was to formulate and present something beneficial as well as unique to connoisseurs of herbal products. From picking up our basic ingredients, mostly Himalayan grown herbs and a few flowers and spices, to formulating them creatively into a unique tisane has been quite an experience. Believing in the philosophy of “less is more”, we limited ourselves to these ingredients instead of going overboard and including everything under the sun in our formulations. This resulted in the teacup that was subtle, refreshing and rejuvenating. The limited ingredients also showed the colours and textures of the individual ingredients in the dried tisane mix very clearly.

The combinations of tisanes are endless, and every ingredient can have a specific benefit. The way the ingredients are blended and how and when you consume them can produce varied outcomes. This is not the standard “kada” or ayurvedic decoction mix sold by zillions of manufacturers from Patanjali to local entrepreneurs. While diehard fans of the traditional “kada” mixture swear by the efficacy of their “kada”, Peyaa herbal tisanes are meant for leisurely enjoyment just like fine wines.

They will surely benefit the body in many ways, but the emphasis of Peyaa is primarily not on the health benefits but on the visual and gastronomical experience of the consumer. Our collection has VISHALATA ( Sabah snake grass) which has significant health benefits. The herb is also being grown by Hariyaali Organics, the manufacturer of Peyaa, in their herb garden in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. We also use the tag 'NATURALLY GROWN' on our packets. Our commitment to small growers in the Himalayan states and in Assam is very firm and we will continue to use the “naturally grown” tag in the foreseeable future.

The public fancy is now shifting towards a healthy lifestyle. Tisane, a herbal tea that is not made of tea leaves at all seems a good change. Made by brewing leaves, flowers, fruit peels or fruits in water and resulting in an interesting mix of flavours that is easy on your palate which adds to your health too, tisanes should be a staple in the kitchen, especially now that holistic health is on the rise.

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