The long history around the use of herbs and tea shows that they have been an essential part of human lives for centuries; they are valued for having an incredible and varied depth of flavor and aroma, as well as innumerable benefits for the body, mind and spirit. The earliest written accounts of the use of herbs date back as far as 5,000 years from the ancient Sumerians; Ayurvedic practitioners in India and the classical healers of China also have an herbal history going back thousands of years and continuing to this day. Native American and Shamanic cultures are greatly founded on a belief in the sacred nature of herbs; in fact, it would be hard to find any culture in the world that did not have some kind of ancient bond with herbs. This long and ongoing story of a human partnership with herbs makes a strong case for the vital role they can play in our lives today.
Loose, dried herbs like the many we carry here at Merz and Smallflower.com, are perfect for creating all kinds of preparations through infusions, decoctions and other types of extractions. A water infusion, otherwise known as a tisane, or herbal tea, is one of the most common ways to use and enjoy herbs - and it goes way beyond the standard chamomile or peppermint! An infusion of holy basil and spearmint can provide a refreshing, caffeine-free lift; or combining a few bitter herbs like fennel, anise and licorice can make a wonderful digestif; and a catnip, lavender and hops flower blend may help promote a deep and restful sleep.
The modern use of herbs extends far beyond tea, too. Of course, there are innumerable culinary uses of herbs like a rosemary infused olive oil or a rose petal-calendula honey, to name just two. Or, an adventurous and savvy bartender can find a seemingly infinite number of ways to use dried herbs, from homemade liqueurs and cocktail bitters to unique simple syrups.
Loose herbs not only have benefits as versatile ingredients, there are some practical advantages too. With less packaging, processing and waste than most standard tea bags, a loose leaf tea or herb is not only friendlier to the planet, it’s also more flavorful and potent. And while it’s true that sipping an herbal tea in any form is a wonderfully gentle, yet powerful ritual, enhancing that ritual by seeing, touching and smelling the fullness of a whole herb while preparing it can be even more satisfying.
Here at Merz Apothecary and Smallflower.com, we currently carry almost 200 loose herbs, 100% pesticide free and sourced from the finest growers all over the world. We are constantly seeking and discovering new additions to this already vast and varied herbal inventory, both domestically and abroad. The volume and scope of our long-established import business from Germany gives us access to high-in-demand herbs that can be difficult to secure anywhere else such as:
Smallflowered Willow Herb
Stingless Nettle or Dead Nettle Blossoms
Malva or Mallow Leaves
...and many more
We not only sell every herb in our inventory individually, we also create numerous herbal blends; some are based on traditional recipes by famed European herbalist Maria Treben, while others are uniquely our own. We invite you to explore our selection and enjoy discovering your own path through the vast and exciting world of Smallflower herbs and fine teas.