Tea Alchemy

Appears in the January 2022 issue.

Suffering from insomnia? Afternoon lethargy? Pesky tension headaches? Marcy Lautanen-
Raleigh has just the prescription for you: Drink more tea. Not the desiccated dregs found in mass-market tea bags. Real herbal teas. She makes customized blends—pesticide free, air dried, hand mixed—from herbs pulled from her garden in Addison. She sells all sorts of dried herb packets (salad dressings, marinades, soup mixes) via her Backyard Patch online store (backyardpatch.com), but nothing as powerful as the tea. “When you drink good tea,” says Lautanen-Raleigh, “your stomach absorbs the benefits so quickly.” After 30 years, she’s perfected her blends: holy basil, lemon grass, hibiscus, rose hips, and lemon balm. Peppermint for sleep. Cinnamon for an afternoon lift.
Lavender and rosemary for headaches. Works like a charm, says Lautanen-Raleigh—just as Mother Nature intended.

Photo courtesy Backyard Patch