Women have used medicinal herbs and herbal remedies to support fertility, hormonal health, and menstrual cycle wellness for millennia. This moon tea blends hibiscus, ginger, red raspberry leaf, and ginkgo comes together in a herb-forward, astringent infusion. These nourishing botanicals are traditionally used to support healthy menstrual cycles, well-being and mood.
What is it?
A moon tea is an herbal infusion intended to support women's well-being around their menstrual cycle. These teas contain powerful herbal allies that may encourage healthy mood, especially in the latter half of your cycle before your period begins. Many women take these teas to ease feelings and discomfort they experience leading up to their menstrual cycles.
What's in it?
While recipes vary, this moon tea contains five key botanicals: hibiscus, ginkgo, red raspberry leaf, lemon balm and ginger. These herbs contain a wide variety of micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is rich in various polyphenols which give the flower its vivid red color. Additionally, it contains vitamin C - a vital nutrient that helps support the body's stress-response system and may ease feelings of worry and anxiety (1).
- Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) is a nootropic herb, meaning that it supports cognitive health. For ginkgo, those effects extend beyond cognition to mood, too. Researchers have found gingko to support both mood and ease physical discomfort associated with the latter half of the menstrual cycle (2, 3).
- Red raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus) is a mineral-rich herb that is traditionally used as a uterine tonic (4). In European folk medicine, the herb was used to tone the uterus, both supporting the later stages of pregnancy as well as healthy menstruation in women who are not pregnant.
- Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is in the mint family, though it smells of citrus rather than minty. Lemon balm relaxes the nerves, and is used to support sleep and ease anxiety (5).
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale) harmonizes this blend of herbs with its pleasant, fiery taste. Ginger is highly anti-inflammatory and may ease feelings of pain(6). One study found that ginger helped reduce symptoms of PMS, although more research is necessary (7).
Where to find organic herbs and spices
You can find many fresh herbs at your local grocery store; however, medicinal herbs can be harder to find locally. We recommend Mountain Rose Herbs because they stock many organic and ethically wildcrafted culinary and medicinal herbs.
Tips for making herbal infusions
This moon tea is an herbal infusion, meaning that it steeps longer than a traditional herbal tea. In addition, it uses more plant matter than an herbal tea or tisane, and these two factors (time and volume of herbs) mean a more beneficial brew with a stronger flavor and higher concentration of plant nutrients.
Herbal infusions are easy to make, but there's a few things to keep in mind.
- Start the ginger in cold water. Since ginger a tough rhizome, it takes a longer time to release its beneficial compounds. Placing the ginger in cold water and bringing that to a boil ensures that you make a stronger, more potent brew.
- Leafy herbs should steep after the water reaches a boil. Because hibiscus, lemon balm, and other leafy herbs are more fragile than ginger, you'll pour the ginger water over these herbs and then let them all steep together.
- The longer you steep the infusion, the stronger it will be. I recommend steeping this infusion for about 4 hours; however, if you prefer a lighter flavor, then you can steep it for as little as 20 minutes.
- Store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can drink it hot or cold, and after about 3 days it may lose its potency.
As with most herbal infusions, this moon tea recipe is flexible and you can customize it to suit your preferences and needs. Here's a few herbs that you might consider adding.
Chamomile is an herb that supports restful sleep and good mood. You can use it in place of or in addition to the lemon balm in this recipe.
Mint gives the infusion a good flavor, and works well with both ginger and hibiscus.
Stinging nettle is a mineral-rich herb and a nice companion for red raspberry leaf.
Passionflower is traditionally used to improve mood and sleep.
Store moon tea in a clean glass jar in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Yes, you can freeze it in ice cubes for up to 3 months.
If you prefer, you can make a large batch of this tea blend and store it in a jar in a dark cupboard for up to 1 year. Keep the ratios the same, and add 2 tablespoons dried cut and sifted ginger instead of fresh.
While this moon tea is intended as an herbal infusion for women's wellness, the herbs are gentle and generally suitable for most people.
- de Oliveira, Ivaldo Jesus Lima et al. “Effects of Oral Vitamin C Supplementation on Anxiety in Students: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial.” Pakistan journal of biological sciences : PJBS vol. 18,1 (2015)
- Ozgoli, Giti et al. “A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of Ginkgo biloba L. in treatment of premenstrual syndrome.” Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) vol. 15,8 (2009): 845-51.
- Tamborini, A, and R Taurelle. “Intérêt de l'extrait standardisé de Ginkgo biloba (EGb 761) dans la prise en charge des symptômes congestifs du syndrome prémenstruel” [Value of standardized Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) in the management of congestive symptoms of premenstrual syndrome]. Revue francaise de gynecologie et d'obstetrique vol. 88,7-9 (1993): 447-57.
- Romm, Aviva. Botanical Medicine for Women's Health. (2017) Churchill Livingstone.
- Cases, Julien et al. “Pilot trial of Melissa officinalis L. leaf extract in the treatment of volunteers suffering from mild-to-moderate anxiety disorders and sleep disturbances.” Mediterranean journal of nutrition and metabolism vol. 4,3 (2011): 211-218.
- White, Brett. “Ginger: an overview.” American family physician vol. 75,11 (2007): 1689-91.
- httpKhayat, Samira et al. “Effect of treatment with ginger on the severity of premenstrual syndrome symptoms.” ISRN obstetrics and gynecology vol. 2014 792708. 4 May. 2014,