Assistant Director Shari Tumandao is the HTC’s resident expert on herbal remedies and holistic health. Each week, she joins Tea Time to introduce students to herbs commonly found in teas, their natural properties, and how they may benefit your health and wellbeing. You can find recaps of her presentations here on our website.

Disclaimer: The following information comes from CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism located in Brookline, MA. If you take medication, please consult your doctor before working with the following herbs. Consume at your own discretion.

Lemon Balm 

Native to North Africa, Europe, and West Asia

Effects and benefits:

  • Gentle sedative
    • May benefit those experiencing anxiety and insomnia, or those living with ADHD
  • Mood elevating
    • May benefit those experiencing seasonal affective disorder or depressive states
  • Mild relaxant
    • May benefit those experiencing headaches or muscle tension, especially when brought on by stress and worry
  • Release excess heat
    • May benefit those who often feel overheated or those with high fevers
  • Anti-viral
    • May soothe upset stomaches, acne, and cold sores


Steep lemon balm overnight and consume it throughout the day

Additional resources:

For more information about the potential health benefits of lemon balm and how to use it in your daily life, check out the following resources: “12+ Things to Do with Lemon Balm” and “10 Benefits of Lemon Balm and How to Use It.”


This hybrid between spearmint and water mint is typically found in North America and Europe

Effects and benefits:

  • Warming and cooling
    • May result in feeling uplifted, stimulated, and relaxed
  • Headaches
    • May help release tension and improve circulation to constricted tissues
  • Anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory
    • May benefit those experiencing colds and fevers, may soothe itchy skin, and may soothe the gastrointestinal (GI) tract


Steep peppermint overnight and consume it throughout the day

For headache relief, try the following:

  •  10 or more drops of peppermint essential oil in an essential oil diffuser
  • Steep peppermint tea in a pot, place towel over head, close your eyes, and breathe in through your nose for no more than two minutes

Additional resources 

For more information about the potential health benefits of peppermint and how to use it in your daily life, check out the following resources: “About Peppermint Oil Uses and Benefits” and “Peppermint Oil for Migraine and Headache Relief.”