Nourishing Herbal Infusions

I crave my daily herbal infusion. I know my husband does, too. Considering they are vitamin, mineral, and protein powerhouses it’s no wonder! The Mister loves his daily infusions as does our youngest daughter. She’s been drinking them for many years, too. They’re not just for women. They’re for babies, toddler, youths, adults. In other words, EVERYONE. They are food. This is not tea.

What is an infusion? How is it different from a cup of tea?

An infusion is a very strong liquid, tea-like, made with one ounce of herb and allowed to sit in hot water for 4 hours or more. A tea is made from a small amount of herbs or tea leaves, typically 1-3 teaspoons, and steeped in hot water for up to 10 minutes. A tea does not impart the amount of health-giving properties of an infusion, although a cuppa tea can be very enjoyable. I drink a few cups of strong Irish tea every day!

These are the 5 main herbs I make infusions from: organic Red Clover blossoms, organic Nettle, organic Oatstraw, organic Linden, and organic Comfrey leaf. Behind the front row is Hawthorn leaf and flower, Holy Basil, Raspberry Leaf, Uva Ursi, and Yarrow.

Red clover is hands down my absolute favorite infusion. I’m 52 and haven’t experienced one hot flash, I have strong bones, a flexible spine, and supple skin. Yes, you read that right. Not one hot flash. I thought I was having one a couple weeks ago but my husband reminded me I had a been out in the sun all day and it was 90 degrees out. So no hot flash! Red clover helps our bodies balance out hormones (for men, too) and provides minerals, vitamins, and protective phytosterols.

We all want good health. We all want to age gracefully. I know I want to ease into my second half of life with as much of health and vitality as I can build. I credit my easy transition to crone status with nourishing herbal infusions, eating a varied diet that includes local, pasture raised meats, lots of natural fats (butter, lard, olive oil) and full fat organic dairy foods.

If you only do one thing for yourself this month, this year, or today, add nourishing herbal infusions to your diet. Why drink plain water when you can replace it with a nourishing herbal infusion? Plain water offers you nothing nutritionally and flushes minerals and vitamins from your body if you drink too much. Hydrate and add those proteins, minerals, and vitamins back with a nourishing herbal infusion.

Where do I get my herbs for infusions?

Frontier and Mountain Rose Herbs sells organic herbs by the pound as well as most small health food stores. If you become a member of United Plant Savers you will receive a membership perk of a 20% discount to Mountain Rose Herbs! I am also a wholesale member of Frontier. If you’re interested in a wholesale account, click here.

All you need are giant Mason jars (I use half gallon sizes) to store the herbs in your cabinets, an inexpensive food scale, a quart jar with tight-fitting lid, and 5 minutes of time to boil water and weigh out the herb. I make infusions for us in the evening, let them sit overnight, strain them in the morning, and then we drink them during the day.

We rotate through 5-7 different herbs over the course of the week, drinking one infusion a day. We do not mix them together. Our favorites are Nettle, Oatstraw, Comfrey, Red Clover, Linden, and sometimes Hawthorn and Raspberry leaf infusions. When our Lab had a uti I made her rotating infusions of Uva Ursi and Yarrow to help her fight it off. Nettle isn’t my favorite infusion but I know it’s incredibly nutritious so instead of leaving it out of the rotation I’ll add a pinch of Holy Basil to change the taste to my liking. Also, I noticed that if my infusions are very cold they taste so much better.

Take care of your body now. It’s never too late to build health. Infusions are easy to make. Below are pics of my 5 minute routine. I prefer to make them at night so they can steep and be ready to strain and refrigerate in the morning. Infusions only need 4 hours to steep so if it’s easier for you to do it in the morning, go for it! Note: This is NOT a tea.

How do I make a nourishing herbal infusion?

Step 1. Put kettle on the fire.
Step 2. Gather your herb, scale, jar, and funnel. Always use a scale. One ounce of nettle looks very different than one ounce of comfrey!
Step 3. Tare the scale to 0.00 oz. and weigh out one ounce of herb.
Step 4. Fill jar to the near top with boiling water and using a wooden spoon stir the herb and water. Wait a few seconds to let the herb absorb some water then top it off. Screw the lid on (don’t do it too tight) and let it sit for 4 hours or overnight.
Step 5. Strain and compost the plant material if you can. At this point you can refrigerate or drink directly. I prefer them COLD.
Enjoy!

Read more about Nourishing Herbal Infusions from Susun Weed here.

Super Simple Sunday

I’m in the middle of labeling more batches of my herbal products for my Etsy shop, sipping on a tall glass of ginger honey lemonade and thought I should share this awesome recipe. I can get back to labeling later.

Making it by the gallon will make sense after you’ve had a glass. It doesn’t last long. This lemonade is super simple to make and is so good for you.

Here’s why:

Ginger is in the same family as turmeric and cardamom, making it very warming and stimulating to the circulatory system. Ginger is soothing to the digestive tract, is anti-inflammatory, and some resources show that it inhibits the growth of rhinovirus, the common cold.

Lemon juice is loaded with vitamins and minerals, stimulates the production of bile to help move toxins out of your body, is antiseptic and anti-bacterial, aids digestion, and as an added bonus makes your skin radiate. If you want to really boost your immunity zest some of the lemons into the lemonade!  The zest has five times more antioxidant power than the juice.

Raw honey is a miracle food created by the wondrous, hard-working humble honey bee. There is some truth to honey helping with allergies so it is best to get honey that’s been created from your local flora. Honey is antibacterial, anti-microbial, and reduces inflammation. And honey is lower on the glycemic index making it a much better natural alternative to white sugar.

Where do I get my raw honey? I am lucky enough to have my own apiary and access to raw honey, but if you’re looking for good honey you must seek out a local beekeeper. Google search for a local beekeepers club and give them a call. Better yet, go to your local farmer’s market. There’s bound to be a beekeeper or two selling their own honey and beeswax products. Make sure it’s raw, though. It may be crystalized or it may not. It’s not bad if it has crystalized; it’s a normal process that occurs after the honey is removed from the hive. We like the crystalized honey – it’s easy to spread on toast, melt into tea, and blend into smoothies and measure for recipes.

NOTE: Avoid pasteurized honey! It is no better than sugar. And don’t even bother with commercial brands of honey since many are imported and we are now finding out are not even real honey but high fructose corn syrup and other fillers. Yuck. Who needs it?

Cheers!

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Ginger Honey Lemonade

Makes 1 gallon

Ingredients: 

  • 1C peeled and freshly grated ginger (or more to taste)
  • 1 ½C of freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 7-8 juicy lemons, depending on size)
  • 1C local, raw honey (or more to taste)
  • 4 quarts of water
  • extra lemons for garnish

Directions:

In a large pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the grated ginger and simmer for 45 minutes. Turn heat off and let sit for 2 hours. Strain the ginger out of the water, using a fine mesh sieve, into a serving pitcher or large container. Add the lemon juice and honey while the ginger water is still warm. Stir until combined. Taste and adjust sweetness. Serve warm or chilled on ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Lemonade jar

Genetically Modified Corn – Allergies to GMO Corn

“The U.S. government started approving GMO corn and soybeans for sale in the mid-1990s, and today, 88 percent of corn, and 93 percent of soybeans, are the transgenic varieties. Moreover, Mansmann and others contend that due to cross-pollination via winds, birds, and bees, there’s no such thing anymore as a GMO-free corn crop.” ~ Caitlin Shetterly

READ ON.

via Genetically Modified Corn – Allergies to GMO Corn