Nourishing Herbal Infusions

Zelie and I have been making and drinking herbal infusions for about 5 or 6 years now, and have felt healthier, with greater energy and fewer illnesses during these years than before, better digestion, and I feel my hormones have come into balance. Susun Weed has inspired me with her herbal wisdom – through her many books (the New Menopausal Years is a great one) and her huge website. There is a great deal more info there about the specific minerals and nutrients in these herbal infusions – too much for me to list here…

Herbal infusions take a bit of work, but once you get in the habit, it’s pretty easy… we buy herbs in bulk through Mountain Rose Herbs, a great resource for high quality, organic herbs and oils. To begin, you need a couple of 2 quart glass (mason) jars with lids (hardware store is a likely place), and we like to rotate through each of these 4 dried herbs: nettles, comfrey leaf, (we add peppermint to these 2 for better taste), oatstraw and red clover blossom. I buy a pound of each at a time, and that lasts 2 of us for months, drinking at least 2 cups each per day.

Boil a full kettle of water and place about an ounce of one of the herbs in the 2 qt jar, (about 1 – 2 cups of dried plant, depending on the fluffiness of it). Then pour the boiling water in the jar til it’s full, stirring the herbs in, and cover. It need to infuse for 4- 8 hours. Easy to do this at bedtime, and then in the morning it’s time to strain the plant material out, leaving you with about 8 cups of delicious herbal infusion to drink – you can add honey, or heat it if you like, but we drink it cold, first thing in the morning and then again later in the day…

It’s easiest to have 2 jars, so when you strain it, you can do it directly into the other 2 qt jar. A good tea strainer that fits into the mouth of the jar makes the process a lot easier also, but isn’t necessary.

This is an inexpensive, empowering way to take care of your body and create health and harmony for yourself! In these times of great change, with our “health care system” not truly about health for the most part, it is more important than ever to find ways to take responsibility for our own health and wellness, strengthen and nourish our bodies, and prevent illness… Enjoy!

Here is a bit from an interview with Susun Weed:
What is a nourishing herbal infusion? Is it a kind of herbal tea?
A. A tea is a small amount of herb brewed for a short time. An infusion is a very large
amount of herb brewed for a long time. Herbal teas are lovely, but don’t aid longevity or build health. Herbal infusions are powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other phytonutrients like polyphenols and phytoestrogens. Because they are so concentrated in nutrition, nourishing herbal infusions can literally rebuild the body.

Nettle rebuilds the adrenals and restores energy.

Oatstraw rebuilds the nerves and blood vessels as well as giving sexual energy a boost.

Red clover rebuilds the immune system, helping to prevent cancer and chronic inflammation.

Comfrey leaf rebuilds the digestive system, the skin, and the connective tissue, restoring flexible health throughout the body.

Green Smoothie Recipe

Many of you have asked us for our recipe for our green smoothie (it is actually more like purple!), which we are addicted to starting our day with!

here it is:
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 c. plain nonfat yogurt (different brands make a big difference in taste)
1-2 teaspoons hemp or flaxseed oil
4 tablespoons hemp protein powder
1-2 tablespoons raw cacao (nibs or powder)
2-4 tablespoons green powder (Trader Joe’s or ?)
1 tablespoon bee pollen
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 handful goji berries
1 banana (can be frozen and broken into pieces if you want it extra thick)
total ~ 1-2 cups: frozen blueberries, strawberries, mango, raspberries – adjust to your taste
~ 1-2 cups (couple of handfuls) raw greens: kale, collards, chard, romaine, arugula (tastes strong), mustard, etc… mostly you don’t taste them once blended! can be one or several types.

Put this all in a blender (helps to have a heavy duty one like VitaMix, but if not, just add slowly) and mix till very well blended/pureed.
Makes ~ 4 glasses – we each drink 2.

Use as many organic ingredients as possible, as you get many more nutrients that way! Many of these ingredients you can find at Trader Joe’s, or other local natural food stores, and a few you may need to go online to find. You don’t need to use everything, of course, but with all these ingredients, you know you’ve met many, if not most, of your daily needs. This provides great antioxidant benefits, as well as Omega-3 and 6 essential fatty acids, fiber, protein, amino acids, and so much more!