Herbal infusions are just another way that herbalists and herb enthusiasts can incorporate the healing power of plants into their lives. This healing ability lies in the complex variety of chemical constituents that each herb has.
Herbal infusions draw out nutrients, such as minerals and vitamins, from plants to nourish our bodies. If consumed daily, herbal infusions can benefit the structural parts of our bodies, such as bones, cartilage, hair, teeth and nails. They can also help to strengthen the cardiovascular system and service as a tonic to the other organ systems in the body. Herbal infusions can also serve as your daily source of vitamins and minerals – an herbal multivitamin so to speak. In this case, however, the vitamins and minerals come from a whole, natural source (unlike synthetic pills), which the body can assimilate and absorb more readily.
“My daily cup of Nourishing Herbal Infusion is my safeguard against cancer, my longevity tonic, and my beauty treatment – all in one cup.”
– Susun Weed
Many of the herbs that can be used in infusions are readily found in local forests, fields and even in your own backyard. If wild-harvesting isn’t your herbal cup to tea (pun intended 😉 ), a visit to your local natural health food store will help you stock up on bulk herbs. If you live in my area feel free to send me an inquiry as I might have herbs in stock that you would like.
The most common herbs I use to make my nourishing herbal infusions are:
Red Raspberry Leaf/Flower (Rubus spp.)
Parts Used: Leaves (if purchased) or Leaves/Flowers (if wild-harvested)
Nutrients: Vitamins B2, B3, C, E, calcium, zinc, selenium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron
Red raspberry’s high calcium and mineral content makes it an excellent herb for strengthening bones, teeth, hair, nails and skin. This herb is also a well-known herb for the female reproductive system. It helps to strengthen and tone the uterine wall, as well as easing any uterine or intestinal cramping/spasms. Red raspberry is also very useful in cases of prolonged menstrual cycles and heavy bleeding. It is an excellent herb to use during pregnancy, from the first trimester up until birth. In the early months it will help to alleviate nausea and morning sickness. If consumption continues until the third trimester, Red raspberry can reduce cases of false labour.
Oatstraw (Avena sativa)
Parts Used: Whole plant
Nutrients: Calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, E and amino acids
Oatstraw is an excellent herb for the nervous system. It serves as a relaxant, tranquilizer, anti-depressant, anxiolytic (helping with anxiety) and a restorative nerve tonic. This herb will provide support for those experiencing stress and exhaustion. Oatstraw is also an excellent anti-inflammatory adding its benefits to those who suffer from inflammatory based conditions. It’s a fantastic source of calcium for those who wish to fortify their bones, teeth and other connective tissues.
Red Clover Leaf/Flower (Trifolium pratense)
Parts Used: Flowers and Leaves
Nutrients: Calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins B3, C and E
Red clover is an excellent depurative, helping to detox and cleanse many of the eliminatory systems of the body – having the strongest effects on the urinary and lymphatic systems as well as milder effects on the colon. Due to its detoxifying properties, this herb is fantastic for toxicity based conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. Red clover is also a renowned supportive anti-cancer herb. Due to its high levels of phytoserols, this herb is an excellent choice for women in menopause and those wishing to increase their fertility.
Stinging Nettle Herb (Urtica dioica)
Parts Used: Leaves
Nutrients: Calcium, potassium, protein, B Carotene, chlorophyll, trace minerals, iron, vitamins A, C, D and K
Stinging nettle is one of our best herbs to use in infusions, having benefits to many of the systems of the body. As with Red clover, Nettle is an excellent depurative herb specifically supporting the urinary and lymphatic systems. It is also a wonderful vascular tonic, helping to heal and reduce inflammation in the body’s blood vessels. This ability is useful in heart conditions (arteriosclerosis), varicose veins, spider veins and hemorrhoids. Nettle also provides benefits to the nervous system in the form of a relaxant, tranquilizer, antidepressant and anxiolytic. It has an incredibly high calcium content and is an excellent option for those on calcium supplements which don’t absorb as readily in the body.
Making Herbal Infusions
Herbal infusions can be made using one herb or a combination of herbs. Made as a stronger beverage or an iced tea by adding more water and lemon, these infusions can become a part of your daily health regime.
What You’ll Need
- a mason jar (500ml – 1 litre)
- dried herb(s) of choice
- filtered water
- Fill your mason jar approximately 1/3 of the way full of herbs. You can use less if that is your personal taste preference but I tend to use at least 1/3.
- Place a metal knife in the jar (to absorb heat so the jar doesn’t crack) and pour boiling water over your herbs filling your jar
- Stir the herbs well so that all plant material is covered with water
- Allow the herbs to steep for a minimum of four hours (I usually do overnight)
- Once the herbs are thoroughly steeped; strain and enjoy
Your infusions can be enjoyed hot, chilled or a room temperature. Adding sweetner or lemon is an option as well. They will keep for 24-48 hours but will taste best if consumed directly after straining.
Peace and good health,