December 19, 2019
Nourishing Herbal Infusions
By Stephanie Scavelli
American herbalist of the Wise Woman Tradition Susun Weed calls herbal infusions "one of her best ideas." Drinking herbal infusions daily is a safe, natural and effective way to supplement nutrition.
Herbal infusions have replaced my habit of taking a daily multivitamin. Instead, I nourish my body with a wholesome, plant-based diet, a rotating set of herbal infusions and only selective supplements. I drink a half to one quart of herbal infusion daily.
How to Prepare an Herbal Infusion
Prepare an herbal infusion the night before to consume the next day. In a glass quart jar mix 1 oz. dried herb by weight with 1 quart boiling water. Set aside on the counter to allow to steep and cool overnight. The next morning strain out the plant material. Place the remaining infusion into the refrigerator to chill. Drink cold throughout the day by taking sips or gulps between meals and snacks. Do not drink on an empty stomach. Drink up to one quart daily. Use a rotating set of herbs for best results.
Stinging Nettle Leaf - Encourages natural, sustained energy; rich in chlorophyll, iron, and calcium; a nutritive herb that acts a general multivitamin.
Comfrey Leaf - Nourishes bones, ligaments and tendons; expedites the healing of wounded tissue.
Red Clover Flower - Supports women, our hormonal biochemistry and reproductive organs.
Linden Leaf & Flower - Provides protection against viral and bacterial infections.
Oat Straw - A nutritive herb that counters nutritional deficiencies; promotes milk production in breastfeeding mothers.
Make Herbal Infusions an Easy Addition to Everyday Living
Purchase herbs from Starwest Botanicals (which are conveniently available on Amazon Prime), order online from Mountain Rose Herbs (https://www.mountainroseherbs.com) or purchase herbs from your local apothecary, like Twin Star apothecary (http://www.twinstartribe.com/apothecary ) in New Milford or Chamomile Natural Market in Danbury. Buy herbs in bulk (1-5 lbs).
As a general recommendation, if you are to make only one infusion I suggest Stinging Nettles. If you are to do two types of infusions then include comfrey. Consult an Herbalist for a personalized recommendation.
Supplies include glass quart jars, lid, fine strainer and a means to make boiling hot water. For preparing boiling water I prefer the Rosewill electric kettle ( https://www.rosewill.com/rosewill-rhkt-15001-white-1500-watt-1-5-l-double-wall-kettle.html ). Initially you will need a scale to get a sense of what one ounce of dried herb looks like. Each herb will differ in volume by this weight.
Incorporate preparing infusions into your everyday routine. I mix the herbs and hot water during the evening after I brush my teeth right before bed and strain it out in the morning after I brush my teeth upon waking. Total prep time is less than ten minutes (with an electric kettle).
About the Author
Certified Yoga Instructor Stephanie Scavelli practices a plant-based diet and traditional herbal medicine. She laughs endlessly at the adventurous whit of the animation series Rick & Morty. She wears minimalist, barefoot-inspired shoes and her favorite dessert is her sister's Oatmeal Crusted Vegan Pumpkin Pie. Stephanie lives in Westchester County, NY with her daughter Juniper. For yoga classes and workshops near you visit www.yogaforager.com.