These are the wonderful herbal infusion recipes I learned during my Green Witch training and have been using ever since. So many of you, in Poetry Witch Community and beyond, have asked me for them that I’m posting them here.
These infusions are foods, providing the minerals and vitamins you need for optimal health and making commercial vitamins or supplements unnecessary. They are also incredibly delicious–addictive really, in the best way– and versatile. When my mother first smelled a bowl of the nettle I was brewing, she said “it smells like something from a dream.”
HERBS TO USE
Nettle is good to start. It is strengthening and provides tons of minerals and vitamins. It makes your hair strong and skin smooth and gives you frisky energy.. It tastes equally amazing hot or cold, sweetened or unsweetened. (it may be an aquired taste, like olives..If it’s an unusual or strong taste at first, give yourself a couple of days and you may well grow to love it).
Oatstraw is calming and grounding, good for the nerves. It’s also an aphrodisiac.
Linden is good plain, and also delicious with milk and a little sweetener. It is anti-inflammatory and calms things down. it even stops mosquito bites from itching.
Red clover is a hormone balancer, good for women in periods and menopause, and generally nourishing. It tastes rather like a mild black tea.
Comfrey is strong and funky. I haven’t spent a lot of time with this one but it was another one that she taught us about
INGREDIENTS & TOOLS:
Bulk herbs, preferably organic. In the USA, I get my herbs from Frontier Co-op.
Large bowl for soaking (works for everything but oatstraw) or pot for boiling (needed for oatstraw)
Large strainer (for straining out the bulk herbs after soaking)
Medium bowl (to strain the infusion into)
Wooden or metal spoon (for squishing herbs down into the strainer to get out all the juice..you can also use your hands!)
Small strainer, recommended (for straining a second time, into the jar or pitcher (you can also strain a third time when you pour each cup, for a smoother drink)
Jar or pitcher (for storing the finished infusion in refrigerator)
1 ounce (approximately 1 cup) dried nettle leaves (full of minerals and great for energy level, hair, teeth and nails, as well as overall energy and blood pressure; tastes green and rich; this is the most commonly-used infusion)
OR 1 ounce (approximately 1 1/8 cup) dried red clover tops (great for overall health and also balances the hormonal system, tastes similar to black tea);
OR 1/2 ounce (approximately 1/2 cup) dried linden leaves and flowers (soothing, good for overall health and an anti-inflammatory, will help stop itching and rashes from any source including poison ivy & insects, tastes gentle and light).
OR 1 ounce (approximately 1 1/4 cup) dried oatstraw (full of B vitamins, calming to nerves, enhances stamina and sexual energy, sweet-tasting). Please note that oatstraw recipe has an extra step: to release oatstraw nutrients, boil it in the water 2-3 minutes before starting the soak.
1 quart boiling water
Large bowl (large saucepan for oatstraw)
Large jar or small pitcher
Put the herbs in the large bowl, cover with the boiling water, and stir. Feel free to inhale or let the fragrant steam warm your face (I love the smell, especially the nettles). Cover with a lid or towel and let sit at least 4 hours or overnight. Then strain into the medium bowl with the large strainer, using a large spoon to press out all the liquid. Discard herbs. Strain again through the small strainer into jar to get out any small bits of herbs if these bother you. Drink throughout the day, warm or cold, with milk or sweetener or plain.
Drink as much as you want—a cup a day is good, a quart a day is great. Drink it cold or hot, plain or with milk, stevia or honey or lemon, or try adding it in a smoothie. My teacher, Susun Weed, recommended drinking a different kind each day for four days, then repeating the cycle. I’m not that organized, so I just go by what I’m in the mood for.