Herbal infusions are very close to my heart. I was introduced to them when I opened a book called “Healing Wise” by Susan Weed. To keep a very long story short, basically I was searching for a way to connect to my inner herbalist and heal myself. This was 10 years ago. Susan talks about using herbal infusions for deep nourishment and healing and it sounded so easy. So I headed to my local health food store, up the stairs to the small dusty herb room and asked for some nettle, red clover and a few other herbs, weighed on a scale. And away I went back home forever changed.
I’m grateful for that young lady who followed her intuition that day….the inner pull of the medicine woman inside.
I’ve been making infusions ever since! In fact I fell in love with Susan’s book and ended up staying on her land for a week for an intensive week where as a group of women, we foraged, learned about medicinal plants as we walked the wild Catskill mountains and Susan passed along her wisdom. We made huge batched of herbal infusions each day and still to this day the smell of linden and nettle take me back to her homestead.
You might think it’s a stretch to say I was forever changed by an herbal drink..
..but when you find something that makes you stronger, have more sustained energy and overall feel better, I call that a pretty awesome life upgrade.
So what’s an herbal infusion you ask?
Infusions are essentially a long-steeped tea with a more medicinal dose of the herb.
Because we use boiling water and allow the herbs to steep for much longer (4-8 hours), their minerals are able to extract very well into the water, creating a very nutrient-dense liquid full of minerals. Infusions truly are an excellent way to get more nutrients into your system quickly and effectively.
The herbs for this recipe have been chosen intentionally for women – especially expecting mothers, or postpartum. Drinking this infusion during the week of menstruation is also wonderful. Let’s talk about why:
Nettle is an extremely nutrient and mineral-dense herb.
I mean REALLY MINERAL RICH.
So much so there are stories of monks meditating in the mountains for weeks just sustaining themselves on nettles and nettle tea. In particular nettles are high in calcium, iron, vitamin K and protein. You can find nettles at your local health food store or purchase online at Mountain Rose Herbs. Of course, you can forage or grow them yourself as well. Just make sure you you always know for sure what plant you have before ever ingesting it. A good way to tell you have nettle is her not so subtle sting. Whew baby she let’s you know she’s there.
Red raspberry is another deeply mineral rich herb. And just as she sounds – she’s the leaf from the more well known part of the plant – the fruiting raspberry. For centuries she’s been used as a powerful uterine tonic by cultures around the world. The presence of fragarine, a alkaloid found concentrated in the leaves contributes to it’s potency for the uterus. But as with any herb, it’s the combination of the plant’s unique blend of constituents working together that give it it’s power. Red raspberry leaf tones the uterus while also relaxing the uterus…pretty amazing. So she basically helps get the uterus ready for labor while also keeping her relaxed. If that’s not plant magic I just don’t know what is.
Healthy Mama Herbal Infusion
I drank this infusion during and after both of my pregnancies. Both natural births at home. I definitely feel as though the herbal infusions kept me strong and my uterus as well. It’s the first thing I recommend when I’m asked about nutrition for pregnancy. Mothers are giving so much of themselves (literally!) to their children, and that includes minerals. This infusion helps to keep mama healthy, strong and having sustained energy. And the healthier mama is the better she can take care of her baby and family.
The basic measurement is for an herbal infusion is 1 oz of dried herb to a quart of boiling water. That amount of herb in that amount of water gives you a medicinal dose. It’s usually recommended to drink 1 quart of infusion per day for best results. In this particular infusion I add mint and lemon balm simply because I love their flavor and they lighten the taste a bit.
Dried nettle leaf – 1/2 oz
Dried red raspberry leaf – 1/2 oz
Lemon balm (pinch)
To make your Infusion:
Add your herbs in your 1 quart glass jar.
Pour over boiling water to the top of the jar, stir to make sure the herbs all get mixed in well and put lid on the jar.
Allow to steep for 6-8 hours. I like to make mine first thing in the morning or right before bed.
Strain and drink to your health! You can drink cold or room temp – whatever you prefer. I love making these and keeping them in the fridge, cold and ready to grab for the day.
You can use your infusion as a base for soups, cooking liquid for rice and quinoa and any other creative ways you can find to get it into your diet.
*** DISCLAIMER – I am not a doctor and this is not medical advise. I’m sharing a recipe with you that I’ve used for over 10 years with amazing results. These are herbs that have been used for centuries. Always do your own research before taking any herb. If you are taking medication and/or have an illness always consult your health practitioner before taking any new herb. ***
You can watch me create this infusion on an Indy Style segment here.
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