I have herbal infusions for vitamins, minerals, alkalinity and stress management.
My husband has them for vitamins, minerals, to aid concentration and to help with fatigue and lethargy.
So, I am sure you’ve heard me banging on and on about the benefits of Stinging Nettle infusions, for example?
I was first introduced to them by the wonderful team over at Herb Mentor and Learning Herbs. Susan Weed, a fantastic herbalist in the USA also swears by the power of herbal infusions – and I do too now that I’m a convert!
What is a Herbal Infusion?
Herbal Infusions are basically VERY strong herbal brews, that are left to stand for a certain length of time allowing all the medicinal and nutritional goodies to seep out of the herbs into the liquid (in this case, water).
Different herbs require different lengths of time for optimal results and nutritional value.
Flowers – 30 minutes
Leaves and stems – 4 hours
Roots and bark – 8 hours
For example, if you left a Chamomile Infusion to brew for 4 hours, you’d have a sludgy mess and a very *interesting* tasting mixture.
However, herbs like Tulsi / Holy Basil and Stinging Nettle are leaves and stems so you can soak them for 4 hours or more and they make a strong tasting, very healthful and nutritious brew.
Herbal infusions are really very easy though they are not to be confused with “tea” infusions. A tea infusion is a weak brew – one tea bag to one cup of water as an example.
The proper technique for an infusion is a little more involved and the result is a good deal stronger than a cuppa!
My favourite herbal infusion is what I like to call my “Liquid Multi Drink”. That is Stinging Nettle infusion!
How to Make Stinging Nettle Infusion
1 cup (or 30g) of dried Stinging Nettle herb
1 litre of boiling pure water (its better for your gut and for the nutritional value of the herb to not have chlorine or fluoride in the water)
1 large glass coffee plunger or large 1 litre glass jar with lid
1 metal handled knife or thick spoon
Place the dried herb into the plunger or glass container. Place the knife or spoon into the jar – this acts as a “lightning rod” for the energy of the boiling water so you don’t crack the glass container.
Pour over 1 litre of boiling water. Place lid on and screw tightly (or place the plunger onto the glass and press down slightly to form a seal). Leave to stand for 4 – 8 hours (we do this overnight).
Strain the herbs and compost onto pot plants or your vege patch – they love it! Drink the liquid through the day.
You can use the Stinging Nettle infusion as your daily coffee substitute. You will feel an instant lift after having a glass because of all those vitamins and minerals in it flooding into your blood stream.
There are SO many different combinations you can throw together for herbal infusions. Its important to remember that herbs, in this way, are a food but also a very potent medicine so be sure to check for contra-indications before taking herbs if you are worried or on any other medications.
Anxiety / Stress Management combo – 2 parts Stinging Nettle, 1 part Holy Basil / Tulsi
Detoxify / Blood Cleanse – 2 parts Stinging Nettle, 1 part Chickweed
Melt Body Fat – Chickweed
Lethary / Low Energy – Stinging Nettle
Digestive Balance – 1 parts Stinging Nettle, 1 part Chamomile / Fennel Seed, 1 part Ginger root
Cold / Flu / Virus – 1 part Stinging Nettle, 1 part Ginger Root, 1 part Echinacea, 1 part Elderflower
Insomnia / Poor Sleep – 2 parts Stinging Nettle, 1 part Catnip
Back & Joint Pain / Arthritis – Stinging Nettle
To Control Blood Sugar – 2 parts Stinging Nettle, 1 part Burdock root
Depression / Mood Swings – 2 parts Stinging Nettle, 1 part Passionflower, 1 part Oat Straw
For taste or added flavour, why not add some dried berries to the mix? Elderberries for example are brilliant against viruses and aid healing – plus they taste great!
I add just a splash of pure Pomegranate juice to my infusions so that they go down easier – I admit it, I’m a bit of a sook when it comes to the taste sometimes!
The fun part of learning to use herbs in your everyday life, particularly through things like herbal infusions, teas and cooking with herbs is playing around with combinations to suit you and your family.
Herbal suppliers abound here in Australia and my favourite place for herbs is www.herbalwholesalers.com or The MudBrick Herb Cottage
Have a look at what they have in stock and start playing around with combinations for your health, wellbeing and for managing illness. You’ll feel better after the very first day – I promise!
Love and herbs,
The Eco Mum xo