Herbal infusions are an easy way to nourish your body. Consumed on a daily basis, these humble beverages offer many benefits. But what is an herbal infusion? An herbal infusion is essentially a very strong herbal tea. Herbal teas are wonderful and enjoyable. They are usually made with a single teaspoon of herb or herbal blend to one cup of hot water that is steeped for 3-5 minutes. The gentle, calming effect of a cup of chamomile tea is a delightful way to ease into your evening. However, if you are seeking more medicinal-like benefits from herbs an herbal infusion would be more effective. An herbal infusion is made with much larger doses of the herb-often 0.5 – 1 ounce of herb or herbal blend- covered and steeped, for up to 4 hours or even overnight. The infusion method works best with the leaf and flower portions of the plant. Roots, berries, seeds and harder parts of the plant will need to be prepared as a decoction. I will talk about decoctions in another post.
Nettles leaf is often the base of my herbal infusions whether for myself, my family, or my clients. Nettles is considered to be an excellent lung tonic, a restorative tonic for the kidney’s and bladder, and is a protective against oxidative stress. Nettles leaf has also been shown to improve metabolic syndrome which is highly associated with cardiovascular disease and diabetes. From there, I may blend in additional herbs to suit the individual’s needs at the time. If it’s a woman needing support for uncomfortable menstrual cycles I may add red raspberry leaf and chamomile. If it’s someone feeling mildly anxious and under stress, I may add lemon balm and passionflower to the nettles. Being able to adjust herbal blends for individual needs is one of the reasons why having even a small herbal apothecary is so useful. I’ll post about starting an herbal apothecary soon. Until then, feel free to request to join my small but ever-growing Facebook group Herbally Yours where we learn about herbs and offer support and encouragement to each other as we travel our health journey.
Here is a little video I made a few years ago demonstrating how easy it is to make a daily herbal infusion. Since I made this video I discovered the French Press and use that method instead of the mason jar.