Drinks

Herbal Infusions for Vibrant Health - Nettle & Oatstraw Infusion

I once read a wise herbalist recommend drinking herbal infusions instead of water and this advice has stuck with me ever since. Once I felt the potency of these infusions for myself, I understood how they could lead to more vibrancy, more energy & better immunity. Herbal infusions are also delicious, refreshing, calming, hydrating, beautifying - the list goes on, and there’s an abundance of herbs and combinations you can enjoy. We hope this post inspires you to try making your own infusion and enjoy all the beautiful herbs that are growing this Springtime!

herbal infusions

What exactly is a herbal infusion?
A herbal infusion or herbal brew is when a herb (or combination or herbs) are steeped in hot water for a long time (between 4-12 hours). Unlike a herbal tea bag, this is a strong brew, meaning that much more of the plant’s medicinal qualities, vitamins and minerals are extracted by the water. Steeping the herbs in a closed jar stops the water-soluble vitamins from escaping in the steam. It’s common to brew the herbs overnight, & then strain away the plant matter the next morning. You can then drink this infusion throughout the day, or refrigerate it and drink it within 2 days.

What herbs can you use?
There are so many delicious and nourishing herbs that you can work with. Our advice is to do some research on some different herbs in your area or that are available for you to buy dried and see which ones you feel most called to. Some of our favourites are nettles, lemon balm, chickweed, red clover, dandelion, oat straw, hibiscus, comfrey leaf, rose petals & raspberry leaf.

Recipe for Nettle & Oatstraw Infusion

This is one of my favourite infusions as it’s so delicious and mineralising. Nettles are full of vitamins and minerals like iron and calcium. It was the first herb that I infused and remains my go-to ally! Oatstraw helps regulate the nervous system and has an incredible sweetness to it. I find it such a calming and soothing herb to work with.

*note - this recipe uses dried herbs. If using fresh (which I really enjoy and recommend), then you want to use a lot more plant matter. If using fresh I will fill the jar 2/3 full with fresh herbs, depending on how much I can forage.

2 parts Nettle Leaf
1 part Oatstraw

  1. In a large mason jar (that holds around 1 litre) add 4 tablespoons of nettle leaf and 2 tablespoon of oat straw. (you can also use a French Press and adjust the amounts depending on how large your container is).

  2. Bring water to boil and then fill the jar up to the brim.

  3. Cover and steep overnight (or between 4 - 12 hours).

  4. Strain the infusion, composting the plant matter. Enjoy 2-3 cups a day. The infusion will keep refrigerated for 2-3 days.


If you have any questions regarding herbal infusions please comment below <3
Is this your first time trying herbal infusions? If not, what are your favourite herbs to work with?

Liquorice, Turmeric & Ginger Anti-Inflammatory Tea

This is our current favourite soothe-all tea. Perfect for these dark winter days and full of healing properties. The roots in this tea are both grounding and nourishing. If you’re struggling with stomach problems, a cold, cough or respiratory issues then these herbs can help your body reduce inflammation and soothe any uncomfortable aches and pains. It also tastes great - a delicious combination of sweet, cooling liquorice with the heat of fresh ginger and turmeric. We love to make a big saucepan of this and drink it throughout the day. Let’s explore some of these beautiful herbs in more detail …

Liquorice Turmeric Ginger Tea

LIQUORICE ROOT
(Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Liquorice root is a sweet herbal ally that’s rich in soothing properties. Its anti-inflammatory and detoxifying actions make it a beautiful herb to work with to help heal gastrointestinal issues, reduce pain and help heal from a cold. It’s a demulcent herb, which means it can bring quick relief for sore throats, as it forms a protective film over mucuos membranes in the mouth. It also moistens the lungs, which can help heal a cough.

Liquorice root is also a saviour for the adrenal glands - which can be put under a lot of stress during this time of year! It’s an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it helps the body regulate cortisol (the stress hormone) more efficiently. This gives our adrenals a break and helps our bodies adapt to stressful situations.

It’s quite a cooling herb, which is why we’ve combined it with more spicy, hot roots/spices like ginger, turmeric and black pepper.

GINGER
(Zingiber officinalis)
Ginger is a well-loved root found in many kitchens around the world. It’s great to up your ginger intake during the colder months of the year as its warming properties help promote good circulation & assist our immune systems. Ginger is also anti-inflammatory and helps both stimulate & regulate digestion. If you ever feel nauseous, travel sick or have cramps then ginger is a great ally to have around.

Liquorice Root Tea

TURMERIC ROOT
(Curcuma longa)
Another of our favourite ingredients, turmeric root is also warming and highly anti-inflammatory (if you’ve read this far, you’ll have noticed a theme here!). Although turmeric has been treasured in Ayurveda for hundreds of years, it has really come into the global spotlight recently for its ability to reduce inflammation and mucus throughout the body. It has also been used in various studies as a method to treat cancer. Turmeric’s bitter flavour helps stimulate gastric juices, which in turn encourages healthy digestion. It’s a wonder root with such a beautiful vibrant colour. To help absorption of turmeric’s medicinal properties, we like to combine it with black pepper…

BLACK PEPPER
(Piper nigrum)
We don’t commonly think of black pepper as having much use other than adding flavour to meals, but it’s often used in different remedies in Ayurveda. A little black pepper goes along way, & we’re probably all familiar with the heating properties of the spice. This powerful heat stimulates our digestive system and helps us metabolise food. It also helps clear congestion in our lungs/throat, so it’s great to use if you’re suffering or recovering from a cold.

Liquorice Turmeric Ginger Tea

Liquorice, Turmeric & Ginger Anti-Inflammatory Tea

INGREDIENTS (Makes 1 litre of tea, feel free to adjust amounts)
a 2-3 inch piece of ginger
1 thin stick of liquorice root, broken into pieces OR 1 tablespoon of chopped liquorice root
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric OR a 2 inch piece of fresh turmeric root
5-6 black peppercorns
1 litre of water

METHOD
1, To prepare the ginger, either grate it or crush it in a pestle and mortar. This ensures that all the essential oils are released and that the water can extract all the medicinal properties.

2. Add it to a sauce pan with all the other ingredients. Bring the tea to a boil and then simmer on a low heat for around 10-15 minutes.

3. Strain the tea before serving. If you don’t want to drink the tea all at once, you can leave everything in the pan to allow it to infuse for longer. If the taste becomes too strong you can add extra water.

4. Relax and enjoy!


What’s your favourite type of tea to make during Winter?
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Nourishing Hot Chocolate

This hot chocolate has become a daily ritual of ours recently. It really is like a little cup of magic medicine. Instantly mood lifting and calming - it's my favourite way to start the day. In my eyes, the best kind of rituals involve chocolate! Last year, we wrote this blog post about chocolate after visiting an organic cacao farm in Colombia. And our love for chocolate is only getting stronger ...

With the ancient traditions of cacao coming back into knowledge, people are beginning to see chocolate as more than just a delicious treat. For thousands of years, the ancestors of Central America used Cacao as a powerful healer - a gateway to connection and a way of releasing negative emotions. For them, chocolate was a huge part of sacred ceremonies, being a nutritious medicine for both the mind and body.

Vegan Hot Chocolate

In many ways, it makes sense that we're drawn to chocolate in emotional times. Many of the active ingredients in pure cacao release feel good emotions. Traditionally, it's referred to as a 'heart opener'. It increases blood flow to the whole body, which heightens our feelings and nourishes our whole system. Of course, it's also delicious, so it drinking it brings extra enjoyment! 

Vegan Hot Chocolate

To boost our hot chocolate with some extra nutrition, we've also added an incredible medicinal mushroom blend by Hybrid Herbs and our own roasted dandelion root coffee. These ingredients are optional though! Medicinal Mushrooms are an incredible way to boost the immune system and generally boost vitality and clarity. Surprisingly, this blend has a really delicious flavor too and I've genuinely noticed a difference in mood since taking it. The caffeine in the cacao supercharges the force of the mushrooms, so it's perfect to combine them together!

Now, for the hot chocolate... the perfect partner for these colder mornings. 

Ingredients (Serves 2)
2 tablespoons of cacao powder
2 cups of oat milk (or other nut milk)
a pinch of salt
1/2  teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/3 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
optional ingredients
1 teaspoon of medicinal mushroom mix
1 teaspoon of dandelion root coffee (see here for our recipe)

Method
1) Place all the dry ingredients in a sauce pan. 
2) Add your milk and begin to heat on a medium temperature. Thoroughly stir whilst heating so there are no lumps.
3) Heat for around 5 minutes, until hot. We prefer not to let ours boil, so as not to cook off all the nutrients.
4) If you're using roasted dandelion root, strain your hot chocolate before serving. 
5) Serve and enjoy <3

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Have you ever tried Medicinal Mushrooms such as Reishi or Chaga?