Guide

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?

Inspiring Documentaries & Videos

As we enter into Autumn where we live - the days getting shorter and the morning air feeling crisp on our skin- there’s a tendency to spend more time indoors, turning inward and reflecting. We try and get outside as much as we can, to really feel the elements rather than hide away from them. But some days when its howling with wind or our bodies really need to rest, there’s nothing more inviting than a warming hot chocolate and a day of documentaries. We compiled this list of our favourite documentary films and videos to share with you. We believe film is such a powerful way to educate and inspire… some of these videos have been truly life-changing and eye opening for us. If you have any other recommendations we would love to hear from you below or on instagram.

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TRAVEL / NATURE / ENVIRONMENTAL

Tribe with Bruce Parry
Tales by the Light
SEED : The Untold Story
BBC Living with Nomads
Planet Earth
Blue Planet
Terra
Cosmos : A Space Time Odyssey
Alone in the Wilderness
Virunga
Before the Flood
An Inconvenient Truth
An Inconvenient Sequel
Black Fish
DMT The Spirit Molecule
Colombia Wild Magic
Juliette of the Herbs
Jane

HEALTH / LIFESTYLE
Cowspiracy
What the Health
Forks Over Knives
Mantra: Sounds into Silence
Resonance: Beings of Frequency
Down to Earth
Yoga: The Architecture of Peace
Minimalism
Ram Das: Going Home

HUMAN RIGHTS
The True Cost
Daughter's of Destiny
The Ascent of Woman

*photo source - tumblr* 

What are your favourite documentaries/films?
We’d love to hear from you!

Favourite Books

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We're both huge book lovers...forever students. There is so much wisdom out there to be uncovered.  This is a list of thought-shifting, eye-opening, inspiring books that have influenced us :

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SPIRITUALITY  & LIFE LESSONS
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist
Belonging by Toko-Pa Turner
The Radiance Sutras by Lorin Roche
When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Science and Spiritual Practices by Rupert Sheldrake
The Science Delusion by Rupert Sheldrake
Active Hope by Joanna Macy
Invincible Living by Guru Jagat
The Bhagavad Gita (translated) by Laurie L Patton

HEALTH/NUTRITION/HEALING
How Not to Die by Dr Michael Greger
The Yoga of Herbs by David Frawley
Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss
The Transformational Power of Fasting by Stephen Harold Buhner
Medicinal Herbs: A Beginners Guide by Rosemary Gladstar
Self Care for the Self Aware by Dave Markowitz
The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates
Healing Wise - The Wise Woman Herbal by Susan Weed
Medical Medium by Anthony Williams


PLANT MEDICINE & INDIGENOUS TEACHINGS
Food Of The Gods by Terrence Mckenna
The Cosmic Serpent: DNA & the Origins of Knowledge by Jeremy Narby
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Intuitive Herbalism: Honouring our Indigenous Plants by Nathaniel Hughes
The Wizard of the Upper Amazon by Bruce Lamb  

ESSENTIAL READS FOR WOMEN
Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Woman Code by Alissa Vitti
Love your Lady Landscape by Lisa Lister
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
If Women Rose Rooted by Sharon Blackie
Energy Medicine for Women by Donna Eden
We should all be Feminists  by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 


INSPIRING STORIES & FICTION
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London
Rumi Selected Poetry
As I Walked Out One Midsummer's Morning by Laurie Lee
The Kool Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

What are your favourite books? We would love to hear your recommendations! 

 

* photos source- Tumblr & hheininge *

The Magic of Medicinal Mushrooms

The past year or two, we've become fascinated by medicinal mushrooms. They have been pretty life changing for us and are a huge passion of ours. So much so, we're hoping to volunteer  on a mushroom farm later this year and learn all about cultivating fungi... which we're so excited for! 

We wanted to share some of our knowledge and experience of medicinal mushrooms - where to start, how to eat them, some of their benefits and our favourite companies. If your only experience of mushroom so far are the ones you buy from the supermarket, then welcome to the enormous fungi kingdom and all its magic .... 

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Images via Tumblr. 

WHAT ARE MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS?

The historical importance of mushrooms is often undervalued by mainstream society and western medicine. Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years as food, medicine and as part of spiritual practices in a range of different communities and religions. The more we learn about the fungi kingdom, the more we recognise their value in the ecosystem - they are quite literally all around us and hold so much potential! Humans are closely related to the Fungi Kingdom, therefore their benefits are lovingly received and recognised by the human body.  So what makes a medicinal mushroom any different from those you'd find in the veggie section? 

Medicinal Mushrooms are mushrooms with powerful healing properties and health benefits. When we consume these mushrooms that are rich in medicinal qualities, we absorb a variety of medicinal constituents and nutrients, increasing health and vitality.  These types of mushrooms have been such a valuable medicine for thousands of years, most notably in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). 

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HOW TO TAKE THEM

Our favourite way to use mushrooms is to make warm tonics or elixirs with nut/ oat / coconut milk. We have a recipe for our favourite cacao tonic here. You can also take the mushrooms in tincture form.  

When taking mushrooms, a small amount goes a long way. We use roughly 1/2 teaspoon each time, so although buying the mushrooms can initially feel expensive, they last for a very long time as they are so potent.


Some of our favourite mushrooms are as follows:

REISHI
Known as The Queen of the fungi kingdom and The mushroom of Immortality - reishi was the first medicinal mushroom I tried and I fell in love with immediately. The effects of this mushrooms are so calming for the nervous system - I can quite literally feel the relaxing, grounding effects when I take it. 

Reishi is best known in Chinese Medicine for its immune boosting properties and is prescribed for vitality and general wellbeing. Full of amino acids, polysaccharides, vitamins and minerals ... it's a super fungi full of healing  magic. If you're looking to start somewhere, we recommend Reishi.

CHAGA
If Reishi is the Queen of mushrooms, then Chaga is known as the healing King. Growing wild on birch trees in various parts of the world, the chaga fungus absorbs some of the powerful nutrients from the tree. It is known to be incredibly alkalising and a rich of source of antioxidants (which protect the body from free radical damage) and has been used for hundreds of years as a remedy for illnesses. Various studies have been released on the healing effects of Chaga against certain forms of cancer. (google Alexander Solzhenitsyn's book The Cancer Ward). Chaga chunks can be decocted into a powerful tea to promote immunity and wellness, or else it is available in powder form from various companies. 

CORDYCEPS
The cordyceps fungus is truly fascinating as it grows in the high altitudes of the Himalayas... on caterpillars (!). This mushroom has an incredible reputation for increasing stamina, vitality and strength. It's often referred to as being the mushroom for improving athletic performance and enhancing energy. Prescribed in TCM to support the function of the lungs and kidneys, it's also suggested to strengthen the immune system. 

LIONS MANE
Often used as a nerve tonic - Lions Mane can be taken to support nerve and brain function, as well as aiding digestion. Modern studies have shown it to be a potential medicine for helping diseases such as Alzheimers and dementia. It's rich in amino acids, minerals and can enhance the function of the immune system! 

 

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

 Rich Roll Podcast - Tero Isokauppila On Healing Mushrooms

The Life Stylist Podcast - The Magic of Mushrooms

TED TALK - 6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World

The Chief Life Podcast - Mason Taylor on Medicinal Mushrooms

BBC Documentary - The Magic of Mushrooms

RECCOMMENDED BRANDS & PRODUCTS

UK
Hybrid Herbs
Indigo Herbs
Sun Potion (via Raw Living)

Four Sigmatic

Rest of the World
Sun Potion
Dragon Herbs
SuperFeast


 SHOP BELOW:

 

We hope you enjoyed this post...we'd love to hear about anyones experiences with medicinal mushrooms or recommendations you have!