For a few seasons me and my rvk ritual sister, have been drinking herbal infusions to fill up on minerals and get some herb magic into our systems; using different herbs for whatever problem we are dealing with or just to add in the nutrients we want to fill up on.
words: Dagný Berglind Gísladóttir
I first heard about infusions when searching for solutions to grow my hair and get dewy skin after years of skin problems, so I had to try it out. Infusion is the process of soaking herbs in water until the water absorbs all the oils and flavours from the plant. They are different from herbal tea in the way that the herbs lie in the water for a longer time, around 4-10 hours, making a very potent herbal water that can be cooled and is a great refresher throughout the day.
Herbal infusions can provide a good amount of calcium and other minerals; vitamins, essential fatty acids and proteins in their most natural form. They also contain antioxidants and can calm the nerves, support the immune system, stabilise blood sugar, improve digestion and are generally just filled with amazing health benefitting qualities, all depending on the herbs chosen. I believe they are a more effective way to supplement the bodies needs than through typical manmade supplements and this way the digestive system can really absorb the nutrients thoroughly. I have really felt a difference in both my skin and PMS when I drink infusions regularly so I hope you give it a try!
„Scientific studies have shown that it takes at least four hours for a significant amount of minerals to extract into the water, and longer (up to eight hours) for roots, which are tougher and take longer to release their medicinal constituents into the water. If you make a cup of nettle tea (1-2 teaspoons steeped in hot water for ten minutes), you would get about 5-10 mg of calcium, but if you make a cup of nettle long infusion (1 oz. steeped in 1 quart hot water for a minimum of four hours), you will get over 200 mg of calcium per cup.“ Kathleen Wildwood.
Drinking infusions is not a quick fix, herbal medicine never is, but through time herbal infusions have shown to heal adrenal burnout, eczema, sinus problems, allergies, hormonal difficulties, joint pain, high blood pressure and many more chronic illnesses.
There are different healing attributes assigned to each herb but doing an infusion really gets the best of the best out of the herb. Here are some of my favourite herbs to use, and below a recipe for an infusion for hormonal health and beauty
- Mint: The mint family, including peppermint, when steeped in an infusion or tea can soothe an upset stomach and relieve gas pains. It is also said to prevent nausea and vomiting.
- Chamomile: This favourite for teas can also be used in more powerful infusions. Ingesting the infusion helps when you are anxious, or when you have trouble falling asleep. It will also help with stomach pain.
- Nettle: Used in an infusion or tea, stinging nettle is said to strengthen adrenal function, and to relieve anxiety, is adrenal restorative, hormonal normaliser, and good for the immune system, lungs and digestion. It is full of iron and other minerals.
- Red clover: An infusion of red clover blossoms, leaves, and stems are very high in protein and vitamins. Folk remedy experts believe it has cancer-prevention properties.
- Oat straw: Used in India for centuries, oat straw in infusions is said to help with emotional issues and to improve heart health by moderating cholesterol levels. Also to give strong and steady nerves, stable blood sugar, and heal eczema.
- Red raspberry leaf: Traditionally it has been used to help improve nutritional levels, encourage normal menstrual flow, support normal tissue formation within the body, support normal iron levels in the body, slow occasional excessive menstrual flow, strengthen the uterus in preparation for pregnancy and labor, aid in recovery during postpartum period, and support healthy breast milk production in lactating mothers.
HERBS INFUSION FOR BALANCING HORMONES AND BEAUTY
Mix together in a bottle with hot water and let steep for 4-10 hours
2 part Nettle leaf
2 part Red Raspberry leaf
1 part Mint (optional gives better taste)
When the mixture is ready use a strainer to get the leaves from of the water and keep the herbal infusion in a closed bottle in a cooler – I would recommend drinking it that same day or the next.
*I buy the herbs in Iceland in Heilsuhúsið, Jurtaapótekið or at iherb.com.