Is making your own herbal multi-vitamins possible? I was curious about that when I first heard of super infused herbal teas. In today’s post, I’ll share what I’ve learned over the last year about making nutritious, super infused tea as a way to supplement vitamins and minerals in your diet.
This herbal tea recipe made it to the Autumn 2017 Roundup of Best Immunity Drinks!
Last fall, I shared with you my love of herbal tea and two of my favorite healing herbal teas that support your body when you are feeling sick. We also talked about three purposes that herbal tea can serve.
Herbal teas can be:
Nourishing & strengthening to the body (building the immune system and helping the body to heal)
Detoxifying (stimulating the body to self-clean and rid itself of toxins, parasites, or pathogens
Comforting & provide pain relief from many symptoms
In today’s blog post , we’re going to explore herbal tea as a way to nourish and strengthen the body ( a liquid multi-vitamin, if you will.) The herbalist, Susun Weed refers to these teas as “Nourishing Herbal Infusions.” I like to call them “Super Infusions.”
Quite honestly, it never even occurred to me that herbal tea contains A WHOLE LOT of valuable nutrients until I saw a webinar by John Gallagher of Learning Herbs last year. For many, many years, I drank herbal tea solely for the enjoyment of it without any thought to it’s nutritional value or the other purposes it may serve such as nourishing, detoxifying or providing pain relief. Herbal tea was an enjoyment beverage, nothing else. I was missing out on something fantastic.
When I first heard about these “super infusions,” I was curious to give it a try. What if there was another way to get my vitamins and minerals without taking a ton of supplements?
I had a lot of questions when I started to explore this topic of super infusions. What herbs should I be using? What herbs are the most nutritious? Do I used fresh or dried herbs? How much should I be drinking per day and so on. You might have the same questions. So let’s get started and I’ll share what I’ve learned over the last year as I’ve made my own super infusions.
What is a Super Infusion / Herbal Multi Vitamin Tea ?
A super infusion is a strong herbal tea made with one or more nutritive herbs and steeped over several hours. Typically, dried herbs are used for these herbal infusions, about 1 oz dried herbs by weight (around 1 cup) per quart of water. The tea can be consumed hot or cold throughout the day, usually between 2-4 cups per day. Any remaining tea should be refrigerated.
Why drink a super infusion? Because they are full of vitamins and minerals that are easily absorbed and used by the body.
Which Herbs Should I Use in a Super Infusion / Herbal Multi Vitamin Drink?
Susun Weed writes about using herbs such as nettle, oatstraw, red clover blossoms and linden flowers in her daily infusions. She varies these herbs day by day and averages about a quart per week of all of these super infused herbs.
Two of my favorite herbs for making super infusions are Nettle and Raspberry Leaf. I enjoy mixing a couple of different herbs and adding a bit of dried peppermint or spearmint to the mix.
Nettle (Stinging Nettle)
This herb is pretty easy to find in my neck of the woods if you know where to look. If you happen to be walking through the woods with bare legs and flip flops, it might just find you! As the name implies, stinging nettle is known for it’s sting. No worries! You won’t need to harvest fresh nettle unless you want to and there is no sting in dried nettle.
Nettle is a powerhouse source of many nutrients, notably, calcium, manganese, magnesium, vitamin K, potassium and silica It is also a great source of iron. Rather than take an iron supplement which can sometimes affect my digestion, I much prefer to drink nettle tea to boost my iron intake.
Because it’s high in minerals, nettle can also be helpful for strengthening the bones, hair, nails, and teeth and relieving muscle cramps that are caused by mineral deficiencies. One cup of super-infused nettle tea offers approximately 500 mg of bone-building calcium that is easily absorbed by the body (Groves.)
Super infused nettle tea can have a strong flavor on it’s own, especially if you don’t normally add sweetener or milk to your tea. I like to mix my nettle with herbs like peppermint, spearmint or raspberry leaf for a tastier super infusion.
As the name implies, raspberry leaf IS actually the leaves of the wild raspberry plant.
Raspberry leaf is probably best known for being a women’s herb (it is extremely beneficial for the female reproductive system and is often used during pregnancy to tone and tighten the uterus for an easier birth) but as a super infused tea, it can benefit anyone. Raspberry leaf is high in vitamin C as well as calcium, iron, magnesium and B vitamins.
You may notice that a sip of raspberry leaf tea might make you pucker a bit. This is due it’s astringent properties. As an astringent, raspberry leaf tones and tightens tissue and improve it’s function. It also has a special affinity for the uterus, digestive tract and mouth (especially the gums.)
My favorite way to drink a super infused raspberry leaf tea is cold, especially in the summer time! It is my tea of choice all summer long!
How to Make a Super Herbal Infusion
What you’ll need:
a glass quart jar and lid
1 oz dried herbs (by weight) or approximately 1 cup of herbs such as nettle, red raspberry, red clover, oatstraw, linden flowers or a mixture. ( I purchase my herbs at Bulk Herb Store and Mountain Rose Herbs. )
1-2 tbsp (or more, to taste) of dried peppermint or spearmint (optional)
Boiling water to cover herbs and fill jar
Add dried herbs to a clean, wide mouth glass quart jar and cover with boiling water. Screw on the lid and let the tea steep for 4-10 hours or overnight on the counter.
Strain the herbs and squeeze out any remaining liquid. Serve either hot or cold and refrigerate any remaining liquid. Reheating is fine.
The infusion is best consumed within 2 days.
I find one of the easiest ways to make a super infusion is to prepare it at night before bed. Leave your herbs to infuse overnight on the counter and in the morning your super infusion is ready to drink!
Have you ever heard of super infusions or do you make your own? Let me know in the comments below! What herbs are you excited to try?
Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care by Maria Noel Groves
Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine by Andrew Chevallier, FNIMH
Rosalee de la Forȇt. http://www.herbalremediesadvice.org/
This site is for educational purposes only. It does not provide medical advice. Information found on myhealthyhomemadelife.com is meant to motivate you to make your own health care and dietary decisions based upon your own research and in partnership with your health care provider.
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