My Favorite Nourishing Infusions
Everything we eat or drink has the power to heal or harm us.
With the awareness of MTHFR mutations increasing, which is a great thing, sometimes finding a vitamin that is safe to take. Then add in that some of our favorite companies get bought out by unfavorable companies...I probably spend more time trying to ensure my vitamins are safe than picking out my house, car, or computer.
Thankfully, we have plants to help us.
Nourishing infusions are LONG infusions (8-12 hours) of herbs that help to extract the vitamins and minerals. These vitamins and minerals don't extract in alcohol which is why "herbal vitamin tinctures" that are primarily alcohol or glycerine based (these were a thing on many of the popular natural wellness mommy blogs a few years ago) aren't good for nutritional supplementation.
Before we take a look at my favorite nourishing infusions, I want to talk about personal constitution.
Because you will be drinking a lot of these infusions AND if you don't pay attention to the energetics of the herbs paired with your personal constitution, you may be getting the nutrition but causing other things to skew.
I did this with Nettle infusions. My personal constitution is cold/dry. I am extremely Vata dosha.
Nettle is cooling and drying. By being obsessed with Nettle (it is really amazing), I was not balancing my constitution, which can exacerbate many of my health issues I struggle with...like my Raynauds.
Now, if you don't know your personal constitution or dosha, I recommend spending some time learning about it. Rosalee de la Foret has an amazing quiz to help get you started and you can find a dosha quiz at The Ayurveda Experience. I could write on the importance of knowing this information and how it plays a role in so many aspects of your life but that is not the topic of this post. Additionally, during chronic care consults, we talk about your personal constitution and protocols (both dietary and herbal) are based around that.
NOW my favorite nourishing infusions:
Nettle - contains vitamin A, C, E, and K as well as riboflavin, thiamine, and minerals (calcium, chromium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, silica, iron, zinc).
Nettle is cooling and drying.
Red raspberry leaf - vitamins E, C, and B complex, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, niacin, magnesium, and manganese.
RRL is cooling and drying
Red clover - amino acids, vitamins B and C, calcium, chromium, magnesium, thiamine, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, and iron.
Red clover is cooling and drying
Oatstraw - vitamins A, B complex, C, E, and K, silica, magnesium, phosphorus, chromium, calcium, and iron.
Oatstraw is cooling and moistening.
There are several other herbs to use for nourishing infusions: alfalfa, violet leaves, linden, chickweed, plantain, dandelion... but these are my favorites.
A note about alfalfa, I have avoided using alfalfa for a while because of my autoimmune disease. It was a "pre-lupus" as my rheumatologist called it and alfalfa sprouts can cause some issues so I opted on the safe side and avoided it. My flares would have me on the couch for a few days so I didn't want to have that happen. Now that my blood work is clinically insignificant (yep, no levels show autoimmune issues!!!), I might try it again. If you have lupus, I would opt for Oatstraw, unless you are allergic.
Alright, so making the infusion is as simple as making tea.
- Grab a quart jar and add about 1 ounce (weight) of herbs.
- Add boiling water to the top and cover.
- Let steep for at least 4 hours.
- Strain, sweeten as desired, and drink throughout the day.
I make my infusions at night and then I can strain the in the morning to drink throughout the day. With this method, if you want to sweeten, you will have to warm it up but I just drink it as is. I once drank straight Angelica decoction and after that...everything tastes good!
Yes, you can have multiple herbs in your nourishing infusion but using a single herb allows you to understand how that herb affects YOUR body.
For me, these nourishing infusions allow me to form deep relationships with my plants as they deeply nourish me. Life can be really hectic and I don't always get a chance to sit down and converse with the plants like I need. THESE...nourishing infusions...connect me, ground me, nourish me.
They help remind me that my body deserves to be taken care of.
It moves the energy of plant medicine through my body, into my cells, into my heart.
Its me taking a moment to stop and sip.
To be intentional with my health.