Nourishing Herbal Infusions
“Standard Brew” or “Witch’s Brew”
When I first started to deepen my herbal studies, one of my mentors advised me to study one herb for at least a month. Well, she didn’t necessarily say “study” but instead be friends with one green ally and learn about your relationship with one another. And this advice is something I share with everyone.
I also encourage people to first learn about NOURISHING herbs. These are herbs that are safe and side effects are rare. Nourishing herbs can be taken in large quantities, on a daily schedule and have no interference with pharmaceutical medicine. I’ve learned that nourishing herbs can provide one with their daily vitamins and also have high amounts of minerals, antioxidants and even protein.
Nourishing herbs are recommended for herbal infusions, which Susan Weed refers to as “Standard Brew” and Sam refers to as my “Witch’s Brew.” Call it what you will, but for the sake of this article I will call it a Standard Infusion.
What is a Standard Infusion?
Standard Infusions are strong teas made from nutrient- dense herbs (de la Forét).
So, to start, it’s a beverage. In fact, it is a tea that contains a lot of plant material and steeps for several hours.
Instead of making a basic tea ratio: 1 tsp. herb/ 1 cup water OR 1 teabag/ 1 cup water, Standard infusions consist of 1-ounce herb/ 1 quart water. Also, the standard infusion is left to steep for many hours because it allows the water to extract more vitamins and minerals from the plant material. This higher herb: water ratio along with the longer brew time provides you with a nutrient dense beverage. And imagine what that does for the body on a daily basis…
What’s the point of drinking an Herbal Standard Infusion?
There are many benefits to a standard infusion!
Many nourishing herbs are our wild green allies. Nettles, Oatstraw, Comfrey, Hawthorn… Some of which many people refer to as “weeds” are filled with rich vitamins and minerals that can supplement your store-bought supplements!
Drinking nourishing herbs is comparable to eating whole foods. As stated before nourishing herbs have vitamins, minerals, antioxidants AND proteins! By drinking infusions, you are drinking wholeness and your body is able to readily assimilate the valuable nutrients. Think about how many different vitamin and mineral supplements that we are encouraged to take every morning… how is your body processing those extracted materials?
How do you make a Standard Infusion?
1. Place one ounce of dried leafy nourishing herb into one-quart jar (or coffee press of equivalent size)
**The “gypsy” way of measuring the amount of herb YOUR body needs for one quart of water is to use ONE handful of herb/quart jar.
2. Before pouring HOT water over your herb, shock the dried plant material by wetting it with luke warm water –this is similar to the traditional way of making maté…
3. Pour one quart of boiling water over the herbs
4. After a 20 seconds or so, stir herb and then cover with a lid
5. Let sit overnight
6. In the morning, strain off the plant material
**I was taught to spread the steeped herbal material at the base of my potted house plants, they benefit from any extra nutrients and also its more compost!
7. Drink and enjoy the infusion throughout the day!
Nourishing Herbs to Infuse:
Mullein Leaf **be sure to use a cheese cloth to strain, those stellate hairs can irritate your intestines!
Watch some of Susan Weed’s infusion videos for more information and inspiration!