Nourishing Herbal Infusions are the mineral-rich bedrock of the Wise Woman Tradition, laying out a path of health for you. Minerals are at the heart of why we drink the infusions on a regular basis, as these key components are sorely lacking in even the healthiest modern diet.
If infusions are new for you, there is no need to feel overwhelmed -- only excited about the increased energy, shinier hair, and softer skin you will soon have! Over time you will develop your own relationships the infusions herbs, and discover rhythmically what is sustainable for you. Many people make infusions each night by following the directions I have laid out below, as the goal is to drink at least 2 cups (and up to 4) of infusion per day. I make a larger amount of infusion every two nights and find that it keeps in my fridge over that period of time as I drink it. One of my friends, a single mom, decided to only make and drink infusions on the weekends when her son is with his father, as this is currently realistic for her. The important element to note here is the commitment to a regular rhythm, your own unique ritual of self-care.
Place 1 oz (28 grams) of dried herb in a quart/litre mason jar. I rotate through Nettle Leaf, Comfrey Leaf, Oatstraw, Linden Flower, and Red Clover, which I purchase organically from Frontier Herbs. It is of utmost important to weight the herb each time on a kitchen scale to ensure that you are getting the full benefits.
Every herb in your rotation -and we only work with ONE herb at a time - requires the same amount, except for Linden, which only requires 0.5 oz (14 grams) of herb. Boil water and then let it cool for a couple of minutes, before pouring over the dried herb, filling your mason jar completely to the top. Stir the infusion herb into water with a chopstick or other utensil and tightly lid your jar. Let the herb brew by allowing it to sit on counter for 4-8 hrs. or overnight. In the morning, strain the herb out with a very fine mesh sieve, and compost or re-brew if it is Linden or Comfrey: To re-brew, place the herb into a small pot, cover with three cups of cold water, bring to a boil, turn off, lid the pot and let sit for 4-8 hrs.
Once strained, store your infusion in the fridge and drink within 48hrs. Never mix your herbs, but do a different one every day or two. You can start with just one herb if you wish, getting to know it and feel how it feels in your body. Soon you will notice the minerals affecting your body in wonderful ways! Enjoy.
If you are like me, you like to get as much exercise as you can through outdoor activities, which makes winter time in colder climates a challenge. Gyms certainly have their place (and have been helpful and even fun at times in my life), but somehow I can't shake the feeling that we have moved in a strange direction as a species when we sit all day, then go to a place with special machines in order to build strength & move the blood around our bodies.
Here are some suggestions for staying active through the winter months without, or as a compliment to, a gym membership:
• Dedicate a space in your house where you can keep a soft mat and/or yoga mat out at all times. You may also want any props such as a Pilates Magic Circle, light weights, or a yoga block nearby. I find it beneficial to keep my mat out and ready for stretching, Pilates, yoga, or any other movement rather than rolling it up and putting it away each day.
• Get to know your local Pilates or yoga studio and check out their group classes. If a before or after work class doesn't work in your schedule, see if there are studios near your work that offer express lunch hour classes and mark them ahead of time in your calendar as meetings so that you prioritize them.
• Bundle up and go out for a brisk walk. Yes, I resist this option as well, but the truth is, once I'm out there, I enjoy it and usually feel refreshed. If having a destination helps, think about walking to the grocery store or library instead of calling a Lyft.
• Treat yourself to a retreat! There are so many options these days that will help you recommit to a healthy routine and get you out of the cold. You're also sure to meet great people and be introduced to new teachers and ways of moving.