Transition into the season making time for yourself! ...No one else is gonna do it for you.
As the winter weather settles in here in the north-east, common colds and influenza come along with it. Folks scurry around (some like a chicken with their head cut off) shopping, serving, and cramming for months before they find a moment to settle down and just breathe.
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One very simple way to unwind and nourish the whole being is having a cup of tea. Better yet not just tea but a herbal infusion. What is the difference? Time.
Infusions are herbs prepared like tea but steeped for a longer duration to get a more potent extraction. For some this may be a bit daunting at first but I assure you it is worth the preparation. I simply fill my tea kettle with clean water first thing in the morning. Bring that to a boil and pull it off the heat. Open it up and toss my tea ball with the herb(s) of choice right into the kettle. Close the lid and let it rest until before bed. I admit there are times when I really wanted it for that day, not having any reserves in the fridge. In this case I might take a cup of it out later in the day allowing for 3-4 hours of steeping. But the remaining I leave until night and then pour into a half gallon sized mason jar with screw cap lid and wallah! I have tea for most of the week. I can do this again before the one in the fridge runs out to keep an ongoing supply but often I will have 2 different infusions sitting in my fridge for multi purposes.
There are a lot of mixed herbals out there, for tea and recipes for infusions. Some taste fabulous and can guarantee you are getting many nutrients in one cup. Yet I am an advocate for using one herb at a time. It is only by this way that you will get "to know" what plants are best for you and your own personal energetics. If you happen to run hot, like the previously stated head cut off chicken, then herbs that are cooling will give you the most balance and likely benefits. This is an entirely different topic but what I'm trying to point out is what works for one person may not be the answer for you. So consuming more than one herb at a time will leave you uncertain to which herb made you feel great or possibly caused a contradiction, for you.
Today I'm going to introduce rosehip & seed tea/infusion.
The rose was always a beautiful flower to me but I never paid much attention to it. (I'm more of a daisy kind.) Other than noticing its vibrant hues of red and pink, and delighting in its silky petals, I just didn't think much more about it. But as I began to formulate products for nourishment, I quickly discovered how fantastic the rose truly is. My favorite Lip Balm is our Rose Garden.
It soothes, calms and yet uplifts me every time I put it on. The aromatics of rose are amazingly softening but encouraging, allowing one to relax and open up. I'm not even a chap stick fan. But this Lip Balm is so slick and soft, it really is the only Lip stuff I use. Since the Lip Balm I then began formulating a rose and cherry infused deep moisturising conditioner and then a rose vinegar rinse for hair. Many of our girls love it just as much as I do. And since I was working with rose petals, hips and seeds so much I thought why not begin drinking it? After all it is more commonly known as a tea. Well I can't stop. I love everything about it, the scent, its sweet yet a tiny bit sour taste, its glistening golden appearance as the lipids float across the top, to its aiding of the digestive tract and softening of the skin. Medicinally it is very high in vitamin C making it ideal for suppressing colds, the flu, stress, and aiding cardiac weakness. It has been said to help with muscle pain, depression and specifically the spreading of breast cancer(1). Its properties are cool and dry.
So if you are fortunate enough to have rose growing around you, I hope you will take advantage of its many wonderful qualities and utilize them, sustainably. Like many plants, they are most beneficial when harvested fresh. However if you do not have the privilege to wild rose you can easily find dried rose hips for a good price. I'll list one below. When purchasing them just be sure they are organic because many folks use pesticides to keep the bugs away from their rose bushes. And look for the whole rose hip, not cut. Because the whole hip/fruit will contain the seeds inside which behold the highest vitamin C concentration of the entire plant. It may take a little work but I grind them up in my coffee bean grinder and then sift the little hairs out of it. I will do this with an entire bag and store them in an air tight container, in a cool, dry and dark place. But I do use them up fairly quick. Rose petals can also be found at a reasonable cost and make a great tea bath; silkening the skin and creating a most aphrodisiac experience. This is a awesome way to make time for yourself ...and your spouse!
Please note, when using leaves, such as black, green or white tea leaves, you do not need to steep for longer than 5 minutes. Longer time may result in a bitter tea. This of course is also individual, I prefer my teas on the bitter side. Particularly Gynostemma. As I have had my gall bladder removed and find bitters to aid my liver, bile production and subsequently my digestion. I also find the bitter taste to be pleasant.
Additionally, For Your Information, when making infusions with seeds, roots, or barks this is actually called a decoction versus an infusion.