A Winter’s Night In- Herbal Tea, Honey and Soak

Had a stressful week? Winter weather bringing you down? What you need is a cup of tea and a relaxing soak. I am taking an medicinal herbs class and this week we learned about herbal teas, tinctures and soaks. Here are a few recipes for a relaxing evening in on a cold winter night.photo (2)

Herbal Tea
These are some suggestions for great herbs for teas. They can be grown at home or found dried at health food stores, markets, spice cabinet, yard ect.

Supplies/ Directions:
– Fresh or dried herbs (one or several of these herbs listed below mixed together. Try some combinations to find your favorite)
– tea ball, infuser or a coffee filter wrapped up as a make shift infuser
– hot water (brewed at 160 degrees, not all the way to boiling)
– brew 3-5 minutes only

A few herb recommendations for tea brewing
– Fennel- good for digestion
– Fur needles- (pine, spruce- yes like the ones you find on your trees outside!) high in Vitamin C
– Cinnamon- (yes like the ground cinnamon in your spice cabinet) good for cholesterol, regulating blood sugar, thyroid function, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, also good for ulcers.
– Peppermint- anti-fungal, anti-bacterial
– Rosemary- anti-fungal, anti-bacterial
– Plantain weed (yes that weed that grows in your yard, not the fruit) good healing agent
– Applemint- anti-bacterial, milder mint

Herbal Honey Recipe
A lovely companion to your tea but needs to be made 3-4 weeks ahead of time so plan ahead.

Supplies:
-Fresh or dried herbs such as spearmint, peppermint or lemon balm
– Local honey
– Glass jar

Directions:
– Chop or tear mint or lemon balm
– Place in glass jar
– Cover with honey
–  Let sit in a window for 3-4 weeks
–  Stir or shake daily
– Strain and repeat or bottle and label
– take a teaspoon daily or when needed can be mixed in tea or coffee

Foot Soak/ Bath Salts
Try this relaxing soak. For many of us there isn’t the time or resources for a full bath but that’s okay try a foot soak instead. Instead of filling up your tub fill up a basin big enough for your feet.

Supplies:
– 2 scoops solar salt crystals (a cheap solution for this is a 40lb. bag from Lowe’s for $6)
– 1 tablespoon Epson salt
– Essential oils or dried herbs of your choosing
epsom solar

Directions:
– Place salt together in a coffee grinder (you probably want to use a coffee grinder that is used only for this purpose not the grinder you use for your daily coffee if you do just make sure you clean really well, common sense goes a long way here)
– Grind until salt is fine
– Add essential oils or herbs to salt and mix
– Add handful to bath or foot bath
– Be sure to drink extra water
– If you are making these as gifts and want to add color you can color with beet root, cinnamon or food coloring.

Tips for herb selection: Here are some great herb selections from a posting from Frontier Solutions
Soothers, Tonics and Fresheners- agrimony herb, calendula flowers, chamomile flowers, mugwort herb,rosemary leaf, sage leaf, thyme leaf.
Relaxation- agrimony herb, burdock root, chamomile flowers, comfrey leaf, elder flowers, hop flowers, hyssop herb, jasmine flowers, lavender flowers,lemon balm, linden flowers, marjoram leaf, marshmallow root,meadowsweet herb, mugwort herb, mullein leaf, passion flower herb,rose petals, sage leaf, sassafras root bark, slippery elm bark, valerian root, vervain herb.
Rejuvenation- angelica root, basil leaf, bay leaf, comfrey leaf, eucalyptus leaf, fennel seeds, lavender flowers, lemon balm, lemon peel, lemon verbena, lovage root, marjoram leaf, meadowsweet herb, nettle leaf, peppermint leaf,rosemary leaf, sage leaf, savory leaf, spearmint leaf, thyme leaf.

Suggestions for essential oil selection: Rose, Cedarwood, Sandalwood or Rosewood, Neroli, Lavender, Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Jasmine.IMG_2866

 

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