How to make an herbal infusion: what is it, why do it, and where to get supplies

The other day I was feeling overwhelmed with all the healthy protocols I "should" be doing. Can you relate?! It got me thinking that I want to go back to the basics. Nettle was my main squeeze when I first started using medicinal plants and I'm bringing it back! And, I'd thought you'd like to know about, too.

Fun fact: the ancient Greeks and Romans cultivated more Nettle than any other crop and used it for food, medicine and clothing (nettle had been used to manufacture fine clothing!) 

Herbal infusions are essentially a really strong tea, with a lot more herb and steeped a lot longer than a regular cup of tea. This allows minerals and nutrients to be pulled out into the water. Nettles (Urtica dioica) have a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals, especially high in iron and calcium. 

 

Nettles are great for both the female and male reproductive systems because they're extremely nutritive, fortify and detoxify the whole body, with positive effects on the liver, supporting a healthy balance of sex hormones. Nettles are a tonic remedy for PMS, infertility and menstrual difficulties. Nettles are also great for: exhaustion, skin problems (acne, eczema, psoriasis), balancing blood sugar levels, allergies and hay fever (it has great antihistamine properties) cases of gout, arthritis and anemia. Nettles are safe during pregnancy as well, but check with your healthcare provider.


Without further ado, here's how you make an infusion! 

  1. Prepare this remedy at night before going to bed- it takes 1 minute, I promise!
  2. Get a 32 ounce mason jar, add approximately 1/2 - 1 cup of dried herb to your mason jar
  3. Pour just boiled water to the top of the mason jar and give the herb and water a stir for good measure
  4. Screw the lid on the mason jar and let your herbal infusion steep over night
  5. Strain your infusion, squeezing out the excess water in the remaining herb, and compost the used herbs. You should be left with about 3.5 - 4 cups of herbal infusion which you can drink throughout the day. It can be refrigerated to drink the following day as well, but you should aim to make a new batch at least every 2-3 days. 

Nettle is a tonic remedy which means it's safe to use and would be highly beneficial to do this routine for as long as you like! Nettles have a mild taste, but you can squeeze lemon into your infusion once you strain out the herbs or you can add a pinch of mint to your nettle and they can steep together overnight if don't like the way nettles taste on their own.

dried nettle leaf for an herbal infusion

Where to get the dried nettles:
I love Mountain Rose Herbs or Pacific Botanicals as online resources to buy high quality, freshly dried herbs from.

You can’t go wrong adding a nettle herbal infusion to your regimen no matter what your health circumstance is (except if you’re on anticoagulant drugs). And as the saying goes:

“When in doubt, use nettle.” - David Hoffmann.

Questions? Just email me!

references: 

Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: the Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Healing Arts Press, 2003.

Gladstar, Rosemary. Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: a Beginner's Guide. Storey Publishing, 2012.

 

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