healthy herbs

making an infusion a la Susun Weed

Stinging Nettles, beautiful in every way. This is the most common one I make. Put in one ounce dried herb,pour boiling water to within one finger width of top of mason jar, lid tightly, steep 4-8 hours, strain and drink. Put what you don’t drink in the fridge for about two days. Nettles takes some getting used to if you’ve only had fruity herbal teas…it has a bold, hay-like flavour…you can add lemon and honey if you like. I tend to do one herb per infusion most often, and this is best for beginners who don’t know how an herb affects them. Nettles, Oatstraw, Alfalfa and Red Raspberry Leaf are the most common infusions people make that I know of. They are extremely safe…the first three being “nourishing herbs” akin to very potent “superfoods” and less pharmaceutical herbal extractions we hear about. Red Raspberry is more “tonifying” (to the uterus especially), then you move up into stimulating/sedating herbs like ginsengs which you really should have some education on before using, yet these re the most common first herbs reached for in our culture. Stimulating/sedating ehrbs are probably most recognized because of their drug-like effect. They are useful but the nourishing herbs should be used first and over time to prevent conditions that create the need for something stronger and usually with side effects.

 I have taken Nettles, Oatstraw, alfalfa, and Red Raspberry copiously through my pregnancy. A good resource for this is The Natural Pregnancy Book: Herbs, Nutrition, and other Holistic Choices by Aviva Jill Romm, herbalist and midwife. I also recommend Susun Weed’s Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year  (infusions are best with leaves or stems and softer parts of plants. Most flowering tops are fine as a 20 minute steeped tea or they get bitter and you lose the essential oils. Tougher seeds, bark, or roots are best made by decoction). I use nettles for their iron content, b vitamins, minerals, cleansing effect (but quite gentle!) on the urinary system and kidneys. If I have leftovers I make a hair rinse (pour it on my hair), or give it to my house plants.

Kelp powder and empty gelatin capsules

Kelp capsules filled…made these for the borderline hypothyroidism I have going on.

and I just finished off my placenta capsules, made by my doula. No, there weren’t enough for ten months…I just used them for the first six weeks and then the rest when I felt a need for a boost or emotional balance.

my placenta. Alas, I never saw it in person due to the c-section and other post birth factors, but my doula took this photo before she chopped it up.

Water kefir grains brewing some yummy (kinda like soda fizzy even!) probiotic-rich beverage. I got them from a culture sharing site for very little money and they keep producing! It seems to aggravate Sapphire’s reflux if she drinks it directly though.

well, the baby quail wants breakfast, that’s all the health stuff for now, feel free to email me for more info.

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2 Responses to healthy herbs

  1. Jese says:

    well how did you get this post out of my brain???? ‘yeah that!’ to all the above. i love stinging nettle, susun weed, and aviva jill romm. hooray for herbs!! i didn’t get my placenta encapsulated but maybe for the next one.
    i’ve never used kefir grains though. that is a new one for me!

    • Kefir grains are pretty awesome…although they require some care…you’re onyl supposed to elt them fermet for like 24 hours max…we have been guilty of at least 36…it just gets stronger/fizzier…haven’t killed the little guys yet!
      I’ve been composing these entries in my head for months while I nurse, nurse, nurse, bounce boucne bounce. Hopefully I’ll reacha wider audience eventually and inspire someone to drink their nettle. I did a LOT of nettle and red raspberry and chaste tree before I got pregnant, I really think that helped us conceive so quickly.

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