Herbal Infusions: Ditch your multivitamins!
These days, you can’t walk into any stores without seeing countless supplements that claim to be great for your health. The truth is that a lot of these supplements are either full of synthetic “nutrients” that our bodies can’t properly process or they are filled with fillers that can cause more symptoms than they are worth.
This is where herbal infusions come into play! Infusions are one of the most bio-available foods in the world. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, and more. Infusions are super easy to make. Steep one ounce (one cup) of dried herb in a quart of hot water for at least 4 hours- leaving it overnight is perfect. Strain the herbs and store the liquid in the fridge. Some reuse the herbs to make another quart or 2. Mason jars are perfect for making these infusions. Infusions will generally last about 2-4 days in the fridge after making them. If you find yours has gone a little bad, you can use it for any plants you might have or even a hair rinse after you wash your hair!
The main infusions that you can make are with stinging nettles, red raspberry leaf, oat straw, red clover, chickweed, and comfrey. Each herb has its own specific purpose and of course, different flavor! All herbs have their own “best” preparation so these herbs are all best as infusions- not tea, not pills, only as infusions.
Many herbalists say that nettle infusions are better than multivitamins. They are full of calcium, magnesium, iron, B complex vitamins, C complex, vitamins A, D and K as well as protein, cobalt, trace minerals, potassium, iodine, boron, manganese, zinc, copper and sulfur. Stinging nettles can truly be considered a cure-all. They help with adrenal health, kidney and liver detox, blood sugar regulation, hormonal health, they help increase milk supply for nursing mothers, they help prevent and treat anemia, and they are a natural anti-histamine.
Nettles actually help to release uric acid from the joints, making it a great remedy for arthritis as well. Nettles treat neurological disorders, congestion, joints/muscle pain, allergies, celiacs disease, skin complaints, UTIs, and all women’s issues. They are also used for enlarged prostate glands, parasites, regulating blood pressure, goiter, Lupus, and they help to purify the blood.
Stinging nettles are a blood purifier. They were used in medieval times for gout, arthritis, anemia, eczema, to stimulate circulation, to increase milk supply, diuretic, kidney and bladder stones, and for inflammation of urinary tract.
Dried roots or root extract are especially helpful for enlarged prostate, uterine hemorrhage, heavy menstrual bleeding, and as an anti inflammatory.
What don’t stinging nettles do?! Nettle infusions are one of the most powerful foods you can add to your diet- the liquid that you get after steeping the nettles overnight contains the most bioavailable nutrients you’ll ever find. So why bother wasting $50 a month for multivitamin pills that may or may not be absorbed? A pound of dried nettles is around $15 and that will last you several months, especially if you make 2-3 quarts from the herbs.
Drinking 2-4 cups daily for at least 6 weeks is an easy way to deliver nutrients to the body in a quick manner. After 6 weeks, most can drop to a maintenance of 2-3 quarts a week, or they can also rotate with some other infusions. Nettles nourish the adrenals, liver and kidneys. Nettles are also perfect for pregnant and nursing woman suffering from adrenal fatigue because they are used for boosting milk supply and preventing anemia.
Red Raspberry Leaf
Red raspberry leaf has been used for thousands of years as a tonic for women. RRL helps to strengthen the uterus and pelvic muscles which helps to make labor shorter and easier.
Red raspberry leaf is packed with nutrients: magnesium, manganese, iron, vitamin C, b-vitamins and potassium. RRL is an amazing remedy for PMS, endometriosis, and it helps balance hormones. This herb is especially helpful for women trying to conceive as it is a very popular remedy for infertility.
Red raspberry leaf works great with nettles during pregnancy and while breastfeeding since they both provide amazing nutrition as well as helping to balance hormones. Even children can drink these teas with benefit!
The benefits of RRL from Susun Weed:
“Increasing fertility in both men and women. Raspberry leaf is an excellent fertility herb when combined with Red Clover.
Preventing miscarriage and hemorrhage. Raspberry leaf tones the uterus and helps prevent miscarriage and postpartum hemorrhage from a relaxed or atonic uterus.
Easing of morning sickness. Many attest to raspberry leaves a gentle relief of nausea and stomach distress throughout pregnancy.
Reducing pain during labor and after birth. By toning the muscles used during labor and delivery, Raspberry leaf eliminates many of the reasons for a painful delivery and prolonged recovery. It does not, however, counter the pain of pelvic dilation.
Assisting in the production of plentiful breast milk. The high mineral content of Raspberry leaf assist in milk production, but its astringency may counter that for some women.
Providing a safe and speedy pariuntion. Raspberry leaf works to encourage the uterus to let go and function without tension. It does not strengthen contractions, but does allow the contracting uterus to work more effectively and so may make the birth easier and faster.”
My favorite RRL: Frontier Herbs
Oatstraw is one of the most powerful nerve tonics. It is actually known as the herb of longevity in Ayurveda. Oatstraw is great for restoring the nervous system, keeping the cardiovascular system healthy, stabilizing emotions (great for anxiety and depression), and it is a well-known aphrodisiac. It also can help with energy, detoxification, immune health, overcoming addictions, and brain fog. Oatstraw especially benefits the liver and pancreas.
Oatstraw is full of protein, all B vitamins (except B12), beta carotene, vitamin E, trace minerals, silica (one of the most silica rich foods out there and my choice over things like diatomaceous earth!) , iron, copper, magnesium, calcium, and zinc.
Oatsraw has a very different taste than other infusions- you may be able to improve the taste by drinking it warm with honey. Read more about oatstraw here.
Red Clover infusions are best known for aiding fertility and preventing breast cancer. Red clover is one of the richest sources of isoflavones (phytoestrogens) and it is much safer and effective than soy for the purpose of breast health.
Red clover is full of calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C as well as protein and trace minerals.
Red clover is most effective at hormonal balancing in women. Using the infusions regularly for several months-1 year you can improve your chances of conceiving a child immensely. It also will help hot flashes, PMS, breast pain/lumps, improve kidney health, improve bile flow, reduce blood clot risk, balance cholesterol, and can prevent osteoporosis.
This amazing herb might even help men with preventing prostate cancer!
While making your red clover infusion you can add a spoonful of dried peppermint to it in order to improve the taste a bit.
You can read some more about red clover here!
Chickweed is a pretty amazing herb as well. You can make infusions of it with the bulk herb just like everything else on this page, or you can even use a tincture for it. The best uses for chickweed include dissolving things: cysts, tumors, fat cells (hello, don’t we all need something magical like that?!), thickened mucus, and even bacteria.
Chickweed can also be helpful for those recovering from surgery as it aids in healing. It is truly another amazing, nutrient dense herb! It is high in these minerals: calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron, phosphorus, and potassium; and these vitamins: C, A (from carotenes), and B’s such as folate, riboflavin, niacin, and thiamine.
You can read all about chickweed here.
Last but not least we have comfrey leaf infusions (never the root!). Comfrey leaf is amazing for bones, skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. It is known as the “knit-bone” herb because of its amazing healing qualities. Comfrey leaf is great for those with joint pain, skin conditions, bed sores, sprains, or bruises.
Comfrey is one of the few herbs that should be avoided while pregnant or nursing.
Comfrey is packed with zinc, B12, protein, beta carotene, tannins, trace minerals and more.
Read some more about Comfrey leaf here from Susun Weed.
You can follow Wise Woman Traditions on YouTube to learn how to make infusions, teas, cider, and more!
Other helpful herbs that can be used as infusions (all herbs have their “best” way to be prepared- not all herbs can be used as infusions nor do they need to be. Read more about herbal preparations here!)
- Linden flowers- for the immune system; can help with colds and flus, and helps lungs and digestion
- Mullein leaf- good for lungs!
- Violet Leaf
- Hawthorn berries, leaves, and flowers for heart health!
- Read more here about infusions!