Thursday, August 5, 2010

Infusions! Or as we say arounds here, Tea!

I honestly had no interest in herbs.  Not that I really had anything against them personally, I just really had no interest.  It sounded complicated.  It sounded too "earthy".  I didn't want Isaac to call me a "naturalist" (long story!).  But one day I went to one of our Titus 2 meetings and a dear sweet lady that I greatly respect was sharing what she had learned about herbs.  For the first time in my life it sounded simple!  It sounded interesting!  And most of all, it sounded fun!

I'd better admit it right here at the beginning.  I do my "herb stuff" mostly for the fun!  There is something so satisfying about making your own natural remedies or filling that little tin with the freshly made salve.  Sorry to sound so shallow, but honestly, it's fun.  That's what keeps me interested!

My first dabble into the world of herbs was when I was a few months into my pregnancy with Ella.

(Rabbit trail here~ That is one of the really great things about herbs.  It's a dabble here and a dabble there.  You are learning new things here and there.  Start small and see what works for you and what you actually use!)

Ahem, as I was saying, my first dabble consisted of a tea that I drank throughout my pregnancy.  I knew that I should start with a tea because I actually drink tea.  And it's super easy.

This was my pregnancy tea~ Red raspberry leaf, Alfalfa, Nettle and Peppermint.

Some of you will hear that and think "Gross!!!" just like I did.  Some of you will think, "I don't have to go buy herbs! I have raspberry tea in my cupboard already!".  To answer the second imaginary comment first, there is no actual red raspberry leaf in your bright red raspberry tea.  Check it out.  Tell me if I'm wrong.  To the first, the most beautiful secret I've discovered about teas is this; Peppermint covers a multitude of not pleasantness.  I'm serious.  Please believe me when I say, I'm really quite a wimp when it comes to what I taste or smell.  Very, very wimpy.  This tea tasted great!  I would boil a pot full in the morning, stir in a spoon full of honey and drink it all day long.  Listen to the benefits of this tea.

Red raspberry leaf~ Strengthens the wall of the uterus, alleviates morning sickness and nausea, it's a preventative for hemorrhaging, it tones the uterus to help with delivery and recovery, increases lactation.

Alfalfa~ It's very high in Vitamin K which is a blood clotting vitamin and greatly assists the bleeding after delivery. It's also used for allergies, appetite, digestion, nursing, anemia, and it's very high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A and protein.

Nettle (Yep, the good old "Stinging nettle". But with no sting)~ It helps to strengthen the kidneys, diminishes leg cramps, reduces hemorrhoids, and is very rich in iron, calcium and protein.

Peppermint~ It is good for morning sickness and digestion, plus it tastes so good!

There are many other benefits and uses for these herbs, I mostly stuck with the "pregnancy benefits" here.

Did I notice a difference using the tea?  Yes.  I felt amazing my whole pregnancy.  Really amazing.  Was it the tea?  I have no idea!  Ella was pushed out in 1 1/2 pushes.  Recovery was seriously a piece of cake. Now, I've never had too hard of recoveries, but this one was BY FAR the easiest. I can't say the tea made all the difference.  But I sure think it helped and I will drink it again in a heartbeat (in fact I should be drinking it now as these herbs are VERY beneficial for all times of life!)

The two other teas that we have used are these;

Mother's milk tea~ Red raspberry leaf, fennel, nettle, fenugreek, dandelion and blessed thistle.

"Sleepy tea"~ Chamomile, passion flower, catnip and lemon balm

But more on these later!!

Lately I've been making a pitcher of peppermint and horsetail/shavegrass tea in the morning and drinking it iced throughout the day.  (Horsetail/shavegrass is very high in silicone and is great for hair and nails.  Lydia and I both have thin and brittle hair so were hoping it helps!)  Again, this tastes just like it's just peppermint!

Here's how I make the tea. (If this seems complicated, ask me to explain it again because IT'S NOT!!)

~Put a couple of tablespoons of herbs in your pitcher or tea pot.
~Fill with boiling water.
~Let steep for a few (5-?) minutes.
~Strain out herbs

Here's my peppermint and horsetail/shavegrass tea steeping.


I use a hand held strainer that I picked up at wal-mart.  It cost less than $2.  Any fine mesh strainer will work!  Sometimes I will strain the entire pitcher into a separate one, or sometimes I simply strain each cup at a time.

So, that's how I started out in herbs.  If you have questions, please ask!!!  I'll probably ask someone else to get the answer, but that's the beauty of this all!

(I have bought all my herbs from or just used what is growing in my yard!) 


Angie said...

Oh I am so glad you have the love! :) I completely understand what you are talking about! I love herbs!

Stacy said...

I've never tried...but your information sounds interesting. I've never drank anything but constant comet tea...I'm such a whimp about trying anything new. I'm looking forward to your other posts about your herb discoveries. :)

Season said...

Thanks for posting this! I totally forgot about the pregnancy tea you gave me! I'm pulling it out today! And you forgot to mention you've been able to nurse Ella longer then anyone! That encouraging to me.

Aly sun said...

I drank pregnancy tea too! Although I couldn't have any sweetener in it and I didn't find it super yummy. I also had a better pregnancy that my first 2 and an easy recovery post delivery.

Looking forward to more "herby" posts.