Saturday, March 15, 2008

Nourishing Herbal Infusions (part 1)

“My daily cup of nourishing herbal infusion is my safeguard against cancer, my longevity tonic, and my beauty treatment – all in one cup.”- Susun Weed

As herbalists we are given a wide variety of tools to extract the nourishment and healing powers of plants. Depending on the plant’s constituents we can extract medicinal qualities using alcohol, vinegar, or oil. We can use whole fresh or dried herbs in our daily cooking, and we can use water – either hot or cold – to draw the vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients into a drinkable form. Each method of transforming plant properties into an assimilable and concentrated form of medicine for our bodies has a different purpose depending on the action wanted.

Why drink nourishing herbal infusions? 
This post focuses on Nourishing Herbal Infusions (NHI). We use NHI as opposed to tinctures and extracts to draw out nutrients, mainly minerals and vitamins, from plants to nourish ourselves daily. In this way we can heal from the inside out – building strong bones and teeth, strengthening our cardiovascular system, and tonifying our organs for maximum health.

Drinking our daily brew of NHI is akin to taking our vitamin supplement – however, a NHI has many more benefits than pills that were manufactured and synthesized in a far away factory.

By using freshly dried whole herbs from organic and nutrient-rich soils we can insure we are getting the highest quality of nutrition available. Also, when we consume vitamins and minerals from a whole source, rather than extracted materials, we ensure that our body is able to readily assimilate these valuable nutrients. As Dr. Mercola, osteopathic physician, points out “In whole foods, there are a variety of accessory micronutrients that work synergistically with the primary one. It is very rare where the isolated nutrient will perform better than the whole food version.”

Where to find the herbs
Many of the herbs we use for NHI can be found in our backyards. See my series on Wildcrafting to learn more about harvesting from the wild. 

 If these herbs are entirely foreign to you, ordering them from a respectable herb dealer is a simple way to gain access to these herbs and start incorporating them into your daily life. It's always best to buy local. If that's not an option then I highly recommend buying herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs. 

Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils. Sin

Nourishing Herbal Infusions Series