If there is 1 daily ritual I could not live without right now, it’s brewin’ up a magical tea that contains 1-2 dozen herbs. I’ve been in the habit of using loose leaf herbs instead of tea bags for a long time now and really feel that you get much more therapeutic benefits when you consume the herbs this way. Don’t just think about convenience (as w/ tea bags), think about the immense value of nutrition you’re getting in 1 home-brewed tasty cup of tonic tea! It’s also much more cost-effective and the blend options are endless.
Your herb choices are expansive! My personal favorites are nettle root, burdock root, pau d’arco, chanca pierda, cats claw, astragulus root, he shou wu, horsetail, eucommia bark, ginseng root, red asparagus root, jujube dates, cistanche, gynostemma, goji berries, shizandra berries, kava kava root, and medicinal mushrooms (such as black reishi & cordyceps). You can get these herbs from Moutain Rose Herbs and some from your local Chinese herb shop. Don’t be intimidated by all of this if you haven’t made teas like this before, just start with even 3 herbs and you’re on your way to stellar health!
A main method of making tonic herbal tea is to simmer a few select herbs in a non-leaching pot on the stove to draw out its’ therapeutic properties. This is called a decoction. Heat is needed to extract the phytonutrients found deep within roots, barks, seeds, so you’ll want to simmer the herbs for 10-60 minutes – however long you desire and have time for.
Here’s how to make the decoction:
Bring a few cups of spring water to an almost rolling boil with your chosen herbs in your pot, turn the heat down and let it simmer for a minimum of 20 minutes. Depending on what roots and herbs you are using, you may need or want to simmer them for longer to extract even more phyto-nutrients. You can also just turn the heat off with the lid on and allow the herbs to steep this way as well. Add a pinch of Celtic salt and small squeeze of lemon to increase the boiling point and keep the water more structured while it’s being heated.
You can make an herbal tea infusion that steeps 4 hours or more (or overnight) on your countertop using hot, warm, or room temperature water. You’ll use this method for leaves, flowers, and lighter herbs that are not thick and fibrous, and therefore do not need to be cooked with heat on the stove. Often times, I make an infusion as I’m getting ready for bed, steep it overnight, strain and drink the following day.
Ideally, you are using a Saladmaster pot in place of a lower grade leaching stainless steel so that you don’t get heavy metals in your healing teas. But, work with what you have for now and upgrade when you can. You’ll feel so good when you make the investment in yourself and stop using toxic old school cookware. Note: I am not a Saladmaster dealer or consultant, but they will put you in touch w/ one & you can get it through someone local to you (that’s how we did it).
Here’s a post I did a year ago on Using Herbs To Eliminate Nutrient Deficiencies. I LOVE this concept and have never gone back to the ‘old’ way – taking supplements, pills, etc. I rely on tonic herb teas, Superfoods and the food I eat for all my nutrition.