This is one of the most delicious sun teas I have ever made. It doesn’t take anything more than a few fresh, organic herbs that you can likely find in most natural food stores:
a handful roses (make sure they are not sprayed)
a handful of holy basil leaves
a handful of peppermint leaves
one lavender stalk (no more or will be too strong for my taste)
Place all herbs in a glass, quart jar. You can make this tea with 4 cups of cool, filtered water or you can boil 1 cup of water and add 3 cups of cool, filtered water for a stronger brew. Sit out in the sun while you are at work. Come home, strain off the herbs and enjoy a nice relaxing cup of tea (or two or three).
I love it when my clients say that they make their own medicine or grown their own herbs. I firmly believe that our strongest medicines are the ones we make ourselves. Don’t get me wrong. Part of my business relies on sales of formulas I make and sell, but I am almost giddy when I her that a client wants to make her own tea, tincture, or salve.
I know the strongest medicine is what you make yourself. It’s also not something everyone can or wants to do. It gives me great joy to formulate for people, infuse my magic and love into their blends, and then give them with confidence that the herbs are going to have a profound impact on their lives.
Working with plants has completely changed my life. I am so grateful for their teachings, for their wisdom, for the life they provide us all. I am honored to be a voice for the medicinal herbs, for the wildflowers, and for the trees. There are many online herb schools to choose from. I encourage you to deepen your connection with plants; your life will be forever enriched.
Among the old-growth Redwoods of Northern California, my herbal journey began in the late 1990s. Having thousands of acres of ancient forests to explore, my primal self was awakened.
I wanted to live off the land, eat wild foods, wildcraft herbs and make all my medicine. And so I did that blissfully for years. Then a desire to become an acupuncturist came over me and I completed a four-year master’s degree and passed the licensing boards. I opened a clinic and worked closely with my community to provide much-needed healthcare. Seeing clients and helping people heal themselves is the most rewarding experience, but I knew I had to share the wisdom of herbalism and Chinese medicine with as many people as I could.
And so I left the comfort and shelter of the wilderness to live in Denver, with views of towering downtown buildings instead of majestic forests and Mother Ocean. It is now easier to teach at conferences throughout the US and abroad, and I have the opportunity to work at Colorado School of TCM and Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism.( Not to mention I now actually have consistent, high-speed internet which was hard to get anywhere I lived in Humboldt County, Cali.).
I know it was the right decision because everything has fallen nicely into place since I moved here over a year ago. This year’s teaching schedule is filling in nicely and I have the time to both see a few clients and continue to work on my herb book, “Plant Songs.”
This week I’ll leave you with the tea that made me fall in love with herbalism and our plant allies. It is a delicious and nourishing tea that will leave you feeling more than satisfied. Stay wild!
Recipe: Wild Humboldt Tea (wildcrafted with reverence)
Handful of fresh nettles
Handful of fresh violet leaves and flower
Handful of fresh plantain leaves
Small amount of fresh dandelion leaves
Small amount of fresh prunella flowers
Infuse all ingredients in the sun in a glass quart jar.
Infuse one to four hours or overnight on a full or new moon if desired.
Strain herbs out or be like us herbalists and strain through your teeth or just eat the herbs too.
Although I couldn’t attend a March for Science Rally because I was at the Acupuncture Association of Colorado’s Annual Conference, I was there in heart and spirit! What is most exciting to me about this movement is that emphasis is on our planet and how we can advance technology to enhance the Earth instead of destroy it.
There has been a gap in environmentalism and science and that is now rapidly changing. The chemical, pharmaceutical and agricultural leaders (Monsanto having a hand in all three) need to come up to speed. Domination and greed is the reason why they constantly fight to quell our food and health independence. The paradigm shift of manifest destiny is becoming one of ecology and transparency and companies that are motivated by destruction based profit are not going to be acceptable anymore as people become more educated about global climate change and our role in it. Sustainability, small organic farming, and herbalism have been the way of the past and are resurfacing as our path to a better future.
“The times, they are a changing”, sometimes just not as fast as some of us would like. As I keep forging ahead with my essential oil blends, the thought of being a steward of the Earth is foremost in my mind. I am not happy with the “sustainability” model of many essential oil companies, as it doesn’t seem to me that they take seriously the issue of how much plant matter it takes to make even an ounce of essential oil. If they did, they would not promote such vagrant use of our precious resources.
It takes about 250 pounds of lavender to make 1 pound of essential oil- that’s about 15 pounds of lavender for 1 ounce of oil! It takes 10,000 roses to make 5ml of rose essential oil! How about instead of dousing yourself in undiluted essential oil, you walk around with a few sprigs of lavender or rose petals in a sachet or anoint yourself with a couple of drops of diluted essential oil only.
A little goes a long way folks. Be mindful, have respect for the whole plant, and not just the distillate you buy in a bottle. Grow your own herbs. Make your own medicine. A cup of rose tea that you make from roses you grow can be just as strong as a drop of the pure essential oil.
We are all on this Earth together. Let’s make it the best we can.