How to Make an Herbal Infusion
Herbal infusions are easy to make and great to drink. But why "nourishing"? Surely this must be some hocus pocus herbalist language to make tea seem extraordinary. But nourishing is true. By brewing/steeping herbs in this fashion allows you to get as many nutrients as possible from the herb of choice.
Brewing herbs in this manner, you have a great way to control how much you make, how strong it will be, and ensure it is always fresh. Making nourishing herbal infusions provides a way to have a healthy and beneficial drink to last a whole day or two. But note that these infusions do not last long. Even refrigerated you can only get at least two days before it starts to sour. However, your brew will taste so good odds are it will not last that long anyway!
Materials and Ingredients
Here is a list of what you need:
- Tea pot to boil water
- Quart mason jar
- 1/2 ounce by weight of nettle
- Mesh strainer
You can go up to as much as 1 ounce by weight of stinging nettle. But it is advised to start with less until you are used to the strength of the brew.
Steps and Directions: 1
Here is what you do: Phase 1
- Boil water in your tea pot.
- Pour the nettle into the mason jar.
- Pour the hot water over the nettle in the jar to just below the lip of the jar.
- Put the lid on.
- Let it brew for four (4) hours.
Be careful while working with this nourishing herbal infusion. Of course the tea pot will be hot and so will the mason jar. Remember that the jar is now filled with very hot liquid. If you forget this, and odds are you will, and pick up the jar with bare hands by accident, you could easily drop the jar as a natural reaction. I am sure you will not want to spend your time cleaning up shards of glass, bits of herb, and a lot of liquid. Not to mention you have just ruined your creation.
Steps and Directions: 2
Here is what you do: Phase 2
- Put fine mesh strainer over bowl.
- Take cooled infusion and strain.
- Press leaves to get all juice from them.
- Clean out mason jar to reuse.
- Pour the strained infusion into the mason jar.
- Drink right away or store in refrigerator.
- Even though it has been four hours, the infusion is still going to be quite warm. So still use caution when handling the mason jar.
- If you notice that there is a lot of sediment that got through your strainer, then you can restrain in finer mesh or cheesecloth.
- Try to drink refrigerated infusion within 2 days. After that, it can start to sour pretty quick. But not to fear.
- You can use your infusion for other recipes, but that's another article! However, a couple of ideas are listed below.
- Feel free to sweeten your infusion. This brew is very potent and you might not be used to such a strong taste.
Nettle Herbal Infusion
Benefits of Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle is one of an herbalist's top herbs. Its botanical name is Urtica dioica. Like its name suggests, if handled incorrectly, or even with care, it will sting you. I have had the pleasure of experiencing this during the summer of 2012. But nettle is so awesome that even the stings are beneficial. Those suffering from arthritis and similar conditions can swish their hands and affected areas through nettle to reap the anti-inflammatory properties. But I digress.
Here is a list of why nettle is beneficial:
It is a diuretic, tonic, astringent, expectorant, nutritive, hemostatic (prevents hemorrhaging), anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, and galactagogue (promotes breast milk)--to name some.
In addition, nettle is most often used for hay fever, arthritis, anemia, skin conditions, and to stimulate hair growth.
Additional Uses for Nettle Infusion
Here are some way to use your nettle infusion as a base for products:
- Lotion for skin problems
- Salve for skin problem
- Hair rinse
Here is a list of the nutritional benefits:
Nettle contains flavinoids, amines (like histamine), vitamins A, B, and C, protein, fiber, chlorophyll, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, chromium, calcium, potassium, and silicic acid.
By no means are these lists complete. But hopefully now you see why we call these nourishing herbal infusions. All this from one herb brewed in water.
About the Author
Stephanie Bradberry is a freelance writer and editor. She is an educator, herbalist, and naturopath who runs her own home-based business, Naturally Fit & Well, LLC. She is also the creator of the Bradberry® line of handmade, all natural, herbal products.