We all love our green juice.
Green juice is amazing! Nothing like the boost of vibrant, cleansing and activating energy first thing in the morning. I am sure you too have told countless friends how much better it is than coffee. Energy that sustains, nourishes and feeds our whole body, mood & soul!
Now as faithful as I have been to my green juice for years, it is nice to have an alternative on some mornings. Sometimes, I know I won’t have time to juice, and other times I don’t have all the fresh ingredients I need or they are not in season. Finally, we all know that variety keeps things interesting and also ensures we are getting a wider spectrum of nutrients. So on mornings I am not drinking a green juice, I am drinking a cold brew of a nourishing medicinal.
Herbal Cold Infusions are vibrant, green, medicinal, mineral and vitamin rich. These raw cold brews of nourishing herbs offer the same vibrant energy as a green juice, but in a really different way. One of their many gifts is they nourish, heal and repair tissue while improving our bodies ability to absorb nutrients.
As we know, green juices are the fresh extraction of whatever greens, veggies & fruits we choose. My staple is cucumber, celery, kale/spinach/chard, apple, lemon & ginger.
Herbal cold infusions are a cold brew of dried (or fresh) medicinal herbs. They are so simple to prepare and are delicious and deeply nourishing. Any nourishing herb will do.
Simply put a handful of dried herbs in a quart size mason jar, cover it in pure, clean water, and let it steep overnight. In the morning, filter out the plant material, and you have a nourishing tonic like no other.
But wait, don’t throw the plant material away – reuse it by re brewing it a second time as a hot infusion for a great tea. When you do discard the herbs, you can sprinkle them on your house plants, in your garden or add them to the compost.
Nettle Infusion is my forever favorite cold brew and one of my most sacred plant allies. It makes a dark, full bodied infusion that feels like it might just be the milk of Mother Earth. It tastes sweet yet “mineraly”, gentle and smooth yet powerful, and so hydrating and nourishing.
Nettle infusion is packed with chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K. This is a great ally for women, especially when pregnant, nursing, menopausal or around moon time. Used over a period of time, it heals damaged tissue and it strengthens the kidneys, optimizes the digestive system, repairs the adrenal glands, and strengthens the respiratory system.
Nettles has a wonderful cumulative effect – you will want to work with her daily for a while. After about a month, you will begin to radiate a grounded, lively energy. Your hair and nails will get stronger and more shiny. With adaptogenic qualities, Nettles helps our body adapt to stress and respond without taxing the nervous system.
Nettles also has a fiery side to her earthy personality. She grows bright and radiant in the spring in large, wild patches. Nettles can grow on “ill soil” and heal it, making it more rich and optimal for planting. This echoes her gifts to us and our bodies, and makes her a wonderful ally for gardeners.
Nettles is the first plant I was ever introduced to, by my Great Grandmother in Poland, when I was 3. It is one of my earliest memories — Babcia Maryjka telling me about using fresh bundles of Nettles to hit your body with, for arthritis or any bone inflammation. The stinging of the Nettles is incredibly stimulating and healing, like thousands of sacred bee stings or acupuncture needles. This is an “old timer” tradition, the beating with Nettles, but it is very valuable medicine.
Oatstraw Infusion is sweet tasting, also deeply nourishing, nutritive, and great for repairing the nervous system. Her cumulative effect can be antidepressant. She is a wonderful ally to work with if you need more sunny energy in your life. Think of a beautiful field of Oatstraw swaying in the wind, shining gold light from the sun. When brewed raw, she makes an herbal tonic that feeds and restores the nerves. People experiencing “burn out”, “stressed nerves” or any anxiety or depression benefit greatly by adding Oatstraw into their daily rituals.
Red Raspberry Leaf
Red Raspberry Leaf infusion is wonderfully nourishing to the reproductive system. An old favorite for pregnant woman, Red Raspberry Leaf tones and tightens the uterus and other tissue, while nourishing the blood with its rich vitamins and minerals. Using it regularly during pregnancy helps strengthen the womb, and it has mild anti-spasmodic qualities which can help prevent miscarriages.
Rich in calcium and magnesium, its is a great ally for menopausal women and anyone looking to balance blood sugar and reduce high blood pressure.
The pink and beautiful red clover blossoms make a gentle cold brew that is rich in Vitamin C, niacin, thiamin, calcium, chromium, phosphorus, potassium and other minerals. It is also rich in isoflavones, which act like phytoestrogens in the body, therefore making Red Clover a wonderful ally for menopausal women. Studies have shown Red Clover to lower the risk of osteoporosis, reduce hot flashes, slow skin aging, improve cardio health and prevent certain estrogen-dependent cancers. Red clover blossoms are also wonderful for nursing mothers, as they too help increase milk production and make it more nutrient rich.
Nettles, Oatstraw, Red Raspberry and Red clover are just a handful of the amazing nourishing herbs that make vibrant raw cold infusions. As you see, they share nutritive qualities and thus give us green, lively energy, much like a green juice. You will also notice that each plant has unique gifts, taste and energy.
Get creative and experiment by making blends or trying other nourishing herbs such as Strawberry leaf, Blackberry leaf, Chickweed, Gotu Kola or Dandelion Leaves. You can also add herbs like lemon balm, lemon verbena, mint, ginger, or cinnamon to enhance and change the flavors.
In the winter, these dried herbs bring us the vitality of spring, and they are a wonderful solution when fresh produce is harder to come by. In the spring, you can go into the woods and find them growing wild. See what young spring leaves call you and add them to your green juice!