Quality plant ingredients make the best medicine, and have the richest flavour and value to our bodies. I grow, purchase and use the freshest, organic when available (marked with an *), fair trade plant material I can source. Some medicinal plants are not available as certified organic (they are often common weeds), but they still have great value as whole plants that have sprung directly from Mother Earth, sometimes right at our feet. For example, Nettles and Lemonbalm grow wild here in BC, and are readily available to harvest, without a corporate certification.
Ethical harvesting and avoidance of threatened and endangered species is a top priority for all foraging herbalists, and working in harmony with nature is always paramount to using and protecting our wild environment. You can rest assured that the herbs I use are only of the finest quality and specifications, and you can tell this by the scent, flavour and appearance of the plants. But don’t just take my word for it – try it for yourself! This is known as organoleptic testing, where we smell, taste, feel a plant specimen, and is one of the best ways to know and understand plant medicine.
There are lots of reasons to use herbal remedies, and some plants have affinity for certain conditions, affect specific organs, or are associated with a particular body part. Unique constituents of plants perform different functions, and extracting these constituents creates the highest quality medicine. One way to connect to a plant’s medicine is to experience it directly, as our sense organs work as reliable tools to deepen our understanding of the plants gifts and attributes.
Herbs can be used to enhance the natural functions of a healthy body, and help repair and restore tissues, bone, organs, or other areas that may need support in recovery. Here’s a list of what herbs might be used for:
+Cleanse and detoxify
+Enhance digestion and bowel tone
+Improve immune system function
+Soothe and calm the nervous system, aiding sleep
+Reduce fatigue and improve endurance
+Balance hormones and libido
+Increase cognitive function and clear the mind
+Boost nutrition and assimilation
+Alleviate mild infections
+Control menopausal symptoms
+Stop or reduce bleeding
+Heal wounds and sores
+Speed up recovery following illness or surgery
+Reduce pain and inflammation
+Cope with stress and life changes
+Alleviate muscular tension
+Support cardiovascular function
+Soothe coughs and colds
… and so much more!
Tips for that healing cup…
- Brew your tea with boiling, fresh water.
- Steep herbs for at least 7-10 minutes. This is much longer than fermented green and black teas, and is necessary to infuse all of the plant constituents from the herbs.
- Concentrate your tea by steeping it for a few hours, or even overnight. Herbal infusions can be made stronger this way, and are delicious drunk cold. Keep in the fridge for 24- 48 hours.
- Some of our teas (like chai) work best as a decoction (boiled, then simmered) to add extra strength. This is true for anything that contains roots or mushrooms to extract the valuable polysaccharides, and will make the tea stronger.
- Milk, almond or coconut milk may be used in Black teas, Chai blends, Rooibos teas, or with Matcha Green tea, but is rarely needed with herbal tisanes.
- If you desire sweeter tea – maple syrup, honey or stevia are fine choices.
Tips for taking a tincture…
- Most tinctures are taken 2 – 3 times per day, in a dose of approximately 1/2 to 2 teaspoon doses, 5-15 ml daily.
- Some people require a smaller dose, and others need a larger dose to garner similar effects (everyone is different).
- As a general rule, the bigger the problem, the bigger the dose of medicine required.
- It’s best to take tinctures diluted in hot or cold water, or in tea.
Each of the ingredients in our teas and tinctures has unique properties and constituents. It’s important to take time to read and research the properties of the plants and understand their uses. For this, please access our simple glossary containing some of the key benefits and traditional uses of the plants. We have included the Latin genus and species so that you can do your own further research.