Herbs make me happy. Just looking at them makes me happy. Reading about them makes me happy. Discovering their personalities makes me happy. Finding out their healing natures makes me happy. There are so many herbs, which do so many wonderful things that, since we are a global culture, it can be overwhelming to start figuring out which herbs to use. It can end up feeling easier, and safer, to do nothing at all.
Herbs have traditionally been used in combinations, not singly like the way we use drugs. In combination, herbs work synergistically together, working better as a group, than the sum of each herb working separately. Sometimes customers come in looking for just one herb, such as Milk Thistle for their liver or Echinacea for a cold, because they heard that those herbs work for those things. However, when in combination, Milk Thistle with Dandelion or Echinacea with Goldenseal or Elderberry, these herbs will do a better job of providing nutrition and healing for what is ailing or just needs support. In a combination there may be four or more herbs; some that provide support and healing and some that also help the herbs move systemically throughout the body. There are some herbs that are just plain nutritious and they may be taken as a daily tea or extract for supplementation reasons, i.e. calcium (Nettles), ongoing stress (Eleuthero), radiation treatment (Astragalus), or just because it is yummy (hibiscus-my new favorite!), but overall herbs work best in combination. Even herbs do better in communities.
We make a Bulk Tea Combination that we call Woman Support. It is also the same combination as our Pregnancy Tea, but because the name limits those who might use it we have it packaged with both names. We sell it in one pound, 1/2 pound & 1/4 pound bags. Though it highlights use by women, it is also a great tea for men, and in our experience they often become very fond of it too. This tea supports women in multiple ways, not the least of which is nutritionally supporting the parts of our bodies that produce hormones. I personally find when I drink it daily that my periods come more smoothly and bleeding is normal, not clotty, not dark, just gets down to business and finishes in a timely manner. As I have ventured into menopause, I find it helps me have less hot flashes and less irregular bleeding, if I do have a period. I also feel more energetic as I know it builds blood and I am excited about the naturally occurring calcium that my body has the opportunity to absorb.
You can purchase these teas off of our website and read more about the other teas we make.
Some people balk at the idea of making a bulk tea until we explain how simple it is. If you plan to just drink a cup of tea, then a few teaspoons in a tea ball will suffice. However, if you want to make up a nice batch to drink throughout the day or have for tomorrow then I recommend using your trusty tea pot or a quart mason jar. Bring a pot of water of fresh pure water to boil. Let the boil end and then pour it over your tea (~1/4 cup for a quart of water), give it a little stir if you want and then cover with a lid or plate to keep all the goodness in your tea. Let it sit this way for at least 20 minutes. I often let it sit that way overnight – normally it isn’t my original plan but I just forgot it. It is still good! I strain it through a fine mesh strainer, the size that fits right on top of my 16 oz glass and then I compost the steeped herbs. I leave any remaining liquid and herbs in the container, either on the counter or in the frig, until I am ready to have some more. This keeps my mess to a minimum and my feelings positive about tea making. One last thing, to improve your feelings about bulk tea making, do not fill your mason jar with boiling water on a granite countertop. I have found, on more occasions than I care to recall, that the jar cracked and hot water and herbs floated onto the floor and in utensil drawers…and I am sure you get the picture. Initially I thought it was just a bad jar, but now, because it has happened numerous times, I think it has to do with the coolness of the stone and the hot water in the jar. However, I have never had that happen on a regular countertop or on stainless steel. No need to be afraid, just cautious.
I will share more about the other teas we make in the future but for now, Cheers, and give your herbs the love and affection they so richly deserve.
(Originally posted 12/12/2012)