How and why to make large batches of herbal tea and herbs you can eat to support your health
You may want to take large quantities of some medicinal herbs to support your health. In these cases, it's often most convenient to make a big batch of tea to sip on all day long. Herbs that are considered nutritive, tonic, immune modulating, or adaptogens are going to have the best effect if they are taken frequently, and they may need longer infusion times. These are some reasons to make a big batch of tea rather than one cup at a time.
Here are some types of herbs you may want to make in a large batch or take daily as a tincture. If you make a large batch of tea, you can strain and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Some herbs you can also eat as food to take advantage of their healing properties.
Nutritive Herbs - Stinging Nettles
As the name suggests, nutritive herbs provide nutrients your body needs. These herbs can be considered food more than medicine and can be consumed at large quantities without negative side effects.
Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica) are high in many vitamins and minerals, and you can eat the fresh leaves in place of spinach, kale or other cooked leafy greens in recipes. The dried herb makes an excellent everyday tea to support your skin, bones, blood, and general health. It is especially good support for menstruating women to support the body during the monthly loss of blood and uterine lining, as well as for menopausal women to keep bones strong.
Tonic Herbs - Dandelion
Tonic herbs are a lot like nutritive herbs in that they are taken daily and in larger quantities than some other medicinal herbs, and can be considered as "food herbs" in terms of being very safe to eat and take as medicine. Tonic herbs support your overall vitality or support an organ or system of the body with long-term use.
I love dandelion! Yes, that "weed" that so many homeowners try to eradicate from their pristine green lawns. Well, it is my favorite weed because it is beautiful, nutritious, and it just shows up without needing to be planted. It is a digestive bitter (the bitter flavor stimulates digestion), it supports the liver, and it provides prebiotic inulin to feed all of your good gut bacteria. And all of the plant is edible and medicinal - the roots, leaves, and flowers. What more could you want from a plant?!
I've been drinking roasted dandelion root tea for years now in place of coffee in the morning. Well, I've never been much of a coffee drinker, but I do love that smoky, rich flavor! Sometimes I blend it with other roasted roots and barks for flavor and other effects (chickory, carob, maca, cinnamon, even chocolate!). I recommend Teeccino brand dandelion tea if you are looking for a good caffeine-free coffee replacement - so yummy!
Immune Modulating Herbs and Fungi - Shiitake
Plants known as "Herbal Immunomodulators" are used over a number of months or years to improve function of the immune system in people who get sick often or have an over-active immune system, as is the case in arthritis and allergies. In addition to helping boost the immune system to prevent getting sick as often, herbal immunomodulators can be helpful in supporting the body's ability to fight cancer cells. Some of the most well-known immunomodulators are not plants but fungi - reishi, chaga, shiitake.
These plants and fungi act to harmonize the endocrine and nervous systems to support our immune function. The greatest benefit from the immunomodulating herbs will be experienced with daily use over a number of months. Some herbal immunomodulators also act as adaptogens (that help the body handle stress). This class of herbs is covered below.
The greatest benefit from the immunomodulating herbs will be experienced with daily use over a number of months.
Adaptogenic Herbs - Tulsi
Tulis, or holy basil (Ocimum tinuiflorum), is a wonderful adaptogen - it helps your body respond to stress. We are always going to experience stress just from being alive and interacting with the world, whether it's a less-than-supportive relationship, bad traffic on the road, too much spam email, or even environmental toxins. We may not have to protect ourselves from saber-toothed tigers anymore, but being a human on planet Earth is stressful!
Different adaptogens act differently on your body, but most help modulate your stress response, replenish your adrenal gland, and help you feel more at ease. Tulsi has been used for thousands of years and revered as a holy plant in India, being grown at many temples. It acts as both an immonomodulator and as an adaptogen - helping to balance the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.
As is true with many herbal remedies, tulsi has many benefits for the body and mind. It calms the nervous system, clears anxious thoughts, boosts immune function, limits free radical damage, lowers blood pressure, and lowers cholesterol. While related to Genovese basil used in Italian cooking, tulsi can also be made into a pesto and eaten as a food herb. How useful and delicious!
Amazing Medicinal Plants
How amazing is it that plants and fungi can do so much to help support our health on a daily basis! This is why I love sharing my teas and tinctures with as many people as I can. Check out what I have to offer on the site (Shop) and set up an appointment with me for your personal health consultation (Book Online). Thanks and be well!