Small Steps

One of the foundations of the Wise Woman Herbal by Susun Weed is the idea of nourishing herbal infusions. These are water-based preparation using a large volume of dried plant matter, infused for a long period of time. In her articles, Susun recommends steps toward a more nourishing lifestyle, including the consumption of nourishing infusions daily. She focuses on what she calls nourishing herbs, which are food-like herbs, rich in vitamins and minerals, which can be taken in quantity without much fear of side effects. Her favorites seem to include nettles, oatstraw, and red clover.

Oatstraw, in particular is supposed to be effective at reducing anxiety and nerves. As someone with anxiety issues, I found this particularly attractive. The flavor is mellow and grassy, and I’ve found I do not like it sweetened, but it is better warm.
Nettle is Susun’s wonder-herb in some ways. It’s rich in vitamins, calcium, and other minerals. It’s considered a good supporter of the blood and general body systems. Other traditions recommend it for general health and vitality. It does have a distinct spinach-y taste, but I find it tastes amazing after a run, especially in warm weather.
Currently, I alternate most days with nettle and oatstraw. I’ve been a bit heavier on the nettle during allergy season, and I have red raspberry leaf on hand for when I’m PMSing. I’ve also purchased some chickweed to possibly drink once a week. Infusions are really simple; the only thing they require is a couple extra minutes and someone to remind you to prep them ahead of time. In fact, it’s a little like soaking grains or making sourdough. I make up my infusions at night to drink in the morning. I weigh out 1/2 oz. of herb into a 500-ml jar, then fill it with boiling water, cap tightly, and let sit on the counter overnight. In the morning, I strain into a mug or saucepan (to heat before pouring into a mug) and enjoy.

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