Making your own herbal medicines
Anyone can make their own herbal medicines, in fact many culinary herbs have medicinal and therapeutic uses. Crafting herbal medicines can be as simple as making an herbal infusion or decoction to drink as a tea, or as advanced as making lotions, balms and tablets. Infusions are a great place to start and can be enjoyed as a cup of tea. Infusions are made by using the more delicate parts of the plant (flowers, leaves, petals) and pouring hot water over the herb material for around 15 minutes for the oils and flavours to be absorbed into the water- make sure to cover the container during the steeping process, as therapeutic volatile oils can be lost through steam evaporation. Some popular herbs to use for herbal infusion teas include; Thyme, Chamomile, Sage, Nettle, Oat Straw, Red Clover, Mint and Echinacea.
An herbal infusion (tea) for your menstrual phase
During menstruation, we feel the desire to go inward and withdraw into ourselves. At this time of the month honouring what your body and womb need can help allay uncomfortable symptoms during this time. An herbal infusion of 1 teaspoon nettle and 1 teaspoon raspberry leaf and a squeeze of lemon can be helpful in this period. Raspberry leaf is traditionally used during pregnancy to tone and prepare the uterus but is also useful for easing menstrual cramps and discomfort. Nettle is rich in iron, which is important to consume in abundant amounts during this phase to replenish lost stores. Lemon juice provides vitamin c to enhance iron absorption. 1 teaspoon of chamomile can also be added to the mixture, to promote rest and relaxation.