The simple first step to healing your autoimmune disease
One of the ways I can tell if someone is ready to make the changes needed to heal their autoimmune disease is whether they're willing to take the time to simply make and enjoy a cup of herbal tea. It seems so simple, yet it is an obstacle for many people. The reasons are varied -
- it takes too much time
- I might do it wrong
- it might taste bad
- it is expensive
- it won't do anything to make me feel better
Herbal tea is a beautiful introduction to the healing power of herbs. For starters, try a cup of chamomile tea before bed or a cup of ginger fennel tea after dinner to relax and feel the healing power of plants. As you start to enjoy herbal teas, you can expand and have them at other times and for other reasons - to soothe a cold or flu, to calm stomach upset, or simply to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of your environment.
The act of making a cup of herbal tea is something that takes preparation, intention, and most importantly, patience. It's that last one that trips people up the most. These are the same traits that are necessary to heal your autoimmune disease. It takes education to learn about what's going on in your body. It takes intention to make changes that might make you uncomfortable. It takes patience to stick with a new way of living, even though you don't get immediate relief.
I start people on their healing journey with a simple herbal tea recipe. When you start working with me, you'll get a Welcoming Wellness Kit that includes a package of my herbal infusion herbs, along with several other wonderful things to get you started.
Herbal infusions are different than an herbal tea. The most obvious difference is the amount of herb you'll use to make it. In a cup of tea, you might use a tablespoon of dried herbs. For an infusion, you'll want a half to three-quarters cup of herbs in a quart of boiling water.
This tea is made a bit differently. In a typical cup of tea, you might allow the dried herbs to steep in the water for 3-5 minutes before removing them. In an infusion, you'll allow them to steep for hours. Two is a minimum, but longer is better! The easiest way is to make your infusion at night and allow it to steep while you sleep, then sip the tea all day long. Keep your infusion in the refrigerator if you don't drink it right away. Infusions can be enjoyed cold or may be reheated to enjoy hot.
The infusion is an important herbal preparation because it more effectively extracts the trace minerals from the plants, and gets the most healing power out of them. An infusion also gets the nourishing phytochemicals deep into your digestive tract, so it better heals and soothes the damage from food intolerances and NSAID use. They are even more healing if you drink it on an empty stomach - the signal is your tummy growling!
Here is my personal recipe for a nourishing infusion. This recipe makes 3/4 cup of dried herbs, enough for a quart of infusion. You can adjust to your liking. This recipe includes rich, nourishing herbs, and most people should be able to use it daily. You should discuss this recipe with your physician to understand any concerns about interactions with other treatments you may be using. The links in the recipe will take you to Mountain Rose Herbs, who is my trusted supplier for all things herbal. Their quality control and service make them my top supplier. My Deeply Rooted clients can order their nourishing infusion through my webstore.
1T Green Rooibos - high in flavonoids and antioxidants
2 T Lemon Balm - antioxidant, calming influence, mood lifting (be aware that large quantities of lemon balm may aggravate hypothyroid conditions)
2T Chickweed - high in calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron, phosphorus, and potassium
2T Calendula Flowers - astringent, soothing to tissues of digestive tract, high in flavonoids, antioxidants
2T Wood Betony - traditional use for reducing headache pain, supports healthy nervous system
1T Plaintain Leaf - astringent, soothing to tissues of digestive tract, high in calcium, vitamins A, C, and K
1T Marshmallow leaf - high in calcium, chromium, selenium, and iron
1T Orange Peel - considerable amounts of calcium, copper, magnesium, vitamin A, folate
Pinch Vanilla Powder - flavoring, contains potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese,
1t Stevia Leaf - sweetener, contains calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, potassium, phosphorus, Selenium, Silicon, Zinc
When I make my own infusion, I use a travel infuser mug that I got from Mountain Rose Herbs. It holds my herbal infusion recipe as above and 12 ounces of water. I will make my infusion in the morning before I go to work. By about 10 AM, I will pour it over ice and refill my infuser with hot water for an afternoon treat. The vanilla and stevia are less present in the afternoon infusion, but the bitterness of the herbs is reduced from the first infusion. This is a great way to get the most out of your wonderful herbs and enjoy the infusion throughout the day.
This recipe is flexible. I always suggest using food-like herbs in your infusions because of the amount of plant material. If you don't like one of these choices, add some of your own. You might choose nettles, alfalfa, peppermint, red clover, red raspberry leaf, oatstraw, or licorice root.
If you'd like to talk more about how we can put together a customized strategy for you, schedule a Welcoming Wellness call and we'll see how well we work together.