I’ve written previously how my spirituality is connected to diet, and when I catch up on my “H” posts I will write about how it also ties into habits (tricky things, they are). I have cultivated a habit over the past year of drinking nourishing herbal infusions on a regular basis.
Nettle, comfrey leaf, red clover, oat straw, and mullein have become valuable herbal allies for me in the past year. I have been purchasing the dried herbs in bulk from a local shop called Earthly Awakenings who gets their supply through Frontier Herbs. I love this place. It’s small, and carries an eclectic mix of things, from tobacco to rough cut stones to locally made jewelry to Quan Yin statues. I have had some wonderful healing experiences at this shop in the past decade since I first moved to Cache Valley.
I met Susun Weed in 2008, at a women’s spirituality retreat. She gave a talk on the Wise Woman Tradition, including her Seven Rivers of Healing. Following Susun Weed’s Wise Woman Tradition in making and drinking these infusions, I have seen epic changes in my health and my demeanor. I have more energy and feel stronger, thanks to the fact that nettle, comfrey leaf, and mullein are rich in B vitamins. My respiratory system feels stronger, thanks to mullein. My hair is fuller and shinier, thanks to nettle. My nerves are more relaxed, thanks to oatstraw. I feel sexier, thanks to oatstraw and red clover. I have maintained a very healthy weight, thanks to the protein content of nettle (which as it turns out is also a treatment for several ailments, including dysentery).
Infusions are stronger than teas, made by pouring one quart of boiling water over an ounce (by weight) of dried herb, then letting the simple steep for 6-8 hours and straining with a canning funnel and a cloth.
I think the most surprising experience for me is how easily these plants have begun working with me. I am working with more consciousness around the plant, and felt blessed to meet some live mullein on a hike up Green Canyon trail on Saturday evening, which I might see about harvesting later this year. I know a good place to harvest nettle, too (and apparently I need to do this sooner rather than later), up a trail in the Wellsville mountains.
Susun Weed has an open forum at http://www.wisewomanuniversity.org/ for people who are interested in making and studying nourishing herbal infusions. I hope to see you there!