It’s the prefect time of year to reconnect with the various roles that plants and flowers play in our lives. So many of the blooms we love have more to offer than just beauty. With all the sickness and sluggishness that the wintery months bring, it’s a great time to move our focus away from the visual benefits (just for a moment!) and embrace the healing beauty of flowers.
We took a trip to our favorite natural health food store and stocked up on an assortment of dried plants and florals to blend to create teas and tinctures. Moving forward, we plan to grow and dry some of our own flowers to use. But here is a simple and inexpensive way to get started. Remember, there’s lots of information out there, so talk to a specialist or do some online research before deciding what you want to use. Everyone’s body reacts differently, so make sure what you choose won’t conflict with any health issues or medications you’re taking. — The Ladies of Forêt
The full post continues after the jump . . .
Chamomile: Aids digestion and calms and soothes nerves.
Dandelion Leaf: Natural diuretic. Removes excess water and toxins from the body. Helps to cleanse and protect the liver after excess amounts of alcohol and unhealthy eating. (Something we can all use this time of year!)
Eucalyptus Leaf: Internally used to relive cold and flu symptoms. Inhale vapors or use in bath to help with chest congestion. Externally used as an antiseptic or an antibacterial and to relieve aches, stiffness and pains associated with burns and scrapes.
Feverfew: Derived from the Latin word for fever reducer, this is used to treat headaches and reduce fever.
Holy Basil (Tulsi): Thought to be the most sacred herb of India and known for its many healing qualities including stress relief, boosting and supporting immunity and promoting healthy metabolism.
Hops Flower: Similar to Valerian in promoting anxiety and stress relief and aiding in alleviating restlessness and insomnia.
Lavender: Helps promote restful sleep and stress relief. When applied topically, it helps to relieve irritated and dry skin due to rashes, burns or minor cuts.
Rose: A natural antidepressant, astringent, antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and digestive stimulant.
Shiitake Mushroom: Great immune-system booster and antioxidant.
Yarrow: When added to other herbs, helps intensify their medicinal benefits. Also aids in cold and flu relief.
Forêt’s Quick Tincture Recipe
Making a tincture from herbs is a great way to prolong the shelf life and preserve the medicinal benefits of each plant. It’s quick and easy and will come in handy as various health issues arise. Plus, how cool is it to have your very own mini apothecary?! A few drops of your homemade tincture can be added to water or herbal tea. There are lots of variations on how a tincture can be made, but here is our formula. We find it helpful to make a tincture that consists of one plant or flower that can then be combined with other tinctures. We chose to use dried herbs in our recipe. Our recipe calls for vegetable glycerin and not alcohol, but either way works; it’s just a matter of preference.
- dried plant of your choice
- vegetable glycerin or 80 proof vodka
- a canning jar that is air tight
- filtered water
- cheese cloth
- dark glass jar to store tincture in once it’s complete
Start by filling your jar halfway with dried flowers. Next, add two parts vegetable glycerin to one part filtered water to fill the rest of the container. Once all ingredients are in, secure the top of the jar and give it a good shake until everything is mixed well (you may need to stir first). Then find a cool, dark place to store the jar for at least two weeks and up to six weeks. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the end result will be. Give the jar a shake once a day during the storing process. When the mixture has sat for the allotted time, take your cheese cloth and strain the plants from the liquid. The healing elements will be absorbed into the vegetable glycerin, so the plant material can be composted or thrown out after this step. Use a dark glass jar with a dropper-fitted lid to store your finished tincture!