Infusions are a healthy drink you can sip on all day long. A great way to give your body needed vitamins and minerals without swallowing a ton of pills. And infusions are super easy to make!
Believe it or not I skipped right over teas and infusions and went straight to tinctures and salves when I first started working with herbs. I first learned about infusions from Rosalee de la Foret of herbmentor. I mean I’d heard the phrase before but I just thought it was another name for a tea. But infusions are so much more!
What is an infusion?
An infusion is brewing a large amount of herbs in water for a long amount of time. Unlike tea which is only brewed for a few minutes, infusions are usually brewed for a few hours.
How you are supposed to drink infusions?
Infusions are nourishing drinks that you can drink all day long. They pack more punch than your average herbal tea. Because infusions use more herbs and steep longer than your average tea they tend to be more flavorful and they hold more of the plant properties in the drink. Instead of your typical store bought iced tea, make an herbal infusion. You can drink them over ice all day long if you are using an herb that you aren’t supposed to limit. I use infusions to easily add nutrition to my body while also staying hydrated.
What herbs should I use?
Nutritive herbs are best for infusions. Nutritive herbs contain vitamins and minerals that are in most cases easily absorbed by the bodies. Some nutritive herbs are Nettle, alfalfa, red raspberry leaf and oat straw. The herb you choose for your infusion will depend on what your goal is. Red Raspberry is good for female reproductive organs and Nettle is great for an all around nutrition boost not to mention a good defense against seasonal allergies. You can also add tastier herbs to make the drink more enjoyable.
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How to make an infusion?
An infusion is a ratio of one quart of boiled water poured over one ounce by weight or 1 cup by volume of your chosen herb or or herbs. To make mine more of a concentrate I will sometimes place 1.5-2 cups of herbs in my french press. Using my french press makes the straining process easier but you can use a quart mason jar or a larger glass pitcher or bowl.
After you’ve poured the water over the herbs let them steep for four hours or more. After they’ve steeped strain out the herbs and store in the fridge for a day or two.
I make my infusions in the evening before bed and let them steep overnight. When I first started making infusions I did measure but now it's more like a dump infusion. I toss in about three different herbs and use sight instead of measuring cups .
I will take my concentrated infusion and add it to my large cup of water throughout the day. My first few infusions tasted too strong for me. When I started adding it to my water I was not only able to tolerate it but I enjoyed it. Now using the concentrate I get more of the herbal infusion and the taste has grown on me.
I love my water, I really do, but some days I can only drink so much of it. When I'm board with water I go looking for something to change it up. Now that I have a daily infusion easily available to me I'll grab that instead of some other, possibly unhealthy, drink.
Is my daily infusion doing me any good?
I really dug into infusions when I was pregnant with my second child. I was drinking red raspberry infusions during my last weeks of pregnancy! I went over due with my first son and had to be induced and I did not want to do this again. I started drinking red raspberry at week 39. I was afraid of going early so I didn't start too soon. I probably could have started sooner and drank much more, (along with trying other things) because my second son also came by induction, 11 days late. His birth was much more pleasant than the first however.
The induction was less traumatic and the laboring seemed like it was more productive. I can attribute this to many things but I have to give credit to the infusion as well. Red Raspberry leaf tea is said to strengthen the uterus. As quickly as my son came once we got the process started showed me that my contractions and my pushes were much stronger than they were the first time around.
Now days I will usually drink an infusion that is mostly nettle mixed with whichever nutritive herb I feel I need at the time. The recommended amount of certain herbs to be considered therapeutic is often more than I’ll actually drink in a day.
So are my infusions actually doing anything for me?
I believe they are. Something is certainly better than nothing. And because of my infusions, I drink healthy fluids throughout the day without getting board. I like a nice iced tea. I’ve also never been one to add a ton of sugar to tea so drinking an infusion without a sweetner is fine by me. You may find this harder to do. If you do, look to herbs like stevia, mint or lemon balm to add a sweeter taste to your infusion and avoid sugar.
So even if I’m not drinking therapeutic levels of the herbs my infusions are helping me to get in plenty of healthy fluids and they help me say no to sugary drinks. They are also adding much needed vitamins and minerals to my daily routine since I don’t take any routine supplements. And believe me I notice when I go a day or two without drinking my infusion.
Should you try an infusion?
YES! Everyone should. Infusions are a simple way to add herbs to your daily routine. They can be tasty and they are fun! Infusions are a great way to get to know your herbs by taste. And tasting herbs is a powerful thing!
What do you think? Can you make room for infusions in your day? It’s a great way to take personal responsibility for your health and they are so simple to make! Tell me what you think? Do you have some local herbs you could easily turn into a daily infusion?