I love going into my local herb shop. I’m in there on a regular basis all year long but at this time of year it’s special. I’m refreshing my herbs! It’s so exciting to pick and choose from all those jars. The smells of each jar as they are opened and spooned into my bag to bring home is just a delight. It just makes you feel good!
Deciding on which herbs to buy is such a personal decision. There are so many to choose from so I am always sure to do my research at home first and make my list. I usually write down a few of each type I’m looking for so that if I get to the shop and there isn’t the first choice available I will have others to substitute with the same benefit that I’m looking for.
I always replenish at this time of year as I look at spring as a fresh start of the new year. I know many people start their new year in January but I’m actually in hibernation mode during the winter months. As soon as the birds are starting to sing and the trees are beginning to bud I feel like a new beginning has arrived.
Now is when I organize my herbal Tincture/supply cabinet.
I have made several tinctures over the last few years. I prefer this form as they have a nice long shelf-life. Each tincture is labeled with its name and date tinctured but I have a project on the horizon for labeling each one with it’s benefits right on the front. This will help me to remember their uses at a glance. The cabinet was really a mess after the holidays. The bottles and containers that I use for gifts are now going to be kept neatly in those flowered boxes.
Lots of gift giving was done so all of my tea blends are basically empty. I will now begin the list making ritual. You know – the new projects I want to try, the new recipes I want to make and just restocking the basic dry herbs that I used all winter long. Soon I’ll be walking in the woods again and watching new plants spring to life. I love making tinctures from fresh plants and I also really enjoy making tea blends with my dried herbs.
This is my dry herbal stash, it’s in my office on the back of the door. As you can see my tea blends at the top are basically empty.
It seems like everyone has a cough or a cold right now. I think it’s the change in the weather back and forth between warmer and then freezing cold here in the Northeast. It really challenges your immune system making you more susceptible to catching the cold virus.
Here is a recipe to help make that cold short lived.
Cough and Cold Tea
- 1 teaspoon Red Clover - expectorant
- 1 teaspoon Holy Basil - relief from respiratory infections, coughs and bronchitis
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Balm - reduces muscle aches and pains
Put herbs into a filter bag or ball - Steep for about 4 minutes for a single cup.
To make a pitcher of the above tea use about a tablespoon of each herb. Let steep overnight. Drink throughout the next day when it is completely cooled. Add a little lemon and local honey.
Dogs drink tea too!
You can also give your dog a tea blend for their coat/skin health. Their coat may have become dry over the past few months because of the inside heat and the cold weather outside.
Here’s a recipe that Ivy loves!
- 1 teaspoon Burdock root - purifies the blood
- 1 teaspoon Dandelion - detoxifies
- 1 teaspoon Nettle - body cleanser
- Add a teaspoon of each herb and place into a filter bag
- Boil about 4 cups of water and steep herbs for about 8 minutes
- Prepare the night before let cool and use the next day
- Add the correct amount to your dogs food 1/3 times a day.
- This tea is gentle enough to use daily
Dosage by weight
1-20 lbs 1/4 cup 1-3 times a day
20-50 lbs 1/4 - 1/2 cup 1-3 times a day
50-100 lbs 1/2 - 1 cup 1-3 times a day