It was difficult to narrow down my favorite teas to just two out of all the zillions of herbs and combinations of herbs that are available so I chose by season, winter. And in winter two of my favorite herbs for tea are organic sources of dried nettle leaf and sacred tulsi. I infuse each of these as loose leaf teas. I prefer loose leaf to tea bags unless I’m traveling, which I am not doing much of these days!
Even though I just mentioned Tulsi and Nettle as my favorite Winter teas I will further confuse you by admitting these teas are also my favorites in spring and summer! I can easily drink 2-3 quarts of stinging nettles in a week in the heat of summer. Sometimes I will toss in a handful of rosehips into the nettles and infuse overnight.
In the winter I put a small thermos of infused Sacred Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) by my bed at night and for me it encourages a peaceful sleep. If I wake up, a few sips of warm tulsi tea is a peaceful remedy.
In Hindu tradition it is believed that Tulsi is a goddess embodied in an herb. It is revered as the holiest of all plants.
“Tulsi is one of the most sacred plants in India and is often kept in courtyards and houses for its purifying and beneficial influence on its surroundings. It removes excess kapha from the lungs and upper respiratory tract promoting clear, comfortable breathing. Tulsi promotes healthy circulation and supports proper function of the heart. It strengthens digestion and supports proper weight management…Highly sattvic in nature, Tulsi heightens awareness and promotes mental clarity. It is said to open the heart and mind and bestow the energy of love and devotion. Tulsi clears the aura and strengthens faith and compassion.” - Yoga of Herbs*
We offer sacred Tulsi HydroSoul. It is artisan distilled in alembic copper for the hydrosol alone. Tulsi is an exceptionally active, vitalizing, protective plant fluid. Its benefits are embodied in the fragrance of the hydrosol as well as the infused tea.
Here’s how I make Tulsi infusion:
Infuse approximately 1-1.5 tablespoon of organic loose leaf sacred tulsi tea to 12 oz of freshly boiled water, adjust tea or water to suit taste.
Tulsi tea enlivens the emotions, bringing conscious awareness into the mind. In a word: it awakens. In the wisdom of Ayurveda, Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) exhibits anti-oxidant, purifying benefits to skin, respiratory passages and psyche.
Nettles are known as the mother of all spring tonic herbs, and nutritionally support the whole body.
I’ve been infusing Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica), a common weed, for years. I love the range of colors which go from deep green to pale green to a hay color when I infuse it in the sun as a Sun Tea. The dried herb makes a very nourishing infusion that supplies the body’s system with energy without stressing the adrenals as caffeine does.
Nettle leaf energizes the entire system. It is rich in protein, vitamins, trace minerals, zinc, chromium and boron for building strong bones. I don’t know any women, of any age, who can’t benefit from minerals that produce stronger bones. Nettles are packed with calcium, Vit A, K, and most B vitamins.
I am almost addicted to the taste, and love infused nettles tea iced in the summer, or warm in the winter months.
I have a scent memory associated to nettles, its taste and scent brings back memories of my childhood when my sister and our friends would sleep in our barn. We’d bring pillows and a blanket and sleep right on top of alfalfa. The sweet fragrance of alfalfa never left my memory, and nettles bring me back to those halcyon days as a child sleeping on bales of alfalfa! In those days I didn’t mind sleeping on prickly, itchy bales of hay that felt just like a bed of needles. Actually, I never did make it all the way through an entire night.
Even during spring, fresh nettle season, I still choose to infuse the dried leaf. I get a 4 oz bag from my favorite herbal supplier which lasts about a month.
Here’s how I make Nettle Infusion:
I infuse a full one ounce of dried organic nettle in a quart sized mason jar of freshly boiled water. Stir with wooden spoon to swirl around the leaf. Put lid tightly on the jar. Infuse the brew on counter till cooled, this takes about four hours. After the jar has cooled down, put it in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning strain the tea, and spread the spent nettle leaves in the garden. I can drink the entire quart infusion during the day, and at night start the process over again. I tend to drink 2-3 quarts a week. This is great for nails, hair and it is a wonderful remedy for skin. Drink nettle infusion within a day or so.