Spring Awakenings: Iced Herbal Elixirs
“Every green herb, from the lotus to the darnel, is rich with delicate aids to help incurious man.” –– Martin Farquhar Tupper
As the season changes, sweet aromas and vibrant colors flood our senses. Petals in bloom signify new life. It’s a natural time to reflect on how we flourish too. Just as flowers need sunshine and water to thrive, eating mindfully isn’t only about food. Processed sugar, caffeine, dairy, alcohol: the liquids we consume ought to deserve equal attention.
Before there were antidepressants and antihistamines, the earth was our pharmacy. And Mother Nature provided for us in abundance… Chamomile calmed nerves and soothed skin. Cone flower (aka echinacea) prevented colds from setting in the bones. Lavender and peppermint settled digestive concerns. In Medieval times, forward thinking Alchemists and exotic Green Witches would journey through the woods, gathering armfuls of fragrant herbs and spices. Later on, they would use their bounty to brew curative potions over the fire.
Today, Instead of waiting until we’re unwell, we can carry on that same healing tradition by crafting herbal elixirs that work from within to nurture wellness. Although they are also satisfying hot, they are meant to be consumed cold.
*Measurement is for one 16 oz glass. Multiply as desired. Some recipes use 18 oz water to allow for boiling off reduction. Unless otherwise noted, each elixir can be stored for 7-10 days.
Delicately fragrant lemongrass and Jasmine lends comfort and offers a tangy ginger surprise. Sip often to promote natural beauty and a sense of overall well-being.
Healing offerings: jasmine brings relaxation, may induce sleep and have anticancer properties. Lemongrass may boost red blood cell levels, lower cholesterol and prevent infection. Ginger and turmeric are known for having powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent numerous diseases, clear skin and have anti-aging benefits.
1 tsp Lemongrass
5 dry Jasmine Blossoms
1/4 tsp Fresh Grated Ginger, or Dry Ginger 1/8 tsp
1/8 tsp Turmeric Powder
Optional: 1 Tbsp Honey
18 oz water
Large Mason Jar
How to craft: Combine all ingredients with the exception of honey, in a saucepan on medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 5 minutes. Shut off flame and stir in honey until dissolved. Once room temperature, strain and pour into Mason jar and chill.
This caffeine-free aromatic brain booster offers a natural pick-me-up that may intensify mental focus. Plus, it’s naturally relaxing. And... just as much fun to enjoy upon waking as bedtime.
Healing offerings: both moringa and sweet basil are adaptogen herbs that naturally fight stress. Full of antioxidants, they also contain anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. On its own, moringa is a super-herb capable of relaxing or stimulating the mind with an array of health benefits. Refreshing spearmint assists with digestive concerns, may lower blood sugar and strengthen memory.
What you’ll need:
1 tsp Spearmint
1/4 tsp Sweet Basil
1/2 tsp Moringa Powder or Tea Leaves
1/2 Juice of Lime
Optional: 1/2 tsp Stevia
18 oz Water
Large Mason jar
How to craft: With the exception of lime, add all ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. Once room temperature, strain and pour into a Mason jar. Refrigerate until cold. When ready to drink, squeeze the juice of half a lime. If desired, add stevia or sweetener of your choice.
A luxurious deep scarlet potion, naturally steeped… As healthy as it is beautiful. Drink on its own or as a satisfying holistic wine substitute.
Healing Offerings: hibiscus may lower blood pressure and cholesterol and have antibiotic properties. Roobios is rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants. Cinnamon may lower blood sugar levels, reduce heart disease and contains antioxidants.
What you’ll need:
1/2 tsp Hibiscus tea or 1 tsp Dry Hibiscus Flowers
1 tsp Rooibos Tea
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Lemon Zest
Optional: 1 Tbsp Honey
16 oz Spring Water (room temperature)
Large Clear Mason Jar
How to craft:
Combine all ingredients in a Mason jar. Place in a sunny spot overnight until naturally steeped. Strain the next day, refrigerate and serve cold over ice with optional lemon wedge garnish.
Grow organic herbs in your kitchen. Or fetch them at your local farmers market. However you choose to acquire your ingredients, make a self-care ritual of drinking nature with elixirs made from the earth’s bounty.
* Plant medicine and its health claims are not scientifically proven. Herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA as drugs and may cause serious side effects. Before taking any plant medicine/herbs/flowers/spices, make sure it’s safe for you.