All posts tagged: bitters

Burdock in Flower - Arctium Lappa

Supplements & Recipes for Cleansing

I go back and forth about how I feel about supplements (which includes but is not limited to vitamins, fiber, herbal capsules, amino acids, essential fatty acids, ect…). There have been times where they have served my health extremely well, and other times where I felt it had little if any effect. But that’s just my experience. Now I honor supplements almost the same way I do Western biomedicine; as a wonderful offering of modern day technology that we can intentionally choose or occasionally need to take to empower our health or correct a serious imbalance. That being said, there are two supplements I have seen work well with cleansing. The first is a fiber and/or digestive demulcents. I say “and/or” because although they are often combined together and work well as one, considering they act on the same place (the gut) they don’ necessarily need to be. Fiber supplements can do more than simply add more dietary fiber to your diet.  The “bulking” or absorptive quality of fiber can bind to heavy metals, cellular …

steeping

Medicine Making Mondays – Cold Infusions

Oh, the many ways to make tea! Cold infusions are steeping plant matter in non-boiled water. The water need not be cold in temperature to make a cold infusion, it can be anywhere from lukewarm from the tap to icy cold spring water. Directions for making a cold infusion: To make 2 cups, put 3 heaping tablespoons of dried herb to a large tea strainer/infuser or muslin pouch. Add water to a pint jar, then suspend the herb in the pouch or infuser in the water. Let sit overnight. squeeze or press the marc (the herb in the infuser or bag) into the tea to strain. Drink and enjoy! Why do we make cold infusions, you may wonder. If hot water aids in extracting the medicinal qualities from herbs, then wouldn’t steeping herbs in cold or room temperature water hinder the extraction of important chemical constituents? Not necessarily. Richo Cech explains; “Some herbs, like marshmallow and blessed thistle, lend their active principles better to cold water than to hot. This is usually due to the …

Bitters-for Hot Conditions

I’ve always been a fan of bitters; my taste-buds appreciate the wake-up call, my belly the appetite stimulation. I have taken them from time to time, and felt they were effective. Until this morning, I never gave them my undying support much thought…until I read in Simon Mills’ The Essential Book of Herbal Medicine that bitters may not be indicated in cold conditions or people. I am a cold person (just listen to my screaming boyfriend when I crawl into bed at night and lay my icy paws on his back), and here I have been using bitters the whole while! After some investigation, I have found that aromatic digestives (sometimes simply referred to as aromatics) are indicated for cold people and conditions like myself. Aromatics will be discussed in the next post. Mills (226) states that bitters are indicated for hot conditions, such as liver conditions like jaundice and food/drug toxicity, gall-bladder disease, poor digestion, food intolerances, “chronic inflammatory diseases of the skin, joints, vascular system and bowel, migrainous headaches and fevers”, and blood-sugar …

Blessed Thistle: Cnicus benedictus

Annual native to southern Europe, growing wild in stony, uncultivated areas with lots of warm sun. Cultivated throughout Europe as a beautiful plant to add texture to gardens as well as for its medicinal uses. Grieve’s historical research led her to say that “it is said to have obtained its name from its high reputation as a heal-all, being supposed even to cure the plague”. The plant was recorded as medicine definitely by the late 1500’s (probably earlier), and even Shakespeare wrote in Much Ado about Nothing, says: “Get you some of this distilled Carduus Benedictus and lay it to your heart; it is the only thing for a qualm…. I mean plain Holy Thistle” (Grieve, A Modern Herbal). I first met blessed thistle in an English style hedged garden at Perennial Pleasures, in East Hardwick, Vermont (perennialpleasures.net). I was immediately struck by the coexisting softness and sharpness evident in this plant. It’s almost feathery yet sharp, radial flower center are surrounded by the long downy leaves capped in irregular teeth, the whole plant seemed …