An ode to tea! You can do so much more with tea than just drink it.
My favorite herbal teas are made by Walden Farmacy
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Welcome back to the Timely Drops of Wisdom podcast. I'm your host, Jessica Carmon. I am the founder of ReSourced Apothecary, where we ask you to rethink how you refill your cup. In today's episode, we continue our miniseries on plant medicine preparations. Dear listener, Thank you for joining me specifically in this series.
While I absolutely love getting into the really esoteric side of working with the plants, and this space will always be devoted to sharing their messages, The time feels right to give ourselves a refresher on some of the more commonly used physical forms of plant medicine available. I doubt this information is new to you, but it never hurts to refresh your understanding.
I invite you to use this mini series as an opportunity to visit your personal medicine cabinet and to get really clear on how you prefer to work with the plants. If you're not sure, this series will give you the opportunity to check in with you and see which forms of medicine call to you. Don't feel like you have to pick favorites and don't feel like you have to like them.
Remember, approach this with non-judgment and get to know yourself better in that knowing you'll be ready to approach your relationships with the plants on an even deeper level. And that my friend, is what it's all about. So let's explore the next plant medicine preparation in this series.
They say the best medicine is the one you'll actually take. For many reasons, tea will fall across the spectrum in this regard. An herbal tea uses fresh or dried plant material, water and time. Depending on the part of the plant used and the intentions for use, heat may or may not be applied.
In the previous episode on flower essences, we discussed how water is used to capture the essence of the plant. In a tea preparation, we are looking to extract not only the essence of the plant, but the physical constituents and nutrients contained within the plant as well. Those nutrients and compounds are going to act on our physical, emotional and energy bodies.
Our reasons for drinking tea can vary. In the us especially in the south, the majority of people choose tea as a refreshing beverage, something with some flavor that's just more interesting than water. Oftentimes, the plants used are chosen because they do or do not contain caffeine and have a pleasant taste.
Then we get into herbal teas. In this case, taste is important and we are focusing more on the nutrients and benefits offered by the different plants used. When we work with plants with high available mineral and vitamin content, we access one of the more pleasant ways to fortify our bodies. I'm thinking stinging nettles tea and spring greens like chickweed, Cleavers, violet leaves. As a general rule, one's capacity for drinking these teas is going to be greater than eating the fresh plants, so we have the ability to get more of their nutrients into our systems.
It is here that I'd like to expand on the uses of herbal teas. Yes, we can drink them. Depending upon the plants used, they can go beyond liquid vitamin and into the medicinal realm. We can craft teas to support digestion, to calm our bodies and minds, to lift our spirits and give us energy and to offer specific support to different organ systems.
The tea itself though is not limited to a drink. You can reap the benefits of teas by breathing in their steam. This is especially powerful with aromatic herbs. There are also many benefits to topical applications of teas. The skin is the largest organ of the body. Skin will quickly absorb what is applied to it.
An herbal rinse or wash can work wonders to help treat wounds, tone skin support, cellular structure, and strengthen hair follicles. Herbal baths, or bath teas, as I call them, Offer a combination of benefits. You can create an immersive sensory experience where the aromas, nutrients, and minerals are all available to support the body, mind, and spirit.
These are especially nice when you either can't or don't want to ingest the tea as medicine.
Don't have a bath? How about a basin? For a foot or hand soak, want to treat a specific area of the body? Soak a clean cotton cloth in the tea and wrap it around that area . There are so many options.
And while making tea can be a simple act, Don't dismiss the power or complexity of a well blended, appropriately chosen tea.
So many cultures around the world cherish herbal tea as powerful and effective medicine, both used for preventative care and acute care. When we approach the act of blending and making tea with reverence and mindful intention, we have the opportunity to learn so much about the plants and to really deepen our relationship with them, connecting to them with our senses and observing their actions on the body and the mind.
A beautiful thing here is that there are so many lovely blends available to us from skilled, herbalist and plant people. We don't have to dive into this process alone.
If you would like to create your own blends or work with individual plants as teas, I want to invite you to read up on the plants you'd like to use.
Make sure you know that they are safe for consumption or topical applications. Get a feel for how they act on the body and how best to prepare them. Take time to consciously connect with the plant physically and energetically.
There is good reason for all the ceremony and ritual that exists around tea.
If it calls to you, explore that. Be open to how tea might strengthen your relationship to the plants, while also offering many physical, spiritual and emotional benefits.