Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Herbal infusion

The last time I went to the Dr. she asked me if I was taking a calcium supplement, now that I'm getting to be middle aged.

Me: "No, but I drink milk".

Dr. "How many glasses of milk do you drink per day?"

Me: "Well... Ummm....... I put a lot in my coffee!"

Dr.: "Uh, no."

I love my Dr. don't get me wrong, she's cool. But I hate vitamins. I forget to take them, and when I remember to take them, it seems like they make me feel like I'm turning into a giant vitamin, you know? Like I smell like a vitamin, I sweat vitamin, I pee vitamin, my breath smells like a vitamin, etc. I just don't like them!

So, I have decided to turn to my normal way of dealing with my body: herbs.

Here's my new calcium routine, so I can (hopefully!) avoid having brittle bones, a broken hip and a hump on my back when I'm old:

Oatstraw and nettle infusion.

The nice thing is, not only will it help prevent osteoporosis, but it may also keep my nerves calm, lower my cholesterol, stabilize my blood sugar levels, increase my energy, make my hair shiny, clear up my skin and a bunch of other good stuff.

I buy the herbs from Red Moon Herbs. I've bought tinctures from them in the past that I really liked.

(Some of you may remember that I dried some nettles in the spring, sadly: they got moldy. Next time I'll dry them in the oven).

I tried drinking my new brew this morning, and it was tasty too. Can't beat that with a stick now, Babe.


Blogger Scott said...

I was raised on herbs, don't do the Dr thingy,,am a medical heretic too. The nettle is very good. Have you got a copy of Back to Eden? It is a great book by Jethro Klaus (spelling?)Also being that I am mostly a vegetarian, I too need to up my dose of herbal remedies,, think I will do a few tonics myself this week. thanks for the info,,, also look at your eagle post again... i wrote another comment.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Liquidplastic said...

I am going to try this out. I love teas and I hate vitamin too. Because of my low iron I am forced to take pre-natal pills at my age. I am going to look for an alternative. Thanks for the links!

5:02 AM  
Blogger ticharu said...

In total agreement
The pharmicuedicals have the doctors in their back pockets, they kill over 100,000 people a year with their experiments. The kingdom of plants were 'programmed' to provide us with everything we need. It's just a question of learning.

5:29 AM  
Blogger Tania said...

Don't forget that dark green leafy vegetables are packed with calcium! Also, only about 25% of the calcium you consume gets absorbed. And if you're worried about bone weakening in later life, make sure to keep up with weight bearing exercise.

I've read that calcium intake (through food and supplements) is hugest in the countries where people get osteoporosis more frequently. They suspect it's because people in cultures that take less calcium are more physically active, among other things. So keep moving!

6:52 AM  
Blogger Jonniker said...

You're so cool. And I second T's weight bearing exercise schpiel. It really helps and makes you feel better, too!

11:12 AM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

I like taking herbs too. I order many of mine thru San Francisco Herb co. Check it out. How do you make your Nettle and oatstraw tea?

1:59 PM  
Blogger katiedid said...

Some other good, though a little surprising, sources of calcium are kidney beans, sesame seeds, and almonds. All yummy things.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Scott: Thanks for the tip, I will look for that book.

Amais: For iron, have you tried yellow dock? It's good because it actually helps your body absorb the iron.

Ticharu: I agree about the plants being programmed. But sometimes Western medicine has it's place too. I try to take the good from each.

Tania: I think nettles are a green leafy veg. :-) Also, you are totally right about the exercise thing, but I hate to exercise. I mean, I like to hike in the woods, work in my garden, showshoe, ice skate, etc. I just hate working out in a gym or in front of an exercise video on TV. It's hard to fit the more natural things I do enjoy into my week because my time for myself is very limited as a mom and full time librarian. Ah well...

Jonna: I'm honored! You are one of the coolest girls I know! :-)

Lucy: Thanks for the link. For the infusion, I take a quart mason jar and put 1/2 cup oat straw and 1/2 cup of nettles. Then I fill with boiling water, put the top on and leave it for 4 hours. (An infusion is a lot stronger than a tea.) I strain, throw the herbs in the compost bin (nettles make awesome compost) and put the liquid in the fridge. Then I drink about 1 cup when I want it, either hot or cold. Sounds more complicated than it really is. :-)

Another thing you can do is soak the herbs in vinegar, which also extracts the minerals and nurtients. I think you have to leave it soaking for a longer time, like a few days. Then you can mix it with olive oil for a very healthy salad dressing. Or if you prefer, you can buy the vinegar premade at red moon herbs.

Katiedid: Cool. I like those too. :-)

6:38 AM  
Blogger Bubbles said...

You know I take a lot of vitamins, Kate. Do I smell like a giant vitamin? You would tell me if I did, right? ;-)

8:49 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

No you don't Jeanie, and yes, I would tell you if you did! :-)

And it's prob. just in my imagination anyway. :-)

10:31 AM  
Blogger As always... Rachael said...

I don't trust vitamins. All those alleged nutirents pack in to pill... I just know I'm pissing most of them away. I don't think they can possibly be absorbed in the same way that the body digests food.

4:46 AM  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

Oh Kate, thanks for the tips!!
I'm getting old too :-) and I hate taking supplements. Its bad enough with the syhthroid.
I don't drink much milk either but I do eat a lot of vegetables. I always thought that might be good for my calcium but haven't really calculated it. will have to try your drink!

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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4:09 PM  
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3:59 PM  
Blogger chris said...

Yes, I am really into tinctures. I have wildcrafted boneset and elderberry and use them for cold season.

One question I have is can you get calcium through a tincture?

9:00 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Hi Chris, I use tinctures too, but what I am talking about in this article is infusion, with water. Like a really strong tea that you brew overnight. 1 oz dried herb to a quart of boiling water, brewed for like 8 hours.

Tinctures (which I think of as made with alcohol) are taken in smaller amounts so I don't think you can get too much calcium that way. Also, different things are solible in water vs. alcohol, not sure if calcium gets into the alcohol or not? I know it will go into vinegar very readily. Plus herbal vinegar is so yum! :-)

9:11 AM  
Blogger chris said...

Nutritious Calcium Tea

1/2 cup dried Organic Peppermint leaves
1/2 cup dried Organic Oatstraw
1/2 cup dried Organic Nettle leaves
1/4 cup dried Organic Alfalfa leaves
1/8 cup dried Organic Horsetail herb

Mix together and store tightly up to two years in a dark glass jar. Keep away from light and heat.

Directions: Pour 1 cup of just slightly boiled water over 1 tbsp. of herb mix. Steep 15-30 minutes. Strain. (Pot: 4 - 6 tbsp. of mix per quart of water)

Dose: Adults drink up to 3-4 cups daily throughout the fall and winter months. Children: child’s age dived by 12 plus their age. For example a four year old’s dose would be: 4 divided by (12 + 4); = 4 divided by 16 = 4/16 = 1/4 of adult dose or 1/4 cup up to 3-4 times a day.

If you are using this tea for medicinal purposes do not use any kind of sweetener. Stevia is one exception. This naturally sweet herb may be used for those who need a sweeter taste.

"This tea is full vitamins (A, D, E and K), minerals such as iron and calcium; protein; digestive enzymes; and other trace minerals. One cup of this tea contains an amount of calcium comparable to one glass of milk."

Colleen Hulett, Herbalist

Wow! you are right. I did not know you can get calcium from an infused herbal tea. Cool Idea. Thanks

6:15 PM  

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