Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum)
Holy Basil, also referred to as Tulsi, is my very favorite supportive herb for everyday use. If I could, I'd put it in every single tea I drink. While it can't take away our stress, Holy Basil helps us deal with the stress better which is important as stress has a severe impact on our mind, body, and spirit.
Picture vine tomatoes growing in a vegetable garden. Now picture the stake the vine is wrapped around, bolstering the plant and holding it up. That's Holy Basil with you every day.
Milky Oats (Avena sativa)
Is it me or does its scientific name just dance on the tongue. Avena sativa. *doing a little nodding dance* Avena sativa. Avena sativa.
Alright, enough of that.
You've probably already had a version of Milky Oats already, as oatmeal. And with good reason. They are nutritive and safe for a wide variety of folks, which isn't always so in the plant world.
They are highly nutritious, containing a high content of vitamins and minerals your body is always on the look out for. They do wonders for a nervous nervous system (sorry I had to), soothing and strengthening its response to stressors. I particularly love Milky Oats as a supportive herb for working through shadow work, which always does a number on my emotional and mental health, providing a grounding and steady energy I can find comfort in. Their association with abundance and support for contentment and well-being also led me to feature them in my Fulfillment meditative tarot tea for the Nine of Pentacles, naturally.
They also look like creepy flying bugs, which I love less but has always made them super easy to identify.
Nettles (Urtica dioica)
When I first got into herbalism, Nettles were that plant that every herbalist unequivocally reacted with a resounding YES, TAKE IT!
I actually grew up eating it. My mother used to take the time to go pick them from a small patch, get stung by the leaves, grumble under her breath, and add them to a stew. I never wondered what they were, or cared, I just knew not to ever volunteer to help her wash them after my first stinging feel.
I know better now. Nettles are the boss lady of all nutritive herbs. I could go on and on but these are the highlights of why it should be part of your everyday herb routine. Nettles are incredibly nourishing, your body welcomes it as both necessary food and medicine. Nettles help regulate stress and improve energy levels over time as well as support detoxification. I keep talking about stress in this list but the need for better stress management cannot be overstated. Spiritually (and taste-wise for that matter) they feel like the earth. Grounding, practical, clarifying , and foundational. You need them in your life.
Burdock (Arctium lappa)
[insert Burdock Yellow joke here]
Burdock is another quiet but mighty mover of the plant world. I'll focus on the roots as that is what I'm adding to the tincture. Add burdock to your infusions and stews over the winter months to boost your immune system and help your body strengthen to fight off attacks. Burdock will also help move a stagnant digestive and circulatory system acting as a wonderful cleanser of both these important systems.
If you've been experiencing stagnancy and general stuck-in-the-mud feelings, harness its energy and get your whole root space together while feeling grounded and protected.
She's not just a pretty face.
Under the right circumstances, preparation, and integration there is little that ails the human heart, mind, and body that dear Rose cannot provide at least some support to.
I'll focus on why I have it in this tincture. Rose medicine warms, opens, clears, and protects our hearts. Rose also calms tension, is anti-inflammatory (think of how that might be helpful both physically and emotionally/spiritually/mentally) helps us de-stress, soothes upset gut, eases headaches, and even supports healthy blood pressure.
In this grieving period I am transitioning through, Rose has been a constant. Rose is my reminder to stay soft even as I move through the worst of the pain. It's helped me stay open instead of retreating to hard, unyielding, unhelpful walls. If it's not directly added to a tea blend, I end up popping a loose rosebud into my tea mug anyway, just to keep the sweet and powerful magic of Rose medicine close.
For 2018 I set intentions to grow into more nourishing boundaries, peace, and true expression of self. During the portentous Full Moon in Cancer, on the first day of this new year, I decided to brew up a tincture of these allies to support my intention setting for 2018.
I'll give it a special blessing during our first Blue Moon and then truly open it up for the New Moon in Aquarius in February.
Simple steps for your tinctures.
- Canning jar with tight-seal lid
- Herbs, dry or fresh (as above or whatever blend called to you)
- 80 proof or better drinking alcohol (vodka, brandy, etc)
- Place herbs in jar, about 3/4 full.
- Pour in alcohol and ensure herbs are fully covered.
- Cover tightly and store in a cool, dry, and dark place for around 4-6 weeks.
During this period be sure to give your jar a good shake every now and then and make sure to keep alcohol level above the herbs. Don't be afraid to whisper to your little jar of plant magic along the way. Speak blessing, prayer, and intention- maybe even let it catch some moonlight.
At the end of the 4-6 weeks strain well and filter.