They’re a great way to get important nutrients, medicinal constituents into your body

  • Easy to prepare
  • Inexpensive
  • They can be tasty & enjoyable. Some people don’t enjoy tinctures, or popping capsule or pills

It creates a ritual, or time for personal space in a busy life. Teas work best when taken in the quiet of the evening, with a prayer.

  • We can bathe in them!
  • Water soluble constituents include: carbohydrates, enzymes, mucilage, pectins, saponins, & polysaccharides


For loose tea infusions:

  • use a tea pot or strainer to strain the herbs.
  • Boil water and pour it over the herbs. Let steep as little as 5 minutes, up to 1 hours (if it is having roots), depending on desire for therapeutic benefits, and the plants you’re working with.
  • use 2 x heaping tablespoon of herb to 500ml of hot water for teapot
  • Use 1 levelled teaspoon of herb to 250ml of hot water for teacup
  • For a more therapeutic quality consider steeping for 30 minutes to 4 hours for leaves, and overnight for roots and barks.

For Teabag infusions:

  • Boil water and pour over teabag.
  • Let steep as little as 5 minutes, for more therapeutic quality steep for up to 1 hours (if it is having roots)
  • Sun teas: These work best with delicate plant matter such as leaves and flowers. Use 1 cup containing a teabag, to 250ml to warm water. Place it in the sun and allow it to infuse to gather the sun’s healing energy for 4-6 hours. Strain it, & love it! Some believe this infuses the tea with masculine yang properties of the sun.
  • Lunar teas: Similar to the sun tea, only you infuse it under a full, or close to full moonlight for 4-12 hours. Don’t do this if it’s going to be freezing at night! Some believe this infuses the tea with the feminine mystical powers of the moon.
  • Refrigerator teas: Use a 1:32 herb to water ratio for your tea, and let infuse in the refrigerator overnight, or for about 12 hours. This method is best when using plants with long chain polysaccharides that could be damaged by heat.

Herbs that work well for cold infusions:

  • Mallow family herbs, marshmallow, spearmints
  • Bring of cold water to a boil. Add 2 x tablespoons of herb per 500ml of water. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Be sure to keep the heat as low as possible while still maintaining a simmer, and keep the cover on so the beneficial essential oils do not evaporate.
  • After being simmered, you can let the herbs steep overnight, or strain them right away.
  • Decoctions are very potent! The serving size can be much less than an infusion. Consider 1/2 cup of tea with decoctions.
  • Best method of extracting the constituents of dense, or woody barks, roots, and seeds

They can be drunk, and directly applied to internal organs
Use them topically
Take a bath

  • Great way to absorb herbal constituents through your skin
  • Brew a strong blend with about  cup of herbs to 64 oz of water. Strain the tea in to the water & enjoy
  • Or, place herbs in muslin, or sock, & toss them in your bath. Use this muslin to scrub your body.
  • Breathe in the herbal aromas as you bathe, and benefit from the aromatherapeutic properties
  • Consider closing a curtain around to help trap in the beneficial steams
  • Take a bath right before bedtime to help you relax. This is great with children!
  • Take a refreshing bath in the middle of the day to reenergize your spirit
  • Destress in a bath after a long tough day at work
  • Soothe inflamed itchy skin

Eye washes

  • Soothing for sore, tired, inflamed, or infected eyes.
  • Great for eyes that spend too much time in front of a computer or reading
  • Make a weaker blend than you would for ingestion. Use a small teaspoon per cup of water
  • Simmer at a low boil for 10 minutes to ensure its sterile
  • Use a very fine mesh strainer to ensure there are no plant particles floating around
  • Get an eyecup, and make sure it’s been sterilized between each use
  • Pour the strained tea blend into the eyecup
  • Lean back and pour the mixture into one eye. Blink to ensure the eye is being thoroughly washed. Repeat with the other eye
  • Make eyewashes daily to ensure you don’t introduce bacteria into the eye.
  • Herbs to consider for eyewashes: fennel, plantain, red clover blossoms, thyme and rosemary

Facial steams

  • Cleanses the skin, improves circulation, relaxes facial muscles, & gives your skin a gorgeous radiant glow
  • Do facial steams once or twice a week
  • Wash your face first, and tie your hair back
  • Pour one quart of boiling water over a handful of herbs into a glass bowl.
  • Lean over the bowl, and drape a towel over your head to trap in the steam
  • Inhale the steam for about 5-7 minutes, lifting the towel for the steam to escape when necessary

Hair rinses

  • Both therapeutically & cosmetically brilliant
  • Use 2 heaping teaspoons of herb to 500ml quart of water. Stir, cover, and let sit for 1 hour. Strain it into a large squeeze bottle and add 2x tablespoon of ACV. Pour the strained tea over your hair. Don’t rinse it out, just let your hair dry naturally
  • Consider this for dandruff, oily hair, dry hair, itchy scalp, balding & delightful pampering


  • Footbaths can be incredibly therapeutic, due to the many nerve endings in the feet
  • Helps with tired achy feet, stinky feet, leg cramps, calluses, swelling, & varicose veins
  • When used at the first signs of cold, headache, congestion, or sore throat, the heat draws the congestion away from the respiratory tract, and can prevent onset of illness
  • Use foot baths either hot or cold depending on needs
  • Make about a gallon of herbal tea, strain it, and pour the tea into a wide basin
  • Place your feet in the basin, and relax until the water cools down
  • Afterward, pour cold water on the feet, dry them thoroughly, and put on clean cozy socks


  • Like the feet, there are many nerve endings in the hands
  • Soaking them in herbal infusions can be beneficial for colds, flu, arthritis, & poor circulation
  • Make about  gallon of tea, pour into a bowl, and soak for 5-10 minutes
  • Can be used to help clear eczema, relieve hand pain, or increase circulation

Mouthwash or gargle

  • Prepare an herbal infusion, let it cool, then swish it around the mouth, or gargle, then spit it out
  • To be most effective with a gargle, it should be used for 10 minutes
  • Try using, plantain, thyme, sage, lemon balm, licorice root, Pako Ata
  • Steam inhalations
  • Bring 1 quart of water to a boil, remove from heat, and add 4 heaping teaspoons to the water
  • Lean over the pot, and drape a towel over your head
  • For acute illnesses, one cup of tea every 2 hours, except when sleeping
  • Chronic conditions, 1 cup of tea 2-3 times per day
  • When using teas for healing, drink them for at least a week, and reevaluate your situation to determine if you should continue or not
  • For a 75-pound child, 75/150=.5 the child can have the adult dose
  • Infants can receive the benefits of tea through the mother’s breast milk about 15-30 minutes after the mother drinks the tea
  • Formulating herbal tea is both a science and an art. Have fun, be creative, and make effective medicine!
  • Supplements or prescriptions the client is currently on, and an adverse reaction possible with the herbs you’re considering
  • What organs are you trying to help? Are there herbs that have an affinity for that organ? What supporting organs could you use herbs for in the formula? For example, treating the skin? Consider herbs for the liver, and the large intestine
  • Attempt to create formulas that address the entire being and the symptoms needing treated. For instance, a old person with poor circulation could benefit from cinnamon, and hawthorn in their tea. Or, a hot person with excessive flatulence would benefit from a cooling carminative like peppermint
  • As always, remember to see the whole being, not just the health issue. Can you coach them on lifestyle choices? Often times a change in emotional health, diet, & exercise can be just as therapeutic as herbal therapeutics
  • You do not have to follow any strict rules. My greatest words of advice are to have fun experiment, taste it, feel it, and do it all over again!

Catnip Nepeta cataria

Common uses as tea

Anxiety, sleeplessness, hyperactivity, fussy babies and children (hello popsicles!),

Digestive issues

Flatulence, abdominal cramping, colic, diarrhea, indigestion, when served cold before a meal catnip increases appetite, when served hot after a meal it improved digestion, ease smooth muscle spasms

Colds & Flu

Anti-viral properties beneficial for chicken pox, flu, small pox, measles, mumps, bronchitis Diaphoretic

Topical Applications

  • Compress or Poultice for sprains, strains toothache, hemorrhoids, or bruising Hair rinse for irritated scalp
  • Eyewash for inflammation, irritated eyes due to allergies, bloodshot eyes Use as a liniment for rheumatism and arthritis
  • Cleanse the colon with a catnip enema
  • Relieve congestion with a steam inhalation


  • Not recommended during pregnancy Large doses can cause vomiting
  • Large doses can cause vomiting

Common uses as tea

  • Stimulates digestive tract
  • Tightens, tones, and strengthens the digestive tract
  • Eases diarrhea
  • Lowers blood sugar & cholesterol, improving heart health

Topical uses

  • Mouthwash to freshen breath
  • Footbath to treat fungal infections
  • As a bath to treat chills and sore muscles
  • Steam inhalation to help coughs, colds, and sore throat
  • Avoid large amounts during pregnancy or while nursing
  • Avoid during fever, hemorrhoids, dry stools, blood in the urine, or excessive dryness

Common uses as tea

  • Aids in elimination of uric acid
  • Blood purifier, meaning it helps to strain & filter waste from the bloodstream
  • Treats obstruction of liver, spleen, gallbladder, and pancreas
  • Has been used to help clear the body of stored negative emotions stored in the liver & kidneys
  • Enhances digestive tract
  • Drink after a high fat meal
  • Drink during a cleanse or while fasting to improve elimination of toxins
  • Used in treating jaundice in infants
  • Boosts mother’s milk supply and boosts milks nutritional value
  • Useful for teenagers battling acne
  • Has been used as a wash to treat fungal infections


  • Generally regarded as safe, even in large amounts, but there’s always a possibility of allergic reaction
  • There have been reports of loose stools, abdominal discomfort, nauseas & heart burn associated with dandelion
    Consult with your physician if you suffer from obstructed bile ducts, or gallstones
  • Can cause aggravated symptoms for some people with gastric hyperacidity

Common uses as tea

  • Warming and flavorful
  • Warms digestive organs
  • Stimulates digestive secretions
  • Increases amylase in saliva
  • Facilitates digestion of starchy foods
  • Reduces inflammation and pain by inhibiting prostaglandin production
  • Strengthens the tissues of the heart muscle
  • Activates the immune system
  • Relives nausea
  • Improves circulation
  • Can relieve morning sickness *see contraindications

Topical Uses

  • Compress for arthritic joints, sore muscles, & toothaches to relieve pain
  • Place over the kidneys to aid in the passing of stones, and relieve the pain
  • Placed over the back or chest it can help relieve asthmatic symptoms
  • Used in a bath for chills, sore muscles, sciatica, & poor circulation
  • Used as a tea for a sore throat gargle
  • Footbath to treat athletes foot


  • Pregnant women should not consume more than 1-gram daily
  • Avoid in hot inflammatory conditions such as peptic ulcers, or hyperacidity
  • May cause adverse reactions with anticoagulant drugs such as Coumadin or aspirin

Common uses as tea

  • Calms the nerves, eases restlessness, & sleeplessness, antianxiety, hyperactivity
  • Beneficial in cases of depression
  • Calms the heart
  • Clears heat
    Improves concentration
  • Lifts the spirit, known as natureÔÇÖs sunshine!
  • Calms the nerves and boosts the mood of youngsters under stress, such as before tests
  • Helps prevent nightmares and promote restful sleep in children
  • Antiviral properties beneficial during colds and flu, shingles, chicken pox, and herpes outbreaks
  • Carminative, eases gassiness & stomach upset, colic, indigestion,
  • Helpful for teething infants

Topical applications

  • Use as a compress for swelling, boils, gout, eczema, insect bites, sunburn, tumors, and wounds
  • Uplifting bath herb


  • Generally considered safe
  • Can lower thyroid function, so not recommended for those with hypothyroid conditions

Common uses as tea

  • Soothes irritated mucous membranes
  • Restores pituitary activity
  • Promotes positive emotions
  • Eases inflammation
  • Relieves respiratory issues such as bronchitis, catarrh, & coughs in general
  • Sweet and delicious
  • Emollient
  • Demulcent
  • Nutritive
  • Relives abdominal bloating, flatulence, and colic
  • Great harmonizer

Topical applications

  • Used as a wash to treat inflamed eyelids, dry eyes, itchy skin, shingles, rashes, eczema, psoriasis, and wounds
  • Use as a mouthwash to prevent tooth decay, gingivitis, and mouth sores
  • Use as a lubricating enema or douche
  • Can be used as a hair rinse to prevent hair loss and dandruff


  • Avoid licorice in cases of vomiting, nausea, edema, and rapid heartbeat
  • Not recommended during pregnancy


Avoid during use of steroid or digitoxin medication

  • Prolonged use may elevate blood pressure and cause vertigo and headaches
  • Large doses can cause sodium retention, and potassium depletion and may be emetic
  • Continuous use is not recommended beyond 6 weeks
  • Not to be used when taking cardiac glycosides, hypotensive agents, corticosteroids, diuretic drugs, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors

Common uses as a tea

  • Use the root as a cold infusion
  • High mucilage content
  • Cooling, soothing demulcent for the respiratory tract
  • Soothes inflammation in the digestive tract, and the urinary tract
  • Can calm an overactive immune system
  • Helps stimulate production of white blood cells
  • Decreases the nerve sensitivity that causes coughs

Topical Uses

  • Use as a compress to treat burns, hemorrhoids, irritated eyes, mastitis, sunburn, wounds, and varicose veins
  • Use as a bath or wash to moisturize dry skin
  • Use as a hair rinse for dry lifeless hair
  • Gargle for sore throats
  • Use as a douche for vaginal dryness, or an enema for rectal irritation


  • The mucilage in marshmallow may cause a delay in the effects of pharmaceuticals taken at the same time


  • Pregnant women should ingest no more than 1-2 cups daily
  • Acute gallstone attack
  • Nursing mothers should avoid large amounts of mint which can dry breast milk, but small amounts can be beneficial for colicky babies

Common uses as tea

  • Strengthens and supports the whole body
  • Improves resistance to pollens, molds, and environmental pollutants
  • Stabilizes mast cell walls, stopping the cycle of mucous membrane hyperactivity
  • Nourishes and tones the veins, reduces inflammation, and helps prevent blood clots
    Cleanses toxins from the body
  • Helps curb appetite, and boosts energy
  • Builds blood, promotes healthy blood clotting
  • Relieves symptoms of hemorrhage
  • Can help lower blood sugar
  • Incredibly nutrient dense
  • Help with hormone imbalance.

Topical applications

  • Use as a hair rinse to treat dandruff, and hair loss
  • Cleanser for oily skin
  • Wash for sunburn
  • Sitz bath for hemorrhoids
  • Compresses for mastitis, insect bites, heat rash, gout, burns, chilblains, arthritic joints, tendonitis, sciatica, varicose veins, and wounds


  • Nettles are considered generally safe, though use caution when harvesting!
  • Also, use caution when treating elderly people who may be incredibly dry, or cold, yin deficient people