This herbal blend makes recovering from a sweaty workout or a bout of illness easy with its natural electrolytes and other nutrients. It contains no artificial ingredients and it’s pretty inexpensive to make. For children and adults alike, it’s a tasty and natural alternative to the many sports drinks on the market today.
1 part stinging nettle leaf
1 part oatstraw
1 part rosehips
1/2 part red clover leaf and flower
1/2 part raspberry leaf
1/2 part dandelion leaf
1/4 part elderberry fruit
1 mixing bowl
a seal-able container large enough to hold four dried cups of herbs
Pour the herbs into the mixing bowl and gently stir them with a spoon. Try not to break up the plant parts since this will release the essential oils.
Pour the mix into a resealable container.
Label the container with the name of the mix, ingredients and date mixed.
Storage and Use
Make a hot infusion using a quarter cup of herbal mix in a quart of boiling water. Let it stand overnight, 12 to 24 hours, tightly covered on the counter. Strain the infusion before adding it to your canteen.
You can drink it as it is, or fill your canteen two-thirds to three-quarters with infusion and top it off with coconut water for an extra boost of sweetness and potassium.
Instructions for making this herbal tea infusion:
Prepare your water. Set the kettle to boil or do whatever you need to do to heat your water to a good rapid boil. Water that’s heated to a rolling boil will crack the cell walls of your herbs quickly and efficiently, which means a better, stronger infusion.
Prepare your herbs. Measure a quantity of dried or fresh herbs into your heat-proof measuring cup. Be sure to leave plenty of room for the water.
When the water has boiled, carefully pour it into your heat-proof measuring cup being sure to thoroughly soak all of the herbs. Twist and turn and pour in a spiral motion as necessary until you’ve added enough water for the infusion you desire.
Cover your measuring cup with a plate or other cover. This helps to catch and hold the more delicate properties of the herbs which can easily evaporate while the less volatile properties are infusing.
Let the infusion stand for ten minutes. More time will make the infusion stronger; less time will make it weaker. Ten minutes produces a good, strong infusion for most purposes.
Strain the infusion through your strainer into a mug or cup for drinking or into another container based on what you intend to do with it. Sometimes, I squeeze the herbs to get every last drop of goodness out of them. Squeezing the herbs during the straining process will result in a cloudier infusion.
Discard or compost your used herbs and enjoy your infusion.
Storage of an Herbal Infusion
You can store a simple infusion for up to a week in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
You can freeze it into cubes and store it in the freezer for a month or more, depending on the herbs used and your intentions. I’ve made some terrific blended drinks with frozen infusions.
You can wait for it to cool, add some ice, and drink it like an iced tea, too. In hot weather, iced herbal teas can help replenish the nutrients your body has lost through perspiration while offering you a bit of tasty cooling.