By Molly Rouse
This tea is divine for anyone out there, but I think it is particularly great for mamas on hot summer days. Pregnant women often drink pregnancy teas that nourish the expanding uterus, and regulate fluctuating hormones. Postpartum women often drink teas with galactalogues that help breastmilk production. This tea, though….this tea is great for nourishing your body at any time of life. It is perfect for pregnancy, postpartum, or simply the middle of summer’s fast pace and heat.
If iced, it is best consumed between meals, as the digestion of food requires heat (which can be taxing to your body). I love it warm in the morning before the heat of the day, or at room temperature with meals. Make it in the cool of the evening so that it is ready the next morning (see recipe below)!
Each ingredient adds its own layer of flavor and nourishment:
1. Nettles (earthy, green)
- rich in Vitamins a, c, d, and k, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and sulphur
- aids the kidneys
- increases fertility in men and women
- eases leg cramps and other muscle spasms
- diminishes pain during and after birth
- helps prevent hemorrhage after birth
- reduces hemorrhoids
- increases the richness and amount of breast milk
2. Oatstraw (sweet, grassy)
- strengthens capillaries
- calms nervous system
- nourishes heart
3. Cardamom Pods (sweet, rich)
- sweet taste is deeply nourishing to vital life energy
- sharpens and refreshes the mind
- aids digestion of dairy
- good for circulation
4. Cinnamon Stick (spicy, rich)
- kindles digestive fire, promotes absorption
- nourishes circulation
- great for respiratory system
5. Black Pepper Corns (spicy)
- benefits the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems
- stimulates appetite, promotes digestion, burns toxins
6. Chaga Mushrooms (mild earthy flavor, blends well with cinnamon)
- calms the nervous system
- helps stomach diseases and ulcers
- stimulates the immune system
- helps to reduce blood sugar and fight diabetes
7. Fresh Ginger Root (spicy, light)
- good for digestive, circulatory, respiratory and reproductive systems
- benefits all tissues in the body and improves digestion and absorption
8. Milk (creamy, cool, sweet)
-Cow’s milk, if it is tolerated, can be very helpful in rebuilding vital energy (organic, grass-fed, etc)
- Coconut milk is cooling but contains more fat which can be really beneficial for nourishing a growing baby/recovering from birth
- Almond milk is nourishing in protein and is lighter than coconut
- Soy milk delivers the same amount of protein as milk. It is also the non-dairy milk that offers the most potassium
9. Stevia Extract (sweet)
- extract of a naturally sweet leaf, does not raise glycemic index
All of these ingredients can be found at your local health food store. I get mine at the French Broad Food Co-op.
1 gallon water
1 c. dried nettles
½ c oat straw
1 T cardamom pods (smashed a bit to let seeds out)
1 cinnamon stick
1 t black pepper corns
2 T chaga pieces
4-5 slices fresh ginger root
Milk of your choice
Stevia, or sweetener of your choice
Place water on stove in a large pot.
When boiling, add herbs and roots – everything except milk and sweetener
Cover, maintain a low boil for at least ½ hour. Turn off heat.
Let sit covered at least 4 hours to create infusion.
Strain and serve (with options of milk, sweetener, and ice) or refrigerate.
Tea stays yummy refrigerated for 1 week, so if you won’t use it soon, freeze some.
Savor the process of learning and brewing and consuming!
Please comment below and let us know how you liked this concoction!
Note: Special thanks to Hannah Levin for herbal and Ayurvedic insights into the properties of each ingredient.
Susan Weed’s Herbal for the Childbearing Year
Vishnu Dass's Ayurvedic Herbology, East and West