I have always had this wonderful and undying love for herbs and herbalism. Ever since I was a young girl I remember gathering weeds and flowers from the yard to put into a bucket to make large batches of “medicines” or “potions”. My parents weren’t always pleased with me using their gardening buckets to make my concoctions but I enjoyed it non-the-less. If I would have known then that to this day I would still be “playing” with plants I think I would have taken myself by surprise.
The magic that I carried with me as a child in the woods is the same kind of magic I carry in my heart when I am working in the garden or in the kitchen with plants. The only difference is now I know a little bit more about the true magic they hold. That same magic I am talking about is also the power that is held between the moon and the sun. Take what we know about our moon and sun for instance. We know our sun is powerful enough to provide life on earth with what it needs to flourish, we know that the moon effects our oceans tides and it gives off a cool energy. When we take and compare that information with the knowledge that many herbalists know about the best times to pick our plants, herbs and flowers in order to receive the best quality of certain and specific benefits of each plant there is no way that we cannot deny there is something sort of “magical” about that. So what is the difference? How can we use the sun and the moon to our advantage when steeping herbal medicines or teas?
One can create a lunar infusion with herbs and water by the moon by setting out a large jar stuffed full of herbs and water. It is then covered with a cheese cloth or a cloth that would prevent bugs from crawling in and then sat in the moonlight over night to steep. In the morning you can strain the water of the herbs and drink the tea. It should be light and delicious. My most favorite herbalist Rosemary Gladstar loved to talk about how “fairies would come in the night to drink from your infusion” as something fun to tell your children to get them involved and excited about drinking delicious and medicinal herbs.
Some of you are more familiar with solar infusions then you are lunar infusions. You may have heard your mother or grandmother talking about “sun tea” in the past and you have grown to love it through the years. But did you ever wonder where we got that tradition from? Dated long ago, people used the sun for many things, one of them being for making their own medicines. It is said that by using the sun to infuse our medicine we can receive extra healing benefits from the plants we use then we otherwise would with a traditional hot water infusion. Solar infusions not only include teas, but they include oils as well. Some may use the sun to infuse an oil with herbs for a delicious floral oil for nourishing skin by stuffing a jar full of herbs and your favorite oil and setting it in the sun for about 4-6 weeks until the oil starts to smell strongly of herb. However, when making a sun tea all you have to do is set a large jar of water and your herbs of choice (or tea bags) and let it steep in the sunlight all day. When the evening has reached you can remove your herbal tea from the sun and drink iced or store it in the refrigerator until ready to drink. It should stay good for a few days.
Whether you believe in the power of the sun and moon or not, it is always fun to try new things with your children. Provide them with the magic of the universe and never let that die. ❤