Feeling hydrated is key to feeling good in all weather and it’s easy to overlook proper hydration in cooler winter temperatures with drying indoor heat. I return to a few mucilaginous plant favorites in infusion form to get hydrated.
Mucilaginous plants, like linden flower, sassafras, slippery elm and mullein, soothe tissue by coating it with a viscous polysaccharide fluid, keeping it moist and able to retain moisture longer. Linden flower infusion is like drinking the liquid gold of summertime harmony, giving an uplifting boost to the spirit while aiding hydration. Linden is a favorite of bees, birds, insects, children, fairies that soothes burns, grief, and digestion. Sassafras is a moistening tea that helps one connect to their unique individual wholeness and a sense of playfulness and joy. Sassafras celebrates the union of diversity in its four leaf shapes growing together on the same tree.
Ginger and hawthorn berry are delicious teas traditionally used to promote circulation. Hawthorn is a heart tonic physically, emotionally, and beyond. She makes things juicy, gets us dancing and connecting to our sensual selves, with the clarity of knowing what boundary keeps that vulnerable intimacy safe, and what boundary goes too far. Ginger brings blood flow to the extremities and the peripheral circulation, and this increased blood flow can promote a feeling of warmth, a reduction of aches and pains, better digestion, and clearer thinking. Each of these teas is great on its own but combination feels especially festive. Here’s one of my favorite infusion blends for holiday parties and intimate celebrations:
Winter Solstice Infusion Blend
1/2 C linden flowers
1/2 C hawthorn berries
1/2 C sassafras leaf
1/2 C chopped fresh ginger*
*Note on cleaning ginger: If you buy organic, no need to peel, but scrub well with hot water and cut off any parts that have impacted dirt or gnarly bits at joints that are difficult to clean. If using non-organic, peel (try using a spoon!) and cut off any dirty or gnarly bits remaining.
Make the ginger tea first. Adding 1/2 cup chopped fresh ginger to 8 cups of water in a large saucepan, bring to a boil. When the mixture boils, turn the heat off, and add the hawthorn berries. Wait five minutes for the temperature to drop slightly and then add in the linden flower and sassafras, stirring to mix. Let steep 4-12 hours. Strain, squeezing out the plant material to be composted or given back to the earth. Serve cool, room temperature, or warm, on its own or with sparkling water for a refreshing non-alcoholic holiday beverage option. Tea will keep for about 5 days refrigerated. In joy!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS and GREEN BLESSINGS!