Tea Leaves

There's nothing quite like making tea.

It is a practice of mindfulness, a moment separate from the rest of time. It is a reminder to slow down, to come back into this moment, to be present with the act of boiling water, of adding the herbs to the pot, then the water. Waiting for the tea to steep. Pouring it into the carefully selected cup, adding your sweetener of choice. Stirring dripping honey or crystalline grains till melted. Getting comfortable by the window in your favorite chair, breathing in deeply the aromatic steam before slowly sipping, savoring each drop.

Lately my tea of choice has been a blend of Tulsi/Holy Basil and Nettle leaves. Nettle has always been a favorite of mine, I use it in everything when I cook and in almost all of my tea blends and infusions. Tulsi I have had before as a tea, but now I am bonding with it as an herbal ally to help me in this time of great duress. Stirred into each cupful is a pinch of an herbal-sugar blend, lovingly and magically crafted by a very close friend and her son in the summer months of last year given to me as a Winter Solstice gift; tiny crystals of summer to remind us of the sun in the depths of winter.

Stinging Nettle and Holy Basil are two herbs I have also chosen among a handful of others to delve into an even deeper relationship with during my journey studying with the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine. This blog will also play a part in sharing my deepening understanding of and relationship with these and many other plant nation allies and their healing gifts. As I also move into a place of doing more intuitively and energetically with herbalism, I intuitively put together nettle and Tulsi during this time of stress for me and later read in my texts that others combine them as well.

Stinging Nettle - Urtica dioica of the family Urticaceae

The leaves of stinging nettle are most well-known and used medicinally and for food, however both the seeds and root are also used medicinally. Nettle leaves are a nutrition powerhouse packed with vitamins including A and C, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron, and chlorophyll. These qualities are easily infused into teas, vinegars, and foods such as bone stocks and soups making it a nourishing tonic. Nettle is also a blood tonic, building the blood with its high iron content and was used in North America by Indigenous peoples to prevent and treat postpartum hemorrhage; it is useful for rebuilding blood after childbirth or in those with heavy menstruation and also encourages the production of breastmilk. Because it is an edible plant, it can be consumed frequently with less attention to dosage and is safe for pregnancy. It is considered one of the best herbs to take daily when you feel fatigued and depleted and is often combined with milky oats (Avena sativa) and Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum) to support people who are going through challenging transitions or times of extra stress. Nettle is also a kidney tonic, which is particularly beneficial in pregnancy, and nettle seeds are specifically used for adrenal health and combating adrenal fatigue.

Tulsi/Holy Basil - Ocimum tenuiflorum / O. sanctum of the family Lamiaceae

Tulsi, which means 'the incomparable one', is an aromatic herbaceous herb of the mint family which originated in India. Considered to be the Mother goddess incarnated in plant form often planted near temples, it is called a “sattvic” plant in Ayurveda, meaning that it is “beneficent to all, harmful to no one”. It uplifts the spirits, brightens one's perspective, and is a gentle but effective remedy for anxiety and depression. It helps bring clarity of mind, and as an adaptogen, helps the body to build resilience to stress and decrease the likelihood of developing stress-related chronic inflammation and illnesses. It particularly targets the endocrine, immune and nervous systems. It is also useful as a remedy for colds, flu, sinus infections, allergies, asthma, coughs, and poor memory and concentration. The flower essence of Holy Basil nourishes and helps maintain balance of the subtle bodies, acting as a type of spiritual energetic tonic. It helps to balance and integrate our spiritual energy within the physical, and supports working from a heart-centered place by moving energy from the crown downwards and from the feet upwards, meeting at the heart, while simultaneously bringing clarity to our divine purpose and true nature.

Preparation & Dosage

Tincture: 30-90 drops up to 3x/daily

Tea: standard infusion up to 3x/daily

Flower Essence: 1-2 drops on the tongue 4x/daily or as desired, or a few drops in water sipped throughout the day

The night of the Snow Moon and Eclipse, after I brewed another cuppa tulsi+nettle tea, I decided this time not to strain out the loose nettle leaves and sipped it as I danced around the kitchen to "I Made a Promise to the Moon" leaving just a tiny bit of liquid left, swirled the cup thrice round clockwise then flipped it upside down onto a saucer plate. After a moment I lifted the cup and read the leaves. Every tea leaf reader sees different things and has different meanings for many symbols. I saw a lot, but it will take time and meditation and waiting to see what any of it means...

\\ A moon-gazing hare, a duck or perhaps a swan, a person riding a horse, two women with full skirts dancing, an iris flower, a serpent or a dragon coiled and fangs bared-- possibly two-headed and lunging at a warrior, a bat, multiple birds around the cup (two, maybe three?) //

Drink up my dears and be merry,

Juniper Wren




http://www.chestnutherbs.com >> Herbal Immersion Program

Herbal Healing for Women, by Rosemary Gladstar

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