As we start to hear of the diverse medicinal benefits plants offer, we begin to wonder how one can hop aboard that health and wellness train. It can seem intimidating with so many herbal supplements at our disposal to navigate the aisles upon aisles of so called “superfoods”, and make sense of all the marketing claiming to be the “healthiest” product available. We have all been there, impulsively purchasing what we presume will be the best herb for us, but how do we really know where to start?
We are huge proponents of taking it slow, meaning integrating your new herbal allies one at a time as to better observe the acute effects the herb may be having on our body systems. This method also allows us to hone-in on the support given by the individual herb instead of them being introduced in a more complex formulation, where we may not be able to identify and observe how each single herb effects our body.
There are so many ways to enjoy simple herbal tinctures. From mocktails to herby treats, spiking a favorite topical or lotion to crafting unique savory delights- the possibilities are endless. Although these may sound like complicated tasks, we will guide you through some of my favorite ways to enjoy single herbal extracts, and also include links to recipes where you can begin to try these and more at home!
A simple and top-priority for our daily routines has always been skin care. We tend to move with a drier constitution in the winter months- scaly skin and rough patches galore. So whenever we have a go-to lotion or salve that is not fortified with herbs, there is an opportunity to add a considerable amount of our favorite single herb extract to truly enhance the medicinal property of the product. The typical ratio when adding a single herb, alcohol tincture to a pre-bought topical is around 10-20% of total volume, and if you would like to add essential oils, those can be added at about 1-2% total volume. We always caution to add your herbs slowly as to not dramatically change the desired texture of the lotion, salve, or massage oil. Read more about the many ways to weave the power of herbs into your favorite items you already have at home!
Another great way to integrate single herb tinctures into your everyday is in the kitchen! From herbaceous vinaigrettes and dressings to festive mocktails and everyday beverages, we are truly lucky to have such an abundance of plant medicines at our disposal. Living in Southern Oregon, we tend to gravitate toward the fresh and calming scent of the local lavender farms and greatly admire the juicy elderberries that adorn the trees in the coming of fall. Both of these herbal allies are in abundance in our region and provide immune and nervous system support. It only takes a dropper full of each of these bioregional beauties to really boost the flavor and therapeutic value of your typical salad dressing or citrusy beverage. We also found this enticing recipe for Lemon Balm vinaigrette that sounds lovely!
In the spirit of the holiday season, it would be remiss to not include some festive mocktails that pair effortlessly with single herbal extracts and allow the medicinal integrity of the herbs to shine, even through some of the toughest holiday party situations. By including two classifications of herbs, nervines and adaptogens, into our sipping liquid of choice, we are able to slowly ingest a therapeutic serving of that herb. The direct benefits of nervines and adaptogens can be seen in many ways throughout the nervous system, though they are particularly supportive to the way we process stress and the effects that may have on our other body processes such as digestion and sleep. A few fun ways to enjoy the party, with that extra nourishing, herbal kick, is this decadent hemp infused hot chocolate recipe or by simply omitting the alcohol in the cocktail recipe and adding about 1-2mL of your favorite single herb tinctures. This recipe for a blood-orange and skullcap spritzer sounds delightful! Also, did you know that you can substitute those store-bought bitter blends for a fresh, single herb extraction of the variety of bitter herbs available. Yarrow, Tulsi, and Chamomile tinctures all make great floral substitutions to the typical bitter taste profile.
The possibilities are endless- infused honeys and chocolates, lattes and smoothies, and even chutneys and baked goods are all but a blank canvass for single herb infusions to optimize. Sun God Medicinals carries a variety of regional herbal offerings that are single-herb extracts, and ready to be implemented into any of these tasty recipes mentioned and more! Yarrow, Tulsi, Lavender, Peppermint, Skullcap, Chamomile, and others are found either in the Ra Herbals line of single herb extracts or in the Ra Hemp Classic line for potent, Hemp only extracts- which is available in larger sizes as well. There are so many options to mix and match tinctures to compound your own perfect formula, to pinpoint your herbal allies and integrate them into so many recipes, and really start to capture the essence of alchemy in the comfort of your own home!