Even though the weather is warming up, that doesn’t mean we have to stop drinking delicious and medicinal herbal teas. One of my favorite ways to drink herbal teas are in fact in the spring and summer by harnessing the power of the warming sun to infuse the herbs in water. This is also such a fun activity for kids too! Here’s how it works:
Usually when we make a hot herbal tea, the water soluble medicinals are infused from the herbs into the hot water within a matter of minutes. When using hot water to make tea, it doesn’t need a very long steeping time (usually no more than 10 minutes) to get a good chunk of the medicinal properties out of the herbs. But when we’re using a solar infusion, this takes a little bit longer. Because we are not starting with hot water, the solar infusion takes at least 1-2 hours (or the full day) for the water soluble constituents to diffuse into the water. A longer process yes, but it’s also kind of a magical way to drink tea too, because you’re also drinking what seems like liquid sunshine! Here are three of my favorite solar infusion recipes that I’m always sipping on while the weather is warm.
Uplifting Mint Solar Infusion
- 1 bunch (about 15) fresh peppermint leaves
- 1 bunch (about 15) fresh lemon balm leaves
- 2 teaspoons rosehips
- 1/2 lemon (peel included)
- 2 tablespoons honey
In a quart mason jar, put the peppermint, lemon balm, rosehips, and lemon in the bottom of the jar and fill to the neck with room temperature water. Let sit, lightly sealed, in the open sun for at least 2 hours, shaking occasionally. Bring in from the sun and add the honey, mixing well. Drink chilled with ice or with a dash of sparkling water.
Nourishing Greens Solar Infusion
- 2 teaspoons nettle leaf
- 2 teaspoons hawthorn leaf and flower
- 1 teaspoon peppermint leaves
- 1 teaspoon alfalfa
- 8-9 red clover blossoms
- 1 tablespoon honey
In a quart mason jar, put the nettle, hawthorn, peppermint, alfalfa and red clover in the bottom of the jar and fill to the neck with room temperature filtered water. Let sit in the sun for about 4 hours, lightly sealed with the lid. Bring in from the sun and add the honey, mixing well. Drink chilled with ice cubes.
Sunshine Spring Herbal Tea
- 1 teaspoon fresh orange peel
- 5 fresh peppermint leaves
- 1 teaspoon hibiscus
- 1 teaspoon rosehips
- 1 teaspoon dried rose petals
- 1 tablespoons honey
Measure herbs into a 1 quart mason jar and fill to the neck with room temperature, filtered water (about 4 cups). Close with a loose fitting lid, and place outside in a bright, sunny spot for at least 1 hour, shaking occasionally. It should develop a rich red color. After 1 hour, add 2 tablespoons of raw honey to taste, shake well, and enjoy with fresh mint, lemon, ice cubes or a spritz of sparkling water!
You can purchase most of these herbs from Ellwood Thompsons to begin making your own solar infusions this season!
Lindsay Kluge M.Sc, CNS, LDN | HealthCoach@EllwoodThompsons.com