The Crestone Eagle • December, 2020

There’s No Such Thing As A Weed: Winter Solstice self-care

by Dorje Root

It’s been a year.  There are probably very few of us who have escaped anxiety, worry and stress.  So now that elections have come and gone, winter has definitely come, and winter solstice is upon us, how can we switch our focus to self-care?  We all need it!  From an herbal perspective, it’s time to focus on some relaxing teas.

I tend to use mostly tinctures for medicinal purposes, but for slowing down, relaxing, and maybe being with another human (even if via computer), there’s nothing like a nice cup of tea.  This time of year, we can focus on the more robust, warming flavors in combination with our traditional nervines.  Save your organic orange skins and dry them for later.  Some other wonderful flavor (and also medicinal) herbs and spices are fresh ginger, rose hips, dried elderberries, and cinnamon.  Some suitable medicinals include oatstraw, chamomile, lavender, linden, osha, and astragalus.

Think about what kind of medicinal qualities you’re looking for.  Choose herbs with a good flavor or a bland flavor, to combine with the warming herbs.  Although you probably all know by now that motherwort is one of my favorite nervines, it’s far too bitter to put into a tea.  Oatstraw, on the other hand, is bland and mildly sweet and will blend nicely with any of the flavor herbs.  How about oatstraw with ginger and rose hips?  Or cinnamon and dried apple? Think chamomile with dried apples and orange rind.  Red clover with rose hips and elderberries.  Lavender with linden leaf and flower.  Ginger with lemon and elderberry.  The combinations are endless.

One rule of thumb is to combine herbs of similar size and consistency.  Whereas leaves and flowers can be infused (steeped); roots, berries and barks need to be decocted (simmered for 5 to 20 minutes).  If you want to combine the softer plant parts with the harder parts, break the hard parts down to a smaller size (morter and pestle, blender, etc.).  When you make a winter tea, consider making several cups at once and warming some for later.  Or take your favorite dry combo and share some with a friend.  If you have to have an online tea, you could at least be drinking the same tea.

I invite you to explore combinations of tastes and flavors.  Sit in front of a fire and let the tea relax and nurture you.  Feel the stress and anxiety of the last year releasing with every sip.  And thank the plants for their nurturing.  Happy solstice!

This is my last article for the Eagle.  I have so enjoyed writing these articles and sharing my plant knowledge with you. May the plants continue to share their healing energy with you!

Dorje Root, RH (AHG) is an herbalist and energy healer.  For an appointment call 719-937-7786 or visit www.rootsofhealing.com

This is Dorje’s last column as she feels it’s time to move on. I wish to thank her deeply for 8 years of wonderful columns!  We’ve all become much more knowledgeable about herbs, plants and healing though her teaching and sharing. Always remember “There’s no such thing as a weed!”.  With deep gratitude, -Kizzen