Wednesday, July 13, 2011
For something a little more esoteric and mystical, why not try a moon tea?
Yesterday I talked about using the sun to make herbal infusions, but you can also infuse by the light of the moon! Many herbalists feel that lunar infusions bring a sense of dreamy introspection, intention and ritual to the medicine making process. Moon teas are all about receptive, yin energy, as opposed to the active, yang-ness of solar infusions. If you're into that sort of thing, that is.
If not, well some herbs are actually better suited to a cold infusion process, particularly herbs with constituents denatured by heat, delicate flowers and herbs that are high in mucilage. Examples of herbs in this category would be violets, all the mallows including hibiscus, lemon balm and other mints, and chamomile.
The process is the same as for a sun tea, only you set your jar out at night, under the light of the moon. And ok, you really don't need to put it out in moonlight. You can do a cold infusion in your house just fine, but I have to say, I really enjoy going out into the dark backyard, with a jar of herbs and water in my hands, listening to hushed sounds and feeling the night air on my skin. It's sensuous and stirring in a way that I just don't get if I simply leave the infusion in the kitchen, especially if there are dirty dishes in the sink and the floor needs sweeping. A subtle, but important shift happens when I take the extra few steps to go outside. And I love waking up in the morning, bringing the infusion in and taking that first cool, refreshing sip. Moon infused violet leaves are my favourite.
There's a full moon this Friday, which is a perfect time to try a cold infused, moon tea!