To most people, “making tea” means something akin to grabbing a tea bag from the box, pouring boiling water over it, and waiting a couple of minutes before drinking it.
To an herbalist, “making tea” could mean at least four different things, and the right method completely depends on the reason for wanting tea in the first place. We would also almost NEVER use boiling water because the intensity of the heat kills a lot of the benefits of the tea.
In other words, tea is serious business.
Since you already know about the “pour hot water over herbs” version, we’re going to teach you another way today: a suspended cold infusion. It takes longer, but the effect is incredible.
What is a Suspended Cold Infusion?
This is one of the first things we teach in our herbal school because for a lot of people, this method of making tea is a great way to add both health and structure to their lives.
Suspended cold infusion is exactly what it sounds like, your herbs are suspended in cold water to create your tea.
When is a Suspended Cold Infusion Useful?
There are a couple different specific use cases for suspended cold infusion to be your go-to tea method—we’re not counting being really impressive in your remedy knowledge to be one of them.
The most common one is when you want to specifically pull out the gut-healing, demulcent properties from your herbs.
Demulcent is an herbal action that means sticky-slimy-ooey-gooey. If you don’t know whether your herb has this action, or could have it, look for constituents like mucilages, polysaccharides, glycosides, and pectin.
Suspended cold infusions are the best tea method for pulling out these properties because the length of time these take allow the slow-release of the healing properties within the herb. Using extended heat here could break down the other healing properties.
Additionally, like we mentioned above, for people that do better with structure and timing, the suspended cold infusion is a good way to end an evening and start their morning (or vice versa, depending on what you’re working with).
This tends to be super helpful for people with a lot of internal heat, IBS, or stress-related stomach issues because it’s something they can control that is great for their health and healing for their stomach.
What Herbs to Use
Two very common herbs for a suspended cold infusion are chamomile and marshmallow root.
The mucilages in marshmallow root are able to actively coat your entire digestive tract, so this is great for intestinal issues. While the chamomile adds a little bitterness and helps keep the upper GI running smoothly.
Depending on what you’re treating, they’re lovely to use together or separately. They’re both very safe to use with kids and the elderly so play around with the ratios of these two tonics and see what works best.
The one thing to watch out for is that the demulcent action is really strong here, which means that these herbs are super effective at creating a protective barrier within the digestive tract so some medications might not properly absorb into the bloodstream. Talk to your doctor and your herbalist if you’re worried about that.
How to Prepare Your Suspended Cold Infusion
Ratio for infusion: 1 Tablespoon of herb to 1 Cup water.
You may want to make quite a bit of this at one time to save yourself time and energy so extrapolate this recipe as needed.
- Put your herb into a tea strainer on top your jar or cup.
- Pour room temperature water over the herb, making sure that your suspended herb is covered.
- Let sit for at least 4 hours. 8 hours or overnight is better.
- Remove your strainer and drink.
You can drink it plain, add other flavors to it, or use it in another herbal recipe you like.
For best results, drink 1 cup first thing when you wake up, another halfway through the day, and a third before bed everyday.
Did you try this suspended cold infusion? Tell us how you like it in the comments!