Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hot? Try Linden Healing Infusion

Linden allee along the river Avon in Evesham, England

Lindens, Tillia sp. have been presenting in beautiful and surprising ways in my life over the last few years. On pilgrim adventures to England and France, I came to appreciate how entwined their history is with the peoples of those places. Often planted in parks and used as allees in vast, spacious settings, lindens are ubiquitous. 

Lindens in a city park in Monroe, WA

Upon returning home to Washington state, I began seeing them everywhere as well. City parks and streets host many lindens in Seattle and outlying areas. In Monroe, WA where I live, there is a beautiful row of 10 lindens in one of our city parks. I've enjoyed gathering the flowers here for the last dozen years early in the morning as sunrise kisses the trees. At first they were so young I could stand on the ground, now, I bring a step stool and enjoy their growth as they rise into their natural elegant gesture with their heart shaped leaves and open-armed grandeur.

Linden flowers almost ready for gathering!

Today it's hot! It's been unseasonably hot for over a week now. I wanted a refreshing, cooling beverage with some nutritive value as it's almost too hot to eat! Voila! Linden healing herbal infusion with a hint of hibiscus added for heart health is born.

Linden Hibiscus Healing Herbal Infusion
Linden-Hibiscus Healing Herbal Infusion

Place 1/2 oz. dry linden flowers in a quart canning jar. Add boiling water and cover. Steep 4-8 hours. Strain. Return herb to pan, cover with cold water and bring to boil. Let sit until cool, strain and squeeze out the herb. (Feel the soothing, slippery quality of the linden flowers...sometimes, I just rub them up and down my arms for a quick soothing beauty treatment!) Mix infusions together top up to make 1/2 gallon infusion.

Place 1 oz Hibiscus flowers + 1 or 2 small cones pilloncillo* in a separate 1 quart canning jar, add boiling water, steep 4-8 hours. Strain and squeeze herb to garner all the delicious nutrients and flavors. This is a semi-sweet concentrate you can add to other healing infusions for taste and enhanced nutritive value. Refrigerate. Blends well with the sweet taste of oatstraw healing infusion.

Mix linden and hibiscus infusions together to taste, pour over ice, add a swizzel stick of lemon balm and enjoy the heat fortified with this simple, refreshing summer beverage!

This cooling infusion nourishes, reduces inflammation, adds nutrient dense bioflavinoids, soothes internal organs and allows a body to meet the heat of summer! 

*Living in a town with several Mexican Tiendas, I've enjoyed weaving flavors from the home places of friends and neighbors into my herbal repertoire! 

Local, common and easy to access herbs and foods abound closer to home than you might the fields, forest and yes, even the local tiendas treasures are awaiting discovery. What's growing in your neighborhood?

Remember stay cool, jump in a river or lake every chance you can and take good care with fire this very hot summer...