“To steep:” to pour near-boiling water over an organic substance and allow to sit for a period of time, thereby producing a liquid infusion.
I am plenty grateful to have modern medicine, but sometimes I feel the need to treat my everyday ailments more holistically than popping an aspirin or slathering on some anti-histamine cream. Now, I’m no doctor or expert so I expect you to seek the necessary advice before trying any of these, but if are you looking for non-traditional treatments for relatively common issues, I think think tea is worth looking into.
Nettle: If you come upon a nettle plant, don’t get too excited and touch the thing. I remember all too well my arms and legs feeling itchy and aflame after running through bushes of them to get to a waterfall on my uncle’s property. Nettle, also known as stinging nettle, will cause skin irritation (an understatement) when touched. BUT, boil it in hot water and stinging properties vanish — plus, the resulting liquid is a tea used to treat acne, skin irritations, and itchy skin. Counter intuitive, but four cups a day of nettle tea may just give your skin the relief you need!
Dandelion: You may have seen dandelion in your salad at a swanky restaurant or remember blowing their fuzzy white crowns into the wind as a child. Dandelion is a remarkable herb that gives aid to an upset stomach, helps digestion, and can help you drop bloating water weight. Steeping dandelion root is also a great substitute if you are trying to stop your coffee habit.
Lavender: Its oh-so-calming aroma is found in all kinds of balms, lotions, even candles — so it isn’t hard to believe that this beautiful flowering herb produces a soothing infusion for insomnia, depression, and restlessness.
Maca: Considered a superfood, maca root is known to help reduce stress levels and irritability and provide energy without the jittery complications of coffee and other caffeinated products. A help with fatigue, irritability AND hormonal imbalances, it’s a great thing to steep during shark week.
I like to believe that nature provides us with what we need and that we don’t have to turn to processed, man-made products to soothe our needs. Happy steeping!