By Amber C. Snider
Plant medicine and herbal rituals for the new year to help you heal and restore.
The holidays came and went, but now you’re left feeling sluggish, unmotivated (despite those #2020goals), and still wondering what day it is. All your self-care and magick rituals are truly put to the test in the month of January, especially after the cheer and hype of the season has died down. But this ‘slow down’ period is actually great for manifesting your desires and intentions because you’re not so distracted and can focus on getting what you want.
But in order to do get your spirit right, you gotta get your body right, too. That’s why we’re sharing some magickal tips and plant medicine elixirs from The Herbal Kitchen to help you heal, restore, and rejuvenate.
Break out the chamomile
Tea time for the win! Chamomile is great for calming the body’s nervous system (especially after a stressful day) and it’s also great mixed with other herbs for an ultra-healing tea blend. Author Kami McBride recommends the following recipe:
Mix chamomile with fennel to help “settle an upset stomach caused by anxiety and exasperated by stress” or try a chamomile-cinnamon tea to “relax the uterus and alleviate painful menstrual cramps.”
Try a “Longevity Elixir”
Kami McBride’s Longevity Elixir is the “perfect after-dinner tea on a cold night” – so if you’re in the northeast right now and officially over these frigid temperatures, this warming concoction may be just want you need. It’s simple, effective, and includes that calming chamomile we love.
Recipe: 2 cups (500 ml) fennel, chamomile, and coriander tea.
1 teaspoon (8ml) nutmeg honey
Warming Winter Brew
“This is a warm, full-bodied tea that has a revitalizing effect on a cold winter day,” writes McBride in The Herbal Kitchen.
1 cup (250 ml) ginger-cinnamon tea
1 teaspoon (7 ml) molasses/treacle
1 teaspoon star anise honey
Chamomile-ginger tea can also help “reduce stress-induced inflammation that causes headaches, heartburn, gastritis, and stomach irritations,” according to McBride. And after all that holiday indulgence, this Warming Winter Brew should offer some much-needed relief.
Soak in a herbal-infused vinegar bath
Give Kami McBride’s “Body and Bath Vinegar” recipe a whirl to help rejuvenate your skin and promote relaxation during winter’s harshest months. After making the recipe (see below), it’s probably best to store the rest in a large mason jar until your next soak (you'll only need one cup per bath). When possible/available, try to use fresh herbs and flowers.
Add 1 cup (250 ml) of this healing vinegar to your bath:
1 cup (96 g) chopped fresh lavender
1 cup (48 g) chopped fresh lemon balm
1 cup (48 g) fresh rose petals
½ cup (48 g) chopped fresh rose geranium
¼ cup (30 g) chopped fresh burdock
5 cups (1 1/4L) apple cider vinegar
*Enchantments herbs are not for ingestion
Add some burdock to your pantry
“Burdock root is a cooling, nutrient-dense herbal food,” writes McBride. “This revitalizing root is teeming with healing properties. Scientists continue to examine its anticancer and antitumor effects,” writes McBride. “[It’s] also known for its aptitude in supporting sluggish digestion and relieving lymph stagnation.”
Consider adding burdock root to your teas, smoothies, salad dressings (herbal vinegar), or your bath.
Power up with flower water
Making herbal and flower water is super easy and it’s a great way to detox after the holidays. We’re especially loving Kami McBride’s suggestion of calendula and rose petal water. Simply fill a pitcher with water and add just a touch of (previously rinsed) calendula and rose petals. “Herbal water is subtle; you don’t need a lot of ingredients. Just a few sprigs of herbs and a few slices or small scoops of fruit will do,” she writes in The Herbal Kitchen.
Calendula (also known as marigold) is an anti-inflammatory and assists with tissue regeneration, encourages a healthy lymph system, and is great for the skin; while rose is an “all-around beauty treatment herb...as well as an effective nerve tonic.”
Recipes published with permission by publisher Red Wheel/ Weiser. You can purchase The Herbal Kitchen by Kami McBride at the Enchantments shop or anywhere books are sold (including the internet).
Editor’s note: These herbal and plant remedies are not substitutes or replacements for proper medical or psychological care. They're meant to add to and enhance your self-care rituals and routines. Also note that Enchantments' shop herbs are not for ingestion, but for magickal use only. Do your due diligence, know thyself (including your allergies), and use only what works for you.