Decoction Herbal Tea

herbal tea
Delicious herbal tea

With winter in full swing and frigid temperatures across most of the country, what better time to talk about delicious warm herbal teas?
Specifically, what are referred to as decoctions which is really just a long, slow simmer creating a concentrated, very flavorful dark tea. This is usually the method of choice when working with woody substances such as roots, barks and stems. This method usually takes 2-3 hours, sometimes longer, to allow the mineral salts and bitters to release. 


A basic decoction recipe is 1 pint of water to 1 ounce root or herb. For best results, use spring water or filtered water. The awful fluoridated & chlorinated tap water can alter the taste and benefits we are trying to receive. Allow this to simmer until about 1 quarter of the liquid has reduced, allow to cool and strain. For freshest flavor, we like to use ours within 48 hours or so. 


Since these can be a bit on the strong side for some people, a little dash of honey might be nice. One of our favorite sweeteners is Jaggery, which is unprocessed (unrefined) cane sugar. It contains all the natural molasses and mineral salts, is far more complex (since it has not been messed with) and it tastes wonderful.

Enjoy!!

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Osha Root

Osha Root is one of our favorite plants and one of the most important herbs to many Native American tribes.  The Native people regarded it with deep appreciation, respect and used it widely – so much so it has been called the ‘Empress of the Forest’. It has a scent a bit like peppery celery – fresh, with a spicy back note. We like to add a few shavings or small pieces to our smudging mix because it invites powerful energies into your home and to your intentions.

This amazing root makes a wonderful tea and is reported to increase oxytocin levels (the hormone released when you hug someone you love). It is also known for its upper respiratory properties in alternative therapies – perfect for coughs and colds this time of year.

This plant is so special that we have them listed individually here so you can choose the one that speaks to you.

Incense & Meditation

We are hooked on great incense and love using them during our meditation practice each day.

The sense of smell is strongly connected to the areas of the brain that process memory, meaning that even the smallest smell of a scent  can bring you to a certain place or bring on a certain feeling in mere moments.  The sense of smell is directly wired to your brain, unlike the other senses, meaning that the link between smells and brain response is very rapid and quite ancient and primordial in nature.

The magical scent of incense can lift the spirit and transform the energetic vibrations of a room. Since ancient times incense has been used in rituals and religious practices. Whether to appease the gods or enhance magic spells, it has remained a powerful tool for spiritual use.

Perhaps the most common use of incense in the past was to create a space for ritual and ceremonial work.  From the Buddhist temples of Japan, China and Tibet to the churches of the Catholic and Greek Orthodox church, one will still almost always find some form of incense being burned in order to create a powerful and purified ritual space.  The smoke of the incense rising up to heaven is a universal symbol of prayer and offering rising up to the deities.  There is nothing quite as powerful as walking in to a holy space and being hit by the smell of incense, which immediately transports you in to a more reverent frame of mind!

You can easily create this type of sacred space of your own by incorporating incense into your daily yoga, meditation or prayer practice.

We have some of the finest incense in the world available in our shop

tib inc 1

The Solar Plexus Chakra

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Today marks 30 days – one full cycle into the Autumnal equinox – the season for letting go and 3 days past the New Moon phase which falls into the sign of Libra – the keeper of scales, reminding us to find balance in our lives.
This is an ideal time to do a self ‘check-in’ as we walk our path, are we still hanging on to thoughts, feelings, emotions that are restricting us or keeping our lives out of balance? Interestingly enough, both the numerical and vibrational match to these is the 3rd Chakra, also commonly referred to as the Solar Plexus(aka Celiac Plexus) Chakra.
It is a large nerve center in the abdominal cavity that manages numerous vital functions. If this is out of balance, you are out of balance – period. It is much more than just about ego, manifesting and the usual meta/new age lingo, it is the center of your true ‘mental/emotional body’, your self-esteem, personality, anxiety, excitement, basically how at ease we are with simply being ourselves.


When the Solar Plexus is in balance we are able to just ‘be’ and allow others to just be as well, this is a state of contentment. When it is out of balance, our emotions can range from insecurity and fear to aggression, lack of confidence to excessively competitive. It is one of the most commonly blocked Chakras and one of the most often ignored. It is a critical nerve center and is the root of both psychological disturbances and chronic illness.


One of the first ways we can begin to bring it back into balance is our breath. Focus on full breath into the diaphragm, all day, everyday, read that again, – all day, everyday, once again, – all day, everyday. Full breath will increase your emotions, that is correct, full breath will increase your emotions, not make you more emotional, but increase your emotional capacity, both resilience and kindness. This is the first step towards healing this Chakra and the beginning to bring you back into balance and the ability to let go.

Blessings,

Mark