Favorite recipes from herbalist Maria NoŽl Groves
Calm Alert Tea: For morning energy. This brew is high in antioxidants and includes some caffeine. It also might help stabilize blood sugar.
Infuse 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon per cup for 5 minutes
. 1 part gotu kola
. 1 part holy basil
. 1 part jasmine green tea
Energy "Coffee": Drink solo or combine with coffee and brew in the coffee maker.
Decoct or brew 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon per cup for 15 minutes.
. 1 part eleuthero
. 1 part codonopsis
. 1 part ashwagandha
. 1/8 part nutmeg
. 1/4 part cinnamon chips (or 1 stick per cup)
Blueberry Vanilla Tea: Great beverage to have after meals, which also helps lower blood sugar levels.
Infuse 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon per cup for 15 minutes.
. 1 part blueberry leaves
. 1 part dried blueberries
. 1/2 inch vanilla bean per cup
Simple Cinnamon Tea: Well-brewed, it is extremely sweet without any sugar.
Decoct (simmer) to 1 tablespoon per cup for 15-20 minutes.
Add cinnamon "chips" or 2 sticks per cup
Green Tea with a Kick: This easy blend was inspired by a lab study that found 1 part cayenne added to 25 parts green tea increased the cancer-killing capability of green tea alone 100 times. It's hard to know what the exact benefit would be "in vivo," but it can't hurt!
Both plants are potent antioxidants and cardiovascular tonics. Infuse for 3 to 5 minutes.
. 1 tea bag or teaspoon green tea
. 1 dash cayenne powder
For the bath and body
Natural & Herbal Exfoliant: Simple ground cornmeal or oatmeal is my favorite scrub, but you can certainly get more creative. The possibilities are endless!
. 2 parts ground oatmeal or cornmeal
. 1 part ground herbs of choice (optional) - calendula, lavender, rose petals, green tea, clay, comfrey, seaweed ...
. 1 to 2 parts clay (optional, for use as an exfoliant mask)
. 1 part extras for more grit (optional) - coffee grounds, ground almond, sugar ...
. Couple of drops essential oil (optional) - lavender, rose geranium ...
Combine dry ingredients. (You may need to grind some ingredients in a coffee grinder or Magic Bullet to get them to a finer grind. Generally, you want a little "grit," not a perfectly fine powder.) Mix in essential oils (if using), and store in a tight container. Small portions may be kept in the bathroom. Ingredients may mold, go rancid or otherwise degrade if left in this humid, hot, bright environment for weeks or months. Store most of your exfoliant in the pantry or, better yet, (especially for cornmeal, which molds easily) in the freezer.
Beeswax Lip Balm: Makes about 25 lip balm tubes. Divide or multiply the recipe as needed. (Lip balm tubes hold 0.15 oz. You can also use jars, tins, etc.)
. 1 oz of beeswax, crushed or grated (Tip: Wrap beeswax in a clean cloth, place on a hard surface - e.g., concrete, a rock, pavement - and bang with a hammer until broken up.)
. 4 oz of olive, grapeseed and/or coconut oil or other carrier oils such as jojoba, apricot, almond
. 1/2 teaspoon of vitamin E oil, optional to prevent rancidity
. 1 teaspoon of honey, optional for flavor and to prevent rancidity
. 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract, optional to prevent rancidity
. 15 drops of essential oils, optional for scent
Gently melt beeswax and olive oil together in a double boiler or microwave, stirring frequently. When the beeswax melts thoroughly, test consistency by dripping some of the mixture onto a cold metal spoon or bowl. If too hard, add more oil. If too soft, add more beeswax. Once desired consistency is reached, remove from heat and stir in vitamin E, honey, and or grapefruit seed extract (all optional). Then add essential oils and pour into lip balm tubes or jars. Allow to harden before capping.
Start with small "part" measurements, such as a teaspoon or tablespoon to see what combinations you like; a part may equal a cup or more to make larger batches. The bonbons should last for a few weeks in a tightly sealed container on the counter, a little longer in the fridge or freezer.
. 3 parts nut butter, tahini and/or powdered nuts/seeds
. 1-2 parts powdered herbs
. 2 parts honey
. Extras: flavor-enhancing spices, mini chocolate chips, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, dried berries
. For rolling or dipping: cocoa powder, shredded toasted coconut, carob, toasted sesame seeds, melted
Directions: In a bowl, combine the nut butter(s), herbs, honey, and any flavoring spices or other powdered "extras," and mix well. Examine and taste to see if you like the flavor and texture and add more honey or nut butter if needed. Mix in any chunky "extras" you might be using. Taste again and adjust as needed.Roll the paste into small balls with your hands. Then roll them in cocoa powder, coconut, seeds or whatever you'd like to make them look pretty, taste good and not stick to each other. Or, refrigerate the balls, then dip them in melted chocolate or carob. Allow to cool on waxed paper. Store in a tightly sealed container, eating one or more a day.
. Zen Mind: Gotu kola, holy basil and bacopa (perhaps also powdered green tea, but that's bitter), rolled in toasted sesame seeds or coconut
. Super Antioxidant: Hawthorn, rosehips, lycii, pinch of turmeric and black pepper, dried fruit, rolled in dried fruit or dipped in chocolate
. Zoom Zoom: Codonopsis, maca, cocoa powder (for more zoom/caffeine: powdered mate, coffee, guarana, kola nut and/or tea) with cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon, rolled or dipped in chocolate
. Deep Energy: Codonopsis, maca, astragalus, ashwagandha, chai spices, rolled/dipped in chocolate, coconut or sesame
. Choco-Love: Damiana, codonosis, maca, ashwagandha, cocoa, vanilla extract, pinch of cayenne, dipped in chocolate
. Basic Electuary: Mix powdered herbs of choice with honey until you have a desirable consistency and flavor. Store in a jar, and eat a spoonful or so each day. It should keep for at least a month.