Saturday, October 31, 2009


This time of year, infusions are a great way to get all of your nutrition without overloading on supplements in pill form. . . I don't know about you but I'd rather drink something from lovely Mother Nature than take a bunch of vitamins made in a laboratory. About the only supplement I do take is vitamin D and this is because I live in Michigan and I most definitely don't get enough sun. So what exactly is an infusion??? It is basically an herbal tea that has a long steep. Because of the long steep of a minimum of four hours, infusions are much stronger and more medicinal than teas. Infusing extricates the easily rendered vitamins, minerals, tannins, mucilage, delicate volatile oils and many of the plant’s chemical constituents. I think it is easiest to make an infusion in a quart jar (which equals 4 cups). To make a hot infusion place 1 ounce of herb in a quart jar, add boiling water and cover with a lid. You must cover your herbs in a hot infusion to keep in all the herb’s active constituents. There are other kinds of infusions:

· Hot – herbs infused with boiling water
· Cold – occasionally there are herbs that are easily water soluble or mucilaginous. In this case you may want to make a cold water infusion by covering herbs in cold rather than hot water. Examples of these herbs may be marshmallow root, rose petals, red clover blossom and slippery elm.
· Solar infusion – healing for yin types of imbalances such as depression and mood swings. Make a hot infusion as described above and set your infusion in a warm sunny spot for several hours.
· Lunar infusion – healing for more acute, eruptive type imbalances and aids in balancing when the cooling, gentle energy of the feminine is called for. To make a lunar infusion, place your herbs in an open glass or crystal bowl. It is ideal to use fresh herbs and flowers. Cover mixture with fresh water and place directly in the moonlight. Infuse all night and drink in the morning. Perfect to do during full moons!

You can make an infusion with any herb, dry or fresh and your infusion can be single herbs or a blend. I like to do single herb infusions using dried herb. In my opinion, this is the best kind of infusion because it enables you to understand an herbs effect on you better when you ingest one herb at a time and using dry herb allows you to always have infusion herbs on hand. Plus many herbs deliver more nutrition when dried. Develop a relationship with your herbs. Ask the herbs to speak to you. What herb/s do I need today? Common herbs for infusion making are red clover, nettle, oatstraw, linden, comfrey, chamomile, licorice, dandelion, marshmallow, ginger, rose, lemon balm and red raspberry. Drinking an infusion everyday will keep you healthy and warm this winter! Try it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

fairies and linden

Good morning my 4 followers. I was just thinking about fall and thought I might mention linden blossom as a delightful infusion this time of year. An infusion is made like a tea, only steeped longer and with more plant material. Ideally, I recommend an ounce of dried plant to a quart of water. One of the tastiest and most enjoyable infusions, the flowers of the linden tree can be enjoyed warm with a touch of honey during cold season, but is also very refreshing on ice in the summer months. It is most commonly used to soothe cough and cold symptoms and related ailments. Consuming linden flowers as a tea acts as a diaphoretic, which helps to boost the body's immune system for a while, making it more effective at fighting colds. Because linden is slightly mucilaginous, it soothes the throat and helps to break up phlegm and clear nasal and throat passages. It is anti-inflammatory and great for the heart and other cardio-vascular support. It is also a superb infusion to relax with, as it does have anxiety and stress reducing calming effects. Various studies have also shown the linden flower to be successful at treating stomach pains and relieving gas pressure as well. And by the way, fairies like linden trees!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

harold and maude

So I created this amazing tea the other day and it is quickly becoming a Featherheart Trading Co. favorite. Fashioned from oatstraw, cinnamon and cardamom -- three of my favorite flavor profiles, after a touch of honey this tea tastes a lot like a delicious oatmeal cookie. And it smells like one too. What's more, oatstraw improves coordination, bone density, length of attention span, balance, memory, clarity, ease of achieving meditative and conscious dream states and overall calmness and centeredness. It’s high in calcium, iron, phosphorus, B vitamins, potassium, vitamin C and many amino acids. And as if that's not enough, oatstraw strengthens and nourishes the nerves and nervous system, making this a great tea to drink during times of emotional stress, breakdowns and breakthroughs. In addition, it’s good for the heart, clearing your blood vessels of fatty deposits, lowering cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugar. And don’t be surprised if a tea of oatstraw makes you extra amorous. . . it's considered by some to be an aphrodisiac, especially if you're of the male persuasion.

And of course it's named after the film Harold and Maude in honor of the scene when Maude offers Harold a cup of oatstraw tea. Classic movie. Classic tea.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

my famous chai

As winter approaches I can’t think of anything more warming and soul reviving than a cup of hot chai. And I’m not talking about the chai you get at Starbucks, I’m talking about an amazing cup of homemade chai. I’ve been making my own chai for years and even though I drink it nearly everyday, it always seems like an indulgent treat, yet when done right, chai has incredible health benefits. To start, the herbs and spices in chai. . . cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorn, ginger, licorice and clove. These are all warming and carminative spices, meaning they aid in digestion and can really ease a gassy or bloated tummy. In addition, cinnamon is said to have amazing results in regulating blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. Ginger, aside from being terrifically spicy and warm, has the potential to kick out a cold that’s trying to sneak it’s way into the body. Licorice is a great soother in both the stomach and the throat. Cardamom is one of my favorite flavors, plus it’s a digestive kick-starter and a metabolism regulator. Cloves are known to reduce inflammation and they are anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Peppercorns have an outer layer that is said to gobble fat cells. And these are just a few of the health benefits of chai’s ingredients! Together in one tea, I’m convinced these ingredients become a powerhouse of love for the body. And let’s not forget about black tea. Where to begin. . . antioxidant, anti-cancer, cholesterol lowering, anti-viral, immunity booster and on and on. Finally, no chai is complete without the addition of a little honey. Honey is a powerful medicine in it’s own right. First, honey is antibacterial. It counters infections on the skin, in the intestines, in the respiratory system and throughout the body. Second, honey is hydroscopic, a long word meaning "water loving". Honey holds moisture in the place where it is put; it can even draw moisture out of the air. These two qualities -- anti-bacterial and hydroscopic, make honey an ideal healer of wounds of all kinds, including burns, bruises and decubita (skin ulcers), an amazing soother for sore throats, a powerful ally against bacterial diarrhea, and a counter to asthma. Third, honey may be as high as 35 percent protein. This, along with the readily available carbohydrate (sugar) content, provides a substantial surge of energy and a counter to depression. Some sources claim that honey is equal, or superior to ginseng in restoring vitality. Honey's proteins also promote healing, both internally and externally. And honey is a source of vitamins B, C, D and E, as well as some minerals. It appears to strengthen the immune system and help prevent (some authors claim cure) cancer.
Just writing this makes me want to sneak away to the kitchen to prepare another cup of this hot herbal wonder! I love chai and I make the best chai ever. Get it at

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

my pal echinacea

when i even think i might be getting a cold i reach for the echinacea ASAP. seriously, i become an echinacea freak when i feel a funky sniffle or a not so hot head-stuffyness brewing in my body. too often i hear people say, "echinacea doesn't work for me." well, that's probably because you need a LOT and most people simply don't take enough. what's a lot? well, i recommend the tincture and i recommend 3-4 dropperfuls every half hour if you're trying to kick a cold's ass. if you already have a cold i would do 3-4 dropperfuls every couple hours. a cold is no joke. i hate colds and super duper doses of echinacea have saved me tons of times.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

introductions please!

Greetings from Featherheart! Welcome to my very first blog. I’m a crafty gal living in Ferndale, MI and I’m gonna blow your mind with all kinds of tips on health and wellness, plus I might just tell you a good gossipy story every now and then. Let’s see. . . where to begin. . . I moved back to Michigan not too long ago after spending the past 15 years in San Francisco. I sure do miss it there, but I was having dreams of owning a house, having a yard and garden and being able to park anywhere and everywhere, so I moved back to the place where I grew up last October and now a new journey has begun. While in San Francisco I spent 11 years in the music industry and 4 years teaching pole dancing. I guess you could say I like to reinvent myself every now and then. And these days I spend my time making magical jewelry and accessories using crystals, vintage lace, leather and feathers and I make totally amazing lotions, salves and oils. Everything is available at etsy. I am well studied in herbs and nutrition, so if you ever have a question just ask! I’m also a vintage clothing junkie and spend a lot of time scouring Michigan for total treasures! Last summer I lived and studied with world famous herbalist, shaman and green witch Susun Weed. What a trip that was. And I have spent lots of time hauling around musicians from my days in the music industry. That said, I have tons of good stories to tell about all of it, so tune in to a cup of chai frequently. You might get a useful health tip, some juicy celebrity gossip or a wonderfully witchy story! I’m here to share it all! And it’s gonna be good. Oh and I make the best chai tea in the world... soon to be available on etsy!