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This month, my April steep is a bit different. Although I love creating new blends every month, experimenting with flavors and energetics and emotionally supportive herbal allies...there are some points in time when I just want to feel tended to. I'll preface by saying that this is not a sponsored post, but rather a genuine outpouring of love for an herbal blend (and herbal company) that I absolutely love. Gaia has been a company that perpetually impresses and inspires me. They formulate the most amazingly therapeutic herbal products, and it's happened more than once over the years that one of their herbal formulas (either a tea blend, or a targeted capsule or an extract) came to the rescue for exactly what I needed. I often feel like sometimes their herbal blends were made just for me, which is kind of a magical thing considering how many thousands of people take their products. That was the case for their Golden Milk blended with my homemade almond milk. At first sip, I melted into the rich flavors and felt immediately taken care of. And it couldn't have come at a better time. At the end of March my grandmother passed away, and with her passing came an array of emotional and mental and physical experiences that I'm sure will persist for many months. But for the month of April, at least, Gaia's Golden milk will be my daily steep because of how warm and nourishing and well tended to it makes me feel. 

Gaia's Golden Milk is a therapeutic and time honored blend of turmeric, dates, ashwagandha, cardamom, vanilla bean & black pepper. When decocted in a warm milk, the medicinal components are extracted beautifully to create a creamy, nourishing, grounding and calming tea that's best sipped in a quiet space, curled up in a blanket with a pup at your feet and a box of old letters. Turmeric is incredibly therapeutic to so many organ systems (largely due to its curcuminoids content), but when taken as a whole in traditional fashion, turmeric is extremely restorative to the liver and functions as a profound anti-inflammatory and immune support. Turmeric is often difficult to absorb, but when combine with black pepper the absorption is enhanced. The added sweetness of dates, vanilla and cardamom make this Golden Milk blend so decadent it's like sipping an indulgent dessert (and the creamy richness of almond milk doesnt hurt either). And then there's wonderfully strong yet subtle ashwagandha, the magical adaptogenic yet calming herbal ally to support both the adrenal glands and central nervous system - making it ideal for both morning and evening consumption. 

I started sipping this the day I heard the news about my grandmother, and I never realized it before, but the taste and smell of turmeric remind me of her. When sipping this golden milk blend with my homemade almond milk every day since, I feel completely taken care of. Sort of like a time when you just want your mom and a teddy bear and all of your responsibilities to go away for a while. This is how golden milk makes me feel - even if it only lasts for one mug full of warmth. I drink it in the morning to begin my days, and also in the evening while Greg sips is nighttime herbal tea, and the calming restorative turmeric + ashwagandha combo helps me ease into peaceful and restorative sleeps. 

Now through April 19th, you can enter to win a years supply of Gaia's Golden Milk + a 1 year supply of Califia Farms Almond milk. 

Almond Milk + Golden Milk

For the Almond Milk
1 cup raw almonds, soaked at least 6 hours
4 pitted dates
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
4 cups filtered water
For the Golden milk
1 serving Gaia Golden Milk
1 tsp organic ghee
8 ounces almond milk

Combine soaked almonds, dates, pink salt, vanilla and filtered water in a high speed blender (I use a vitamix) and blend very well until frothy and creamy, about 1 full minute. Strain through a nut milk bag or finely meshed cheese cloth. Store in a glass container for up to 5 days, shaking before each use. 

Golden Milk : pour 8 ounces of almond milk into a small pot and add 1 serving Gaia Golden milk and 1 tsp organic ghee. Heat slowly and stir often until very hot but not boiling. Remove from heat, pour in your favorite mug and sip consciously. 


 



For the first time in my life, I had been having trouble staying asleep. Since mid November, I found myself most nights of the week waking up stricken with panic, fear and dread - the heaviest and most gloomy doomsday feelings of dread as if they were leaping out of my dreams and lingering in my conscious emotions like a suffocating blanket. Everything seems so much more tangible when it's nighttime and you have all of that still, quiet space to make your thoughts feel even more real. By morning, those feelings would invariably fade away, but still resurface every time I was caught off guard by a news headline...So with the coming of March, I have continued to rely on my tried and true herbal allies to support my heart space, calm my nerves and soothe my panic stricken monkey mind. Chamomile, linden, motherwort, lavender & peppermint have been doing the trick for the past 2 months, and this March Steep has been a regular part of my nighttime routine, working their magic to keep me asleep (and calm), all night long. 



I've spoken about the calming, soothing nature of Chamomile before, and it blends beautifully with the aroma of peppermint as a perfect nighttime (and after dinner!) digestive soothing tea, but also soothes the mind and central nervous system as well. Linden and Motherwort have such a strong affinity for the heart space and are powerful cardiovascular tonics. Linden is sweet, slightly astringent and a little bit aromatically fruity and is a fantastic relaxing nervine to ease you into peaceful dreaming. Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) as it's name suggests relaxes the heart and is soothing to the mind and cardiovascular system, being "negatively chronotropic" (slows the heart rate). Motherwort is bitter though, and needs a sweet aromatic partner for a good tea, hence the addition of sweet little lavender. Meant to be, those two. 







Per my nighttime ritual, I brew up a pot or mug of this every single night and sip on it for at east an hour before bedtime. The aroma of this warm, blissful blend is such a comfort, and has improved my quality of sleep like magic. But, I suppose that's what herbs are - magical comforts enchanting the body and nourishing the soul...

March Steep

1 tsp Chamomile
1/2 tsp Linden
1/2 tsp Motherwort
1/2 tsp Peppermint
1/2 tsp Lavender
Serves 1

Combine all herbs in a small bowl and then add to a tea steeper. Let steep in 2 cups hot water for 10 minutes, covered. Strain and sip consciously 1 hour before bedtime.

 



February...the shortest yet seemingly longest month of the year So cold. So dark. So sleepy. February is like the month of the home stretch, when the last bitter cold days of winter finally end, and spring is oh, so close. In my February Steep, I crave lightness, and flavor and bright cups of color. I fight off stagnation (both mentally and physically) and need an extra burst of motivation almost every day to get me one day closer to spring. I want to sip the flavors of spring and smell the earthy sweetness of things just about to sprout. I want quiet tea moments with simple, cheerful herbs. Dandelion root, rose petals, peppermint & orange peel every day, from now until the month when we herald in the first days of spring...


This month is simple for tea, and I'm doing a little something I often like to do with herbal preparation: Decoctions + Infusions. It may seem like just one more step, but once you've done it once or twice it's cake. Hardier parts of herbs (like roots, rhizomes, barks or stems) require a little more than just a simple little steep to get all the good medicinals out of them. They need a decoction preparation, which means you simmer those hardier parts in water for about 10-15 minutes. On the other hand, more delicate parts of herbs, such as flowers, petals, seeds or leaves do just fine with a gentle, normal steep. When I blend the two methods together it's not only usually delicious, but extra medicinal because taking the time to make tea this way is totally worth it






February Steep

1.5 cups filtered water
1 tsp dried or fresh orange peel
1 tsp dandelion root
1/2 tsp dried rose petals
1/2 tsp peppermint leaves

Combine water, orange peel and dandelion root in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, and add the rose petals and peppermint leaves. Give it a stir and let sit, covered, for 7 minutes. Remove lid and strain into your favorite mug and sip consciously. 

 

Where to find it: I often purchase dried herbs (when not locally available) from Mountain Rose Herbs, Avena Botanicals, Zack Woods Herb Farm or Starwest Botanicals

HELLO, I’M LINDSAY.
Herbal medicine and nutrition is my expertise. Understanding plants, their properties, and their powers is my passion.

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