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Herbal infusions, for those not familiar, are made by placing herbs and tea leaves to sit overnight in an airtight container with hot water. As the hours pass, the leaves mineralize, releasing ample amounts of antioxidants, polyphenols and bioflavonoids—all compounds that create system-wide health, but especially a thriving and glowing complexion.
In many practices, there are herbs and flowers known to be internally “slippery” or mucilaginous, which refers to the gelatinous substance that secretes from plants. Examples of mucilaginous or demulcent foods include the lotus root, okra, aloe, chia, and flax seeds. When consumed, they cool, calm, and repair the membrane tissues in our mast cells and nerves, strengthening water barriers, cellular integrity, and hydrate the body on a profound level. This translates to inside-out juiciness, incomparable to any serum or topical gel. Food alchemist and herbalist, Sasha Pagni, lent her plant medicine expertise to share which are the core slippery herbs to stock in your high-vibe pantry, plus a roundup of harmonizing herbs with potent beautifying qualities you'll want in your regimen.
Key Slippery Herbs
Supporting Herbs: Cooling, Nourishing, and Moistening
Harmonizing/ Accent Herbs: Balancing, Beautifying, and Delicious
These blend measurements don't need to be exact, but a rule of thumb is two parts slippery herb base to one part of the supporting and harmonizing herbs. Add psyllium, flax, or chia to any of these combinations to add texture, fiber, and deeper hydration. Heat water just before boiling, with 1-2 ounces of fresh herbs in a large mason jar or French press. Pour the water over the herbs, seal with an airtight lid and let sit for 4-8 hours. Strain the herbs afterward, compost if possible, and drink the tea for a deeply potent elixir.
Marshmallow + Nettles + Oats + Rose
healing properties: Nettles is a natural antihistamine and nourishes the adrenals, while oats provide support for the nervous system. Rose is an astringent, which acts to tighten and support skin tissue.
Marshmallow + Rose + Schisandra
healing properties: Marshmallow, along with its reparative qualities, is full of amino acids and quercetin, one of the most powerful antioxidants on the planet. Schisandra is a berry and traditional adaptogen, quelling the physical effects of stress.
Slippery Elm + Burdock + Reishi
healing properties: Burdock serves as a liver nourisher and lymph mover, while Reishi aids in mood and immune response.
Slippery Elm + Nettles
healing properties: The medicinal component of the slippery elm tree is the inner bark, which has been used by indigenous lineages for hundreds of years to balance immunity and as a natural laxative.
Linden + Lemon Balm + Violet
healing properties: Linden promotes relaxation as a vasodilator to lower blood pressure and increase circulation, while lemon balm supports the GI tract and violet cools and tames inflammation.
These ultra-healing blends are straightforward to make, and take little to no prep—but are potent allies to put skin and the endocrine system back into balance. To be even more in flow with Earth, you can place the herbs in a mason jar with tepid water, seal with an airtight lid, and place the jar in direct sunlight for the entire day, allowing solar energy to work its magic and break down the minerals. Strain and serve over ice for a bright and hydrating springtime elixir.
Note: While many of the above herbs and ingredients are available at your local grocery store, farmer’s market, or nursery, we compiled some online organic resources here—also, all are available on Amazon.
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By Sasha Pagni + Hannah Shanken • March 26, 2021
Photographer: Sasha Pagni