An infusion is the easiest way of ingesting minerals. Minerals are small
rocks that sit inside cell walls, they have been absorbed from the soil.
Cell walls break down when the plant is dried and when infused in the hot
water for at least 4 hours osmosis happens; the minerals dissolve into the
water. So your body assimilates the minerals from this rich plant water
supplying your body with the minerals you need. An infusions will last up
to 2 days if you keep it in the refrigerator, if you don't use up your infusion
in a day you can use it in cooking (in a soup base or to make rice).
How to make an infusion:
1) take one ounce of a dried herb put it into a quart jar, 2) cover it with boiling water,
3) let it sit for at least four hours up to overnight.
The next day you drain it and drink it throughout the day. Examples of herbs you can do this with are: nettles leaves -- builds energy, rebuilds adrenals, kidneys, liver, and immune system, also rich in carotenes, oatstraw -- balances the nervous system if it is too nervous or too slow it will work to "rewire" your system, blue violet leaves -- excellent for the lungs and intestines, red clover flower and leaves -- anti cancer and a strong blood builder, raspberry leaves -- a good hormonal herb for women.
A question came up of whether St. John's Wort or Hypericum could be used as an infusion. In a previous article (Using St. John's Wort as an Anti-Viral) I talked about the best way to use St. John's wort as a medicinal plant, either as an oil transdermally on the skin or in a tincture form. The infusions and vinegars are nutritional building blocks supplying our body with minerals and fortification necessary to build up, stay strong and protect against invasions and it could be used this way, but to get the best medicinal properties of St. John's Wort use it as a oil or as a tincture. Susun brought out some of her St. John's oil to pass around. This plant acts as an anti-viral as well as a anti-depressant.
Next she focused on making herbal vinegars. Vinegar extracts have high
amounts of minerals and trace nutrients from fresh herbs. For example one
tablespoon of a vinegar that has been made with a fresh wild plant is equal
to 300 mg calcium (same as a glass of milk).
How to make vinegars:
1) pack a jar full with fresh plant material (pick it yourself or fresh from a friend's garden).
2) cover to top with pasteurized organic apple cider vinegar.
3) put a piece of plastic between the top and the lid, cover and let sit for 6 weeks before using.
Wild foods and herbs you can use include: fresh springtime nettles leaves, motherwort leaves, catnip or any of the mints, dandelion (leaves and root), burdock root (a yang tonic - diabetic, skin problems, cold sores), yellow dock (1), goldenrod (Susun explained people are not allergic to goldenrod despite popular opinion because it is insect pollinated and no one is allergic to plants that are insect pollinated), and the stalks of shaiitake mushrooms. A special concoction can be made using daikon (a radish/vegetable that is a tonic for immune system, a strengthener, and also builds resistance to cancer), or burdock root, using half vinegar and half tamari. Steam them mildly then add, in thirds, the steaming water, nurtritional vinegar and tamari. You can use the vinegar tamari liquid as well as eat the marinated vegetables.
The wild food salad is important in Susun's life, wild greens supply the enzymes we need. Susun claims if we eat two fresh dandelion leaves per day we will get all the enzymes and vitamins we need for that day. Every day she eats a salad of wild greens with her main meal.
The salad we had for lunch included: sheep sorrel, lamb's quarter (rich in iron, for anemia), purslane (rich in Essential Fatty Acid's good for immune and circulatory system), garlic mustard, mustard greens (for immune system), mint (such as hyssop), nasturtium leaves and flowers (an immune strengthener), and chickweed. Many of these plants can be harvested locally, for example chickweed is abundant locally and grows through most of the winter season, in fact it prefers the colder weather. It is a good wild food to add to your regular salads.
Immune Boosting Soup
Ingredients in the Immune Boosting Soup included:
Orange and lemon peel (removes grease and is an antiseptic). Where do you get your citrus peel? Buy organic fruit and after you eat it dry the peels and save them. They can be dried in the oven on low, or just sitting out, do not put in the sun or they will loose their volatile oil which is what you want. Add the dried peel when you cook soups and beans. They are strengthening for kidneys and are a mild acting estrogen.
Seaweed - Kelp - bullwhip kelp - Algin is a constituent of kelp that acts like a glue; it swells up and draws to itself radioactivity, lead, heavy metals, cadmium and carries them out with your bowel movement. It has the quality of absorption. Algin is in ice cream, face creams, and yogurt as a thickener.
Orange vegetables & dark green vegetables which are full of carotenes. Carotenes are difficult to digest from raw foods.
Astragulus is a Chinese herb that is a mild nutritive, it builds stress resistance into body. Much research has been done on this herb and its immune building properties. It has been specifically recommended to fight HIV. Susun put about twelve dried sliced roots into a big pot of soup.
Shiitake mushrooms are cure all mushrooms and have been specifically recommended to fight HIV.
Mints have antiseptic oils that counter Opportunistic Infections and are rich in antioxidants. Examples: thyme and rosemary.