The winter solstice marks the longest night of the year. After this day, the sun to begins a slow progress towards more daylight hours. In the hustle of the holiday season, this is a good time to slow the pace (even for a day) and take time to nurture and celebrate the return of the season of light.
Relying on herbs harvested from summer to indulge in hot teas, soaking herbal baths and steams. Take time to pause and reflect.
Pause moment: Simple facial steam with fresh ginger and lemons– see the chapter on Winter Solstice in The Herb Lover’s Spa Book for more winter nurturing skin treatments.
Pause moment: Herbal tea warm-up. There is something about wrapping your hands around a steaming mug of tea that sets the day right. Use dried herbs from summers harvest with traditional green tea to create your own signature blends.
How to make a fresh pot of herb tea:
Boil water in a teakettle. Transfer boiling water into a warmed glass or ceramic teapot. Add a handful of fresh herbs and allow to steep for at least 10 minutes, longer for stronger tea.
Most herbal blends do not reach a deep dark color; they will remain light amber or green. Gauge your herbal brew by taste rather than by color. Dried herbs are more concentrated, so use less quantity than fresh leaves. A rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon of dried herbs or 3 teaspoons of fresh herbs to 1 cup of water.