A monthly membership celebrating seasonally inspired things to Make, Learn & Do

You’ve viewed

You haven't yet viewed any products on our store. If you've been here before, you may need to sign in.

Journal

Peri-Menopausal Tea?

making clover and nettle tea

A few weeks ago I enrolled on an old fashioned year long correspondence course with the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine. It is to become a home herbalist - so basically to gain the knowledge needed to treat (& not kill) myself, but not to treat anyone else. I wanted to do it because I found myself getting irritated by the slight wooliness of the herbal advice I kept seeing, the same cut and pasted mistakes, the lack of any advice about who shouldn't be taking things.

I found myself irritated at the way herbs - which I believe are incredibly powerful - were not being taken seriously.

One of the modules of the course is to study an area of ground and the plants that grow there over a full year. I have chosen a patch of about a mile between Croftamie and Gartness Road. I am going to be talking a bit more about this on Instagram and Facebook but here on the blog I am going to talk about the plants I am studying each month instead.

This month is Red Clover - Trifolium pratense (the Trifolium means three leaved, the pratense means meadow - so "three leaved meadow plant") - which grows in the verges alongside the path. It is a typical meadow plant, interesting in that its leaves low down look pretty much as we imaging clover leaves to be, but as the plant grows upwards - climbing through other plants up to 4 feet - the leaves elongate and aren't really recognisable as clover at all. It is a useful cover crop for farmers - fixing nitrogen in the soil - so is common throughout the UK and many other parts of the farmed world.

Red Clover doesn't really appear in many old herbal books. Where it does, it has the kind of listing where it cures absolutely everything from leprosy to UTIs, which pretty much guarantees that it cures nothing.

However - at some point in the last 20 years it was discovered that clover is one of the few plants with water soluble isoflavones - a kind of phytoestrogen - so potentially helpful for peri-menopausal women as their oestrogen levels dip.

To be honest - and this is the case with a lot of herbal medicine - there hasn't been great success with trials, though a couple were interesting enough for money to be put into research. There is also the issue that the research was done where large amounts of the active ingredients were distilled out of the plants in a way that would be inconvenient, maybe impossible, for the home forager.

However it was found that clover had significant levels of available calcium, which could be useful for peri menopausal and menopausal women to ward off osteoporosis. On the flip side - as a potential hormone replacement - red clover shouldn't be taken by women who are pregnant, or really by anyone whose oestrogen and calcium levels are tip top.

For the rest of us - here is a tea recipe - which is highly unlikely to completely turn around a depleting oestrogen supply, but which tastes nice, will do no harm, and which may help take the edge off those hot flushes.

making clover tea

Clover, Calendula and Nettle Tea

  • 50 heads of red clover - picked when fully out but not browning
  • 50 calendula flowers
  • 50 nettle leaves

Dry all the flowers and leaves - you can simply lay them out on a metal rack or sheet and leave somewhere warm (a clean sheet over a spare bed works well), or, if you happen to have a dehydrator, that works well - 10 hours at 40 degrees.

Mix together and store in a jar. Add a large spoonful to a teapot, add just boiled water and leave to steep for 5 minutes.

You can add honey, but I find that the clover has a honeyed taste anyway.

The mixture will last for a year if kept in a cool dark place.

 

Pin it!

making peri-menopausal tea clover and calendula

Tags: herbs recipe

Comments: 1 (Add)

Liz Cookson on July 31 2019 at 08:14

Thank you, I'm happy to give anything a go. Only just perimenopausal so am gathering knowledge from many friends who have and are going through this stage in their lives. Women have always been full of herbal knowledge and some were thought of as witches in past times, I love making 'potions'!We have to much we can share. I hope you enjoy your learning course.

Snapdragon social

I am a bit of a womble.  My Studio is a layering of things that have been found, things that have been saved, things that have been given to me - I like to be surrounded by a bit of history. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
I am known as an avid skip diver so people kindly keep me things.  This weekend I am off to pick up 13 sash windows rescued from a skip.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
This is my dye cupboard - the mordants and other powders, the piles of fabrics and yarns, my newly started record book and the glue to paste the swatches in.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
It has had a hard life - the back is patched with hinges as plates, there are many, many layers of paint and a door has gone missing along the way.  It is perfect.⁠⠀
Back when I grew flowers commercially the area that is now ‘the orchardy bit’ was rows and rows of spring bulbs.⁠ In the years where the deer didn’t eat the tulips they looked magnificent, stripe upon stripe of pure pigment. ⠀
⁠⠀
When I turned my back on growing for money, we simply took out the beds and levelled it, turning it back to grass.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
The tulips quickly gave up - never brilliantly perennial here anyway, they took the opportunity to fade out fast.⁠ Well if you don’t want us . . . ⠀
⁠⠀
The narcissi loved it though and every year appeared back in their serried rows through the grass. ⁠There was something disturbingly grave like about them.
⁠⠀
My planting  ever since has all been an attempt to disguise that - feathering the edges, making little islands, trying to make it all look haphazard.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Gradually it is working - this is the edge of what would have been a bed of Narcissi geranium (best vase life, along with best scent) - now happily interspersed with a pheasants eye and a little lemon coloured one I have lost the name of.
Abundance.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
And the hedges beginning to vibrate with that gloriously specific spring green.
This week has been about experimenting.⁠⠀
Experimenting with all the ways to dye with daffodils, experimenting with the new e-course part of my website, experimenting with shooting and editing videos on my phone.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
My business hero is @sethgodin and his mantra is 'ship it' - a way of saying that the best way to learn is to make things and get them out in front of people before they are polished and 'perfect'.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
So I took his advice and combined all three experiments. Today's newsletters will have links to a free e-course all about dyeing wool with daffodils.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
I have been absolutely amazed by the colour you get from faded daffodil flowers (see the second photo). It is a bright, yet somehow soft, golden yellow which is now adding an amazing zing to my pile of plant dyed fabrics.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
I am prone to obsessions.  My brain hones in on topics and rabbit holes away, a constant background chatter to my life.⁠⠀
⠀
It annoys the people I live with as my world shrinks to one topic. ⠀
⁠⠀
My camera roll shows me it is three years ago this week that I returned to natural dyeing with plants, concentrating on using only the plants growing within a couple of miles.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Three years of experimenting with plant after plant, three years of googling and reading obscure articles and piling up samples. ⁠three years of conversation about mordants and modifiers. ⠀
⁠⠀
Three years is a short time in such a slow craft. A blink of an eye. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
But already I can see a difference in my skill.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
This is a corner of the cupboard where I stash my fabrics and yarns building up enough for a project.  These have all been dyed this year - with barks and cones. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
This week I am dyeing with bright deadheaded daffodils and the golden yellows will join these soft terracottas and pinks while I dream up something to make.
I grow very few white flowers. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
White summer flowers tend to mark in the rain - white roses look like discarded tissues, white dahlias spot brown.  Even cosmos purity - which I do grow - goes droopy and grey in a way that the coloured versions don't.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
The petals of spring bulbs however seem rain resistant - so I can indulge my love of white flowers and enjoy them backlit by the morning sun on the Studio window shelf.
Bright and light and pretty.
I am spending a lot of time in the greenhouse at the moment - playing an endless game of jenga with my seed trays.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Many of the seedlings are for the community gardens - being planted out gradually under fleece. We are biding time, taking the cautious route so that we minimise the risk of everything being wiped out by a very cold night.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
We still have a full month of frosts to go here - little ones of -2 or 3 are manageable, an extra covering of fleece, some bricks to act like a storage heater.  Most hardy seedlings will recover from getting their tips nipped a bit.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Last year though we had a really cold night in mid May, when growth was going well and sappily. It blasted the blossom and killed many of my hardy veg too. Slightly too late to resow.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Speak to the older generation of gardeners and they all sowed and planted out much later than is the fashion today.  They perhaps had a point.
I wrote in my Friday letter this week about the sudden lifting of the uncertainty and inertia that had been dogging me for a few months.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
It's always easier to write about these things once they are resolved - do you find that?  Once I am unstuck and lolloping along happily again, I can look at it all and not get sucked down.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Of course all this talk of getting going again, of new plans and exciting things . . . . it all actually means hard work. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Head down, working through an actual written plan kind of hard work.  Not always my natural strength.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
So yesterday I rearranged the studio window shelves and cleared the working table, ready for an uninterrupted start today. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
An attempt to keep momentum.
snapdragon.life
FacebookTwitterPinterest

About Snapdragon Life

At Snapdragon Life I gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

 

Learn more about why here

Loading