Ask An Herbalist: Re-infusing plant material from herbal infusions

Dena asks,

April,


I just want to say first of all, I follow your Instagram account and resonate with a lot of your posts. I have a pretty simple question and apologize if the answer is somewhere else on your site. I have been rotating infusions of nettle, oat straw, and more recently red raspberry leaf. I bought a ton of these herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs.

My question: do you reuse herbs you’ve already infused? I feel like I go through a lot of the herbs and would love to get more use out of them. Are they as potent a second time around? Thanks for reading! Take care,

Dena

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Hello Dena, 

I know the feeling of going through a ton of plant matter in infusion making! The answer here is yes and no depending on the individual plant ally. 

 The allies you mentioned are basically spent after their first go round but you can pull more out of them so to speak if you let them set over night in the fridge versus the standard 4 hours. But don't do this with raspberry as her tannins have a tendency to make folks puke/feel yucky if to many are extracted.

 

But allies such as linden, mallow, comfrey, Hawthorne (most berries in the Rose family really), mushrooms, most roots all have benefits of being infused a second time around and even release I guess you could say deeper properties towards healing that the first brew just can't get to until their cell structure has been really weakened. 

Sometimes i'll toss some of my spent nettle or kelp infusions into my soup pots because they do still carry good fibers and such I've even made a "spent nettle bread" that isn't too bad, but mainly I give it all to my compost pile 💜  

I hope some of this was helpful! 

Kindest regards, 

April  

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