Summer is officially here, and it was a great summer solstice weekend spent outdoors as much as possible to honor the nourishing sunshine. I took advantage of the longer days by brewing a special solstice blend of herbal sun tea this year, and it was amazing! I enjoyed crafting this year’s blend and while doing so, I reflected on some helpful reminders.
During the summer solstice, we are really aligning with the path of the earth is taking around the sun than the sun itself. Summer Solstice reminds us to reflect within ourselves and find the things that feed us “nourishment “not only physically, but spiritually as well. It is mid-year so think about what has been accomplished so far and what should be the focus for the rest of this year’s journey around the sun that will help us evolve closer to a goal, whatever that may be. It is a time to pause and wait for the energy planted in the Spring to reach full bloom and have confidence in ourselves that what we set in motion is correct, good or bad, and that it will lead us forward to where we are supposed to be. (Wintersteen)
Enjoy this special blend of organically dried herbs that promotes immunity, strength, and nourishment!
Elderberry (Sambucus S. nigra & S. ebulus) – First and forefront of this year’s blend is the tartness of Elderberry. You simply cannot have any type of boost without the stimulation of this wonderful, dried berry. This time of the year can bring on allergies and this herb is full of immune boosting antioxidants and makes it the perfect base for this herbal blend.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) – You know I have been itching to get my lemon balm harvest into a product and this uplifting dried herb makes a great digestion support tea. It also has some mystical properties that relate to the feminine gender and the association with the moon and water. Lemon Balm is a powerful love, success, and healing herb. In Arabian herb lore, it is said that the herb can be used to influence love; ancient Mediterranean cultures believe that by rubbing the herb on beehives, it will bring great success. (I would not recommend this if you are allergic to bee stings)
Hulled Hemp Seed (Cannabis sativa L) – This gives the tea blend a nice nutty note and is also high in protein. Including hemp seed in your diet promotes a healthy heart because it contains two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). (Bjarnadottir, MS, RDN)
Hemp seed’s mystical properties are related to overall healing, love, visions, and mediation. When I think of nourishment, I think of this herbal supplement and all the benefits it has to offer. Not to mention how much I love the taste!
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) – Everyone knows this herb as a calming remedy, so it was selected for the summer solstice blend to provide the calming benefits that allow us to relax and contemplate on our goals that lie ahead. It too has good immune boosting qualities, heightens focus stress relief and contains the antioxidant apigenin to rid the body of harmful free radicals.
As a mystical herb, Chamomile is associated with prosperity and is known as an herb of purification and protection. Plant it around your home to ward against a psychic or magical attack. If you are a gambler, wash your hands in chamomile tea to ensure good luck at the gaming tables. In several folk magic traditions, particularly those of the American south, chamomile is known as a lucky flower— ”make a garland to wear around your hair to attract a lover or carry some in your pocket for general good fortune. Chamomile is especially useful if you are trying to get yourself calmed and centered”. (Wigington)
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) – this herb relieves anxiety, stress, and eases depression. It has a unique name that has a little history to it. When the early Christians observed a plant with yellow flowers that bloomed around the feast of St. John the Baptist on June 24, they immediately put the two together.
Early Christians also believed the plant had mystical properties because the plant was harvested on Saint John’s Day (June 24), which is often the time of peak blooming. The herb, while normally used for medicinal qualities, was also thought to have the power to drive away demons and evil spirits. This was due in part to the association with St. John the Baptist and his feast on the longest day of the year, the day when light is stronger than the darkness. (Koslosk)
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) – What a great time to have Thyme! This herb is just soothing to the throat, smells amazing, is a mood booster, full of vitamin C for immune support, potassium for healthy cells, and manganese for bone development and blood clotting. With so many great benefits, it seemed fitting to blend this into our Solstice blend. Spiritually, Thyme is powerful and is believed to attract good health. Thyme can be used to increase wealth and good fortune, and as thyme grows in your garden, so should your wealth. It is used in games of chance to increase luck. (Selenophile)
Mugwort (Artemisa vulgaris) – A pinch of Mugwort for the road! Drinking Mugwort tea is highly recommended for people suffering from insomnia, anxiety, obesity, weak immunity, depression. With a range of B-family vitamins you can boost your metabolism and use this in your arsenal to assist with weight loss efforts. Diuretic properties of Mugwort in tea means that it may stimulates urination, which is the body’s best means of eliminating toxins. For centuries, Mugwort tea was praised for its “psychic” properties and has long been used to stimulate vivid dreams.
Pu-erh Tea (Camellia sinensis) - Finally to invigorate the mind, I round the taste of all the herbs with a pinch of Pu-erh tea! This tea is my favorite and could be yours too if you enjoy full-bodied tannic red wine. At least that is what I am reminded of when I drink it alone or add it to an herbal blend to give it more spice.
Pu-erh tea is made from the leaves and stems of the Camellia sinensis plant. which is the same plant that is used for making green, oolong, and black teas however the process is what makes this tea unique as it is a fermented tea from the Chinese Yunnan province. It can be naturally fermented over time or by using a special pilling technique to accelerate the aging process . The processes of making this tea, like wine, can influence the flavor.
This tea has health benefits which include lowering risk of heart disease because it helps produce lovastatin which is naturally used to treat high cholesterol. It can assist the liver in breaking down fatty foods. It is also said that Pu-erh tea can help promote enhanced eyesight, stimulate circulation, and soothe hangovers.
Drinking this tea as a single is an acquired taste and a great way to experience it, in my opinion is through blends like this one, although I encourage you to try Pu-erh straight first and see for yourself. This rich tea is part of our Summer Solstice Blend to provide a little kick (but not too much). This year, I sun brewed this blend with fresh cherries, and it paired extremely well.
Bjarnadottir, MS, RDN (Ice), Adda. Healthline, 6 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds, 18 Sept. 2018, www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-health-benefits-of-hemp-seeds#TOC_TITLE_HDR_1
Wigington, Patti. "Chamomile." Learn Religions, Aug. 27, 2020, learnreligions.com/chamomile-2562019.
Koslosk, Philip. "The spiritual symbolism of St. John’s wort and how it was used by the saints." Aletia.org, Worldpree.com, 23 June 2019, aleteia.org/2019/06/23/the-spiritual-symbolism-of-st-johns-wort-and-how-it-was-used-by-the-saints/.
Selenophile. "The Knight's Herb: Thyme Magical Properties and Uses -- Magical Herbs." eluneblue.com, Elune Blue, 16 Aug. 2016, eluneblue.com/thyme-magical-properties/.
Wintersteen, Jill. "Summer Solstice: Honoring the Light Within." Spirit Daughter, 18 June 2019, www.spiritdaughter.com/blogs/align-with-magic/summer-solstice-honoring-the-light-within