In the beginning, humanity had all the nutrients needed for healthy living available in the foods that were harvested directly from the earth. But through the years, the nutritional density of food has been dramatically reduced and in most cases replaced with synthetic (man-made) supplements. These supplements often come to our bodies as toxins and indigestible.
So, unless you are confident of the minerals present in the soil and growing methods used to produce the foods you eat, the need for additional vitamins and minerals is essential for health and vitality.
But what daily multi-vitamin should we choose?
Those that are based on sustainable, whole, and natural food sources of course!
In his book Practical Herbalism: Ordinary Plants with Extraordinary Powers, Philip Fritchey defines nutritives as “herbs which supply a substantial amount of nutrients and aid in building and maintaining the body.” He lists several herbs that are highly nutritional — from that list, I have chosen six that are safe for all members of the family, and they are:
1. Nettle Leaf. Ahhh…nettles! I love it 🙂 Nutritionally speaking, nettle leaf contains an extremely high chlorophyll content along with being a substantial source for vitamins C and A, calcium, silicon, potassium chloride, protein and fiber.
2. Oats (straw and tops). The primary constituents of oats includes saponins, flavonoids, calcium, iron, complete B-vitamins, and lysine. They are also rich in silica, manganese, and zinc. Oats help the body to build strong and healthy bones, skin, hair, and nails.
3. Rose Hips. With approximately sixty times the amount of vitamin C than lemons, rose hips assist the body in preventing colds, the flu, and infections. In addition to vitamin C, rose hips also contain vitamins A, D and E, and are high in antioxidants.
4. Alfalfa. Alfalfa is an herbal powerhouse! Alfalfa is broadly recognized as a nutritious source of chlorophyll (more than any other plant), beta carotene, calcium, and the vitamins D, E and K. Additionally, it’s primary constituents include vitamin C, folic acid, copper, phosphorus, manganese, iron, zinc, and various antioxidants.
5. Slippery Elm Bark. As the story goes, early American settlers — even George Washington and his troops during the winter at Valley Forge — used it as a survival food. In fact, Slippery Elm Bark can be given to people who can’t keep any food down. It is highly nutritive and the primary constituents include mucilage, tannins, calcium, and zinc.
6. Marshmallow Root. I love this herb! Due to it’s high content of mucilage, we know how good it is for our hair. Likewise, when consumed it is super nourishing and contains significant amounts of plant proteins, antioxidants, oxygen, calcium, and magnesium.
With these six herbs I can make an herbal daily vitamin infusion that all members of the family can drink and enjoy!
Making an Herbal Daily Vitamin Infusion
1. Completely combine equal parts of each of the six herbs listed above, creating a nutritive herb mixture.
2. Place 2 handfuls (1 cup or 1 ounce) of your nutritive herb mixture into a quart-sized glass jar.
3. Boil water in a pot.
4. Fill your glass jar all the way to the top with boiling water, place the lid on, and then allow the herbs to steep for 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Longer steeping time makes a stronger, more nutritious infusion.
5. Strain and enjoy! The infusion will keep in the fridge for one to two days.
Use this infusion to stay hydrated and well-nourished, drinking at will throughout the day.
Note: The herbs used in this daily vitamin infusion are safe for young children as well as adults. In general, they are also considered safe for pregnant and nursing mothers, but please check with your doctor before taking this or any other herb. The information provided here is for educational purposes only.
Looking for the herbs mentioned in this post? Mountain Rose Herbs is my go-to for all my herbal needs! Their quality, affordability, and adherence to strict organic and fair trade growing practices are unmatched.
Now it’s your turn! What supplements do you take?