THE ART OF BLENDING HERBS, WITH BRITTNEY SMITH.
Updated: Oct 5
Herbalism, much like cooking, resembles art.
When you invite your imagination to play a role in the process the possibilities are endless.
Today you will be creating art with Brittney!
I’ve invited Brittney to share her experience and advice as an herbalist.
A quick Introduction
Hey there! My name is Brittney Smith and I am the Herbalist at Bliss Tea and Treats in sunny Oceanside, California.
When I was 14 years old I was introduced to alternative medicine by (Now Dr.) Lily Hung.
She was my first mentor.
Through her, I learned reflexology, coffee enemas, plant nutrition/herbs, and the power of thought. This led me to attend Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (now known as Pacific College of Health and Science). There I continued my study of alternative medicine through massage, herbs, nutrition, and the traditional Chinese & Ayurvedic science of the body. I graduated with a degree in applied sciences.
Since my graduation, in 2014, I have been practicing the art of alternative medicine. I also continuously look to improve my knowledge and skills. Through continued education classes and books.
The art of blending herbs
I have been asked by Karen to write a little about what I do and how I do it.
I make medicinal tea blends at Bliss Tea and Treats. So I thought it would be applicable to talk about the art of blending herbs.
If you are just getting into herbs, I will be the first to tell you this is a never-ending path.
There is always more to learn.
You will always need to reference back on your past notes or books. Of course, there will be those basic things you can refer to off the top of your head.
Lavender for example:
It’s known for its ability to calm the nervous system which helps us, in turn, relax and sleep.
But what happens when we look a little deeper into this herb?
Physically it can help with headaches and other pain. If we take the time to look even deeper emotionally it can help us let go of past trauma. It can aid those who suffer from a type of emotional trauma; PTSD, DID, depression, and anxiety.
That’s only part of the amazing healing properties of lavender!
One herb is able to help with all that.
It might seem practically impossible to try and create a blend to have it do what you want.
It all starts with your intention.
What do you want the herbs to do and what do you want them to help (these are your primary herbs). From there you can narrow down what herbs you want to use. Once you have your list narrowed down to 1-3 herbs choose an activating and a supporting herb. I always make a list based on my instinct, narrow the list down, and start blending. The activating herb is what helps push the nutritional/healing properties of the herb through your system. The supporting herb is the herb that aids the primary herb to do the intended purpose.
This might seem difficult at first.
As a beginner, you should still make your list then look up what each of those herbs does. One of my favorite references has been “The Doctors Book of Food Remedies” by Selene Yeager. It’s simply put, easy to understand, and has so much more than just herbs (no spoilers here).
Tip: don’t want to use too many herbs because they will lose their potency
Still a little confused? Let’s break it down
Let’s say I want to make a blend with lavender to help with sleep.
Lavender will be our primary herb.
We know lavender helps calm the nervous system so we can sleep better. But like we discussed earlier there are so many purposes for lavender. It needs a supporting herb to know what it’s purpose in the body is.
I’m going to choose a supporting herb that has the same intention, to sleep/relax. I’m going to pick Chamomile as the supporting herb. It’s also known for helping the body and mind relax.
Now I need something that’s going to push it through the system, the activating herb. For this example, I will choose Lemon. Due to its vitamin C and citric acid content, it will aid as a stimulant for the herbs.
Now we just blend it together
2-3 parts primary
2 parts supporting
1 part activating
Steep 1 cup to 1 teaspoon for 5 minutes covered.
Never boil your herbs. It will kill the health benefits of the herbs. Just like burnt skin, it will do nothing to protect you.
This all probably seems like a lot.
Once you’ve practiced it a few times, you may come up with your own blends that you prefer over store blends.
Always check the safety of an herb before you use it.
Not comfortable working with the herbs yet?
You don’t have to make your own blends.
If you’re not comfortable working with the herbs we have (Insert jazz hands)
TAA DAA, Herbalists like me. Why we have places like Bliss Tea and Treats. So you have that local place you can go to and get freshly made blends that have not been sitting on a shelf for months losing their beneficial properties and gathering dust.
I truly hope this little article helps you along your herbal path.
Until we cross paths again. #Blissyourheart
Thank you so much, Brittney! It was an honor to have you here with us. I had a lot of fun. I can't wait to try those tasty tea's at Bliss, myself.
Did you enjoy learning with Brittney?
Let us know! Don't forget to tag us on your herbal blends.
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