Summer Herbal Blend For Health And Vitality
Gather Summer Herbs While The Sun Shines
When we think of summer we think of vibrant health, abundant growth, energy and vitality. Now is the time to gather summer herbs that hold the energy of the strong sun. Dry them and store in an airtight container to use throughout the year. Just be sure your herbs are throughly dry before storing them, and keep them in a cool, dark place.
Preparing Herbs To Keep Through Winter
Through the dark of winter we do our best to stay warm and ward off virus and illness. Then summer arrives giving us the strongest sun in the sky. It warms us and strengthens us down to the bone by triggering the production of vitamin D.
The sun also alleviates depression. It may even promote weight loss and can improve heart health, although both can be attributed to increased outdoor activity. Regardless, moderate sun exposure promotes many health benefits.
This blend of summer herbs has the magical properties of good health, energy, purity and
protection. Mix up a batch now, under the Solstice sun, and store it for a winter pick me up. Steep 1 teaspoon in hot water for tea, add it your coffee by putting a tablespoon in the brew basket with the coffee grounds, or add a teaspoon to 1-cup of milk (dairy, soy, almond or rice) and gently warm. Sweeten to taste.
To make your summer herb blend go further, use it to infuse honey, oil, or vinegar for use throughout the cold, dark months. Or create a tincture by placing herbs in a clean, sterilized jar, then completely cover with brandy or vodka. Let steep for six weeks, then strain and bottle. It’s best if there is no air space in the jar—it can cause oxidation. So, if you have a small amount of herbs, use a small jar.
Use tincture by putting drops in a beverage or under your tongue.
Remember, if you plan to ingest or apply any herbal products you make, always ensure that the herbs you gather outdoors or those you purchase from suppliers are pesticide and chemical free.
This summer herb blend is also effective as an incense in rituals for health and wellness, or in a ritual bath. If using as incense, first grind a small amount of the blend using a mortar and pestle or a spice mill. Burn on a charcoal disc meant for incense. Make a tub tea by placing the herbs in a muslim bag, or use a coffee filter—just gather and tie at the top.
Gathering The Ingredients
You will need:
Orange Peel – Fire/Sun. Vitality, energy, healing, love.
I TBS fresh orange zest (take care to only use only the orange flesh of the peel, the white pith is bitter). You can use 1 tsp dried, available at your grocer’s in the spice isle.
Mint – Air/Venus, Healing, purification, prosperity.
1/2 cup fresh. Too much mint will overpower the rose petals, better to err on the side of too little, than too much. You can find mint at the grocery store in the produce isle. Or use the dried herb from one tea bag.
Now is a good time of year to purchase potted mint from your local greenhouse. It won’t do well as an indoor herb, but thrives in the garden (and then some). Mint will grow in any soil, and survives the coldest of winters. I plant mine in a large terracotta pot in the ground to keep it from overtaking other plants.
Rose Petals – Water/Venus, Healing, protection, happiness.
2 cups (or more) loosely packed fresh (organic). If you don’t have a source for pesticide and chemical free roses, purchase organic dried petals from an online supplier such as Mountain Rose Herbs or Bulk Apothecary. Use about 1/2 C. dried. You may not get the rose flavoring from dried petals.
Cardamom – Water/Venus, Clarity, mental focus, aphrodisiac.
Available at your grocer’s in the spice isle. 1 tsp whole or 1/4 tsp (or less to taste) ground. Cardamom is related to ginger and has the same bitter/peppery notes. Adjust amounts to your preference. Remember that there is always some bitterness in life, accepting it fortifies us to overcome it.
A clean jar
Coffee filter or other breathable cover
String, ribbon, or rubber band to secure filter
Tool for stirring (this can be a magical wand, or a spoon you’ve dedicated to magical use)
Cookie sheet lined with baking parchment paper for drying herbs.
Making Your Herbal Blend
Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Zest orange peel onto the parchment making sure that it is spread out around the surface (skip this step if using already dried orange peel). If you don’t have a zester, use a vegetable peeler to remove paper thin strips of only the orange skin (no white pith). Add fresh rose petals and mint leaves, spreading them out in an even layer. (You may need two cookie sheets).
Allow orange zest, rose petals and mint leaves to dry naturally in a warm dark place. I tuck mine into a drying cupboard in my back porch—it gets quite hot in the summer months.
The oven is a good spot, though I don’t recommend using heat because even the lowest temperatures can be too harsh for more delicate herbs. You can hasten the process by heating the oven to about 200-degrees, then turning it off before placing the herbs inside.
Check your herbs daily and gently stir or move them around as they dry. If your orange is peeled (not zested) it’s important that the strips are very thin, so they dry at the same rate as the rose and mint.
Your summer herb blend is ready when it begins to crumble. Transfer to a large bowl and lightly crush and blend between your fingers. Your blend is now ready to store. As an added precaution against mold that can form when herbs are not completely dry, I cover my jars with a coffee filter or other breathable material. I like to use canning jars for this purpose, since I can just screw the ring on over the filter, but you can also secure it with a rubber band or string.
If you have an abundance of plant material it’s okay make a larger batch as long as ratios stay the same.
1/2 (1 or 1.5) cups mint leaves
2 (4 or 6) cups rose petals
1 (2 or 3) TBS Orange Zest or 1(2 or 3) tsp dried peel
1 (2 or 3) Tsp whole or 1/2 (1 or 1.5) tsp dried cardamom
Don't Forget To Add The Magick
As you add each ingredient to your summer herb blend, invoke the associated energy, gently stirring the herbs around deosil (clockwise) on the parchment. For example, Petals of rose bring healing and happiness.
Be sure to record all of this in your BOS, the ingredients, the energies you are calling on, the intended use (tincture, infusion, incense) and the expected results, such as to invoke the energy of the strong sun and increase vitality and health. Label the jar. I always tell myself I won’t forget what’s in a jar in my witch’s cupboard, but I do.
You’ll note that all but the orange zest is associated with the planet Venus. While Venus energies are most often thought of for use in love potions and spells they also vibrate to healing arts and immortality, as well as garden magic. Invoke any of these with your intentions.
Finally, while making your summer herb blend, light a candle and create working space by casting a circle or simply declaring the space sacred for working your magick. Begin with gratitude to the elements for the herbs, invoke the aid of any deities you work with, and end by sealing your work with words of power, such as So it is, So mote it be, or Amen (which translates to so be it, or so it is).
Strong Summer Sun Spell
Feel free to use the following spell as is, or as a template to write your own spell. Remember, you are the magic and the power, your words are more powerful for your purposes.
Prepare your workspace, have a clean jar at the ready with coffee filter or other breathable cover, dried ingredients, cardamom and wand or other tool used for stirring magical ingredients.
Light your candle. Thank Mother Earth, Spirit, the Elements, and your chosen deity or deities – for the gift of herbs and the associated growth, abundance, and increase.
I consecrate this space as sacred to my workings. I call to the energies of the Elements and Spirit
By power of Earth from which these herbs grow may their energies be strong.
By power of Air on which the seeds blow, may the energy needed come along.
By power of Fire, the strong summer sun, hot may the energy burn.
By power of Water, for the life of everyone, may the energy flow and return.
By Spirit that resides in all living things, may the magick grow and these energies bring —
Add a measure of the dried blend as you invoke each ingredient, and stir three times clockwise.
The healing and happiness of Rose
The purification and prosperity of Mint
The bright vigor and vitality of Orange
The clarity, focus, and the spice of life from Cardamom
These herbs I combine, their energies I blend
Stir again 3 times clockwise
So to me their magick they lend
So it is said, so it is done
Beneath the power of the Solstice Sun
As you seal the jar (remember, with breathable coffee filter or other material for now) think of sealing the magick of the spell. You might consider drawing a symbol to represent the energies on the filter before you begin your working. When you use your herbal blend recall its magick by saying something like, Energy of the sun I call on you, release your magic into my brew. Add specifics of your current need, such as healing a cold, dispelling the blues, or feeling more energetic, etc.