By Liliana Ruiz-Healy
I love the cold. I love being cozy. I love winter clothes. I love bundling in bed. I love making warm aromatic concoctions and wrapping my hands around my favorite mug. The feeling of the steam hitting my nose, and that first sip that feels like a hug in my belly.
But not all times are fun or cozy in the winter time, hard frosts hit, some of us still need to venture out into the world and our body is in dire need of extra warmth.
In herb world, some plants are used to create heat, as they have the capability to increase our internal body temperature and improve blood circulation throughout our entire body, especially to our hands and feet which often feel like they are going to fall off.
Warming Herbs, are usually aromatic and contain a bit of a “spice”, or what we call “pungent”. So think of common spices you might already use and have: cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, chilies, garlic, onion, cloves, all spice, star anise, fennel, coriander, burdock, ashwagandha.
And what about coffee? As much as I enjoy coffee, this one does not benefit in cold months, as caffeine actually has the opposite effect and constricts our blood vessels. This is an herb we consider “drying and cooling”. Just think about how thirsty we feel when we drink coffee. So no need to cancel coffee, but maybe add some warming herbs or drink a little less and more of the rest.
The great thing about these herbs and spices is that you can create your own concoctions, the ones that taste and feel right for you. Think of chai, spiced cider, spiced broths, curry, salsas… There are many great roads these herbs can take you to.
Here are some of my personal favorites:
Adaptogenic Liver Loving Chai
50 grs fresh ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
40 grs cardamom pods
5 grs ashwagandha
7 cups water
Cover and simmer for 30 minutes
3 dropperfulls Take My Waste Away
Antiviral & Digestive Cider
2 cups cranberries
1/4 cup rosehips
2 small or 1 large Orange
2 cinnamon sticks
1 small knob of ginger
Small handful of fennel fronds
4 cardamom pods
4 cups of cider
Chop & grind what needs to. Cover. Bring to a low boil for 25/30 minutes.
1-2 tbsp of SoE’s Cordial or Bitters.