Imagine drinking a water infusion, that gives your body a mineral rush of magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc – fuels your cells with chlorophyll, soothes your system, relieves anxiety, gives you energy, helps you sleep and makes you feel restored. It’s called a herbal simple and it’s amazing!
You might just start replacing that $10 juice!
I was first introduced to drinking simples by Susun Weed, and my herbal mentor John Gallagher.
He said to me, walk into any convenience store and look at the drinks on offer. The majority are designed to stimulate our system. But, to feel at our best, what we need more of is nourishment!
What is a simple
In herbalism, a simple is a remedy that works with one single herb at a time. Instead of mixing and blending different herbs, you focus on getting to know one herb: how your body responds to it and the effect that it has on your system.
A simple is specific, it’s nutrient dense and its a way of building a special relationship with that herb. Today, let’s focus on a sweet, super supportive herb that I’m feeling a lot for lately: oatstraw.
Oat Straw Simple
Oatsraw is the stem of the oat plant, harvested when its still green. It has all the nutritive qualities that oats are well known for, but the best way to get those benefits from the stem (oatstraw) – is in a hot water infusion. That’s why we drink it!
Oatsraw is reparative. It repairs tissue in the body, repairs frazzled nerves. It’s like an anti-frizz treatment for your whole system that makes you feel totally smooth… Oats are one the best herbal treatments for stress, anxiety, nervousness that is becoming overwhelming for you.
If you feel depressed, overworked – reach for oatstraw.
It’s good for those extreme times, but it’s also good for everyday times. Oatstraw is incredibly nutritious: vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates that nourish the body. It’s very supportive and good for long-term use.
It’s also rich in silica – which is like drinking a multivitamin for healhty skin and hair!!
And when I drink it, I feel SO hydrated as if my cells had been craving it. The taste is mild and it has this soft sweetness that I love – and my children like drinking it too!
So if you’re new to simples, I think oatstraw would be a good place to start! Then you can start making your way up to nettles, dandelion root, chickweed and all the other herbs that your body will get the feels for too!
The Cost of making simples
The exact recipe for a simple, is 1 ounce of herb to 1 quart of water (4 cups).
When you buy a 4 ounce bag of oatstraw (at $5) you get 16 cups of simple tonic.
That’s so much nourishment for the week and bang for your buck!
Once you know you like it, buy in bulk and the cost gets even better.
I buy my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs.
The tricky part with making simples is time-management. Tricky, but not hard!
It takes four hours to brew an herbal simple, and in my personal experience – four hours is exactly right. I don’t like letting it go longer, or overnight, because I find it becomes too bitter for my taste. I have to be very intentional, planning the right time to start a brew.
A good habit might be starting the brew right after you get home from work, four hours before you go to bed. Strain it, bottle it and have it ready for the next morning.
It depends on your schedule, and that can change day by day.
But once herbal simples becomes part of your routine – trust me – you figure out how to make it work.
How do you drink a simple
I love it iced. I drink it in place of regular water, I find it so much more hydrating and you get those added benefits. You can pack it in your water bottle, you can drink it all day and if you finish the quart – good for you!!
I recommend that you learn more about simples, from the source herself Susan Weed. *read more*
It’s not her creation, but she is widely known for making it popular.
You can also look into Simples Tonics, a California based herbalist who sells her simples and shares a lot about their benefits.
For now, I’ll show you how I make my Oat Straw Simple at home.
- 1 ounce dried oatstraw
- 1 quart boiling water
- Measure the dried herb, and place in a large glass mason jar
- Pour in the boiling water, close the lid
- Set a reminder: strain in 4 hours
- Strain out the oatstraw
- Keep the infusion in the fridge
- Drink in 1-2 days
- Consume everyday!