I’ve been asked ‘why don’t you just take herbs in capsules or in tinctures? It seems easier.’ My answer is always the same. Sometimes what is easier isn’t what’s better, and there’s a lot more to the process than swallowing a pill with some water.
I have found that when we swallow a pill our bodies are given no notice of what we are eating. The tongue and mouth are filled with nerve endings and taste buds that help alert our bodies to what’s on the way in. When we take a pill, we miss out on giving our bodies the chance to ‘shake hands’ with the plants we’re working with.
Herbal tea bathes the senses in flavor, scent, and color so that the body is always aware and in control of what’s happening. By the time the tea hits the stomach the body has already been given ample opportunity to make judgments of safety and acceptance about the herbs meaning they are more likely to be fully absorbed into the tissues.
When we fully experience the plants in the forms of colors, scents, tastes, and appearance – we experience the fullness of what they are able to bring to us.
Another way to deepen the connection to the plants that heal us is by actually cultivating them in a garden or pot. If you happen to have an herb that seems to show up in all of your favorite blends, consider taking the relationship to the next level and planting some of your own. A little chamomile, peppermint, rosemary, mullein, or even nettles growing in a pot or in a corner of your garden can help you learn about the growing cycle of medicinal plants while also teaching you a lot about the various ‘personalities’ they each have. I have found that when I grow and care for the plants that I work with most for my own healing, the healing deepens. I believe that this is due to the cultivation of trust and understanding of the plant in a direct and hands-on way.
While there’s definitely nothing wrong with capsules, tinctures, sprays, and other delivery methods, I’m a tried and true herbal tea enthusiast! Sometimes we need a bigger or more concentrated dose of an herb and pills come in really handy during those times, but for daily health and healing, I prefer cups over capsules!