Overnight infusions provide strong mineralized doses of herbs and are typically made with nontoxic grades of herbs like stinging nettles, raspberry leaf, red clover, alfalfa, astragalus or oatstraw. These can be purchased by the pound from Mountain Rose and are available with kosher organic certification from It’s Your Nature in Boro Park (718 431-0160) or through me. You use a half cup for a quart of water.
You should have a stainless steel or glass pot with a lid and a strainer or a French press coffee pot. Bring a quart of water to a boil. If you are using oatstraw, nettles or alfalfa, add directly to the water and simmer for 20 minutes. Otherwise add the boiling water to a half cup of the herbs, either in the pot or putting the herbs at the bottom of the French press and filling up to the top. Don’t worry if you don’t use all the water- it is the volume of herbs that is important. Cover and let sit overnight or for at least 3 hours. Depress the plunger on the French press or strain well, squeezing the herb in the strainer. This is a daily dose. Drink cold or warm up as you prefer. You may add a little honey or salt (with nettles) immediately before drinking to aid assimilation but try not to cover up the taste.
You can make up to two days worth at once, storing in the refrigerator, but greater quantities would need to be frozen (in which case it is desirable to make with less water and to reconstitute with boiling water.)
I find it useful to bring the water or water and herbs to a boil while preparing for bed or cleaning up the kitchen, to combine the herbs, cover and to leave until morning. Consume the herbs a half hour before eating or an hour afterwards, throughout the day.
Thanks to Susun Weed who popularized this form of herbal infusion.