How to make sun tea (easy solar herbal infusion recipe)
With the weather warming up beautifully down under, I thought I'd share a super easy and lovely way to connect with herbs and sun energy by making a solar infusion — in this case, SUN TEA! ☺️
Solar infusions are the oldest, most traditional method of infusing herbs into a solvent (in this case we are using water), but its ridiculously simple process does not reduce the richness of its end result ✨
I hold the sun as sacred. Without the sun, we could not be. The plants that nourish us, could not be. The animals who provide so much for us, and the creatures who roam free could not be.
In his book "The Healing Fire of Heaven", Dr. Joseph Michael Levry illuminates the importance of the sun as an aspect of our spirit:
"Sunlight is good for the soul. When we consciously absorb it, we can establish a direct relationship with our spirit. Pay homage to the sun. Take time to meditate on the sun."
"Our daily lives must become like the sun, luminous, warm and life giving."
I invite you to take some time to connect with the ancient practice of solar herbal infusions, and to connect with the all-embracing, life-giving energy of the sun by drinking it into your being ☀️
When you drink sun tea, you really do feel, taste and experience the warm and nourishing energy — the revitalising PRANA — of the sun. I refer to it as "drinking liquid sunshine". So let's do it, shall we!
Sun tea method
What you need
Herbs or tea blend of your choice. You can use fresh or dried herbs, or a combination of both. For my first tea, I used dried chamomile. For my second tea, I used dried hibiscus and fresh tulsi leaves and flowers.
A clean jar with lid
Water (from a natural source is preferred, but tap water is perfectly fine too!)
A fine sieve/strainer
How to do it
Step 1. If possible, begin your sun tea process when you get up in the morning, so the tea has the opportunity to soak in the gentle morning sun through to the powerful early afternoon sun and beyond.
Step 2. Take your clean jar and throw in your fresh or dried herbs. Use your intuition for how much. For dried herb, I generally fill the jar 1/3-1/4 of the way (or more for some types of fresh herbs).
Step 3. Next, add your room temperature/cool water to the jar until full. Screw lid on and give jar a quick shake to disperse the herbs or tea.
Note: The purpose of a solar infusion (also known as a Cold Infusion) is to use room temperature/cool water, as opposed to hot water, as we are used to when making tea. The idea is that the warmth and energy of the sun alone is used to heat the contents of the jar, drawing out and infusing the nutrients, colour and vitality of the herbs into the water.
Step 4. Place your jar outside under direct sunlight, or in a sun-filled window if unable to place outside. That's it for now!
Step 5. Leave your sun tea to infuse in direct sunlight for at least 2 hours (you may need to move your jar on occasion as the sun arcs over the sky). However, if you are able, leave your sun tea to infuse all day. Strain tea into a glass and enjoy!
Different ways to enjoy your sun tea
1. Still sun-warmed
This is my chamomile sun tea after infusing in the sun all day until about 4pm. Just look at the richness of colour it produces without using hot/boiled water!
I strategically like to make an all-day chamomile sun tea, and take out of the sun in the afternoon while it's still deliciously warm from the sun's fire. Drinking warm chamomile sun tea in the late afternoon helps to calm and soothe the nervous system, helping us to unwind and relax in the lead-up to bedtime.
Can we just gawp a bit at the intensity of the ruby red colour the dried hibiscus imparted? Just gorgeous. Tulsi flowers also release a beautiful purple pigment, but it's somewhat overshadowed here by that sassy show-stopping hibiscus!
I made this second sun tea to store in the fridge and save to drink the next day as a refreshing iced tea. Simply serve cold, or jazz it up by pouring over ice cubes and adding lemon slices, mint or other fresh garnishes.
Antioxidant-rich hibiscus is delicious enjoyed as hot or iced tea, it's also anti-inflammatory, improves digestion (thus potentially aiding in weight loss) and is beneficial for liver health. Tulsi (Holy Basil) is a beautiful calming adaptogen for balancing stress hormones and alleviating anxiety, and is also great for oral health, among many other things! Drinking tulsi tea on the daily impacts your inner and outer wellbeing holistically.
So be free, joyful and play around with herbs, edible flowers or teas you have on hand and enjoy the experience of drinking tea that has literally been imbued with the energetic essence of our beloved Grandfather sun — a warm, loving energy which you carry in your heart, body and being for hours to come ♥