When it comes to choosing and taking herbs for healing, perfection is the enemy of the good.
What do you gain by ranking today’s sunset as more or less beautiful than yesterday’s?
To strive for perfection is admirable; to fall short of perfection is to be human. Sometimes in the pursuit of perfection we forget that second part. Seeking and striving for perfection are commendable in many ways. But perfection is also tricky and often problematic.
For example, many people seeking herbs for healing decide they want to try Cistus incanus herbal tea. And many of the people who aim to complete the time-consuming Cistus incanus three-brew method end up not brewing Cistus tea at all due to the time and complexity involved. (I know this is true because people write me to tell me. It’s the reason I documented a much simpler French press brewing method and created this video demonstration of the brewing process.)
Unless you’re using scientific equipment (and the precision and repeatability of a robot), some of your brews are going to be less perfect than others. Please don’t stress over this. What’s most important is that you’re actually drinking the tea. Continued use is far more beneficial than any single brew.
Herbs for Healing
Starting my company, Linden Botanicals, was a labor of love. I myself am deep into the science of ethnomedicine, herbal extraction, and decoction. My team at Linden Botanicals frequently answers questions about the best way to make a decoction in order to gain the ultimate efficacy from herbs for healing.
When discussing decoctions — hot water extracts of plant matter or, more simply, long-brewed teas — one of the questions we get most often is this: What is the correct plant to water ratio and brewing time needed to get the perfect brew?
We share answers, of course. And those answers are based on the science behind each of these herbs for healing and on our personal experience with the herbal teas and herbal extracts in question.
On the whole, I truly feel that perfection is the enemy of the good.
If you’re regularly consuming herbs for healing and following an herbal protocol for the long term, then the most important consideration is probably continued usage. If we insist on a process so complicated or so exacting that it becomes stressful just to make the tea, then people will stop preparing the tea. In the case of Cistus incanus, my team hears these stories every day.
Let’s say you brew Cistus incanus daily, and let’s say one day’s brew is less perfect (or potent) than another day’s brew. In the long run, that less effective brew won’t matter. Consistent use of herbs for healing is far more beneficial than any single brew.
My hope is that today you’ll relax and enjoy a good cup of good tea — even if it’s not the perfect brew.