During the February meeting, members of the Denver Medicinal Plant Society made Medicinal Wine. Red wine is a perfect vehicle to help capture and deliver the medicinal qualities of plants. It provides a mixture of water and alcohol which help extract the plant medicine, and wine is rich in bioflavonoids, and antioxidants. Add a blend of heart healthy herbs that improve circulation, warmth, and well-being and you have a bottle of great medicine.
It is really up to the medicine maker to decide what herbs to infuse in wine, and their amounts. Explore and have some fun blending. For this particular Medicinal Wine, the herbs Damiana, Rose Petal, Hawthorne, Cinnamon, and Cardamom were used. This blend of herbs is very heart centered. Promoting movement of the blood, increasing vitality and overall health for the body and mind. Below, you can read a few information bits about each herb.
Damiana Leaf (2 parts)
Considered an aphrodisiac in Central American and the West Indies. Pelvic vasodilator, increasing blood flow to the pelvic region. Relaxing.
Hawthorne Leaves and Berries (3 parts)
Strengthens the hearth tissues and promotes a healthy heart and blood flow. Lowers high blood pressure and lowers cholesterol. Considered a digestive aid.
Rose Petal (1 part)
Calming and balancing. Symbolic of love and feminine energy. Energetically centering.
Cinnamon (1/4 part)
Improves circulation. "Warming" for the body. Digestive aid.
Cardamom Pods (1-3 pods)
Carminative, helps relieve gas. Claimed to be an aphrodisiac. Anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral.
Directions for making Medicinal Wine:
For every pint of wine, use approximately 1 ounce of dried herb/spice. Use parts above to make 1oz. Put the herbs in the bottle or jar and pour the wine over. Cap tightly and shake well. Store the infusion in a cool place, out of direct sun. Shake up every day or so for 1-3 weeks. Strain the herbs using a strainer and several layers of clean cheesecloth, and return to a clean jar or a bottle and cork. Add sugar or honey to taste, if you’d like. To increase shelf life, add brandy or other stronger alcohol to create a liqueur or cordial. The wines should store for a few months if they are well-capped.