Plant teachings and tea recipes

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By Carrie Armstrong

Carrie Armstrong is from Michel First Nation in Alberta. She's a teacher, and the founder of Mother Earth Essentials. In 2020, Carrie published her book Mother Earth Plants for Health & Beauty: Indigenous Plants, Traditions and Recipes with Eschia Books. Carrie is reflective of her own teachings. There are many different teachings and variations.

When picking plants for your own use, please pick with care, ensuring you correctly identify the plant prior to use.

Take only what you need.

Break leaves / flowers / stems off gently as opposed to pulling out by roots.

Please be aware that you pick in a safe, chemical-free area and know that some plants can be toxic at certain times of year.

Do not gather any endangered species of plants.

I was taught that we offer tobacco to Mother Earth as a way of showing gratitude for the medicines.

There is so much to know about our healing plants. I am sharing some recipes that I think are beautiful, effective and easy to make.

Healing tea recipes

There's nothing more soothing than a warm cup of tea. Every time I make tea, I think of my Grandmother in her kitchen brewing up a concoction of some kind. She kept her herbs in paper bags or glass jars in her kitchen. She had a deep connection to the plants and seemed to instinctively know what we needed.

To prepare your tea—use about a teaspoon full of herbs to each cup of boiling water. You can use a tea strainer of some kind or just let it sit in the cup. Allow tea to steep for at least five (5) minutes.

Horsetail or E. arvense

Beauty—for strong hair, skin and nails

2 parts dried horsetail

1 part dried organic blueberries

1 part fresh or dried wild rose petals

Weight Balance—balances blood sugar and reduces water retention

1 part dried or fresh dandelion leaf

1 part dried or fresh dandelion root

Pinch of raisins and/or dried apple (to float on top of tea)

Nettle leaves

Cold and flu—helps fight viruses, congestion and increases immunity

1 part fresh or dried nettle leaves

1 part dried yarrow

1 part fresh or dried wild mint

Digestion—calms and settles stomach, stimulates appetite and improves digestion

1 part dried or fresh yarrow (flowers, leaves and stems)

1 part dried or fresh wild mint

Pain Relief—reduces inflammation and arthritis pain

2 parts Wild Mint

1 part White Willow Bark

Labrador Tea
Labrador Tea

Sleep / Calming—sedative properties, receives anxiety, improves sleep

1 part Wild Mint

1 part Labrador Tea

1 part  lavender


Womans Balance—balances hormones, strengthens uterus

1 part sage

1 part red clover

1 part red raspberry leaf

I write these recipes from a spirit of education and awareness. I am not a Medicine woman, nor am I an Elder. I am Cree, with a background in skincare and cosmetics, health education and herbal studies.

My grandmother shared her teachings with me, and I was inspired to share this knowledge to help promote the preservation of the culture by encouraging people to start talking to and learning from their communities, Elders and Medicine people.

For more information about Carrie Armstrong and Mother Earth Essentials visit the website at