In Western herbalism, medicinal juices are often preserved with a touch of alcohol and are referred to as a succus. The British Pharmacopoeia has specific instructions on how to make medicinal juices, like Succus Limonis (lemon succus) and Succus Taraxacum (dandelion succus). These herbal medicines are a wonderful addition to an apothecary and are as quick to affect the body as they are effective.
Many herbs can be juiced, but some are superior to others. Plants that contain a large amount of water are easier to juice, and those that have water-soluble medicinal compounds work best. Dandelion, ginger, chickweed, cleavers, and calendula are prime examples.
Creative wellness rituals like juicing remind us how wonderfully diverse the art of medicine-making can be. For instance, once you juice a plant like ginger you can preserve it as a succus by adding at least 25% alcohol to the formula and storing it sealed in the fridge, or add it to a tincture, syrup, or even a herbal cocktail! Below are some of our favorite herbal enhancements, or “boosts,” for juicing.
Nettle – While this plant may sting you in nature, once juiced, it makes a beautiful, green and pain-free beverage. Europeans have used this plant as herbal medicine for over 2,000 years to support joint health, and a tonic to promote overall wellness.* The earthy taste pairs well with sweet apples, cucumbers, and mineral-rich spinach. We recommend blanching the nettle greens prior to juicing to avoid its signature sting.