Friday, November 11, 2011

Finally Friday – Calming Tea to Wind Down Your Week

German Chamomile in my Garden - summer 2011

At the end of the week, especially a busy or challenging week, transitioning from a busy schedule to a more relaxed, anxiety-free weekend can be difficult. Give yourself a little natural advantage with calming tea. If you grow German chamomile and English lavender, you have two main ingredients for a gentle, natural tea. Fresh or dried chamomile, lavender, lemon grass and licorice steeped in boiling water and strained, mixed with a teaspoon of pure organic honey, makes a wonderful afternoon or bedtime tea. Blend your own calming tea from herbs you grow yourself, or get herbs from sources such as Bulk Herb Store or an herb farm like Pacific Botanicals.

Chamomile calms anxiety, eases stress, improves focus and attention and aids sleep. Lavender slows the activity of the nervous system, improves sleep quality, relaxes the body and elevates moods.  Lemongrass aids sleep, calms nervous and upset stomach and relieves headaches. Licorice is a sleep aid and is considered an adrenal tonic that stimulates the adrenal glands and helps the body recover from stress and anxiety.

Essential oils of chamomile and lavender have many constituents in common, including sedating phytochemicals, coumarins and flavonoids. Chamomile, lavender, lemongrass and licorice all contain flavonoids that are considered to be responsible for sedative effects on the gastrointestinal system, olfactory system, circulatory system including the heart, and the brain.

A Few Cautions
Chamomile is a member of the aster family, related to chrysanthemums, sunflowers, marigolds, celery and ragweed. Those allergic to chrysanthemums  and ragweed should not use chamomile. Those taking coumarin or  recovering from recent surgery should not use chamomile or lavender because they both contain coumarin, a blood-thinning agent. Large quantities of licorice should be avoided, using only small amounts occasionally, to avoid overstimulation of adrenals.

No comments:

Post a Comment