DIY: Calming Tea For Holiday Burnout
Posted by : Mary Wutz /
During the holidays (or really any day these days!) it’s easy to turn to alcohol to take the edge off at stressful times. Instead of reaching for that glass of red, try a hot cup of calming tea! You’ll skip the morning headache and still achieve that sense of calm and warmth that you may have previously associated with alcohol.
Regardless of your symptoms of nervous system overload, there are plants here to help! Things like muscle tension and spams, circular thoughts (or hamster wheel brain as I like to call it), sleepless nights, and general anxiety can all be eased with a class of herbs called Nervines.
Nervines are a class of herbs in Western Herbalism that have a beneficial effect on the nervous system. There are a few subclasses within the general class of Nervines like tonics, relaxants and stimulants. The two main classes we will be focusing on are tonics and relaxants.
Nervine Tonics, or troporestoratives strengthen and restore the tissues. They “lube” or “feed” the nerves, which helps to repair the whole system. Nervine Relaxants work as a kind of natural sedative and relaxant that can help relieve the symptoms of taxed nerves. Although they won’t be covered here, Adoptogenic herbs, which are getting a lot of attention lately, help strengthen the overall resilience and ability of the body to handle stress in all organ systems. If you are experiencing adrenal burnout, or your symptoms are severe, working with Adaptogenic herbs would be recommended.
Below I’ve listed my favorite Herbal Nervines and a very brief description of things they are traditionally used for easy formulation. The plants listed are also considered extremely safe. This is by no means an exhaustive list. I would also like to make a note here that each person is biochemically different and plants that work for some, may not work for others in the same ways. Additionally, a plant that has worked for you for a long time may not be as effective over time or at certain periods of life. It is always a good idea to try multiple plants to see which ones are the best fits for you personally:.
- Catnip: gentle calming herb suitable for children, nurturing to the soul.
- Chamomile: general restlessness, mental anxiety, cheerful for the soul.
*Be careful if you have seasonal allergies to pollen, this cheerful lady is in the Asteraceae Family, which is common in causing allergies.
- Lavender: general stress, unconditional love for the soul.
- Skullcap: muscular tension, anxiety with “list making” or “hamster wheel brain”, relief for the soul.
- Passionflower: nerve pain, restlessness, anxiety, healing to the soul.
- Linden Flower: tense and irritable mind, prone to headaches, sweetness for the soul.
- Lemon Balm: insomnia induced by anxiety, restlessness, uplifting to the soul.
Herbs to Add for Taste:
- Spearmint (cooling)
- Lemon Verbena (uplifting)
- Cinnamon (for warming)
- Cardamom (for warming)
You can make your own blend by purchasing these herbs in loose form and combining the herbs depending on your specific needs. Most of them can be found at your local health food store, or better yet, you can skip the store and order online by sourcing from reliable and integral companies like Mountain Rose Herbs, or Zack Woods Herb Farm.
If you don ‘t have the time or willingness to make your own herb blend, the tea brands listed below are organic and use pharmaceutical grade herbs that are very effective and can be commonly found in most grocery stores, if not Amazon.
- Traditional Medicinals Cup of Calm
- Traditional Medicinals Nighty Night
- Yogi Tea Bedtime
- Yogi Tea Calming
May the plants be with you and support you in having a grace-filled, peace-filled holiday season.