Radical Self Care / Part One / Evening
I am and always was the worst in calming down. Getting a massage for example, I always have to think about things I have / should do and all kind of other stuff. Just calming down is not really part of it.
During my free time I have the tendency to fill it up with way too many projects. Knitting, drawing, baking and then all these things I would like to try out more : croching, sewing, printing and so on. The list has really no end to it. Starting out with things I love and very often I end up with being totally stressed out about it. Starting over with the same sweater about 10 times just because this one stich looked a little bit messy.
I also always reacted very sensible to stress. It starts with me loosing all focus on myself, forgetting about things, not really listening, spreading stuff all over the apartment, emotional break downs and in the end I always get sick. Literally sick of it all.
That's why I called this articel "radical self care", cause it really has to be radical, you have to make time for yourself in order to function is this fast world.
I came up with more and more routines or programs that I know make me feel better. Bring back the focus to myself and help me to just make a bit time in a stressful day for myself. Cause in the end the longest relationship in our life is the one with ourself and it is really about making this one work and feel good about.
I will focus today on the evening time. This is the time that is the easiest for me to make up some sort of routine. I am free, done with work, workout and other things I have or wanted to do.
Try to give yourself an hour just before you go to bed and fill it with things that help YOU to bring yourself down. This can be an easy evening stretch, yoga or like in my case a good book and a cup of my bed time herbal tea blend. Sometimes I try to meditate for around 10 minutes, but honestly I am rather bad in keeping this.
Here is the recipe of my herbal tea blend. It contains just self gathered herbs, you of course can also order them in the internet, here are some of my favourite herb suppliers ( make sure to order wild picked ones or organically grown ones)
Sonnentor ( under ditributors you can find a list of international distributors )
Dragonspice a german online shops that also ships in the EU
Organic Makers a swedish online shop from Malmö
My tea blend is a therapeutic one. This means you shouldn't drink a whole teapot of it, instead a cup an hour before you go to sleep is enough. If you feel the tea has no impact on you anymore, make a break for 2-3 weeks, then start again.
|from the left to the right: Valeriana, Lady's Mantle, Cowslip and Hops|
Lets have a closer look on the herbs I have in my tea.
Hops ( Humulus lupulus )
active ingredients: humulone, bitters, tannins, essential oils, phytohormones
I gather in september the first hops flowers. They do not just look beautiful in tea blends they are also a very important medicinal herb.
The containg essential oils in combination with the bitters have a calming effect in our body. That's why the hops is perfect for a bedtime tea.
The hops can also be a great herb for the menopause. The containing phytohomones do have a similar effect like estrogen and are helping with menopausal symptoms. The phytohormones are also the reason why men who drink a lot of beer get the tyical beer belly and man boobs.
Cowslip ( Primula officinalis)
active ingredients: saponines, essential oils, tannins, flavonoids
This is a very special herb. Before you pick it make sure to check if it is standing on the list of distinct flowers where you live. If so replace it in the tea blend I would recommend lavender or lemon balm they do have a similar effect.
On the farm I am working they a have a huge field with cowslip so I am very lucky to be able to pick it. But I always make sure to just pick as much as I need and to leave enough for insects and reproduction.
The flowers look beautiful in the first spring salads and like hops in tea blends. Cowslip gets mainly used in bronchial teas. The containing saponines help to cough out the mucus and open the bronchial tubes.
Maria Treben is using the cowslip for insomnia espcially when caused by nerve disorders. Again its the containing essential oils that have a calming effect on our body.
Valerian ( Valeriana officinalis)
active ingredients: essential oils, tannins
I felt so lucky this summer when I finally discovered a spot to pick some Valerian. For my tea blend I used the flowers but the highest amount on active ingredients has the root of the Valerian.
Up until today there is not really an explanation which ingredients are causing the calming effect on our body, probably it is the combination of a few. Be careful to not overdose it otherwise you will have the opposite effect. I use therefor just a small amout of flowers in the mixture. It is mainly to strenghten the effect of the hops.
Lady´s mantle ( Alchemilla vulgaris )
active ingredients: tannins, essential oils, flavonoids
Like hops the Lady's mantle has a light hormonal effect on our body even if it is not containing phytohormons. I love this herb so much and for woman it is in my opinion one of the most important herbs and lifetime companion. Very often stress and insomnia are causing an hormonal imbalance in our body and the Lady's mantle is helping to bring the female cycle in balance again. It has a light progestogen like impact on our body and helps so to bring the ostrogen levels in back in balance.
When mixing a tea I go mainly after my feeling. The strongest herbs are here Valerian and hops, so I use not as much from them then from the others. I mix the herbs and fill them in a jar. This makes by the way also a great christmas gift. Make sure to always store your herbs on a dry and dark place.
When making the tea I use about 2 tbsp tea blend for 250 ml hot water and brew it for about 5-10 minutes. Make sure to cover the cup so the essential oils stay in your tea.
You can also add 1 drop of essential lavender oil for an even stronger calming effect. But be careful with essential oils, they are much much stronger then herbs just for comparison you need for 1l essential lemon balm oil 8 tons of the fresh herb. And always buy organic, high quality essential oils. Here some brands I use: