Bedtime, the most relaxing, restorative, and imaginative part of your day! Unless, unfortunately, you can't sleep. Sleep deprivation is very common nowadays due to the many different stressful aspects of life, including your job, financial issues, relationship problems - you name it. These extremely relaxing and anxiety-reducing herbal teas can provide a deep, solid, and dream-filled slumber.
1. Valerian and Magnolia
The roots of the sweet scented valerian (Valeriana officinalis) flower are known to relax the central nervous system. It is a sedative found to be quite hypnotic and can induce deep dreaming. When infused with magnolia (Magnolia officinalis) bark, a traditional Chinese medicine, it will surely help you doze off. Magnolia bark is found to help with indigestion, and the vitamin E helps treat stress. To create, mix the bark and root of these plants, bring to a boil, and then leave simmering for at least an hour.
2. Kava and Chamomile
Kava (Piper methysticum), a traditional root of the Pacific Islands, has been used in ceremonies in places like Hawaii, known for their relaxed lifestyles, for centuries. Studies have found that kava can treat insomnia by calming the nervous system.
The roots are quite bitter, but can be combined with the light-flavored and floral chamomile for a lovely blend. Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) is a traditional European treatment for sleeplessness, and has been used to curb anxiety since Roman times. To make this tea, the roots and dried flower are to be boiled together in water.
3. Lavender and Saffron
Lavender (Lavendula officinalis) flowers have a famously relaxing aroma, and evidence has shown that these scents can also promote relaxation. This is because they slow down the nervous system, which in turn improves sleep quality and reduces restlessness.
On the other hand, the smell of saffron mixes delightfully with the luscious and exotic properties of saffron (Crocus sativus) petals. It has been said for thousands of years that the essential oils in saffron contain relaxant and sedative properties, promoting a slow and natural-feeling slumber. As an added benefit, saffron continues to help even after waking up, because its analgesic properties ward off fatigue.
4. Peppermint and Lemon Balm
The antioxidant-rich spearmint (Mentha x piperita) is widely acclaimed for its relaxing and uplifting scent. The brewed leaves can treat nervousness and headaches. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is similarly therapeutic and can sweeten this minty tea blend. Known to treat many disorders of the nervous system, in particular those related to anxiety and depression, this special tea will have you balanced and yawning. Let the leaves of both herbs steep together in a pot of boiling water while producing an irreplaceable aromatic sleep promoter. Sweeten with honey to taste.
5. St. John's Wort & Cardamom
Sometimes the cause of sleeplessness for many people can be mood-related or even be a symptom of mild depression. St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) is an effective anti-depressant that has been found to treat even severe cases. It has also reduced symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety. The flowers of this plant can be used to induce a joyful rest. Spice this floral tea up with some peppery cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) to calm the digestive system and relieve heartburn in order to get rid of any other sleep disruptions.
Add the St. John's wort flowers and cardamom to a pot, and let them steep overnight before boiling them into your dream brew.
6. Cinnamon and Passion Flower
Cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum verum) is a delicious and relaxing herb native to Sri Lanka found to lower blood pressure, and thereby helping you sleep. Cinnamon bark and passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) complement each other beautifully as the exotic cinnamon really brings out the passion in passion flower. Many people throughout the Americas and Europe use passion flower to treat insomnia, as it increases gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which inspires relaxation throughout the body.
Let the bark and flowers steep in hot water for an exotic sleep. It is important to note that pregnant women should not consume cinnamon.
Your sleep time is precious. It is so important for mentally digesting the day, assimilating new knowledge, and preparing you with the energy you need for a new one. These teas will help make your sleep better than ever.
American Cancer Society. (2008). Valerian. Retrieved January 14, 2014, from http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/herbsvitaminsandminerals/valerian
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (2012). Chamomile. Retrieved January 14, 2014, from http://nccam.nih.gov/health/chamomile/ataglance.htm
University of Maryland Medical Center. (2011). Kava. Retrieved January 14, 2014, from http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/kava-kava
University of Maryland Medical Center. (2011). Lavender. Retrieved January 14, 2014, from http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/lavender
University of Maryland. (2011). Passionflower. Retrieved January 14, 2014, from http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/passionflower