Restful herbs

Thu. Jan. 12, 2017

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Restful herbs

I don’t know about you but after the holidays, I was really looking forward to some restful downtime.  It hasn’t really happened yet!

snoopy sleep

Mostly that’s my own issue, so in that light, I looked up some restful herbs that might help and it just so happens we can grow them ourselves.

Chamomile flowers have been used through the centuries for many medicinal purposes including insomnia and anxiety.  Brew the flowers from German Chamomile – the most popular of the varieties.

Chamomile - german

Chamomile – German

 

Lemon Balm leaves promote relaxation.  As a member of the mint family, lemon balm is easy to grow yourself.  On a side note, growing spearmint is super easy and I LOVE grabbing a few leaves, rubbing them between my fingers and taking a deep breath!  It’s so refreshing!

Lemon balm

Lemon balm

Valerian is another easy grower that you’ve likely seen on the market as a sleep aid.  Pour boiling water over water over chopped, dried roots to make a restful tea.  You’ll likely need to sweeten this.  Honey would be a great additive or Stevia, you can grow that too.  While valerian is easy to grow, it may not be a favorite as it grows large and doesn’t really smell the best!

Valerian

Valerian

One herb that DOES smell good is Lavender and that’s precisely why it’s used for sleep.  Tuck dried handfuls of lavender flowers  into a small pillow and place near your head for a restful snooze. There are different cultivars of lavender, to grow it in zone 4 choose ‘Munstead’.  It requires full sun and good drainage.  It’s really a wonderful low growing shrub like plant once established.  I’ve used lavender to infuse sugar, it’s really tasty in tea.

Lavender - Munstead

Lavender – Munstead

Taking a bath is always relaxing but throw in fragrant rose petals and it’s just like a spa!  The rose bush below smelled fantastic!

Rugosa Rosebush (unknown variety)

Rugosa Rosebush (unknown variety)

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