My little Oliver woke me at 5am to snuggle. Unfortunately for him, Evan had beat him to the task, since Oliver has a reputation of being a chatty Cathy at 5am, I sent him packing. After tucking Oli back in, he and Evan fell right back asleep and I didn’t. Instead, I laid there ruminating about the week ahead.
Trev is starting 2nd grade (and turning 8), Evan starting kindergarten, and Oliver is beginning a 3 day a week (full day) preschool. I am starting a business (hello herbs!) and still getting used to life as a single mother. There are headphones to label, teacher’s to talk to, nap mats to deliver, clothes to be organized, birthday cookies to bake, pick up lines to master, dr. appointments to get to, oh and I start my 2nd year of clinical herbalist studies in a few days.
As I tossed and turned, hoping sleep would find me even if only for a few precious minutes, I realized I could use some of my own advice.
Last year, when Trevor was the only one going to big kid school, he was a bit nervous and had a poor appetite. Totally my kid, I lack appetite when I’m nervous too. So I whipped up some tea of chamomile, lemon balm, and spearmint for him and it settled him right down. I sent him with it in his water bottle and he managed to eat a good breakfast those first few days.
“Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage.” - Okakura Kakuzo
I realize since we generally consider tea a beverage, the idea that you can change the course of your anxiety with a mug of tea may feel a little ridiculous. We are conditioned to believe that anxiety must be treated with powerful pharmaceuticals. It certainly can be treated that way and sometimes should be. That said, there are also times your body just needs to be drenched in a rich tea. At the very least, why not start with tea?
Here is my simple recipe for a “back to school” jitters tea. Excellent for mamas and chidlets alike. Am I the only person who calls my kids “chidlets”?
1 part Chamomile flower (by volume)
½ part lemon balm leaf (by volume)
½ part spearmint leaf (by volume)
Place in a glass jar.
Brew at a ratio of 2 TBSP herb per 8oz hot water.
Steep (covered) for 10-12mins.
Strain and sweeten to taste with honey.
Serve hot or cold.
Small people will need less than big people for the desired effect so adjust accordingly.
Why these herbs…
Chamomile is universally known for its calming effects. Even naughty Peter Rabbit can fall asleep after a day running from Mr. McGregor with a cup of chamomile tea. Specifically chamomile is a gentle nervous system relaxant, is a digestive aid, and has mild pain relieving properties.
Lemon Balm is an amazing plant - another gentle nervous system relaxant, known for helping with anxiety, lemon balm is a starting place for young kids who need to calm down, in fact, it has been studied in combination with Passionflower for ADHD. One perk to lemon balm? It is super delicious as a tea. A member of the mint family it is an exceptionally gentle herb.
Spearmint is used over peppermint in this recipe as it is a milder mint. Peppermint has such powerful volatile oils that sometimes it is too much for the youngins. Spearmint is a stimulating herb, in this combination it enhances circulation and digestion.
To purchase the herbs in this recipe go to: Starwest Botanicals.