Friday, June 29

Happy Sleep Happy Tummy Tea

Today I received a bunch of teas from Richter's Herbs. Tonight I'm drinking a decoction of fresh ginger, subsequently infused with chamomile and lemon balm, with honey. Essentially I'm playing with herbal teas that promote both healthy sleep and digestion, in other words resolving both anxiety (or insomnia) and indigestion. These herbs have other actions as well, such as antimicrobial and cardiovascular actions, which I won't go into here.

Ginger is a potent carminative, as well as an antispasmodic and antiinflammatory. In other words, it soothes the digestive system, relieves internal tension, soothes and prevents any internal spasms or inflammation, and clarifies any indigestion. It is also famous as a cure for nausea. However it is slightly stimulating. I'm going to look for a potent carminative that is less stimulating for late evening teas, although it is quite suitable immediately after dinner.

Chamomile meanwhile is an herb of many uses. It is both a bitter and a carminative, meaning that it both stimulates digestion and prevents and heals indigestion. It is also a mild sedative, antiinflammatory, and antispasmodic. While it tends to have a mild action overall, in its gentle ways it covers many bases.

Lemon balm (also called melissa) has many medicinal properties, a fact of which I was entirely unaware not long ago. And yet it's not surprising, given its heady scent. It's actually in the mint family, but unlike most mints has a mildly sedative rather than stimulating effect. It is also an antidepressant, antispasmodic, carminative, and tonic. This is the first time I'm knowingly drinking lemon balm infusion, and I'm going to have to explore it more. However I think it will be essential in any happy-tummy-happy-sleep blend, because among the sedatives it is unusual in its cheering or antidepressant property.