Sunday, 30 March 2008

Tea for a good night's sleep

This is a Maria Treben's recipe for insomnia from her wonderful book 'Health through God's Pharmacy'. One of the things that I love about this book is that it is full of Maria's stories of her experiences with her patients, that bring the remedies vividly to life. About this recipe she writes:
"At a dinner I sat next to a gentleman who was taking the waters nearby. This treatment had been his last hope but now that it was drawing to a close and no improvement in his health was in sight, he was at his wit's end. Despite taking strong sleeping pills he could not find sleep. As soon as he lay down, a pain - as if someone was stubbing out a cigarette on the sole of his foot - shot through him. He felt close to a nervous breakdown. I told him I knew an excellent tea for insomnia. But would it help him, he who had taken sleeping pills for so long? He tried it. It was on the 7th December 1976 when we met. Seven days later I met some of his friends who told me that our common friend could sleep again. At the same time he had lost the pain in his feet. The tea had helped in such a short time, given back his health and taken away the nervous disorder. His physician asked him for the recipe of the special tea for insomnia."
I've just mixed up a half batch of the tea (which is quite enough to be going along with):
  • 25 grams of Cowslip
  • 12.5 grams of Lavender
  • 5 grams of St. John's Wort
  • 7.5 grams Hops cones
  • 2.5 grams Valerian roots 

All the ingredients were from Baldwins except the hops which I had to get from a beer making store online. Because the hops and cowslip are quite a bit bulkier than the other ingredients, I whizzed them up in a blender and then added the other ingredients at the end - it makes the kitchen very fragrant! :-) I've made this tea up for a friend a while back and am now making it for my father - I'll ask them both to comment here on it's effects, and will give it a try myself...

Cowslip (Primula officinalis) is recommended for nervous headaches, restlessness and sleeplessness.

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) is also recommended for nervous head
aches as well as physical and mental exhaustion, to relieve stress, and for it's calming, relaxing effect.

St. John's Wort (Hypericam perforatum) is recommended in
 cases of shock, anxiety, depression or stress.

Hops (Humulus lupulus) well, just think of a beer or two and then a sleepy kind of feeling. LOL! Yes, it has a sedative effect and is recommended for nervous anxiety, hysteria and insomnia.

Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) is described in 'Bartram's Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine' as "One of Nature's gentlest, non-toxic, non-addictive tranquilisers" and is recommended for it's calming effect, for nervous tension, excitability, restlessness and insomnia. Apparently, after chamomile, valerian is Europe's most popular herb.

Pictures of Cowslip (top) and Valerian (bottom) from Flickr with thanks to: Cathredfern and Eric in SF.

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1 comment:

  1. I'm not so keen on this tea anymore, it feels a bit of an odd combination. I tried it one night and it relaxed me before bed but then seemed to make me restless in the night (woke up sweating!). That's not a very conclusive trial but a friend also commented that it didn't really work for him. Recently I've been having chamomile, vervain and lemon balm before bed, or if I wake up in the night, and which I'm enjoying very much