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These herbs help you catch better Z's
They will also make you feel better when sleep is temporarily unavailable (new mama, I see you!)
So Ayurveda has this theory about our wellbeing resting on the three pillars of health: Sleep, Food and Intimacy. No wonder why I feel like I am trembling sometimes.
I mean, there is no way you can keep all these pillars in perfect shape with little (or not so little) ones around, right? Sweet were the days I could spend hours practising Yoga, treating myself to massages and long herbal bath sessions. Or were they? A quick stroll through my diary (fun fact: mine goes all the way back to 2007!) tells me otherwise. Yup, even then, one or two pillars would already go through shakey phases. I can only assume that this applies to you, too.
But! Help is near 💚
When life doesn’t alow us to live in perfect flux with the depth of our self-care desires, botanicals are your best friend. With tonights Moon in Pisces, I will cover a total of three herbs that can help you balance the first pillar: SLEEP.
For the drowsy winter type with a magnetic mattress
Let’s start with a herb that matches this season’s (and moon’s) dosha: Kapha. The Kapha dosha binds the elements Water and Earth and dominates the second half of Winter and Spring. Kapha is fertile, romantic (feeling Valentine yet?), drowsy, likes growing all kinds of things: a family, career, crops, a personal collection of collectables, you name it. Kapha loves food, red wine and a cosy night in. Her pitfall is melancholy, lethargy and greed. You will know your body has accumulated too little too much of Kapha’s juice when you can snooze for longer than 9 hours and still feel drowsy when it’s time to wake-up. Your body may feel heavy, or congested, and your face may retain water around your eyes and sinuses. Unlike most (temporary) Kapha types would like to believe: feeling these things does not mean you need more sleep. Instead, have a look at the timings of your last meal (before 7 pm is best) and make sure your stomach has finished digesting by the time you hit the pillow (2-3 hours). The herb that will revive you is Tulsi. Get the dried herb, add 3 teaspoons to your tea egg and place in 0.75 litres of freshly boiled water. Steep for at least 40 minutes and sip throughout the day.
#2: Rose, Skullcap and Nutmeg
For those who have visions of their to-do list
This combination of herbs is good for the Pitta dosha. Pitta combines Fire and Water and is responsible for willpower, vision, productivity, criticism and anger. Ninety minutes before bedtime, you start winding down with your herbal blend. Turn the lights down low, burn some incense, rub three drops essential oil of rose on your temples and the soles of your feet. Next, write down three things that you’re thankful for. Take your time for each object on your list by placing your hands on your belly and taking five, slow, deep breaths. Bring all your awareness to how xyz that you’re thankful for makes you feel. Capture the feeling in words, a drawing, picture or a song. This is a beautiful way of adapting your mindset to the state you want to be in before a restful night of sleep. Remember, the best idea’s come in times of rest.
Your recipe: Mix 1.5 teaspoons of dried rose petals and 1.5 teaspoons of dried skullcap with a pinch of nutmeg. Infuse in 0.5 of freshly boiled water. Allow the infusion to stand for 40 minutes before you drink it. You want to take your first cup one hour before bedtime. Your second cup can be enjoyed 30 minutes before bedtime. Don’t forget to wee before you retire to the bedroom.
#3 Blue Lotus, Nutmeg and Coconut Blossom
For those with a chatty headspace
While the Vata dosha combines the elements of Space and Air, it’s typically Air that likes to own the place. Just imagine a day in the park during fall. Can you see how the air makes the leafs race? The same thing happens in your headspace when your body is (temporarily) predominated by Vata. We can ground crowded trains of thought with this beautiful combination of Blue Lotus, Nutmeg and Coconut Blossom. Take 1 teaspoon of the dried petals, and place in a tea egg with a pinch of nutmeg and 1 tablespoon coconut blossom. For extra calm, you may also add 1 tablespoon raw cacao. Place all the dry ingredients in a 250 ml tea cup and fill it up with freshly boiled water. If you’ve got vanilla essence, you may add 1/4 teaspoon of it to your cup, too. Enjoy two cups before bed, starting at 60 minutes before bedtime, with a second serving at 30 minutes before bedtime. Wee, dim the lights (!) and come home to a good night of rest.
Have a restful weekend & enjoy your Pisces Moon!