The holiday season can be a time of great joy as we enjoy quality time with friends and family. It can also be a time of enormous stress as we struggle to fit everything and everyone in, push our digestion to its limit, and sometime drink more alcohol than we intended. Here are my three favourite herbs for holiday wellness. Sipping these beauties will get you through the holiday season with ease and grace.
The botanical name is Lippia citriodora, although Aloysia citrodora is also used interachangeably. I love this herb because it ticks all the holiday boxes and tastes great in a tea.
Drink it on its own or use it to peak the taste using the tasty tea formula. Lemon Verbena is a soothing digestive that helps to discretely move gas on. It reduces spasm so is great for indigestion caused by overindulgence.
When planted somewhere warm, out of the wind and in sandy soil, it will reward you with years of tea. The leaves can be dried or used fresh.
It’s also relaxing and helps to calm the nerves when you’re trying to fit everything and everyone in. Don’t feel you need to balance out the taste with other herbs, lemon verbena is a tasty tea served simply on its own.
To make your lemon verbena tea, simply add the leaves to a cup or teapot. Cover with boiling water and leave to steep for 5-minutes. If using a cup, be sure to use one that has a lid on it as lemon verbena is rich in volatile oils which will slip away with the steam.
American skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) helps you keep your head together in times of stress or overwhelm.
It’s mildly sedating but doesn’t leave you feeling drowsy. It is also traditionally used to nurture your nervous system and relaxes the mind and any muscular tension.
Like most members of the mint family it prefers moist shady spaces and in the right environment is easy to grow. Although when it’s in a happy place it can grow to up to 2 feet so plant it where there’s a bit of space.
Skullcap tea is soothing and a great nightcap to aid sleep. Make yourself a skullcap tea using the leaves. It also balances out your tasty tea formula.
Milk Thistle seed
Silybum marianum seed is best taken as a tincture or tablet with food. It was once referred to as Carduus marianus so you may see the two names used interchangeably.
It supports the liver and gallbladder. Research has demonstrated that it protects the liver against further alcohol or drug-induced damage and can also support the healing mechanisms of the liver as well. Take this one 2-3 weeks before the run up to the holiday season. Keep taking it right through the holidays.
Because milk thistle works with the liver, there are a number of precautions if you are taking pharmaceutical medications. This is because it can speed up the half life of your pharmaceutical drug which can make the current dose less effective. Seek professional advice if you are taking immunosuppressants or drugs that work with Cytochrome P450 2C9 such as warfarin or diazepam. Monitor your blood sugar levels if you are diabetic.
Recipe for a Tasty Healthy Holidays Tea
This tea brings in two of our three herbs for holiday wellness. It’s a delight for the eye, soothing to the soul, and relaxing.
- 1 part skullcap leaf
- 1 part lemon verbena leaf
- 1/4 part burdock root
- 1/2 stick of cinnamon
- 1/4 part calendula flowers
Steep in a teapot filled with boiling water for 5-minutes. Find your favourite spot, curl up and sip slowly.