De-Stress, No Stress, and Settle Down! Tea Crafting for the Holiday Season

by Kori Rodley

I’m not going to mince words here; it doesn’t matter if you celebrate Christmas, Solstice, New Year’s or none of the above, these few winter months are all about the stresses. The stresses of extra obligations, travel, visits, the bubbling up of grief and tension, the decrease of fresh foods in our diets, and myriad other seasonal triggers can take their toll on our immune systems, our health, and our mental well-being.

Teas are one easy way of adding the gentle medicine of herbs to our daily routine to help combat the stresses of the busy season.  Blending your own teas is also a great way to ease into home herbalism—experimenting with combinations, flavors, and properties to find what works best for you and your health needs.

When crafting teas to combat stress, I like to approach the blends with three things in mind:

1.       Nutrition

2.       Medicinal value

3.       Flavor and aroma

The entire experience from brew to sip should be a pleasant, stress-reducing activity! A nice cup of tea is a good opportunity to add nutritive support to one’s daily intake, as well as the medicinal properties of the chosen herbs. It must, however, be delicious too, for an extra-enjoyable break from a crazy, hectic time.  Here are a few of my favorite seasonal recipes:

No Stress Tea Blend

This is the mother of all stress reducers and I actually made a huge batch of this in mid-October to give out to all my kids, friends, and loved-ones. When I handed them each a bag, I said, “Here’s to a healthy, fun and stress-free holiday season!”

This recipe is in parts, so you can adjust it to make a pot or a lot…

1 part Oatstraw

1 part Lemon Balm

1 part Skullcap

1 part Rose petals, dried

1 part Hops flowers

½ part Spearmint leaves

½ part Peppermint leaves

½ part Raspberry leaf

½ part Chamomile flowers

¼ part Cornflowers

¼ part Rosehips (dried)

¼ part Cinnamon chips or bark

Combine well, steep for 3-4 minutes, and enjoy!

Snoozy Time Tea

This recipe makes the perfect pre-bed cup of tea and it is well suited for the whole family (children included.)

1 teaspoon dried Hops flowers

1 teaspoon dried Chamomile flowers

1 teaspoon dried Skullcap

1 teaspoon dried Spearmint

1 teaspoon dried Lavender flowers

Combine herbs and pour 1 ½ cup boiling water over. Allow to steep for approximately 3 minutes. Add a little raw, local honey if you’d like.

Rich and Nourishing Root Decoction

This is a good morning tea, providing nutrition and immune support and setting the stage for the day.

1 Tablespoon dried or fresh Nettle Root

1 Tablespoon dried or fresh Roasted Chicory Root

1 Tablespoon dried Roasted Dandelion Root

1 Tablespoon dried or fresh Elderberries

Combine the herbs and 4-5 cups water in a medium-sized sauce pan. Slowly heat on medium with the lid on. Once the pot starts to simmer, allow to simmer with the lid on for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Strain herb from liquid and drink the liquid.

Some of my favorite other de-stressing herbs:

Damiana

Valerian

Passionflower

Cacao

Be sure to check with a trusted health care provider before adding herbs to your routine—especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or have other health concerns.

Having created the weekly tea recipe series, The Sunday Steep, for Mountain Rose Herbs, Kori Rodley is an entrepreneur, writer, publicist, and passionate tea crafter. You can find more of Kori’s recipes over on www.TeaThyme.net, as well as ever-growing information on creating teas for health and pleasure.