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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tis the Season!

We love the holidays, but let's face it, the season brings stress. Herbs, those wonderful green allies, can come to the rescue. Herbs are wonderful diverse little commodities. You can drink, bathe, steam or soak. And, children aren’t the only ones who need quiet time.

Ok, let’s relieve some stress. Have a seat, sit back, close your eyes. Tighten all your muscles as if you were getting ready for the 40-yard dash. Hold it, hold it. Now, relax. Feel yourself sinking into the chair, through the floor, into the earth. You’re cradled in the earth. Breathe slowly. Slooooowly. For five to ten minutes let your mind drift into nature. A favorite park. A river. A tree. A garden. A fountain. If your thoughts go to your next appointment, or the fact you have nothing planned for dinner or taxes, gently pull your mind back to birds taking a bath in a puddle or children playing on the grass. After your ten-minute break, bring the peacefulness you felt with you, slowly become aware of your surroundings and open your eyes. Refreshed!

Now, for herbs. Using herbs for stress relief is so easy. And, it’s safe. And, it’s healthy. For tea, as a general rule of thumb, use 1 tsp per cup. Loose tea is always BETTER than tea bags. Good choices are chamomile, lemon balm or catmint. I have a blend of all three of these gentle stress busters in my Sunshine Tisane available at www.GBHfarm.com.

To make an herbal infusion use 1 cup of herbs per quart of water. Pour boiling water over the herbs, steep for about 15 minutes. Strain into bath water or a foot tub and soak away your troubles. For a facial, make in a large bowl, pour boiling water over the herbs, put your face over the bowl and cover your head with a towel.

A few more relaxing herbs are: lavender, hops, passionflower, valerian.
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