In our crazy, stressful, overly-busy and hectic lifestyle, people have lost the ability to slow down, relax, and nourish themselves. We keep trying to please everyone – our bosses, spouses, children, and random strangers on the street – to the point that we live in a constant state of agitation and hyper-defensiveness, and we lose the ability to slow down, relax, and enjoy life.
Living in a Chronic State of Stress
When working with people’s health, I find I spend a large amount of my time teaching them stress management techniques like deep breathing, meditation, yoga, walking, and spending time in nature. I also work to equip them with emotional tools to reduce the stress we take on from people and situations we have no control over. A big part of my stress-reducing routine is a personal care routine. I encourage people to take at least 30 minutes to an hour a day to spend time nurturing themselves, working on their personal boundaries, and allowing themselves to relax.
I have found that taking time for myself every day, to nourish my body and my mind, and to have some completely selfish “alone time” by taking a relaxing hot bath while reading a good book, enjoying some yoga while diffusing some relaxing aromatherapy blends, or just taking a walk alone helps me reduce stress, find my center, and relax. Chamomile, as a beautiful relaxing nervine, plays a star role in most of my relaxation blends, from teas, bath salts, lotions, and more, chamomile is a beautiful and relaxing addition to any personal care, stress reducing routine.
Soothing Nighttime Tea
I have a tea I enjoy every evening to wind down, relax, and let the stress and emotional junk from the day wash away. I brew my tea and let it steep while I am doing my nighttime stretching/yoga, then strain the infusion and enjoy it while taking a nice hot bath and reading a great enjoyable book that doesn’t cause me too much emotional toil. This tea can be tweaked to meet your favorite flavor combinations and to address some lingering health issues of your own. I find this tea to be delicious, relaxing, uplifting, and mildly sedative in nature. It can be a bit bitter if you let it steep for too long so I usually strain it within about 20-30 minutes.
Soothing Nighttime Tea
1 part chamomile
1 part rose petals
1 part holy basil
1 part lemon balm
½ part passionflower
½ part spearmint (optional)
¼ part orange peel
Pinch of licorice root *omit if you have high blood pressure*
- Combine all ingredients and store them in a cool, dry place.
- To brew: Use 1 tablespoon of the herbal blend per cup of water.
- Pour boiling water over the herbal blend, cover with a tight lid and allow to steep for 10-20 minutes, strain and enjoy.
- This does include herbs that have sedative qualities. Do not drink it then operate heavy machinery until you know how the tea will affect you. Do not enjoy this tea if you are taking other prescription sedative medications. Omit the licorice root if you have high blood pressure.
Soothing Bedroom Spray
Creating a calm and relaxing environment in your bedroom is something many sleep experts recommend to enjoy a good night’s sleep. Make your bedroom a place to escape from every day stress by keeping it clean and tidy, use calming and relaxing colors and enjoyable decorations, and remove unneeded electronics and light sources. These are all common ideas shared by sleep experts. I like to add a touch of energy-clearing, aromatherapy to add a sense of calm and security to my bedroom. My kids like to use a more simple spray like this containing lavender and chamomile essential oils and water to chase away bad dreams too.
Soothing Bedroom Spray
4 ounces witch hazel extract
4 ounces distilled water
5-10 drops chamomile essential oil
3-7 drops cedar wood essential oil
3-5 drops vanilla essential oil
3-5 drops palo santo essential oil*
* Be sure to choose only ethically gathered palo santo, as this is an endangered plant
- Combine all ingredients in your bottle.
- Shake well before use and spray in the bedroom or on the bed or pillow before going to bed to help enhance a good night’s sleep.
- You can also use this in the house when there is a lot of stressed energy, aggression, and anger associated with stress to help people calm down, breathe, and reconnect.
This article was written by Amanda Klenner, originally published in Natural Herbal Living Magazine’s June 2014 issue all about chamomile. At Natural Herbal Living, one herb a month is explored on a deep, profound, and meaningful level, through a monthly e-magazine written by experienced herbalists from across North America. Natural Herbal Living also offers a monthly herb box where subscribers receive the e-magazine as well as loose herbs, herbal teas, essential oils, soaps, and more to help fully integrate our herb of the month.
Amanda says: “People love our monthly e-magazines, which average about 60 pages per issue, chock full of useful herbal information. They love it so much that they have asked for issues in print! This is why we started a Kickstarter project – to help us raise the needed funds to provide print issues for our readers. If you are so inclined, you can even pre-order your print issues through Kickstarter to help fund us! Kickstarter doesn’t remove money from anyone’s account until a project reaches its goal. Our fundraiser is set to end August 1st, so you have plenty of time to plan ahead financially before the transaction occurs!”