The summer solstice is upon us (specifically, at 6:51am tomorrow morning, here in Florida). This means that tomorrow is the longest day of the year for those of us in the Northern hemisphere, and the shortest night of the year! It also means tomorrow is the first official day of summer!
For me, summer is welcomed with open arms: sunbathing, heavy, cleansing rain, good music, and catching up with old friends. While summer no longer means sitting around doing nothing all day (farewell, childhood), it does imply a certain level of recuperation and relaxation. Spring was such a rush - a rush through finals, a rush to study for the GRE, and a rush to graduation. Then there was the existential crisis of "oh my god I graduated what do I do now who am I?!" If my body and mind need anything right now - it's nourishment for a seriously frazzled nervous system! And I'd bet yours could use the same. Thankfully, herbalism comes to the rescue.
In Traditional Western Herbalism, we call herbs for the nervous system nervines.
Simply, Nervines are herbs that soothe and/or strengthen our central nervous system. They can be relaxing (Chamomile, Skullcap), or simply nourishing (Fresh Milky Oats). Over time, these herbs help us reduce stress and anxiety, and rebuild our frayed and burnt out nerves. I consider them essential parts of any mental health herbal protocol - and I use them in every formula for my patients!
Last night, I realized I was out of my favorite nervine tea blend, so I decided to whip up an extra big batch. I'm currently in the process of moving, and taking a little bit of each herb from a pound bag each morning just isn't time efficient. Think of making big batches of dried nervine tea as meal prep for your nervous system.
In honor of the Summer Solstice, I decided to post a summer-inspired variation of one of my favorite nervine teas. I hope it brings you relaxation, self-love, and allows you to take some time for yourself, even if it is only the 15 or so minutes it takes to brew and drink a cup of tea.
Thank God It's Summer - Nervine Tea Recipe*
makes 1/2 cup tea blend, use 1 tsp-1 tbsp per cup of boiling water, let steep 10 minutes
- 2 tbsp Roses
- 2 tbsp Lemon Balm
- 1 tbsp Oatstraw
- 1 tbsp Skullcap
- 1 tbsp Reishi mushroom
- 1 tbsp Lemongrass
- 1/2-1 tbsp Lavender flowers
- add honey to desired sweetness
If you want to be extra magical, blend this mixture tonight and leave it out all day tomorrow in a covered glass jar, starting at 6:50am, to make a potent Sun Tea! It will be infused with the solar, energizing energy of the Sun and the Summer Solstice, and it will nourish you on a whole new, energetic level.
I hope you have a beautiful Summer Solstice, a safe summer, and that you get to soak up some of tomorrow's vitamin D and vitalizing energies! Allow the Summer Solstice to be a reminder of all the hard work you have done since the Winter Solstice in December. If you graduated, I am so proud of you! If you made it through another semester - good job! If you survived the months between now and then - you did it, you are here, and I am proud of you too!
In love and ~light~,