I know it’s not quite Spring yet, but I’m spending a lot of time with gardening books and seed catalogs, thinking about what I’d like to get done in March. With all this plotting and planning, I’d like my mind to be as sharp and clear as it can be. But to be honest with you, some days I’d much rather be curled up on the couch with a hot drink and a thick novel.
I’ve adjusted my diet a bit, moving away from the heavier foods of early winter and the holidays, and starting some digestive tonics to clear away the winter blahs, but what about my mind, still a bit sleepy and not quite ready for Spring? Well, there are a number of herbs that can help brighten the mind! Here are a few of my favorites tea blends for clarifying the mind.
Tulsi and Rose Tea
A light and refreshing tea, with the calming and focussing effects of Tulsi and the sweet cooling effects of Rose. This tea is a personal favorite!
Tulsi, or Holy Basil, is known as The Incomparable One in its native India, and is often taken as tea to center the mind for meditation. Encouraging deep concentration, this is a lovely herb to drink while working or studying to stay clear and energized without caffeine.
Roses are among my all-time favorite herbs. I love to grow them, wear them (usually as Rosewater), smell them, and drink them as tea. Roses are cooling, calming, and cheering. Especially for women, smelling roses can reduce irritability and mood swings, and bring encouragement in times of tension.
One teaspoon each of Tulsi leaves and Red Rose Petals makes 2-3 cups of tea. Pour boiling water over the herbs and swirl. Let stand for about 5 minutes, strain and drink! This tea is lovely on its own or with a little raw honey added.
Peppermint and Green Tea
This delicious tea is stimulating and refreshing to the mind. Peppermint support both memory and recall, and is highly recommended for exams and presentations to keep you on your toes.
Green Tea is gently stimulating, with just enough caffeine to sharpen your focus but no so much it makes you jittery. Black and Green Tea are much easier on the body than coffee, in part owing to the presence of L-theanine in tea leaves. L-theanine is an amino acid that calms and improves focus, as well as helping with stress and poor sleep.
One teaspoon of Green Tea and 1-2 teaspoons of Peppermint makes 2-3 cups of tea. Pour not-quite-boiling water over the herbs and swirl. Let stand 2-3 minutes, strain and drink! Add sweetener if desire.
Buy Green Tea
Skullcap and Lavender Tea
This tea is a gentle and encouraging nerve restorative. It supports and calms the frazzled, overworked mind.
Skullcap is a nervine tonic, anti-inflammatory, and soothes tired achy muscles. I like it for treating tension headaches and working long hours.
Lavender is a classic for stress and anxiety, and helps improve mood and concentration too! In this tea Lavender adds a lot to the mild-tasting Skullcap.
One teaspoon each of Skullcap leaves and Lavender flowers makes 2-3 cups of tea. Pour boiling water over the herbs and swirl. Let stand for about 5 minutes, strain and drink! This one is good on its own but, I think, even better with a dash of raw honey.
If you’re not a tea drinker, many of these herbs are available in capsules as well. But I strongly recommend enjoying a hot cup of tea from time to time, the scent and steam adds so much to the experience! However you take your herbs, enjoy! And be healthy!