It is very fitting to start this series with my first ever blend, the blend that I felt immediate effects with. This series is the story behind each tea blend. My story, as to how the teas really came to life, how they benefited my life at the time in a huge, huge way.
During this time in my life, I felt everything was snowballing for me. I was living on my own in midtown Toronto in a basement apartment, studying during the week, working a couple shifts at a job that was not healthy at all for me, and rushing home on weekends to spend time with my boyfriend. I had zero rituals in place, I was losing weight along with my hair, I had terrible eating habits (in fact, I barely was eating), and I was in a constant fight or flight state. I started having panic attacks on the subway on my way to class, I began leaving my keys in my front door because I was constantly rushing from A to B, and I needed to go home throughout the day because I swore I’d left the oven on. No aspect of my life was calm or fulfilling.
On top of all this, I wasn’t sleeping. Which I mean, made complete sense.
I was actually working at a clinic, and I’ll never forget the naturopath made me a loose leaf tea blend to take home and to have before bed. A blend of oatstraw, chamomile and passionflower. At the time, I only really knew about chamomile. This blend provided me with not only some powerful botanicals, but also with a routine.
But, it needed something more.
Which is when I decided to add lavender and valerian root. This was it. Snooze Brew.
Oatstraw : oatstraw is one of my favourite botanicals, one that carried me through my burn out, and one I lean into still to this day. The way I visualize its actions is when we are frayed, our nerves are frayed. They are sparking in all directions. There is a nervous energy alongside our anxiety.
When we consume oatstraw, oatstraw will actually feed our nerves in a way to stop the ‘sparking’. It completely restores the integrity of our nervous system.
Passionflower: passionflower is meant to calm the ruminating mind. The mind that runs as soon as your head hits the pillow. It’s the overworked + overstressed whose mind will run as soon as it quiets. It’s the ruminating mind that used to hinder my sleep, I couldn’t get it to stop. Passionflower is meant to ease those thoughts, putting the thoughts to rest so you can rest too.
Lavender: we all know and (hopefully) already love the smell of lavender. Forever, lavender has created a sense of calm for me. It provides a relaxing effect, that when combined with the other botanicals in this blend will enhance our bedtime routine.
Valerian: when I was looking to blends to have before bed, valerian was always left out. This amazed me, because it is such a vital botanical when it comes to sleep. Valerian has been shown to increase levels of GABA; GABA is our calming, come down neurotransmitter. This will help ease us into sleep, faster.
Chamomile: a botanical we all probably look to when we want to improve our sleep. Chamomile provides a calming. It is however, the least used botanical in this blend.
When we combine these botanicals above - we nourish our nervous system, calm our racing thoughts and provide a sense of calm. The perfect combination to ease us into a restoring, restful snooze.