With the long summer days finally here, make sure you take time off the devices, slow down and focus on relaxing and restoring your health and wellbeing. For some people that will be long walks in the countryside, for others it will be reading a book in the backyard, a group yoga session with your best friends or maybe baking something for your family. It doesn’t matter what you like to do to relax, the most important thing is to acknowledge the need to slow down and take some time for yourself.
But that is easier said than done! Our fast paced lives, constant multi-tasking and relentless drive for the next milestone can mean that we need to retrain our minds and help our bodies to slow down. For me, the helping hand comes from nature; from plants and their medicinal and spiritual powers to restore and heal our bodies and to nurture and calm the mind.
Here Are My Top Tips For Plants We Can Connect With And Consume To Help Us Unwind:
Passion Flower (Passiflora Incarnata)
A wondrous vine plant with the most hypnotic purple and white flowers. You may be familiar with the sumptuous passion fruit that they offer in late early autumn. Passion Flower is a sedative to help you sleep and a calming nervine to restore a frazzled nervous system. What I love about passion flower tea before bed is its ability to switch off an overactive ‘monkey mind’. You know those nights when your head is reeling with a million things? Passion flowers can help these neurotransmitters switch off and lull you into a gentle sleep.
Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis)
Part of the mint family, this plant will look familiar to you but the fresh, citrusy flavour is like nothing else. Lemon balm is a wonderful restorative herb; it works on the stomach to calm and aid digestion, it helps to nurture the nervous system and it is also a gentle antidepressant – meaning it actively provides feelings of happiness and wellbeing, whilst also calming and relaxing.
Valerian Root (Valerinan Officinalis)
The big boy of the sedative family. Using valerian root as in a tincture or tea will really help even the hardened insomniac to get some relaxing shut eye. It quickly works on the nervous system and neurotransmitters to tranquilize and calm. Valerian is also a mild analgesic, helping to relieve pain and inflammation. My favourite way to take valerian root is ground up in hot chocolate – one big sleepy cuddle.
Linden Blossom (Tilia Cordata)
These majestic trees are in bloom late June / early July with their blossoms providing the most heavenly honey scent. A tea made with fresh linden blossom is like nothing else. Linden is a heart healer; it provides relief from panic attacks, anxiety and it is said that being in the presence of these trees can even heal a broken heart.
Damask Rose (Rosa Damascena)
The highly fragrant roses have been prized for centuries and across continents. At one point in history, the oil from a Damask rose was 1000 times the value of gold. The perfume from these beauties is unrivalled but their power goes much deeper than their scent. Rose is a heart tonic, it can heal and restore health to a damaged and anxious heart. It is a calming, gentle sedative and makes a wonderful blend with lavender and passion flower. But Rose is also an antidepressant and aphrodisiac – and God knows we all need a little more joy and love in our lives.
Do you use plants to enhance your wellbeing? If you do leave me a comment below…
About The Author
As a young girl my mum would enchant me with tales of my great-grandmother Louisa, the white witch, who could heal people with ‘something in the garden’ and an unknown magic touch. I desperately hoped to inherit this magic and yearned to know her secrets.
But it wasn’t until, after a 15 year career in advertising and two little ones, that I truly reignited my passion in nature and took my life in a new direction studying herbal medicine.
I wanted to use my experience from the world of brands to challenge the old dusty stereotypes of herbalism. To launch a brand that talks to a new audience, a brand that looks as good on the outside as the herbal goodness on the inside. That brand is Lab Tonica.
I have now developed a range of mood boasting herbal teas and aromatherapy – details below:
They include the Unplugged range – the perfect collection of herbal products to help you wind down and switch off. The Hawthorn, Linden Blossom and Chamomile in Unplugged Tea will soothe an anxious heart whilst the Passion flower, Lavender and Rose will gently sedate and provide feelings of tranquillity.
Unplugged Balm and Unplugged Pillow Mist feature a heady blend of Frankincense, Lavender, Venture and Bergamot. Oils chosen for the deeply calming and sedative qualities. Rub into pressure points and deeply inhale to enjoy the zzz.
Breathe is the ultimate Zen collection. Breathe Tea features a soothing blend of calming herbs including Hawthorn and Linden for heart health, Ashwagandha, Lemon Balm and Gotu Kola to restore and nurture the nervous system and Peppermint and Fennel to calm the digestive system.
Breathe Balm and Pillow Mist encapsulates a heavenly blend of Sandalwood, Chamomile, Lavender, Bergamot and Sweet Orange. Essential oils to calm and ground the nervous system. Rub into into pressure points and deeply inhale to enjoy the Ommm.
Sutton House Sanctuary, Hackney London. Day Retreat Thursday 21st July, 10am – 3pm
Escape the stresses of the city with this restorative day retreat, in the majestic Sutton House. You will journey through the house, tapping into the healing energies of summer, through a host of wellness activities. Featuring a gentle ‘blossom & bloom’ yoga, summer herbal workshop, seasonal lunch, sacred smudge stick crafting and a healing sound meditation. And of course a generous Lab Tonica goodie bag.
For ticket: https://www.labtonica.co.uk/beyond-the-lab