July 9, 2009

Calming Holy Basil and Lemon Balm Infusion

I've been having trouble sleeping lately. This is likely related to an existential crisis with hints of angst and boredom. Who knows, maybe you can relate (if not - congratulations!). And it happens that I've also been reading a lot about the medicinal uses of herbs. Two very informative herbalist blogs to check out: The Herbwife's Kitchen and Methow Valley Herbs. This is "backyard herbalism," using local, indigenous plants, rather than exotic or mysterious ingredients, to support health and well-being. A good book to learn about herbalism is The Book of Herbal Wisdom, by Matthew Wood.

Holy basil (aka tulsi) and lemon balm have calming, comforting qualities, and can help improve sleep. So for the last few days I've been drinking a cup of Tulsi Tea each day at work (it comes in tea bags, so it's easy to transport), and every evening I've been making a small pot of holy basil and lemon balm tea using organically grown, loose, dried herbs (I bought them at a local shop). Which reminds me, my mom has some lemon balm growing in her garden...I might just have to pick some when I'm home this weekend and dry it myself.

Back to the tea - I use 1 heaping teaspoon each of holy basil and lemon balm leaf, pour about 10-12 ounces boiling water over the leaves, and allow to steep for 15-20 minutes. This longer steeping creates an infusion (or medicinal tea) rather than a regular tea. And you know, I've been sleeping like a baby.

Thank you, mother nature. 


  1. This subject is really interesting. Can you share some more herbal recipes?

  2. Hi Raymond - I have been feverishly reading about herbalism, so there will definitely be more posts on herbal recipes/remedies coming up. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Mother Nature is amazing - if we can just unravel all of her mysteries.