Welcome to Our Healing Roots, a blog exploring natural medicine that returns us to the roots of health and wellbeing. Our Healing Roots, LLC, is a private natural healthcare practice and experiential learning center that advocates the safe use of integrated, natural medicine. Many healing ways have gone by the wayside with the advent of conventional medicine. While it is important to receive professional medical advice for serious conditions, there are many things we can do at home to prevent disease and maintain our health. The Latin word for doctor is docere, which means to be a teacher. Our Healing Roots wholehearted embraces the importance of teaching in healthcare, so that people feel empowered about their health and wellbeing. More information about this business can be found at www.ourhealingroots.net.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What's in my tea jar?

As the days become warmer and spring emerges, I yearn for more herbal infusions. The term "infusion" generally implies that you are steeping part of a plant in a liquid.

On spring days like these, it is not uncommon to see me rummaging through my dried herb cabinet and picking leaves in the garden for my infusions. I place these plant parts in a coffee press I have designated only for herbs, and cover with hot water. I allow this to sit for 45 minutes (but more often a few hours). Then, I strain off the liquid into a quart mason jar and sip throughout the day.

One of my favorite herbs to pick from the garden is lemon balm. The scientific name for this is Melissa officinalis. It is also called Melissa balm by some sources. It is a member of the mint family, but it tastes like lemon. It has many medicinal effects, but one of my favorite is its mild anxiolytic effect. It is commonly combined with lavender, which then makes a nice tea for tension headaches.

A 2006 double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, balanced crossover human study, examined the effects of Melissa officinalis in people subjected to laboratory-induced stress. The study demonstrated that this herb increased calmness and alertness, while decreasing negative mood during the simulated stressful event (reference http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15272110).

As the season warms and our days become more busy, consider adding some fresh lemon balm to your herbal tea infusion.

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