Isn’t it the British who, in popular media, always suggest tea as a solution to any problem? Despite not having any English blood in me (I’m French, German and Portuguese ), I always reach for tea for whatever ails me. Anxiety, stomach problems, stress, sleeplessness: tea is always my solution. When I first found out I was having to move, the first feeling I experienced was an overwhelming sense of loss and sadness. This feeling was triggered by a change, but I also, like tons of other people, also experience sadness during winter in the form of seasonal depression.
I came up with a tea blend based off of Rosemary Gladstar remedy, to help me through this transition period. I’m also keeping some on hand to help me get through the dark winter. I know that many others also experience seasonal sadness, from the darkness that brings on depression and lethargy or from life transitions, so I wanted to share this with you in hopes it will also help you lighten up your heavy heart.
What’s in My Heavy Heart and Seasonal Depression Tea
Hawthorn (leaf, flower and stems): Cratageus laevigata. Hawthorn is considered the best herb for the heart. You can find all parts of the plants, but I’m using the leaves and stems, as opposed to berries, because they steep faster. Hawthorn dilates the arteries so blood can move more freely, helping regulate blood pressure and releasing blockages. As a herb of the heart, it is effective for SAD and helps alleviate the feeling of grief that accompanies loss.
Milky Oat Tops: Avena sativa. Oats are often eaten as oatmeal, but the tops, harvested at a young stage, have great medicinal value. They are effective in relieving nervous stress, exhaustion, irritation, and anxiety. They are comforting, nourishing and healing.
Lemon Balm: Melissa officinalis. Lemon balm is well known as the ‘cheering herb’, and has been used for centuries to “chase away melancholy” and “sweeten the spirit”. The oils in the herb are antispasmodic, which calm the nervous and digestive systems and can act as a mild sedative, helping you sleep.
St. John’s Wort: Hypericum perforatum. The ancient Greeks believed that St. John’s Wort was embedded with magical powers and was used to ward off evil. Today, St. John’s Wort is thought to help lift the spirits and relieve depression, by slowing the uptake of feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
Spearmint: Mentha spicata. This mint is one of my favorites in my garden, being used in many dishes and in teas. The flavor helps add a sweetness to tea, and it is good for strengthening the nervous system. It both uplifts and calms the spirit.
Make Your Own Heavy Heart and Seasonal Depression Tea
I use a tablespoon as my measurement and because it takes a while to steep, I make a half gallon at a time. I use a half-gallon mason jar (because what do I NOT use a mason jar for?), and I’ll have the first cup hot, then drink the rest throughout the day cold. You can easily scale this recipe up or down, just pick a measurement as your part, and combine in the below ratios. This makes 8 tablespoons, which makes a half-gallon.
Combine 2 parts hawthorn, 1 part oat tops, 2 parts lemon balm, 2 parts St. John’s Wort, and 1 part spearmint. Use 4-6 tablepoons herb blend per quart of water, or 8-12 tablespoons per half gallon. Let steep 30-45 minutes. Strain and enjoy hot, or place in fridge and have cold. If you prefer your tea hot, simply reheat. Drink 3-4 cups daily.
Legal blah blah blah reminder:
All information presented on this website is for ideas and education only.This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. I research all information shared on this site, but any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk and not a substitute for medical or any other professional advice of any kind. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Individual results may vary.
If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you.”
― William Ewart Gladstone