Dancing Gracefully with Stress and Insomnia

Mother Nature often has all the support we need.  Beautiful mama and astute herbalist,
Jen Bredesen, shares ideas on supporting stress and insomnia with natures gifts.


Chamomile is a versatile herb long valued for its ability to relieve stress & nervous tension.  It has “soft power”– that is it’s a gentle plant with powerfully effective medicine– good for mamas & babies alike. It is excellent for stomach tension, indigestion, nervous irritability & inflammation.  Chamomile has a serene & sunny signature.  It serves well as a daily relaxing tea, though can also effectively be used for extreme stress and nervous system issues.  It’s bitter-sweet flavors are excellent for the liver & digestive systems, as well as the nerves.  Pairs nicely with Catnip.  Delicious nightcap with equal parts Rosehips and a pinch of Stevia.  Loves to go with Ginger.chamomile-02Roman

Chamomile is easily cultivated and makes a lovely, fragrant ground cover.  Plants prefer full sun and regular garden soil, but does fine with partial shade.  Though reasonably drought tolerant once established, keep the plants/seeds well watered initially, to welcome her to your garden.  Water through blooming time to avoid spindly plants and low bloom.  Harvesting &/or dead heading will keep the blooms coming!  A bigger patch can be easily accomplished by direct sowing from seed.  Eventually plants spread and interlock forming a tough carpet or bed to tickle your toes…. aaaaah, sweet dreamzzzzz.

Ah, a warm cup of chamomile tea to soothe the senses.

Nettles is a powerhouse of nutrition, providing minerals & micronutrients from the Elements of Nature to our bodies.  Long valued as a food and medicine, it is used for anemia, fatigue & stress.  It is considered a premium spring tonic eaten fresh, steamed as a leafy green or add a handful of dry leaves cooked into soups or grains.  Rich and delicious as a tea or infusion, Nettles is a tonic for the Liver, Kidneys & Adrenal Glands.  Nettles are one of the highest sources of easily digestible iron, calcium & vitamin A.  It offers deep energy rebuilding and effectively strengthens the whole body.

nettlesFor the more adventurous gardeners, Nettles is a tremendously beneficial companion to herbs, increasing their essential oil content and potency, as well as a potent adjunct to the compost pile when cut back post harvest.  Up to 3-4 harvests/year are possible.  Harvest top 6” for spring greens; top 12” for tea leaves.  Cut down to the ground after harvesting to ensure lush re-growth.  Also cut back and mulch for winter rest.  Feed with finished compost or a nitrogen-rich fertilizer annually.  Wear gloves, long sleeves, and thick clothing when harvesting or pruning to protect from sting.  Nettles like partial to full shade and moist, rich soil.  The plants grow well on the back edge of your garden or in a barrel, which can contain runners and her sassy stinging signature.


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