If you're anything like me, at age 53 it's a little bit tough to get a good nights sleep. My husband puts his head on the pillow and sleeps like a baby but oh no...not me. Menopause by itself can have me tossing and turning and if you add a bit of stress to the mix, I'm bound to be up for most of the night. Removing caffeine and alcohol before bed is very helpful, but I also have found that 2 dropperfuls of my "Herbal Lullaby Elixir" in a cup of warm water about an hour before bed works wonders! Then just slide under the covers, read a book for a bit and doze off. You should wake up refreshed and ready to start your day!
This tincture is an infusion of some of my favorite herbal allies. I'm not one for Ambien and I'm naturally very intense, so I made friends with these plants quite some time ago. Everyone of them is cooling, soothing and promotes a restfulness without drowsiness. Hops and valerian are well known relaxants but you still won't wake up feeling as if you've taken a sleeping pill. Linden is one of the loveliest nervines that I know and is used all over France to promote relaxation. Oatstraw keeps everything cool and juicy and the lavender is a natural sleep enhancer, slowing the activity of the nervous system and thought to promote lovely dreams. Hyssop is a delightful anti-anxiety herb and the catnip speaks for itself. All you need to see is your favorite kitty rolling around on a catnip pillow to know why I included it in the mix! And then there's the Rose Absolute. Rose Absolute is just such a beautiful and evocative scent and is the ultimate aphrodisiac, nervine and antidepressant. It's magical presence in this elixir provides the alchemy that ties it all together and makes it work so well.
I make this tonic in large mason jars (dill pickle size!) so my measurements are for one of those!
In each mason jar layer:
2 tablespoons of raw honey
1 and a half cups of tart cherry juice
1 and a half cups of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries
3 tablespoons each of:
10 drops of organic, culinary rose absolute ( My favorite culinary essential oils are the Chef's Essences by Mandy Aftel)
Layer all of the ingredients into the mason jar and top with vodka. Close the top of the jar and shake until blended. In about three weeks, strain and funnel into dropper bottles. To use, add two dropperfuls of this tincture to a cup of warm water or herbal tea. Add honey if you'd like and sip, preferably in a warm bath or wrapped in a soft robe.
A lavender and hops filled sleeping pillow is the perfect sidekick to this potion and so easy to make. Just get two pieces of rectangular shaped soft flannel and sew them together , leaving one side open. Fill the pillow with arborio rice or buckwheat hulls, lavender and hops flowers and then add about 20 drops of lavender essential oil. Sew up the open side and roll the pillow back and forth to distribute the lavender oil. Either take it to bed as it is or heat it in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 3 minutes. You'll be dreaming sweet dreams in no time flat!