Mol (mollyringle) wrote,


I've just had a cup of passionflower tea--technically not tea at all; just passionflower leaves (and presumably flowers) steeped in hot water--because it's supposed to help ease you into restful sleep. Especially good for those whose sleep is disturbed by anxiety, they claim. It doesn't taste very good (closer to dill than to passionfruit), but does seem to work, to some degree. I'm getting sleepy. But that effect could just be psychosomatic ("all in my head," for those of you who don't cotton to fancy words).

I've been a dabbler in herbs for some years now. I don't take it to extremes--no dripping strange extracts or oils into my glass of water; no moss-green pills; just herb teas, really. I genuinely believe some of them work, and this makes sense: after all, the active ingredients in pharmaceutical drugs had to come from somewhere in the natural world. I also am very much aware that some of them are dangerous. Must keep in mind that the natural world contains some seriously poisonous plants. I generally don't mess with those. (Chaparral being a good example; digitalis another.)

For nausea, there's almost nothing (including professional drugs) that beats ginger, with mint a close second. Generally it has to be peppermint, but spearmint isn't bad. Fennel is good for digestion too. Good old cinnamon, on the other hand, though frequently listed as being helpful for digestion, struck me as much too harsh on an empty stomach. Lately what I need is stuff to calm me down, so I got some mix called SereniTea (how cute), which includes mint, ginger, lavender, and the all-important kava, which the South Pacific islanders chew on to mellow out. You're supposed to be careful with kava--as in, don't use it all the freaking time or it could eventually damage your liver--but the levels are probably low enough in the tea. Has to be healthier for me than Valium, anyhow.

There was an email going around that said something like:
History of Medicine:
1000 AD: "Here, eat this herb."
1700: "That herb is an old wives' tale; take this elixir."
1900: "That elixir is quackery; take this pill."
1960: "That pill doesn't do any good; take this antibiotic."
2000: "That antibiotic isn't safe; take this herb."

Yeah. Sounds about right.
I want to feel good rather than merely functional, but I don't like the idea of being medicated. Am I cheating by not counting herb tea as medication?

Don't care. Going to "restful" sleep now.
Tags: food, funny, health, science

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