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An Herb for All Your Ills

Warning: Please consult a physician before consuming any type of herb or flower, as many of them will interfere with medications. While we at Tamara’s are careful to use only those herbs considered safe, it is always possible that someone will have a negative reaction. None of the statements made are intended to diagnose or treat anyone or anything! If you are pregnant, please avoid all herbs, as many of them can bring about early labor and other problems.

Have you ever browsed the drug store shelves in search of the cure for that nasty headache or relief for your throbbing sinuses? You have a gazillion different pills to choose from! Heartburn? Grab a pill. Cramps? Grab a different pill. Constipated, agitated or still a bit inebriated? There’s a pill for that, too.

The problem with those pills is that they only mask your symptoms so you think you are better. It’s simply a mind (and money) game. If you really want to get rid of those symptoms, there is a better way!

Eat a weed. Or, more precisely, an herb or two.

It took a while, but my friends and family finally realized that if they are coming to visit me, they better bring their own stash of pills ’cause they won’t find one in my house. Not an aspirin, not a Tylenol, not an antacid… If a headache strikes within the walls of my house, they’ll likely find themselves with a cup of hot tea in front of them!

I’m usually met with a strange look, but few people have the nerve to criticize my methods to my face, so they politely sip their tea while trying to come up with an excuse to run to the nearest drug store. By the time they come up with one, though, they find their headache (or belly ache or whatever ache) has disappeared.

Without a doubt, headaches are the most common complaint, which means my Happy Head Tea is constantly at the ready. Granted, it takes a bit longer to sip that cup of tea than it does to pop that pill, but the long-term benefits blow the pill out of the water! Why? Because the herbs work to correct the problem rather than disguise the symptoms, and works just as quickly. Bonus ~ the headache won’t be back in 3 hours!

Second in line for most-used is the Belly Achin’ Tea. This is one of the few herbal teas that even my kids like to drink. Pleasantly minty and fast-acting, this works great when you’ve over-eaten, have excess gas or just over-did it on the junk food.

And, we can’t forget the popular Sweet Dreams Tea. As a chronic insomniac, there have been many nights that this beauty has sent me gently to sleep when I was certain there was no hope. Unlike sleeping pills, you don’t wake groggy and disoriented and it isn’t necessary to have 7-8 hours of sleep before the effects wear off.

Okay, so this sounds like a sales pitch. However, I needed some frame of reference and my teas provided that. The truth is, though, you don’t need to buy these teas from me. The herbs are available at most health food stores and on several internet sites. I would highly recommend Mountain Rose Herbs for their high quality, affordable herbs. They offer organic and fair-trade herbs at very reasonable prices. Please keep in mind, though, that if you intend to mix up your own blends you need to be careful to research proper dosage and side effects.

Feeling brave? Here are the recipes for a few of my most popular teas and a glimpse of why I chose those particular herbs.


Catnip, basil, lavender, lemon balm, peppermint, rosemary, blessed thistle, spearmint, mullein and yarrow.


This is a very mild herb that has been used in many cultures as a sedative, pain reliever and blood cleanser for centuries. It is gentle enough to use on children and potent enough to provide relief to adults. It is also known for its use as a digestive aid. Headaches are often caused by stress, poor diet, improper digestion and accumulated body toxins, so catnip is a perfect choice to include in my Happy Head tea.


The anti-inflammatory action of basil is known to help shrink blood-vessels and swelling that contribute to headaches and its sedative effect helps dull the pain. It is also known to be a system stimulant that helps your organs to function properly, which allows your body to process and release toxins that contribute to headaches.


This herb is known to calm the nervous system, promote relaxation, sooth anxiety and reduce inflammation. It has been used for centuries by the wealthy to ease headaches caused from tension and stress.

Lemon Balm

This herb is unusual because it acts as both a stimulant and a sedative. It invigorates the mind and body, while it soothes the nerves, making it a wonderful addition to headache formulas.


Peppermint stimulates the entire system, helping the body to function as its meant to, and also contains wonderful pain-relieving properties. Its minty scent invigorates the mind and help relieve tension, stress and fatigue.


Burdock, slippery elm, catnip, basil, peppermint, anise, ginger, sage, green tea, hops


While this herb is most commonly known for its use in cough syrups and lozenges, it also a wonderful herb to use for indigestion and other stomach issues. It helps relieve gas and settle an upset stomach. It is believed to have originally been used in ancient times as a seasoning for meat and vegetables, due in large part because of its value as a digestive aid. It is also an anti-spasmodic, which helps relax the muscles of the stomach.


Ginger cleanses the body of toxic waste and calms nausea. It is an aromatic bitter, which means that it stimulates the digestive system. It helps tone the intestinal walls which helps ease the transport of substances through the intestines. Ginger is also and anti-parasitic, which means that it aids in the removal of parasites such as intestinal worms and other little critters that often cause stomach troubles.


Widely known for its many healing properties, sage is valuable when treating any type of stomach disorder including constipation, nausea, gas, diarrhea and intestinal disorders. It also stimulates the appetite, thereby stimulating the digestive system.


Heartburn, gas, nausea, colic, ulcers and general stomach upset have all been treated for centuries by hops. Often used to calm anxiety, this herb helps relax the body, which makes it wonderful for those belly upsets brought on by stress and anxiety, too!


Hops, catnip, peppermint, lavender, chamomile, mullein

You’ll notice that each of these herbs were used in the other formulas. One of the beauty of herbs is that they often have a variety of medicinal constituents. This allows them to treat many different bodily systems in many different ways.

Some herbs, like peppermint, are known for their ability to treat the entire system. Combining peppermint with other herbs enhances a particular aspect of it, for example: combine peppermint, hops and anise to make a powerful remedy for stomach issues. Combine it with lemon balm, basil and catnip and you have a potent headache remedy.

In the case of Sweet Dreams Tea, it is combined with herbs like chamomile, lavender and hops which are all known to relax the mind and body. Easing away tension, stress and over-stimulation will provide your mind and body with the opportunity to drift off to sleep a bit easier. You won’t notice an overwhelming tiredness, as happens with synthetic sleeping aids. This herbal blend works gently, so that all you need to do is add a little darkness and quiet to the mix and you wake refreshed and ready to face the day, rather than groggy and disoriented.


Note: I don’t recommend mixing these blends yourself unless you have studied each of the herbs carefully and understand proper dosage and the benefits/risks of each herb. While each of the herbs used is considered safe, they can affect other medications you may be taking or medical issues that you have. Always consult your medical adviser before taking any herbs.

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