Calming Calendula Steamer
Spring is a time of growth and awakening. Conditions are ripe for people to become more social, productive, energetic, and active. As life unfurls from it’s slower wintry cocoon, it can be easy to lose touch of the grounding and deep rest our minds and body need to continuously restore and balance itself.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Western Medicine alike, preach the importance of daily lifestyle choices. In TCM specifically, it is a basic responsibility of the physician to lead the patients under their care by example (1). TCM reminds us that although herbs are wonderfully helpful, they are just that: help. They are not a solution.
TCM along with Ayurvedic, Celtic, Slavic, and many other traditions, also agree on the importance of living with the seasons (2). As we approach a time of the year characterized by passion, abundance, fire and energy, it is easy to overdo it. Not to mention North America’s hardworking puritanical roots, and the fact that we live in a time where the expectation to forever be on and outwardly available has become more of a norm. These influences amongst others, exacerbate the potential to for us to drive ourselves towards an energetic extreme.
The vein of thought that encourages awareness of the ebbs and flows of life, along with holistic medication in moderation, has definitely informed how I like to eat and play with different recipes and remedies. I call upon the natural medicine in my food and drink to act as a compass to point my system towards balance. As long as I am essentially healthy, teas, potent food, herbs, and even allopathic medicine can be helpful in moderation. I incorporate them into my day when my body needs an extra boost to get over an abnormal amount of stress (defined differently for each person). Intentional ingestion guides my body through the cycles of maintenance of my ever-evolving state of wellbeing. It is often not the solution itself, but a temporary aid to bolster my body’s natural ability to heal. The secret is that in most cases, we are essentially healthy, and temporary support is all we need.
All said and done, the recipe I share today is one of my remedies for a fire burning too bright. Imagine your energy balance is like an oven or stove. We want a fire warm enough to bake or cook with, but not so hot that it’ll burn the house down. This tea mixture is for maintaining that equilibrium when everything else is pushing us to be hyperactive. It can be useful for those times when it’s hard to rest at a decent hour or when it’s all to easy to push to the point of being overly drained or left with an exhaustion headache. Really, any time when the mind/body needs extra support to relax, can be a good time to reach for this.
The warmth of the drink is comforting along with the gentle neuritic (nerve calming) properties of the oat milk, chamomile, and honey (3). The calendula is soothing to the body’s tissues (4). The volatile oils of elecampane help open the airways and relax the digestive system (5). While the healing potential of this mixture is fun, it also just tastes earthy and floral and delicious with the addition of a little vanilla, cardamom and sweetness. I like to use this calming beverage as an excuse to slow down and enjoy.
PREP TIME: 2 minutes COOK TIME: 5-10 minutes TOTAL TIME: 7-12 minutes
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp cardamom (or to taste)
1/2 tbsp raw honey
pinch of salt
1/2 tbsp each of calendula flower, chamomile flower, and raspberry leaf
t/2 tsp each of elecampane root and mugwort root
1/4 tsp reishi
1 cup unsweetened oat milk ( I like the Califia Oat Barista Blend)
Brew calendula, chamomile, elecampane, mugwort & raspberry leaf for 5-10 minutes.⠀
While the tea is brewing, steam, froth, or heat the oat milk.⠀
Once the tea is done brewing, pour 1/2 cup into your favorite mug. Mix in vanilla, honey, reishi, and cardamom.
Pour the milk over. ⠀
I love to top it off with a pinch of cardamom and flower petals to get a little of the whole pedal and more flavor with each sip. ⠀
I am not a doctor, nor do I want to act as one for you! Herbs like elecampane have adverse reactions with certain medications such as sedatives. Calendula should also be ingested in moderation. Please consult with your doctor before making any lifestyle changes or ingesting new food or herbs.
Kushi, M. (1991). Macrobiotics and oriental medicine: An introduction to holistic health. Place of publication not identified: Diane Pub.
Abascal, K., & Yarnell, E. (2004). Nervine Herbs for Treating Anxiety. Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 10(6), 309-315. doi:10.1089/act.2004.10.309 and