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I was first introduced to valerian as a sleeping aid. I’ve never personally used it as I’ve been functioning as a perfect morning bird/night owl hybrid for years, but we had some family members struggling with sleep and valerian is something that popped up in research. There’s a little more than sleep associated with valerian and the sleep aspect itself is only the tip of the iceberg.

Valerian is a nervine and a muscle relaxant. It’s especially useful for muscle tension caused by, or leading to, anxiety. So, valerian is great for sleep if the lack of sleep is caused by muscle tension (skeletal muscle spasms AND uterine and intestinal cramping).

Although a sedative for most people, there is a handful of people where valerian gives the opposite effect and can act as a stimulant. So if you try this and find that you’re more awake, don’t be too surprised.

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A word of caution, valerian can increase the power of other sedatives you may be taking. So, don’t combine valerian with other sedatives.

It can be useful for headaches as well. Take a teaspoon of valerian tincture, followed by 1/4 teaspoon every 30 minutes until symptoms subside.

Having trouble sleeping from a brain that won’t shut up? Valerian may not be of help, try passionflower.

Want to see what herbs we have in our garden? Take a look here.

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So, today we’re going to take a look at tulsi. I recently acquired some tulsi from Maggie’s Herb Farm. Tulsi is a nervine and a carminative. Some people know tulsi as holy basil. Tulsi is also antibacterial and immunomodulant. Tulsi is warm and a little drying.

Tulsi is a member of the basil family and spreads just as easily as your common basils. The aerial portion of the plant is harvested when it begins to bloom.

This herb is beneficial for digestive issues like gas, and with colds. Being a nervine, tulsi also helps reduce stress, especially if the stress causes stomach issues.

Tulsi’s calming and over all well-being properties are the reasons I sought this herb out to grow in our garden. Regular consumption of this herb  promotes general well being physically and mentally. It’s added to remedies for colds and influenza and to remedies for calming the nerves.

Tulsi helps maintain a balanced homeostasis. That’s great if we’re ever effected by several stressors or even toxins, including pollutants. Anything that negatively impacts homeostasis, tulsi helps bring back to normal.

Tulsi can also enhances aerobic metabolism. Many are looking into tulsi’s effects on prediabetic individuals. Tulsi can reduce blood glucose aid in correcting abnormal lipid profiles. Tulsi has been shown to reduce type 2 diabetes symptoms. Tulsi also shows some protection of the liver and kidneys.

Being antibacterial, tulsi may help with urinary tract infections, wounds, and fungal infections.

I’m very happy to have added this herb in my garden and look forward to using it in several remedies. It’s so easy to grow and even if you don’t suffer from anxiety, depression, diabetes, or chronic colds, taking this herb healthy is just as important as taking it if you suffer any of these ailments. It helps protect the body from physical and psychological stressors that occur in a day and contributes to the overall wellbeing of your mind and body.

Curious about what else we have growing on the farm? Check out this page.

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