As a lover of medicinal herbs, there is a profound joy that arises from discovering natural remedies that harmonize with both body and mind. One such elixir that has become an indispensable part of my bedtime ritual is the night-time glycerite—a gentle potion infused with the calming essence of lemon balm, chamomile, and lavender. In this article, I’ll take you on a soothing journey through the process of crafting your own night-time glycerite, a delightful blend that will gracefully lull even the busiest of minds into a peaceful slumber.
Before we embark on our herbal adventure, let’s familiarize ourselves with the concept of a glycerite. Derived from the Latin word “glycerinum,” glycerites are herbal extracts made by steeping herbs in a mixture of water and glycerin. Glycerin acts as a natural preservative and facilitates the extraction of the herb’s medicinal compounds, resulting in a concentrated and potent herbal elixir. Glycerites offer a sweet alternative to alcohol-based tinctures, making them an ideal choice for those who prefer a non-alcoholic option or have sensitivities to alcohol.
The Magic Trio: Lemon Balm, Chamomile, and Lavender
- Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis): Lemon balm, with its vibrant green leaves and citrusy fragrance, has long been treasured for its calming properties. Its soothing effects on the nervous system help alleviate anxiety and promote relaxation, making it an ideal herb for bedtime concoctions. The herb’s active compounds, including rosmarinic acid and flavonoids, work synergistically to reduce stress and enhance sleep quality.
- Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla): The delicate blossoms of chamomile hold a myriad of healing properties, including sedative and anti-inflammatory effects. Chamomile has been cherished for centuries as a natural sleep aid, easing restlessness and promoting a deep sense of tranquility. The presence of flavonoids, such as apigenin, imbues chamomile with its calming prowess, making it a vital component of our glycerite.
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): With its enchanting aroma and purple blooms, lavender is renowned for its ability to induce relaxation and combat insomnia. The aromatic compounds found in lavender, such as linalool and linalyl acetate, interact with the nervous system to alleviate tension and promote restful sleep. In our night-time glycerite, lavender will provide the final touch, harmonizing the blend and transporting you to a dream-filled slumber.
Crafting Your Night-time Glycerite
- 1 part fresh or dried lemon balm
- 1/2 part fresh or dried chamomile
- 1/2 part fresh or dried lavender
- Vegetable glycerin (food grade)
- Filtered water (if using dried herbs)
- Muslin (cheesecloth) and fine-mesh strainer
- Amber glass dropper bottles
Begin by thoroughly washing the lemon balm, chamomile, and lavender. If using fresh herbs, allow them to air dry completely to prevent the introduction of excess moisture.
Chop the lemon balm leaves into small pieces to expose more surface area, enhancing the extraction process. This step is optional, but can facilitate a more potent glycerite.
Fill a clean glass jar three-quarters full of the fresh lemon balm, chamomile, and lavender in the specified proportions. If you are using dry herbs, half-fill the jar.
Pour over enough glycerine to fill the jar completely. If using dried herbs, dilute 3 parts glycerine with 1 part water and pour this over the herbs to fill the jar.
Stir well to release any air bubbles trapped in the jar, and then seal the jar tightly and label with the contents and date of preparation.
Place the jar in a cool, dark location, such as a pantry or cupboard, and let it steep for 4-6 weeks. Remember to shake the jar periodically to aid in the extraction process. Top up with more glycerine if required.
After the steeping period, strain the glycerite using a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth, extracting every last drop of the herbal goodness.
Transfer the liquid into dark amber glass bottles, which will help preserve the glycerite’s potency. Label the bottles with the date and contents for future reference. This night-time glycerite should last 1–2 years.
Embrace the Tranquility
Congratulations! You have successfully crafted your own night-time glycerite—a soothing blend of lemon balm, chamomile, and lavender that will gently cradle your mind into a state of serenity. To indulge in its tranquil embrace, take ½-1 teaspoon of the glycerite about half an hour before bed. Allow the glycerite to rest on your tongue briefly before swallowing, savoring the subtle flavors that nature has bestowed upon you.
As you drift into a peaceful slumber, carried away by the botanical whispers of the night, remember that the magic of herbal remedies lies not only in their healing properties but also in the connection they foster with the natural world. Embrace the tranquility that herbal alchemy brings and allow yourself to be enveloped in the restorative power of nature’s lullaby.
Where to buy high quality herbs
If you don’t have access to local or homegrown herbs, I highly recommend purchasing them from Mountain Rose Herbs. They are my favorite place to buy high-quality, organic dried herbs and herbal products. As a company they believe in people, plants, and planet over profit and only ever source their herbs ethically and sustainably. It is through this ethical, responsible sourcing, that they are able to offer one of the largest selections of certified organic herbs, spices, and botanicals in North America.
Disclaimer: It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating any herbal remedies into your routine, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications. This article is for informational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice.
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