Valuable Valerian

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In which Crystal Haven’s characters share their expertise.

Hello! Jillian Andrews again. It seems there is still some need for a calming influence here in Crystal Haven. The frenzy from the release of Pall in the Family has died down, but tourism is steady and everyone is feeling a little frazzled. When I get anxious, the first sign is difficulty sleeping. That’s where valerian comes in.

Used for centuries, as a calming tonic, valerian is great for insomnia. It can also be used for anxiety, stress and stomach discomfort. I like to take mine in capsule form because the tea smells and tastes horrible. Unlike chamomile, there is very little chance you will convince anyone to drink it.

The valerian plant is pretty with white flowers, but it is the root that is most useful. The roots can be harvested in fall or spring and then need to be dried and crushed into a powder for use. The drying process can give off an odor of damp socks, so you will want a well ventilated room for this procedure. I often try to talk my son Tom into doing this for me. He has a great talent with herbs and doesn’t seem to mind the stench, or maybe he’s just being kind.

Some of my clients believe that valerian is good for dream magick – maybe I should mention this to Rose Fortune. Also, it can be used in sachets for protection, to settle arguments, and to calm emotions.

Have you ever tried Valerian?

Please remember to check with your own health care provider before experimenting with any herbs.

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Calming Chamomile

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Hello. Jillian Andrews here. If you have read Clyde’s book about Crystal Haven, you know about my son, Tom. He’s a very good police officer. But he’s even better at mixing herbs and potions. The only one of my children with any talent for herbal remedies at all. Rose Fortune and I have complained to each other many times over the years about our children and their stubborn loyalty to police work when it is obvious to their mothers where their true talents lie.

Harriet Munson warned me not to get too personal on the blog so I won’t say anymore about that. Right now.

After Pall in the Family was released, and Harriet was involved in something called a blog tour, I became quite busy mixing up elixirs to calm nerves. She drank gallons of the stuff. It seemed the whole town was having trouble sleeping, or feeling as if they had excess energy. It may be that they were sensing the attention that Crystal Haven was receiving. Or it may be that they were nervous about our town being on display. Either way, I used a lot of chamomile that week.

Chamomile has been used for thousands of years to calm anxiety, help induce sleep, and to treat stomach ailments. Its mild taste makes it ideal for children with tummy aches. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used as a poultice on bug bites, eczema, or hives.

Since I use so much of it in my herbal remedy business, I grow my own to avoid any pesticides or chemicals that can sometimes contaminate wild chamomile. Recently I did have to resort to purchasing some from my herbal supplier. Chamomile looks like a daisy – with a bright yellow center and white petals. After drying, it can be steeped and consumed as a tea. I also like to soak a cloth in the tea and use it as a compress.

Some people are allergic to chamomile. Harriet asked me to remind everyone to check with their own health care provider before experimenting with any herbs.

I’ll return in a few weeks with another herbal remedy!

Have you ever used chamomile?