Herbs for Back to School

This morning I was speaking with a friend who was sorting out closets and making a list of clothing her kids need for school. The other day I was in the stationary store where parents pushed carts up and down the isles carrying lists of school supplies. My sister-in-law is concerned about the challenge of getting the kids back into routine for school, particularly an early bedtime. I popped a bag of Happy Sleep Tea in the mail for her.


Happy Sleep Tea is calming addition to any bedtime ritual. It is gentle enough for the toddler in the family while teenagers welcome the herbs’ laid back essence. Happy Sleep Tea is 1 parts lemon balm (Melissa off.), 1 part chamomile (Matricaria recutita), and ½ part catnip (Nepeta catria). Lately I have been adding a new herb to Happy Sleep Tea called Moldavian dragon head (Dracocephalan moldavicum). My friends at Harmonic Herbs gifted me with this mellow herb’s seeds last spring. It grew with bountiful abandonment in my garden. Moldavian has a similar taste as lemon balm, but I find smoother, with a milder fragrance.
A happy sleep is just one of the essential prerequisites for a good day at school. Every sleep should be followed by a yummy, nutritious breakfast. I am a big eggs with green veggies fan. A couple of scrambled eggs with a handful of kale or spinach are a breakfast that makes me happy all morning. But not all mornings are calm enough to pull out the frying pan. On mornings when I sleep in or have to be somewhere early, smoothies are my solution. For my niece Zoe, a kid who moves in slow motion in the morning, smoothies are the only way to be sure she gets breakfast. Her smoothie travels with her onto the bus.
Try this smoothie for the early to school blues. In a blender toss:
            1 handful of greens. (Minerals and vitimins)
            1 tablespoon of coconut oil  (Contains fats essential for healthy brains)
¼ cup of powered nettles (Central Alberta’s super green food. Nettles are high in plant proteins, chlorophyll and minerals.)
            2 bananas (Makes the smoothie taste good)
            ½ cup of frozen berries
            2-3 cups of almond milk (protein and fat)
Some kids are terrified of the first days of school. On my first day of grade one I was called to the principal’s office. Then I was ushered to the kindergarten class. My brother had has arms firmly wrapped around the post between the two doors that separate the classroom from the small playground outside. He was determined to remain in playground. The teacher and principal asked me to talk him inside the classroom. I was stunned. Obviously they knew nothing of my brother who to this day stubbornly resists any change or new experience.
If at that youthful age I had known about flower essences I would of offered my brother a few drops of walnut flower essence. Walnut flower essence helps with the upheaval of emotions triggered by difficult life transitions. I suspect many children and teenagers returning to school feel the same way my brother did. Walnut flower essence will make early school days easier.
If a child has had a difficult previous year in school, she may not have the confidence she needs to meet the demands of the new school year. For that child, I recommend larch flower essence. Larch flower essence eases fears created by a lack of self-esteem.
Unfortunately, once everyone settles into the new school routine, cold and flue season arrives. To get a head start on the many bugs that pass from hand to nose to mouth to hand, I suggest a teaspoon of elderberry (Sambucus elder) rosehip (Rosa canina) syrup everyday. Clinical trials have shown that elderberry’s fruit inhibits influenza A and B from entering cells. Influenza A are sever flu viruses found most frequently in birds. Occasionally influenza A mutates and takes humans for a host. Things can get very nasty at this point.
Influenza B is a more common viral infection and is frequently the culprit behind the fevers, coughs, aches and pains many suffer with during flu season.
But the best new school year advice I was ever given as a kid and offer to the kids today is “Look both ways before you cross the street.”
Contact: 613-286-5691                                         abrah.arneson@gmail.com