My 13 year old daughter, Charlie, makes herself chamomile tea sometimes in the evening before bed. Not every night, just sometimes. She also requests nettle infusion at seemingly random times. She can’t really articulate why. I know she likes the taste, but I think it’s also a bit of her learning to recognize what her body wants or needs at that moment.
Last night, while waiting for her tea to steep, she got a piece of paper and wrote “Herb* Notes” in big letters at the top. (My inner herb-nerd and my inner mom-who-wants-to-always-connect-with-my-teenager promptly began doing a jig in my head) She began with chamomile: “small white and yellow flowers, smells like apples, good for relaxation and sleep.” And then she turned to me and asked what else chamomile helps with.
We talked about how chamomile is calming to whatever you apply it to in whatever form you use…the smell of the plant is calming, a tea is calming to your body, yes, relaxation and sleep, but also can be calming to an upset stomach, a salve is calming to your skin, an eyewash is calming on your eyes, etc., etc. She wrote it all down and put the jar back in the pantry, saying “chamomile is calming” to herself. And then she grabbed another jar (and my heart sang!)!
We went through marshmallow root (complete with a demonstration of the mucilaginous-ness of it and discussion on what mucilage is, what it does, and what else has it) and honeysuckle flowers. We talked about their plant siblings, other things that have similar qualities or uses, and what the actions ultimately meant for the health of our bodies, like why we would want to take something that raises the body temperature like honeysuckle and elderberry.
And I loved every minute of it.
And she was listening and learning and asking more and more questions, so I deduce she was enjoying it too.
It makes me beyond happy to be able to share this with my daughter. This just might be the start of a beautiful thing.
*as a smiley side note, Charlie pronounces “herb” with the “h,” like the British do. This irritated me to no end in the beginning, but now… now it just makes me smile when she says “would you like some H-erbal tea, mom?” It’s the little joys that do it for me. 🙂