- Tea blend featuring valerian and peppermint
- Caffeine free
- English pillow style oxygen bleached tea bags
Minty Sweet Herbal Sedation
During a lecture on herbal medicine (with the ‘H’ pronounced very deliberately), the herbal practitioner discussed what was known of the biochemistry of Valerian root. Apparently it acts on the GABA receptor in a manner very similar to way benzodiazepines act (like valium, xanax, ativan, klonopin…). So when they recommend Valerian root for its sleep promoting and/or anti-anxiety effects, it probably really is an effective treatment. But then it seems to me it is probably also not a completely benign medication (we know the benzos aren’t). I asked the instructor if people could become tolerant or dependent on Valerian root, or if it could interact with other medications the way benzos can. She smiled politely, doing her charitable best to conceal her contempt for my ignorance and the attitudes she presumed were behind my question. After a beat, she answered “no.” “You see, this is how plant spirits differ from pharmaceuticals. The plant spirits only go where they are needed.”
I’m not sure if I flinched or if I successfully suppressed my knee-jerk spasm of skepticism. But this is where the CAM stuff gets away from me. I want to have an open mind. I certainly believe there is wisdom and alternates ways of healing out there outside of western medicine. But I had a hard time swallowing it when CAM practitioners want it both ways. They use the hard sciences any time it supports the use of alternative medications, but the second the hard science conflicts with their beliefs, they fall back on mystical explanations. I’m not saying there’s nothing to that, but let’s just say it’s not something I can wrap my mind around.
In general, I think the herbal medicines are probably effective and safe when used very moderately. Just as you can’t get in too much trouble chewing cocaine leaves (versus snorting refined cocaine), you probably won’t run into troubles with an herbal tea made with Valerian (versus potent doses of benzos).
I think a lot of physicians have no problem with people using alternative medications except for a concern about the unknown. An MD is not trained to convert units of herbal supplements into standard benzo doses, for example, so it introduces confounders.
I’m not down on the herbal meds but I do believe that, when they work, they work for the same reasons pharmaceuticals work: They have active ingredients causing real physiological effects. And a placebo effect factors in, but we all know by now that our prescription drugs are benefit from placebo effects, so that’s a wash. So know what you are taking, how much is considered safe, and talk to your doctors about it. Don’t fool yourself into believing that herbal medications are harmless because they are “natural.” If your doctor is condescending and automatically dismissive, get a new doc.
Ultimately, the course challenged me to more precisely define what an open mind is. I have an open mind, in that I’m curious, I’m open to learning, I don’t believe I know everything, and I’m willing to listen to other perspectives. But an open-mind is not a blank mind. I have my experiences, biases, and education kicking around up there. My open mind does not have to believe everything it hears. I can have an open mind and still maintain a critical stance.
By the way, I’m giving thumbs up to this product. It’s a nice tea, nice relaxing bedtime treat with just a bit of honey. If you need it for insomnia of muscle spasms, just make sure you talk to your doctor about the udnerlying problems and mention any supplements or herbal meds you use. Thank you for listening.
It never came
The bags included are not the smaller ones normally used for single serving tea cups. They are large enough to brew up to 2-3 cups and ideal for smaller tea pots. Right there the price becomes reasonable.
The flavor of the tea is fairly agreeable, too; Peppermint is never a bad way to go when flavoring medicinal/therapeutical herbs. I usually drop in an extra bag of chamomile when steeping Valerian, so that helps with the flavor, too.
Personally speaking, I feel the effects of Valerian tea much faster than, say, capsules of Valerian root one might buy at a natural foods store. I can recommend this as a soothing alternative to whatever you might normally drink to relax at the end of the day.
If I had to list any specific concern, it would be the intensely vivid dreams that Valerian seems to produce from time to time, but nothing so mind-bending that I would stop drinking the tea.
Lastly, avoid heavy or daily usage, beacuse the build-up in your system can lead to problems. You don’t wanna be that health-obsessed guy In Newport Beach who died from a massive build-up of Echinacea in his system. Give your body time to flush the herbs out. They aren’t always water soluable like Vitamin-B.