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| Borage for Mood Enhancment; Wild Lettuce as Sleep Aid |
Answered by: Christine Dennis
Question from: Priscille
Posted on: July 24, 2008
I wanted to know if wild lettuce tea is a good help to calm and help with sleep. What is the best way to prepare the dried wild lettuce? I have been steeping it for about 15 minutes in hot water.
Yes, wild lettuce is used to calm and as a sleep aid. It is one of my favorite remedies for nerve tension and anxiety. In fact, I would place it in my top ten herbs in my dispensary overall. Because wild lettuce has constituents that do not readily dissolve in water, it is best to make a tincture (1:2 in 60% alcohol, allowing to sit for at least 1 month) or decocted the aerial parts for at least 20 mins before drinking -- even then it is debatable as to its effectiveness in this form. A simple infusion would just not extract sufficiently to yield adequate results.
In the same line, is borage tea good to enhance mood? If so how can I prepare it and are there any precautions to take with these herbs?
Borage tea has traditionally been used "to cheer the heart" as well as an adrenal tonic. The later of course can be the underlying cause of low energy thus a poor mood. The leaves can be made into a tea (1 tsp dried leaves or 1 tablespoon of fresh leaves) or as a tincture (1:2 fresh in 40% alcohol). However, this plant does need to be used with caution as research has suggested that the pyrrolizidine alkaloids, constituents found in this plant, are toxic to the liver in large amounts.