Valentine’s day & Library Lovers’ Day!

Hand-drawn Chamomile by Debora J. Brown

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When I first started thinking about what to post for Valentine’s Day, I thought of the normal stuff. What herbs are good for the heart, or are blood-moving herbs, or aphrodisiacs. Then I saw another herbalist ask about heart herbs to include for something she is doing, and I thought, I want something different.  Off to look up Valentine’s Day and find a different take on this “holiday” or day.

After pulling up a few different websites and reading them over, I realized I already know about this holiday, and I’m not really interested in doing anything for it; what else could I do? Is there another holiday this day?  Of course, Google is happy to answer any question with a list to choose from.  I found a site that lists all kinds of holidays and found NATIONAL LIBRARY LOVERS DAY!  Oh, here’s a holiday I can get behind.

According to National Today, Library Lovers’ Day started in Australia in 2006 by the State Library of New South Wales and became a national holiday in 2007. Today it is celebrated around the world with a new theme each year.  It looks like this holiday is still mostly an Australian holiday since a search for this year’s theme mostly brings up Australian libraries, this year’s theme is Show the Love.

Libraries hold a special place in my heart, in childhood they were the place I hid, as a homeschooling mother they were my lifeline.  I have spent many hours in libraries, and they have never let me down.  Every new place I go, I locate the library because if everything falls apart that’s where I’ll be headed.  The funny thing is since the boys started college I rarely get to the library, maybe it is because my favorite library here is the one downtown and I don’t find myself downtown often.

Anyways, in honor of the day, here is one of my favorite tea blends to drink while curled up with a good book.  What is your favorite tea to drag with you to the library or drink while reading?  Share in the comments below.

Hand-drawn lemon balm by Debora J. Brown
Artwork by Debora J. Brown

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Family: Labiatae (Lamiaceae)
Energetics: cool, dry, relaxant
Taste: aromatic, sweet
Medicinal parts: aerial parts –flowers & leaves
Actions: initially warming, ultimately cooling; relaxant, sedative, nervine, diaphoretic, antiviral, anodyne
Affinities: digestive, circulatory, and nervous systems
Cautions: safe for children and elders.
How I Use Most Often: tea, cooking especially in pasta sauce

Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

Family: Lamiaceae
Energetics: warm/cool, dry, relaxant
Taste: pungent, aromatic, acrid
Medicinal parts: leaves
Actions: digestive, carminative, hepatic, nervine, diaphoretic, sedative, antispasmodic
Affinities: digestive and nervous systems
Cautions: A safe herb for children
How I Use Most Often: tea, cat treat, cooking especially in pasta sauce

Linden (Tilia americana & cordata var.)

Family: Malvaceae
Energetics: cool, moist, relaxant
Taste: sweet, mildly salty, musty
Medicinal parts: flowers, leaves, bark
Actions: demulcent, nervine, anti-inflammatory, sedative, hypotensive, anodyne, relaxant diaphoretic
Affinities: cardiovascular and nervous systems
Cautions: leaves and flowers are safe for children, elders, and pregnant individuals. The bark should not be given to people on blood thinners.
How I Use Most Often: tea, cooking especially in pasta sauce

Hand-drawn Chamomile by Debora J. Brown
Artwork by Debora J. Brown

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita, M. chamomilla)

Family: Compositae (Asteraceae)
Energetics: warm, neutral, relaxant
Taste: bitter, aromatic, sweet
Medicinal part: flowers
Actions: stomachic, carminative, soothing nervine, sedative, antispasmodic, vulnerary
Affinities: digestive, nervous, and reproductive systems
Cautions: a very safe herb that is particularly nice for children.
How I Use Most Often: tea, lotions, syrups, hydrosol

Relaxing Reading Tea Blend

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Oh, how did I almost forget to share Neil Gaiman’s view on libraries? You can view it here with pictures. (In case you’re thinking that came out of left field, Neil is one of my favorite authors and libraries are one of my favorite places…see connections).

Btw, it’s also National Clean Out Your Computer Day for those of us that need the reminding and excuse to get it done.

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