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  • 2012 (45)
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Its school holidays at the moment. With my two children running around, already bored, my stress levels were getting a little bit high this morning.

I enjoy my herbal tea and I am always on the lookout for something a little bit different to try. I have a large, well-populated herb garden and love finding new ways to use my favourite ingredients.

I found a recipe that makes lavender barley water, and gave it a go to help ease my school-holiday-blues.

Lavender is one of the all-time great herbal relaxants. Mostly used as aromatherapy, applied to skin through oils or a relaxing bath addition, you can also use it in your food and drink.

The natural carbohydrates in the barley and sugars in the honey make this an effective stimulant that encourages the brain to release soothing tryptophan. There are over 40 naturally occurring phytochemicals in lavender, including large quantities of healing and relaxing volatile essential oils.

According the notes with the recipe, as well as being a relaxing drink, this is also useful for toothache, headache, indigestion and insomnia.

I definitely enjoyed the flavour, and the aroma, and did find I was calmer and more relaxed after drinking a couple of cups.

Then my son went tearing through the house and knocked over a vase full of fresh flowers, leaving them strewn in a puddle of water and broken glass. I’d better make another pot!

Lavender Barley Water

Pot barley 20g (3/4oz)
Lavender honey 2 tbsp.
Fresh boiled water 425ml (3/4pint)
Lavender leaves 2 heaped tbsp., finely chopped
Put the barley and the lavender into a saucepan, then add the water and simmer for 1 ½ hours.

Strain through a very fine sieve (I used kitchen muslin).

Reheat if necessary. Stir in honey just before serving.


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