Last August I wrote how I was taking an online class in Folk Medicine titled Curanderismo. I finished the course in October and recently received my Statement of Accomplishment from the University of New Mexico. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and recommend it as a great overview of folk medicine, especially from a Mexican-American perspective.

The part of the course I enjoyed the most was the overview of herbs and their uses. Since taking the course I bought three herbal supplements: ginkgo biloba, echinacea, and cayenne. Ginko is for improved memory and energy, echinacea helps boost the immune system and cayenne, or red pepper, reduces inflammation and works well for arthritis. I’ve been taking them for three weeks and I notice my minor arthritis issue is less painful. However they say you need to take the herbs for one to two months before seeing really positive results. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Recently I started getting edgy and nervous. The feeling arrives every year this time at the holiday season. In the past I would rely on a sip of wine; scotch or brandy on tough days. But alcohol makes me sleepy too and I didn’t like that. So recently I tried chamomile tea because I read it reduces nervousness and anxiety. Wow! I didn’t know tea could work so well. Half an hour after I drank a cup, with a little honey, I felt great, no nervous feeling. So now I’m drinking one cup a day, about an hour before bed. It makes me feel sleepy and best of all, lasts through the next day. I got Bigelow’s Cozy Chamomile. It’s all natural, caffeine free and made exclusively from chamomile flowers. As the box advertises, it is both soothing and relaxing.

So if the holiday season seems a bit intense, or you’re having trouble finding that present for aunt Gerty, try some chamomile tea before bedtime. You will thank me.