It’s DIY month around here — we do this every April, and this is our third annual DIY month! We love to encourage you to do things yourself, in your home. All month long we’ll be sharing projects, recipes, remedies, crafts, and more with you. Be sure to pin your favorites, and subscribe to our weekly feed so you don’t miss any posts!
I’m excited to share this very simple “project” with you today for DIY month. This is a project that you can whip up in minutes, but which just may be extremely beneficial to you.
A friend recommended that I get some blackberry leaves when I was doing an herb order recently, because she said they made delicious herbal tea. Since we love having cold herbal tea around in the summer, and the price was low (only $6/lb. with a bulk order) I went ahead and bought some.
I started making tea with blackberry leaves and nettle leaves. Only, I quickly noticed an unintended effect: it seemed to significantly help my anxiety. As I have used nettle tea for a few years now, I pinpointed blackberry leaf as the culprit.
There’s very little information out there on the components of blackberry leaf, and I can’t find any record of it being used for anxiety. But I have experimented with it over a period of weeks, and have found a definite difference when I do use it vs. when I don’t. When I use blackberry leaf, I tend to not feel anxious at all. I also tend to see the world as positive and the future as hopeful. When I do not use it, I tend to feel mild to moderate anxiety, and I tend to see the world more negatively. I like the way I feel when I use it much better!
I can’t promise it would have the same effect on anyone else, but it might. With no documented side effects and an affordable price, it’s worth a shot, right?
- 2 tsp. nettle leaf
- 1/2 tsp. blackberry leaf
- 2 c. water
Boil the water, then steep the tea leaves in the water for 20 – 30 minutes. Strain, and drink as-is, or add a small amount of honey to sweeten. I almost prefer it plain, but of course it’s up to you.
I do have to tell you that I originally tried an infusion, using 1/4 – 1/2 c. each nettle and blackberry leaf daily. Unfortunately, after a few days, I began to have trouble sleeping, and so did my nursing baby. He could not settle down, he tossed and fought and woke every 10 – 15 minutes. I have found no documented cases of insomnia caused by blackberry leaf. After lots of research, my best theory is that blackberry leaf is high in a mineral that competes with magnesium, and that this was leading to low levels of magnesium, which can lead to insomnia. I scaled back the amount of blackberry leaf that I was using, and used extra magnesium lotion, and this seemed to help the problem. I have to make sure to drink the tea everyday, sometimes a lot of it, but it definitely still helps.
If I didn’t have a nursing baby (who is getting the ‘dose’ in my milk several hours later), I would probably use the infusion first thing in the morning and put on magnesium lotion at that time, and again at bedtime. But since I do, I stick to the smaller amount.
I encourage you to do your own research about herbs to see if you can find ones that work for you. Herbs work in different ways for different people, depending on their body chemistry and needs. They can be very potent and very effective. I’m glad that I tried this out, even though there was no research to suggest it would work, and found it was right for me. I suspect it will be better for those who have hormone-related depression or anxiety than those who have other issues.
If you are dealing with depression or anxiety, it’s not simple. It’s not easy. Please seek the treatments that you need, and never feel guilty for it. That includes therapy, herbal remedies, or even medication if you feel you need it. We’re here to share our stories and knowledge with you, as well as support you when you need it.