One of the things about being a witch is being able to make spells and potions. The Potions of a witch is often for healing. Back in the day, the witch was the local healer. Often called by different titles in various cultures, the healer was the one who knew herbal medicine and holistic treatments. Today we have a huge blending of techniques, knowledge. and family tradition.

As many of us do, I have a need for something to help me sleep. Here is my sleep potion recipe. Be aware there are side effects and interactions with herbs just like there is with pharmaceuticals.  Knowing your herbs and what they interact with is important before ingesting any herb. Some herbs are poisonous and some are poisonous if processed certain ways. Such as Nutmeg. Nutmeg is perfectly fine as a spice in our favorite food but I was taught that fermented nutmeg is poisonous.

In my sleeping potion, I use a herb that is commonly used for sleep, anxiety, and menopause as well as a couple other uses. I was taught that using too much of this herb is believed to cause Hepatitis B that goes away once discontinued use of the herb. Some herbs are believed to cause kidney damage such as sassafras tea.  With some plants, you can eat one part but the other part is deadly.

I also use Alcohol in my recipe. Usually Vodka. This recipe is best if made with the whole fresh root. When preparing roots, bark or berries, it is appropriate to make a decoction. That is to simmer the herb and reduce it down to the right potency by getting what we need from the herb through the process of making a decoction.

I am not claiming that this potion is safe or that it will work for everyone. There is many variables that can make it unsafe such as how much lead and other contaminants have been absorbed into the plant, allergic reactions, and more. I am not a qualified health practitioner so this is not healthcare advice or should substitute any doctors advice. Before using any herb consult a good health care provider. With that said, it is my favorite sleep potion recipe.

I don’t actually measure my ingredients but I will get as close as I can.

approximately 1/4 oz of Valerian Root per 1 cup of water.  I use filtered water and when I can get it, I use the whole root well rinsed and ready for cooking. The fresher the herb the better the outcome.

For this recipe, I use about 2 oz Valerian Root for a whole pot of 8 cups of water. The water must always cover the root.

Only use stainless steel, Glass or unleaded ceramic. Other substances like plastic and aluminum can seep toxic properties into your potion.

With the pot Covered, I bring the water and the root to a full rolling boil then reduce heat to simmer the pot for at least 60 minutes. I check it at about every 20 – 30 minutes or so to make sure the liquid covers the root, I have a glass lid to peek through so that I can keep it covered while it simmers. It may need a little more simmering to reduce the water at the final stage. When the water reduces by at least half the decoction should be a dark brown much like black tea, the flavor should be strong and the fluid should have a dense consistency.

I have to warn you, Valerian Root smells and tastes nasty.

I allow the brew to cool with the herb in it. Once cool enough to handle, I strain the liquid into a large glass bowl. It should be about 3 or 4 cups of liquid or as little as 2 cups. Mine was about 2.5 cups when I was finished.

Add the Vodka. Here is where I add about 1/2 cup of vodka to my 2.5 cups of decoction. You can refrigerate the sleep potion and it will likely last a couple of weeks or longer. My decoction was so strong that I only needed 1 – 2 Tablespoons at bedtime. I usually take the potion at room temperature. It worked like a charm for me and I finally got some restful sleep.

We all deserve a little rest.

Summer Song