Happy 2nd Blogiversary and a Stress Relief Elixir

Two years have gone by since I first started Poppies and Papayas! Wow, time sure does fly by fast when you are busy with graduate school! Now here I am, almost finished with my schooling, with just one more quarter remaining. I can’t say its been easy, but its sure been a rollercoaster ride full of wonderful friends, stressful weeks and months, and a dedicated fiancĂ© that helps me find my peace. And then this blog, my creative space. Where I get to share with you my readers the cooking creations and the nutrition information that keeps my passion alive. Thank you, thank you so much!

As a gift to you, I share this recipe for a Stress Relief Elixir, perfect for the spring! With rose petals and hibiscus, the floral notes relax your senses, smelling of the June months still to come. Rhodiola (Rhodiola Rosea) and Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis) are both herbs that help reduce anxiety and help induce a calming of the mind (1, 2). Perfect for those stressful days filled with work presentations, or those nights where your mind just cannot quit. This elixir well help you find peace and calm amongst the overstimulation and stress inducing days we all have.  To help reduce anxiety or stress, take 1-2 tablespoons as needed. For the extra special days, topped with sparkling water and a squeeze of lemon, this elixir can turn into a toast for health!

When purchasing these herbs make sure to get them from a reputable herbalist, as you want to insure highest quality. There are many locations in Seattle or even in the Bellingham area. Also, if you are on medications for blood sugar, blood pressure, using SSRIs, or you are pregnant, consult with your primary practitioner first before using these herbs (1, 2).

Cheers! I hope you find some peace and calm in your busy day. Perhaps you may go for a long walk, a trail run, take a bath, or even try to make yourself an elixir. Either way, may your day be happy and stress-free!

Stress Relief Elixir
Makes about 16-32 servings (depending on dose)
2 cups filtered cold water
3 tablespoons Rose petals
½ tablespoon Hibiscus
1 tablespoon Rhodiola rosea
1 tablespoon Lemon balm
¼ cup brandy
¼ cup honey

  1. Put the 2 cups of filtered water into a medium saucepan and add all of the dried herbs. Using a wooden chopstick or tongue compressor, measure the height of the water. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Remove the lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the mixture to steadily simmer for 20 minutes until the mixture has reduced in half. Measure this with your marked wooden chopstick. 
  2. Once the mixture has reduced to half, remove from heat and add the brandy. Allow the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes. 
  3. Strain the mixture into a sterilized glass mason jar and add the honey. Shake well.  
  4. Label and date your elixir. Store in a dry, cool place, or even in the refrigerator.
Note: This elixir tastes great straight, but also makes a wonderful floral beverage when topped with refrigerated sparkling water and a squeeze of lemon.


1. Natural Standard. Rhodiola. http://www.naturalstandard.com.buproxy.bastyr.edu:2048/databases/herbssupplements/rhodiola.asp?. Accessed March 17, 2014.
2. Natural Standard. Lemon Balm. http://www.naturalstandard.com.buproxy.bastyr.edu:2048/databases/herbssupplements/lemonbalm.asp?. Accessed March 17, 2014.

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