The medicinal pantry is full of sleep aids. Combining spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg creates a synergistic sedative effect on the body, that helps to restore calm. Honey also facilitates a good night’s sleep, by stabilising blood sugar levels and contributing to the release of melatonin in the brain, a hormone responsible for inducing sleep. Sleep like a baby.
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tbsp cloves
- ½ tsp black peppercorns
- 15 bay leaves
- ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
- 5-cm (2-inch) piece of fresh ginger root, finely sliced
- 2 litres (70 fl oz) filtered water
- 1 tbsp DIY Cough Syrup or honey
- (Optional) milk of your choice
- Combine all the ingredients together (except for the cough syrup and honey) in a large saucepan.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce to a very low heat, and allow the ingredients to steep for 2–3 hours.
- Strain, and serve with a tablespoon of DIY cough syrup or honey stirred into your mug. Feel free to add a dash of your milk of choice too, if you wish.
This recipe is taken from Tonic by Tanita de Ruijt (Hardie Grant, £12.99). Buy a copy here.