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DIY Extract Blend for Sleep

Menthol Chest Balm Recipe

Dropperful of extract blend in a glass of water

Have you ever read about an herb, gotten excited about the potential benefits, taken it, and then didn’t feel any sort of effects from it? That’s mostly been my experience with skullcap. I mean, I like the plant, but it’s not the calming nervine rock star that I was hoping it’d be. Of course, there’s many different species of skullcap, so perhaps I just haven’t found the right match for me. For a lot of my friends, skullcap really seems to do the trick. I thought, perhaps someone with my constitution just needed to find another plant ally for those calming nervine effects I was looking for. Fortunately, I ended up stumbling upon blue vervain.

I remember the first time I tried a dropperful of the fresh tincture. This plant is bitter. Very bitter. However, it really resonated with me and my constitution. I thought, “Hey, this is what I’ve heard folks say about skullcap.” I became interested in the plant and started reading monographs and watching videos about it. To put it simply, blue vervain seems to be for people who might be considered “type A,” or list makers. The herbalist 7Song says it’s “for people who make contingency plans for their contingency plans.” The more I read about “blue vervain type of people”, the more I reluctantly had to admit that I was one of ‘em. Blue vervain has become my go-to ally if I feel I’m needing a little herbal support to calm the nerves.

Two other herbal extracts that resonate well with me and my constitution are ashwagandha and chamomile. Combining those two herbs with blue vervain does well for me at night if I’m feeling like I won’t be able to turn my mind off—if I feel like, “Uh oh, I’m going to start going down the litany of agenda items right before bed.”

Chamomile, blue vervain, and ashwagandha extract

If you are like me, then this formula may also be supportive for you. However, I’d rather this blog serve as an inspiration to try out different herbs and to notice how they make you feel. As I mentioned, skullcap is not my jam and blue vervain is. If you are a “blue vervain” person, I’d love to hear about your experience with it! If not, what calming nervine is your favorite? Please leave a comment below and let us know.

In Your Dreams Extract Blend



  1. Combine all ingredients in your favorite mug and drink. Nighty night! 

Pro tip: If you aren't able to tolerate alcohol, you can also enjoy this blend in homemade capsules, herbal tea blends, or by making a glycerite or infused vinegar. You will use the same herbal ingredients in the above proportions. Here is a helpful guide on the folk method of measuring in parts!


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Topics: Recipes, Herbalism, Tea & Herbal Drinks


Written by Mason on March 5, 2021

Mason Hutchison is the founder of HerbRally, a podcast and website that promotes herbalism education and events. He has completed herbalism apprenticeships at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies and the Arctos School of Herbal and Botanical Studies. Mason is the Events & Outreach Strategist for Mountain Rose Herbs. His day-to-day work involves organizing community events such as the Free Herbalism Project, as well as attending herbal conferences throughout the country. He is the co-organizer of one of the longest running herbal events in the US, the Breitenbush Herbal Conference. He is also on the board of directors for the Eugene Tea Festival. He has previously volunteered for the Occupy Medical herb team and the Native Plant Society of Oregon – Emerald Chapter. Mason is a proud father, avid basketball and ping pong player, spring water gatherer, and an enthusiast in the art of frugal nutrition.

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