Aromatherapy, Herbs & Herbal Medicine

Diffusers, homemade chai, and sleep

Disclaimer: I am not an expert by any means. Not a therapist, medical or mental health professional. I do not diagnose, treat, or tell people what to do. The main purpose of this website and blog is education and support. If you are unsure how the suggestions and resources here may affect you, please discuss any changes to your existing treatment plan with your medical and mental health providers first.

This week was rather rough for me. Body memories kicked in, and I started feeling sick with a head cold or sinus infection without actually being sick. It used to happen more often, but not so much anymore. Part of why I go to Chinese Medicine is because acupuncture helps manage symptoms like this. Since I can’t go there anymore, it’s been interesting learning what I can do at home to cope instead.

For me, since I live alone, a diffuser blend helps sanitize the air while also helping me with congestion and swelling in my nose. Herbal teas, soup, and hot baths or showers help with the other symptoms. But most important, sleep and rest help with recovery time.

So I’m sharing some tea and diffuser recipes here for you to try. Don’t worry if you lack some of the oils or ingredients. I am a beginner herbal enthusiast and, other than the herbs I bought online before coronavirus hit, I tend to use kitchen spices or garden herbs to make my blends.

Breathe Easy Day Time Diffuser

  1. 3 drops Thyme ct. linalool (Thymus vulgaris ct. linalool) oil
  2. 1-2 drops Tea Tree (Maleluca alternifolia) oil
  3. 2+ drops Sweet Orange (Citrus sinesis) oil
  4. (optional) 1 drop Laurel Leaf (Laurus nobilis) oil
  5. 50 ml of water and diffuser (or DIY diffuser + water)

General precautions: all of these oils are relatively safe to use in a diffuser blend. Laurel Leaf, if used in high doses, can cause membrane/skin irritation for topical or steam inhalation. Any oil can become skin irritating or sensitized when oxidized. Do not use on skin or around face of children under 5; use with caution around older children. Tea tree oil may cause skin irritation for people with sensitive skin

Breathe Easy Night Time Version

Use the recipe above with 1 subsitution (below)

Substitute the Sweet Orange with Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia), Melissa (Melissa officinalis), Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii var. motia), or any essential oil that promotes sleep and relaxation or stress relief.

Kitchen Chai (modified version of my sanity chai)


  1. 1/4 inch fresh ginger or 1 tsp dried ginger
  2. 3-4 cardamom seeds or 1 tsp dried cardamom
  3. 1 clove bud or 1/8 tsp of dried clove
  4. 1/4-1/2 tsp turmeric
  5. 1/4-1/2 tsp dried peppermint or spearmint or 1-2 fresh leaves*
  6. 1 chamomile tea bag (use in bag or open contents to mix with herbs)
  7. 1 tsp dried cinnamon
  8. 3-4 cups of boiling water
  9. 1 strainer or tea ball
  10. 1 16 ounce or larger mason jar with lid (or similar container)
  11. (optional) dairy or nondairy milk
  12. (optional) other herbs or kitchen spices that might taste good


  1. Boil 3-4 cups of water.
  2. Mix herbs in the mason jar or similar container.
  3. Pour boiling water over the herbs in mason jar.
  4. Cover the mason jar and shake gently until water and herbs mix.
  5. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Open the mason jar. Cover the top with a strainer.
  7. Pour tea into the cup or mug. Enjoy your tea.

Sanity Chai (for herbalists or herbal enthusiasts with these herbs in their cabinets)

*I mention herbalist or herbal enthusiast because some of these herbs are not well known or used outside the herbal community. If you have access to these herbs and want to try the blend, please do so*

**Cook time for this blend is longer because it uses dried roots and berries – longer steep time = increased flavor and absorption of vitamins/minerals/etc. into the tea**


  1. 1 inch chopped fresh ginger (or equivalent dried)
  2. 5-6 dried cardamom seeds (or equivalent dried)
  3. 2 clove buds (or equivalent dried)
  4. 3 juniper berries
  5. 1 handful of dried nettle leaves
  6. 1 handful of dried peppermint
  7. 1 handful of dried chamomile flowers
  8. 2 pinches of wood betony
  9. 2 pinches of blue vervain
  10. 1 2 liter container (I use an air pot, but a 1/2 gallon mason jar or a 4 quart dutch oven with cover works too)
  11. 1.5-2 liters or equivalent amount of boiling water
  12. 1 Strainer


Air pot – 1) add all herbs into the air pot. 2) boil water. 3) pour boiling water into the air pot and seal. 4) let steep for 1 hour minimum or over night (max). 5) use the pump to pour tea into the mug.

Mason jar – 1-4 is same as air pot. 5) use a strainer to separate liquid from solids. 6. Pour tea into cup and enjoy.

Duch oven or pot – 1) add herbs to the pot. 2) 1.5-2 liters of water or equivalent; make sure water covers herbs, but doesn’t overflow the pot. 3) bring the water to boil; then turn down to low and simmer for 1 hour. 4) Use a strainer to separate the liquid from the solids. 5) pour tea and enjoy.

And that plus lots of sleep and healing meditation practices is how I’ve been coping with body memories that feel like sinus infections, ear infections, and head colds, but aren’t really any of those things. Today, I can breathe easier, and the face swelling (nose, eyes, sinuses, jaws) has gone down. But it’s still uncomfortable and sore. Tylenol yesterday helped with the sleep, but I am wary of using it too much since it sometimes causes a hangover the next day.

How are you coping with allergies and cold symptoms? Or other aches and pains that might be something else?

And if you want to learn more about challenges and solutions for cold symptoms that might not actually be a cold or other infection, visit Untangled Connections and use the search bar. I’ve written about this topic a lot, so can’t point to any specific posts.

Love and Rainbows ~ TJ

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