For as long as I can remember, my family has always had this nighttime ritual: We finished dinner, we cleaned the table, loaded the dishwasher, and my mom would prepare a big pot of tisane. Then we would sit down in the living room drinking our cups and talking about the next day before going to sleep.
Tisane, infusion or herbal tea, is huge in France. Having moved to my own place in Paris, I try to keep the family tradition alive and go to my local herboristerie (herbal shop) to supply my stock of herbal infusions. Consumed as a nighttime ritual or all day long, a tisane is considered as a remède de grand-mère (grandma's cure) for all the little ailments you may have.
Nature has provided us with a huge diversity of herbal blends. Here are five of my favorite herbs to steep for all sorts of ailments—and if you don't have access to an authentic Parisian herboristerie, don't panic! The internet and/or your local organic store are full of resources. I'll leave you with this last piece of advice: Before trying any new herbal blend, be sure you are not allergic and of course if the problem you try to cure persists, consult your GP.