Tackling anxiety with herbs

Tackling anxiety with herbs

A couple of years ago, I started to realise that anxiety and depression were getting the better of me. Despite all the ‘living in the moment’ and mindfulness I espouse, sometimes, you get in a deep rut and you need additional help to get out of.

My anxiety was actually starting to have physical effects on me, as well as that, my mood swings sometimes made me not the nicest of people to be around, which affects my loved ones (more than appreciated).

I didn’t want to take prescription drugs, so I sought the advice of a friend who is a herbwife. She asked me to visit my doctor and get blood tests and a check up to make sure that there was nothing physical.

At the check-up, my doctor was very good, and wondered why I didn’t want to take pharmaceutical anti-depressants, but ultimately accepted that I didn’t (he mentioned the option of counselling…). All blood tests were fine so onwards with the herbal approach…

I was given some herbal preparations and some ‘exercises’. The exercises, which I’ll explore later on, are geared towards getting my mind into a more positive place – one of my ‘problems’ is that I have taken a very negative view on some things, and have struggled to see positives. Elements of this blog reflect that – it’s so hard to find the balance between wanting to be informed and not wanting to be overwhelmed or feel helpless with the bad stuff.

Anyway, I’ll write more on a future blog post, for the moment, here’s what I’m working with, herbally speaking.

Medicines

The herbal preparations are broken down into ‘daily supplements’ and ’emergency’ treatments.

Daily / Herbal Tonic: tincture comprised of 2 parts Vervain (adrenal support), 2 parts Nettle (blood cleanser, adrenal support), 1 part SJW (nervine), 1 part Evening Primrose (for stress with digestive issues), 1 part Motherwort (nervine). Dose 1 tsp 3 times a day.

Daily / Nettle Seed: 1 – 2 tsp each day (on porridge?) for adrenal support.

Emergency treatment 1 – Scullcap: 1 dropperful under the tongue for the ‘screaming habdab’ moments. Bottle to be carried with me at all times. Not to be used more than 3 times a day.

Emergency treatment 2 –“I don’t give a shit” tea: 1 tsp or 1 pinch each of vervain, chamomile and lemon balm. Infuse in just boiled water for 10 minutes, strain and drink. Not more than twice a day. Recommended to be taken after work.

I also get stressed because I over commit and then struggle to get everything done (can’t see the woods for the trees…). Part of this is that I want to please everyone so have difficulty in saying ‘no’.  To help with that, my herbwife asked me to search out some Yarrow (which I have in my garden) and take a piece around with me to help boundary issues (where you stop and other people/things start).

In addition to the herbal medicines, I’ve also been given some things to think about and some journalling tasks – more on that soon…

One of the important things to remember is the importance of tackling the underlying causes. Medicines will give symptomatic relief, and in some cases, being free from the symptoms enables you to move to a ‘better place’.

Please note that I am not suggesting or recommending treatments. Anxiety and depression are complex issues and there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Always seek appropriate advice!

Feeling lost

Feeling lost

 

I’m feeling very ‘lost’ at the moment. It’s hard to be precise about the feeling, but those from the UK might have heard the word ‘discombobulated’ and I think that’s a good fit for me!

It doesn’t help that I’ve had a cold for 5 weeks (my first one in over 4 years) and whilst it’s on its way out, I still get bouts of coughing and headaches or earaches which pull me down.

But there is something deeper – a deeper pull for real and meaningful connection with the Earth, with the Source. I can’t get motivated by work, in fact, jobs that should be taking a few hours are taking days – suddenly work doesn’t seem important.

A number of the books I’ve read recently, or am reading right now have touched on this and made me realise that I am missing something.

Maybe this phase will pass.

Maybe this is a wakeup call.

Now

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Yesterday has happened. You can’t change what happened, or what you did yesterday.

Tomorrow hasn’t happened yet. Who knows what will happen before then or what might happen – you don’t know, so don’t fret.

Now, right now, is the only time that matters. Once the moment has gone, it’s gone. Do what matters to you, and do it now. Now is the only thing you have control over.

I’ve been attending ‘mindfulness’ classes for some time. At first, it all seemed like simplistic stuff, but one of the things with any learning is that old (bad) habits die hard. The secret to change is repetition and a good support group around you.

I’m not suggesting Mindfulness will solve all your problems because it won’t, but it will give you a better view on things and a better attitude to life. I know I have a long way to go, but I have started. Have you?

Live in the moment, but respect all life, respect mother Earth.

Small Stones: Jan 15th

I’m cheating with this one because they are not my words, but my excuse is that I did observe them! OK, it’s a poor excuse, but these are powerful words.

Not making the decision to leave is the same as making the decision to stay. Although we are taught to be tolerant and accepting, tolerance does not mean accepting what is harmful. Know when to bow out of harmful situations to honour the divinity within you.

Spotted on Facebook “Buddhist Boot Camp” page.

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Small Stones: Jan 14th

Daisy, Daisy

A morning walk with the dog.
A familiar route – turn left from house, down the road and through the cut-out to the green.
An unusual site catches my eye – what are those little white patches on the ground?
Snowdrops maybe? No, they’re daisies just about to bloom.
Earlier than I’ve ever seen them, testament to our warm winter.
But will they survive when the cold does come…

#smallstone

http://www.writingourwayhome.com/small-stones/

Small Stones: Jan 12th

Frosty Morning.

Nature is an artist that is happy to work on an impermanent canvas.
I look down at a fallen leaf and see that nature, working through the medium of frost, has picked out the edge and veins to create a work of art that most will not see.
As sure as a human that works with oil on canvas, nature has layered beauty on beauty.
She cares not who sees it, or how long it lasts. She just creates for the sake of it.
How lucky am I to witness this beauty under my feet.

#smallstone

http://www.writingourwayhome.com/small-stones/

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