This month has scurried away from me with my attention focused on some health things I have been wading through. I'm happy to say that things are on the upswing and the overall gist of all of the meandering through the medical and holistic systems has given me the message that "this is you getting older",,,,,,and while it's a bit of a bummer, it is also a bit of a relief. I can support that. I have tools and I have a wonderful circle of support.
AND I do not want to close out the month without some information about nervous system support. SO I thought I'll do a brief little offering on herbs that can be helpful and supportive and ones I have come to rely on again and again.
Skullcap (Scutellaria latiflora) is a wonderful, non sedating ally that brings a sort of "take the edge off" type of support. It is helpful for those that are easily stimulated without much provoking and have little resistance to stimulation. It is helpful for those drawn to headaches and muscle twitching. And really a wonderful support for overstimulated folks that tend to lean towards anxiousness. I prefer it in a tincture and it can be used in small drop doses and still have wonderful effects. 5 drops in water 1-3x daily. Higher doses can be used.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) - is a wonderful support for nervous system issues such as shingles and even tetanus (not that I run into many folks with tetanus). It is a good support for those with marked cerebral fullness and those that are prone to any type of convulsions or seizures. Helpful for those that experience mental chatter and cannot turn off the mental ramblings and spirals. VERY helpful for those dealing with ADHD type issues. The recommended dose of tincture is 5 to 60 drops in a bit of water 1-2x daily. However, this is one of the plants that seems to work better as a water extraction/tea. AND it doesn't taste very good, so I recommend adding it with other nervous system herbs with better flavor such as lemon balm or chamomile.
Chamomile (Matricaria chamommilla). This is exceptionally calming and an herb that is well tolerated and liked by children. It is helpful for nervous system issues such as sleep and hyperactivity, and seems to be more helpful when sadness and grief are present. This can be done as a tincture, but I prefer it as a tea taken once or twice daily.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is such an underrated plant ally. It is cooling and calming so helps with any conditions that include those energetics. It is very helpful for sleep issues, digestive issues, and hyperactivity. It is also anti-viral. A lot like chamomile, with the exception that I feel it is more helpful when anger is present as opposed to grief. It can be used as a tincture and a glycerine. Also as a tea or just as a cool water infusion by putting a spring of it in a glass of water and sipping throughout the day.
Wood Betony (Stacey's officinalis/BEtonica officinalis) is my absolute favorite plant ally for nervous system issued. DO NOT CONFUSE IT WITH BETONY. This is wonderful for issues that include the physical, such as spasms, and tension in the blood vessels. It is also said to be one of the few herbs to help with grand Mal seizures (via Matthew Wood through the work of Cherokee Herbalist, Sondra Boyd). This is the herb I use for brain fog and spaciness. It has a very downward energy and puts you right back into your body. I use it in tincture about 15 drops 3x daily and it works wonders and is incredibly fast acting.
Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata) is a miracle plant for those of the Type A constitution, those that over exert, and who just won't or can't seem to stop their drive. These folks have a lot of mental overactivity, are always busy, and just can't quiet the mind. They typically deal with headaches and issues in the head, face, and mouth energy (too much energy in the head). A tell tale sign, according to Matthew Wood is they often have a stiffness in the nape of the neck. The recommend dose is 1-3 drops 1-3x daily. I sometimes go up to a full dropper for short periods of time. This combines VERY WELL with Wood Betony. And something taught to me by herbalist, Kelly Keyser-Millar, is to add a bit of hawthorn or rose to the formulation so it stops off and includes the heart on it's way down.
Damiana (Tunera diffuse) reminds us that we have a body. This can actually send some folks into panic and I have seen it have an effect that suddenly makes us feel our body, and those that don't want to, well that is often not welcomed. SO small drop doses is how I work with this plant. I don't have a solid relationship with it, but know of herbalists such as Sean Donogue, who do, and they speak incredibly highly of it.
As with all plant allies. Check your contradictions, which I did not cover here. Check against medications that you or your clients may be working with. And really.......work with a skilled herbalist.