In my previous post I contemplated the question: What’s holding space for me as I am transforming right now? I listed a couple things like dancing, sitting on my balcony, and taking baths… But there’s also a whole number of plant allies that are not only holding space for me right now, but are actively aiding me in these times of transformation.
What herbs and plants am I currently working with and why?
Saffron, a spice that’s called the ‘laughing herb’ in Ayurveda, helps me to stay engaged to the outside world. I’ve been taking a Saffron supplement every day for over a year now, and it really helps me to shine my light and be more open. Saffron is a member of the crocus family and I love describing my experience of Saffron with the metaphor of a crocus bursting through the frozen ground of winter, signaling that spring is coming.
Though Saffron has been on my side for a while now, I’m strongly reminded of the power of this ally in this time of isolation. Saffron makes me feel less lonely and helps me to stay connected to the world around me, in all kinds of different ways.
As I’m writing this I think that I’ll soon switch to a Saffron or Crocus flower essence. It’s a more subtle, gentle and plant friendly way to engage with the energetic healing power of herbs. I’m curious how and it will change, and – because of its subtlety – deepen, my experience of this precious herb.
Fennel is another herb that’s been with me for quite a while now. For months I’ve been brewing and drinking about two liters of Fennel tea every day. It soothes inflammation and helps me cool down on these warm spring days. I’m mentioning it here because fennel can aid digestion and ease bloating, particularly when caused by stress. I’ve heard from several people in my community that they have either trouble eating, or digesting. They feel anxious and the current situation feels as ‘too much to chew’ already. Fennel can enhance appetite as well as make you feel satisfied (which counters overeating, if you’re more prone to that), and reminds you that in the end, everything is digestible.
Just add a big teaspoon Fennel seeds to 1 liter of water and boil for a couple minutes, you can keep adding water during the day. Drink hot or an room temperature.
I also like to keep a bottle of Fennel essential oil on my desk, for when I feel a snack attack coming. I put one drop on the palm of my hand, rub my hands together and put them over my nose, inhaling deeply.
Oats are incredibly soothing to the nervous system and when tinctured they can help restore an overly sensitive, burned-out nervous system. Oatstraw tincture is a must if you’re highly sensitive and are picking up all kind of strange emotions and energies that aren’t yours, now more than ever. Oatstraw also helps me to drop in my feminine essence and stay soft and compassionate.
I learnt recently that Licorice might help prevent viruses to get a hold on your system. So I’m taking it as a preventative medicine, it’s the least I can do for my body. I make a strong decoction by cooking the Licorice bark for about on hour, adding water whenever necessary, then I drink it as a tea.
Echinacea is known for it’s immune enhancing properties, which is exactly why I’m taking this tincture right now. I take the recommended dosage, but some herbalists advise to strongly amp this dosage when symptoms start showing. Make sure to read up on this and ask your herbalist or healthcare provider about it.
Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps, and Turkey Tail all have wonderful immune boosting skills. Especially when they are tinctured via the double (or triple) extraction method. These kind of tinctures or a little bit hard to come by in The Netherlands, as are the dried mushrooms. However, most Chinese herbalists have them in stock and are happy to sell you some, and you can easily look up how to prepare a tincture. Otherwise, just go for the powdered forms that are more easily available and still have some of the medicinal properties. I also like this Mushroom Latte blend, which I wrote more about in a previous blogpost.
Apart from these herbs I’m taking a high dosage Vitamin C supplement, a Vitamin B complex, and Vitamin D3 (+ K2 to improve absorption). I’ll also soon be adding Zinc and NAC, two supplements that are advised a lot in these times.
A few years ago I enrolled in herb school, but turned out not to like the way the program was set up at all. So I dropped out and instead started to educate myself, taking short herbalism courses or workshops that sparked my interest, and reading books. However, over the past few weeks I’ve been feeling such a call to dive even deeper into the world of herbs, that I enrolled in the online Introductory Course of The Herbal Academy. I’m super stoked about it, especially as this time around I have my own balcony on which I can grow all kinds of herbs! I thought I’d share, as I can imagine I’m not the only one who’s hearing the call of the herbs right now.
I’d love to hear what plant allies are holding space for you in these times. What herbs are you taking and why? What’s your experience so far? Let us know in the comments below so we can inspire each other!
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or fytotherapist. This article does not contain any prescriptions or advice. I’m only sharing which herbs and supplements I am taking myself and have positive experiences with. Please do your own research and talk to your herbalist or healthcare provider before beginning a new herbal routine or take any supplements.
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