There’s No Such Thing  As A Weed: Herbs for stress

by Dorje Root

Stress seems to be epidemic in our society today, and even our beautiful little part of the world is not immune to it.  Whether it’s financial stress, situational stress or cabin fever, it takes a toll on our health and enjoyment of life.  While our plant alliances can’t take away the cause of our stress, they can certainly help us relax and deal with things in a better way.  As humans we tend to be very hard on ourselves, especially when things are not going the way we think they should.  Bringing herbs into our lives is a way to treat ourselves more gently.

I’ve mentioned Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) before and it deserves another mention.  It’s one of my favorites for stress, as its very grounding and helps us to be more present in our lives without getting sleepy.  The Latin name literally means “lion hearted”.  A few droppers full of the tincture is all that’s needed.

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is another favorite.  Chamomile is best as a tea, and is mild enough for babies.  Its benefits also include being a digestive tonic.  The homeopathic version is commonly used for teething babies.  Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is another herb best used as a tea.  It has been called the “happy herb” and has been used for mild depression.  Use Lemon Balm fresh or freshly dried as its potency fades quickly.

None of these three herbs is native to this area, but Motherwort has made itself quite at home in the moister places and the other two can easily be grown in gardens or container gardens.  Wild lettuce (Lactuca spp.), however, is local. I’ve seen it growing many places in town.  It is a mild sedative herb, which I use in my sleep formula along with Skullcap (Scutellaria spp.) and Valerian (Valeriana spp.)

There are so many fabulous herbs that can help with stress—these are just a few of my favorites.  Honorable mention goes to St. John’s Wort, Lavender, Pulsatilla, Oatstraw and Oatseed.

Last, but not least, be sure to take extra good care of yourself during times of stress.  The body’s need for nutrients rises during these times and paying extra attention to eating well, staying well hydrated, and getting ample sleep can prevent some of the negative effects of stress.  And since stress contracts the body (and mind!) look for ways to increase flow in all areas of life.  Yoga, Tai Chi, brisk walks in nature, and cardio workouts are a few suggestions, all of which are amply available to us in Crestone!

Dorje Root is an herbalist and natural healer, also working with Plant Spirit Medicine, Intuitive Energy Healing and ‘The Journey’ cellular healing.  For an appointment call 719-937-7786 or visit www.rootsofhealing.com