Guest Author - Linda Paul
Our society is fast paced, stimulating and very demanding. We are constantly being bombarded by work and family pressures. Working parents are often torn between the financial and advancement opportunities provided in their work environment, and the conflicts which that advancement would create in terms of balancing family responsibilities. We feel that we are under pressure to achieve it all.
We often push so hard forward we get caught in the stress and strain and our bodies and minds cease to function efficiently. Our spirit becomes weary also, and we lose our wonder, joy and delight in life. When we find our inner peace, we can recover that passion and excitement.
When we find peace within ourselves, we can learn to listen to our intuition. We can step outside of ourselves for awhile, and see all the options that are available to bring harmony and balance into our lives.
The following herbs help to find that inner peace by calming the mind and easing tensions within the body, which in turn, nourishes and replenishes the soul.
Please check with your physician before incorporating these herbals into your wellness program. Herbs cause contraindications when used with traditional medicines.
The word Valerian means to be in health. Valerian reduces tension and anxiety, and is a good pain reliever for tension headaches and migraines. It can also relax abdominal and other tight or knotted muscles.
During World War II valerian was used for treating shell shock and nervous stress in soldiers, and also for calming civilians during air raids. Today it is still in use to help soothe nerves that are on edge. It releases energy held within the body due to shock or trauma.
Our ancestors used valerian for promoting eyesight and clarity of thought. It is, in fact, still used today as a remedy for memory loss, mental depression, poor vision, and mild insomnia.
The only problem with valerian root is the smell. It smells like dirty socks. The tincture does not smell quite as bad, but still has a very distinctive odor. The root can be added to soups or stews, or made into a tea.
This herb is great for insomnia due to overwork or exhaustion. Combined with valerian and hops it brings on a very restful and sound sleep. It eases nerve pain brought about by neuralgia or shingles, and eases withdrawal symptoms from antidepressants.
Skullcap is widely used as a treatment for anxiety and stress. It relaxes as it renews and strengthens the nerves. It can be used as a remedy for tension headaches, neuralgia, and nervous breakdowns or exhaustion.
Combining skullcap with vitex and motherwort, will help with insomnia and depression during menopause and ease PMS symptoms. Skullcap is extremely helpful as part of a treatment for withdrawal from tranquilizers or anti-depressants. It lifts the spirits by calming the tensions that throw us out of balance.
Hops helps to ease cramps and spasms, and is helpful for digestive disorders. The bitters in this herb encourage the secretion of digestive juices. Traditionally, hops was infused in sherry and brewed into a herb beer. Hops has a sedating and pain relieving action. Combined with valerian and passion flower, hops is useful to control severe anxiety and sleeplessness. Avoid using hops if there are any symptoms of depression.
Dill was commonly used in the Middle ages in cooking, brewing and pickling. It was also used by magicians in their spells and charms, especially to guard against witchcraft.
The world dill is derived from the Norse word dilla, which means to lull. It is used to treat colic and other digestive disorders. Dill stimulates the movement of the digestive system and relaxes the stomach.
Catmint or Catnip
Catnip is traditionally used for treating cold and flu symptoms. It is good for breaking a fever and easing trembling. It can also be used for gastric upsets and diarrhea. It has a sedative effect on the nervous system. Catnip tea can induce sleep and promote perspiration. It can be used for restlessness, colic and nervousness.
Rose tincture actually has an abundance of uses. It has been used to treat infertility, impotence, and low sperm count. It encourages regular menstrual cycles, and eases painful periods. Rose calms and nurtures, soothes anger and irritability.
Here is a wonderful recipe for Rose Hip Jelly. Enjoy!
Rose Hip Jelly
8 cups of rose hips
6 cups of water
1 box of certo
1/2 cup lemon juice
5 cups of sugar
Boil the rose hips for 10 - 15 min. until soft enough to crush. Crush them and squeeze through cloth, to make juice. For every 4 cups of juice add one box of certo and bring to a boil. Add the 1/2 cup of lemon juice and 5 cups of sugar (1/2 tsp. of margarine (to prevent foam). Bring to a boil and boil hard for 2 min. Remove from heat and pour into sterilized jars and seal with caps and rings. The jelly has a wonderful flavor and is the consistency of liquid honey.