Herbs For Mental Health

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Herbs have been used over centuries to treat various mental health issues, from depression to anxiety. While modern medicine has made progress in treating mental health issues, herbs can still be a valuable tool in managing symptoms and improving overall mental health.

Herbs can be taken in a variety of forms, including teas, tinctures, capsules, and extracts. Commonly used herbs for mental health include St. John’s Wort, Valerian, Kava Kava, and Lavender. Each of these herbs has unique properties and can be used to treat various mental health issues.

St. John’s Wort is a popular herb for treating depression, and it is as effective as some prescription antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression. It is thought to work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain, which helps to regulate mood.

Valerian is another herb that is often used to treat anxiety and insomnia. It has a calming effect and can help to reduce stress, and anxiety and help improve sleep quality.

Kava Kava and Lavender are other herbs used to treat anxiety, stress, and insomnia.

Herbs can be a valuable tool in managing mental health issues. They can be taken in various forms and can help reduce mental health symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It is vital to consult your doctor before taking any herbs for mental health, as they can interact with medications or have side effects.

Here we discuss this topic with Gemma, an Ayurvedic practitioner and herbalist.

NourishDoc: All right, well, happy Thursday, everyone. Hope everyone had a great July fourth. So, we are talking about understanding the deeper meaning of herbs. You know, herbs signature that can impact not only our physical body, which we know, but also our emotional senses, and that’s what Gemma is here with us. She is an Ayurvedic practitioner and herbalist joining me from the beautiful, beautiful town of Rome, Italy. Thank you so much, Gemma.

What are herb signatures?

Ayurvedic Practitioner Gemma: Thanks, Amita. Yeah, so I love to discuss it. Let’s talk about herb signatures. And first and foremost, what is an herb signature? Because it’s a broad term. An herbal signature is essentially its composition, right? It’s elemental proclivities or its nature, right?

It’s its specialty. And many herbal signatures, especially when working with herbs, are known within the physical attributions. We look at it from a chemical standpoint, right? We look at it from polyphenols and all terms targeting more physical aspects. However, there is an intelligence behind those compounds, which are the signatures that start to work a lot of their magic on the subtle body, whether mental or emotional. I want us to focus on emotions because the mental body can change.

Now, many of you, you might be already familiar with the subtle body aspect of herbs, whether it be in flower essences or gem elixirs. But I want to talk about the actual compounds of the herbs. The key to understanding signatures is their qualities; this is important because it helps us understand how they can heal the emotional body. It will heal or work on the emotional body again; it’s this underlying intelligence, right?

How do herbs heal mental health?

So Let’s take a step back here. Within the mental body, we are conscious of things. However, sometimes we are unsure of what lies within our emotional body. And this is why these herbs are essential because we know that whatever is within our tissues will manifest. Whatever is on the subtle level will come into the physical level. It’s that adage that we begin to embody that resonance.

So, whether we approach the herbs from an emotional standpoint or if it is a Physical imbalance or trauma or injury that has brought us into these herbs, you can begin to understand that herbs application in the physical realm will start to work on some of the subtle aspects in the emotional realm. Let’s focus on the back because I wanted to pick three herbs for everyone and break this down. The herbal signatures are essentially correspondences.

They have an emotional and a mental correspondence as well as a quality and a characteristic. In Ayurveda, we know this as the doshas, right? The doshas are a composition of the elements. However, by peeling back the doshas, we see these elements in their raw form. This is the key lie because these elements also indicate the emotional connection. So, Leslie, the corresponding connection.

We can see Pitta with fire. We pull backfire. We can all see fire represented not only in the aspects of inflammation and whatnot but also in the aspects of transformation. It’s anger. It’s vision, foresight, and a sharp mind and memory. You know, different aspects of these elements, and so these herbs begin to work if we go from a physical level and begin to unfold emotionally. The best part is that you can flip it, and that’s what I want to talk about if something occurs emotionally. It might not be physically into an ailment yet, right? It’s not embodied fully into form as much.

You can start to undo it by going through the emotional aspect. Let’s say you notice that you’re outraged, you have much tension in your shoulders, and much anxiety is building up. What you can do instead of going for the herb, which might be birch or arnica, that helps relieve certain tension or acrimony, we can start to look at what is occurring in the emotional body and then find that unique signature. So, the same quality of agitation, of stress. In essence, essentially is the fire that is prohibited in terms of movement. There isn’t a balance between air and fire, right? It’s becoming congested. So you can take the nature of your emotions and start to understand where it is in their physical form. This will indicate the herb that will help treat that physical form.

Even if it’s not in the physical form, if you feel agitation and tension by looking at nature because agitation is different, right? There’s emotional agitation where you feel like you’re going to cry or you can’t get a hold of your emotions that has a little bit more light effect versus a frustration of agitation, Right? So there’s a different aspect, but these are the signatures that unfold the wisdom of the herbs. It helps us understand that when we go from that level of that intelligence, it will work on multiple realms, multiple bodies, not just one physical point in the body or one ailment in the body. It’s not like one organ system or whatnot. It’ll start to unfold into multiple realms.

This is Ayurveda, and essentially we understand how the herbs work the spiritual, the physical, the mental, and the emotional. But it’s hard to pick. How do you know which herbs to pick for the emotional right? And that’s what I’m saying. We can unfold it by taking a step back and looking at what emotions are arising or even the nature of an injury. Right? That will indicate the signature or the herb that will work in multiple realms or bodies.

NourishDoc: Okay, I think that’s fascinating. So now, if you don’t mind giving us an example, let’s say all our emotions have been on a roller coaster, right? For the last couple of years, at least With COVID. So, I don’t know. Just take some examples. One example would be a hormone imbalance. Some women are going through PMS or perimenopause, menopause, and some mood swings, right? That’s one kind of emotion that happens, or the emotion fits off some mental anguish from the news we watch every day. You know, shootings, COVID. So it’s such a hostile media, right? And emotionally translates into vibrates into everyone’s brain into, oh my God, the world is ending, not that literally, but you know all that. So, how do we translate these emotions embedded in each of us and see which are to pick to uplift my mood? Like Simple as that, right?

Emotional vs. hormonal effects on mental health

Ayurvedic Practitioner Gemma: Yeah, great question. Well, if it’s hormonal, at first, when hormonal changes start to affect the mood, it’s not as right. It doesn’t happen until I feel the effects of the compound. Then we start to notice the difference between a hormonal effect within an emotional like for women. If it’s premenopause or postmenopausal, even on PMS, right? Some women might not know the more subtle aspects that start to change within the hormonal levels until they start to get aggregated. Then they start to have more of a stronger sense.

So, if it’s hormonal, that’s completely different, right? Then, we want to look at it; then, the emotional effect will be a fact, right? Then, we want to look at what’s occurring within the body and find that signature. So, from that point, we look at the body and see if it’s hot flushes, right? Then, we’re going to need something Ayurvedicly opposite, something that’s cooling, but why are those hot flashes, right? What’s occurring that we need to bring another balance into because that same hot flash will show us irritability. It will have the same emotional expression as in the physical form. They are not too, and they can’t be separated. It’s just simple consciousness going into a more gross expression, versus it’s just a different expression.

Hormonal is a watery fiery nature. That’s why we will see fluctuations in body temperature and things like that. But let’s go into anxiety and insecurity. Because with all of this, that’s occurring around us. There’s a lot of external news or whatnot. That influences or creates more of an anxious nature, creating a lot of insecurity and instability. These qualities and these emotions have become so uniform. It’s almost become a norm in everyday culture. Right? To be anxious or have to be busy and to have a little bit of that wires fried, right?

What happens is that emotion, that influence creates this insecurity, and that begins to manifest in two points within the body. One in the upper body, the shoulders, and the tension in the neck. We can see that here. And then also in the lower body, we see that with the femoral. So, your thigh bones are not connecting or moving back into the hip socket. It creates a dissonance or an imbalance in the hips and a lot of low back tension. This area here is the essence of the movement of civility and security, but it’s moving forward.

So, when we’re looking at that, let’s say you’re feeling you’re more anxious, and there’s much tension in the neck. This anxiety will be a nature of, okay, here’s another key notice for your viewers. Notice the mode of the recipient and how you receive that agitation. Is it something that somebody said? That’s going to be hearing it. Did you see something? Are you watching the news? And all of a sudden, that is creating your anxiety. That is vision. It’s fire. Right?

Are you eating things? That is like emotional eating. That’s water-based. These things are also keys. So signatures to it. Right? So hearing things that are going to make me agitated. I know that it is more of an air element. If I’m watching something causing headaches, it means my fire is imbalanced. That’s a key to understanding. And then the emotional effect is repercussion, right? It’s creating a cause and effect. Now, notice then; it’s not immediate. It can be within three days, something I tell my clients to watch three days before.

What happened before that emotion? Because it becomes aggregate. But let’s go back to the insecurity and the tension. The herbs for this are going to indicate not only how you are receiving it, what’s causing the source of tension, but in addition to that, It would be, I would recommend agrimony, okay? Let’s break this one down.

Agrimony benefits for mental health

Agrimony is amazing, and one, it’s a pain reliever, but it also helps with oxidative stress, so it’s useless now; it predominantly are to help inflammation and oxidative stress. It also has the propensity to help relieve the tension around the neck. Now, we’ll take a look at that. It’s great against anti-inflammatory. It’s great against pain. It works against the muscular tension that starts to happen, and it’s a reactive aspect, right? So, it does help in terms of the cellular response to inflammation. So, that indicates that it will change the makeup of or the way the body responds to this feedback.

Agrimony has a natural connection like the spleen almost. It’s almost like a life cycle changing, right? And so for, if you have much attention, if things are moving around too much and you’re hearing it, or you’re seeing it. You’re getting these tension headaches, then, you know that it is lifting, right?

There’s stagnation. Notice the qualities. Because everything is a little different. If you have knots in your neck, that indicates earth or stagnant earth. It’s creating that signature that is simply saying energy is bound. It’s not moving. Right? So, it can indicate if the external stimuli make you feel stuck. Does it make you feel like you don’t have as many options or things? A replay starts to create this feedback loop that we are unconscious of. Right? Let’s say that we’re watching the news, and it does it. It feels like you’re insecure, or I don’t know what to do.

I don’t know how it makes one naturally want to move but feel insecure about how to proceed. So those fight or flight, we have the key positions here in the neck and the hips. This begins to contract. It’s a natural protection mechanism. So, when we’re looking at this, we say, okay, there’s a signature of contraction. There’s a signature of this non-movement, this bind, okay? And it’s coming into my body. There might be something that I’m unaware of mentally that makes me feel like I have fewer options or that my liberties are being compromised.

Whatever it may be that has this energy, we can look at that and understand, okay, that’s the signature. What’s the match for the signature? I’m saying there’s such an intelligence that lies beyond just the physical application of herbs. If I want to look at oxidative stress and inflammation, agronomy is great, but can I? What is it, and why does it have those qualities? It has effects on the body because of its personality, its nature, and its signatures. So, tuning into how you feel or how things are received is a better indication of that herb healing that physical manifestation and starting to become like nature to heal the opposite, right? Or the more subtle.

Herbs for emotional well-being

NourishDoc: Okay. That’s fine. No, that’s powerful. That’s it’s very complicated for end users like us to understand. That’s why we need someone like you who has such a deep understanding, and you know, of how herbs can interplay normally with our physical but emotional well-being, right? That and that’s what we are talking about today how different herbs have different properties, and it’s fascinating. I would love to learn more about herbs and what we will include in our platform. Understanding the herbs and using natural therapies should be our first go-to strategy: medicine, food as medicine, and herb as medicine. Anything else you like to say? This is a quick 10-minute session that we bring daily, Gemma.

Ayurvedic Practitioner Gemma: Yeah. Suppose you are noticing a, like, being agitated or whatnot; you don’t have to know all the science behind everything. However, as always, the more you tune into how you are interreacting and how things interact with you. In that case, you will become the best proponent of your well-being.

Even more so than any medical practitioner. You can only speak for yourself. So, when you are tuning in to the Your Cause and Effect and how it is manifesting in your body, you’re able to better connect with the practitioner that can better serve you. You, from that point, will better understand your natural state and proclivities and your own, the way that you interact with your environment. This puts the power back in your hands and brings you longevity and well-being because we always have to return to nature. It’s the simplest way. Everything we have is already within us. It’s just tuning in on how to bring it all together.

NourishDoc: That is so powerful. Nature is so powerful. For some reason, in the last twenty-three to 30 years, as a society, we have shifted away from nature and focused more on everything manufactured, processed, and artificial, including artificial intelligence now, robots, you know.

Ayurvedic Practitioner Gemma: Great. It’s, but if anything has been proven, we aren’t more intelligent than nature. We’re not looking at our world; the more we disconnect from the wisdom we don’t understand or think we can manipulate, the more we cause dissonance. It’s like taking the aspect of salicylic acid and putting it into separating it from white birch.

Now, double studies have shown double line states, clinical studies have proven that it’s not as effective in the body as if it’s in its natural form because there are supporting compounds that bring everything into harmony, and so when we understand that everything comes in a complete picture, all things are interconnected, and all things support one another. We can better understand how we play in it. And how we’re part and parcel of nature.

NourishDoc: Absolutely; we have to shift our strategy from injecting our tomatoes and everything in between. Right? Going back to what our grandparents used to do, it was a simple, effortless life, right? So, that is the society we must go back to the basics. So, thank you so much; excellent, very insightful, intriguing, beautiful, fantastic topic, and thank you so much. I appreciate your time and educating all of us; this is an invigorating and intriguing topic that I will be a part of the community and share. Bye, everyone. Bye bye.


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