Hi everyone! Sorry for the lameness of Herbal Amanda's Rant lately, but new job + new apartment + no internet service = no blogging! I would shoot the poor thing, but I think if I use a little herbal magic voodoo I could save its leg.
... ok maybe that metaphor went a little farther than made sense. Anyways I am here to blog the heck out of this place! Woo!!!!
I have determined that this months herbal remedy will be Stress Relief, of which I could probably fill an entire book of information, so I will try and keep in simple and focus on one herb and build some stuff around it. I am picking this subject for the obvious reason that now that I am gainfully employed I am of course visiting the land of stress again and need to remind myself (and you all) how to calm the heck down! (I almost swore there, see how I am not the calm rational me I was before employment?)*
The herb in question for this month is... drum roll please... Wood Betony, Stachys betonica! This is my favorite herb and has a lot of meaning for me. I was introduced to this herb by my professor and Naturopathic Physician Robin Dipasquale and it is one of the herbs that my particular brand of nervous tension responded to quite well.
Wood betony is a small herbaceous plant from the mint family that grows in moist areas (like most mints). It is hard to grow, for it doesn't get very big, but also the seeds need to be stratified (frozen more than once over the winter) since they aren't a 'domesticated' plant. It has a pleasant floral taste and makes an excellent tea on its own or in combination. I often pair it with other mild/restorative nervines such as: lemon balm, oat pods, nettles, or with sleep aids such as lavender, california poppy or valerian. I find even the tincture is pleasant in taste for those floral notes dominate and drown out the bitter alcohol flavor. This is a mild herb and can be taken daily for mild anxiety, or for peopler who find they are too often in their head daydreaming. But can be used for more serious problems such as dementia, alien abduction and full on anxiety disorders. It works well on depression when paired with St. John's (Joan's?) wort since they both work well with anxiety laden depression.
I am the anxious, worry filled, tension headache type stressor that lives in my head a little too much. Wood betony is the calminf bring you back down to earth herb that is just perfect for this type of person. Wood Betony has been used by Mathew Wood for people who think they have been abducted by aliens. He states in his Book "The Book of Herbal Wisdom" that the use of this herb in small doses over time the patients no longer fear another abduction, though they often still think they were abducted in the past. The implications of this herb are that it brings a person back into themself and out of the air, or their heads, putting them firmly in the present and not so disconnected with reality. Yes there are times when one wants to be disconnected, but I find even though I spend a lot of time writing and 'in my head' this herb grounds me in a way that still allows me to imagine a great deal, but leaves me focused so I can actually put my thoughts down on paper. It takes negative spirals where you focus on the negative and puts them into clearer foucs, calming tension and making things easier to deal with. This herb is also great for older patients with dementia to connect with what is going on who are extrememly nervous when they cannot remember things.
So that is Wood Betony in a nutshell.
*Calm? Rational? ...right.