Tagged: Herbal medicine

Noticing your narratives

Do you find yourself saying things as though they are fixed and absolute?

Things like ‘I’m always late’ or ‘I’m forever making the wrong choices’ or ‘I can’t stick to anything’? They sound pretty innocuous, don’t they? But what if these kinds of negative-affirming statements, spoken as facts, are a constant inner monologue? What does that actually do to you?

I have had some really triggering conversations recently where people, knowledgeable people, have stated something as fact because it was their experience and because it’s the experience of many others too. An online conversation about the experience of peri-menopause was one recently. It has made me feel really frustrated and upset because the person’s opinion matters to me and once it lodges, it’s really hard to shift it from my narrative. And, I don’t want others to pre-determine my life and experiences. I want to have my own experience. And, I don’t want to fear an inevitable part of my life because it has been described in a particular way by someone I respect.

Things get stuck and lodge there

The most obvious response I can hear forming in your mind is ‘oh, just ignore it’ but that isn’t the way my mind seems to works. Things get stuck in my psyche and lodge there.

There, that’s another one of those statements. ‘Things get stuck… and lodge…’ What’s that done? Have I just pre-determined an uncontested way for my brain and thinking to be?

What am I going to do?

My starting point for anything like this is begining by drawing awareness to it. And, with the awareness, attempting to bring kindness. That’s the hardest bit, actually. Well, it is for me. Being kind. Then I start to find smaller chunks and areas to tap on. And, whilst I work on that, I use Bach Flower Remedies to soothe the critical voice and the associated (usually negative) emotions it has invoked.

Are your internal narratives kind?

I think if we could bring the kindness we offer to our best friend and/or a small child, to ourselves, then the world would be a lot nicer place to be. I can’t help but think about all the politicians farmed out to boarding schools feeling rejected, neglected and unloved, fighting their way to the ‘top’ of the tree and determining the way things are run… it makes me shudder. The ignored subconscious darkness they likely all feel determining our collective futures????????? Let’s not get started on politics, eh?

What will you do?

What would you do about it? For me, this feels like a huge area of work which most likely needs some on-going chipping away at. A block of habit which, with patience, can be gradually whittled into something more attractive, more kindly and just all-out nicer to be around. It would be such a relief to be comfortable in and comforted by, my own company. ūüôā

DIY help is ace

Tapping is an obvious place for me to start. If you want to work by yourself, there are a load of ways to do it but mostly, it’s about breaking it down into smaller, very specific areas. Then you can work on them in turn until you either reveal the ‘real’ root – the darkness behind the story, or consistently work away at all the layers until it has just gone. Believe me, once it has just gone, it’s amazing, you can hardly believe it’s possible or that it was even there in the first place! Tapping has the power to be that transformative.

Sometimes, we need a helping hand

It can feel a bit overwhleming to tackle a large emotional area by yourself. I work with another Tapping expert when I want to work on something bigger. So, if you find yourself becoming aware of areas of stuckness, habitual nastiness masquerading as tough-‘love’, and don’t know what do to, come and have a chat. I’d to work with you on your internal negative narratives.

Bach Flower Remedies

I find these gentle remedies to be so soothing and effective. I generally respond better to formulations from others as they have that outside perspective which enables true insight. But, Dr Bach created them as a self-healing modality, so you can do it for yourself. I suggest using the Healing Herbs website to do that.

Contact me to chat about you

Email me: HertsHerbalist@hotmail.com or call 07492 511366 to arrange a chat about how we might guide you to a place of gentle kindness towards yourself. You choose the modality/ies; herbs, tapping, Bach Flowers. <3

Catching the Tapping bug

If you’re new to the idea of Tapping – join my weekly session: ‘Catching the Tapping bug’ on Thursday evenings 8.30-9.10pm to find out what it feels like and how you might benefit. The first session is free to anyone who wants to give it a go. After that, I ask for donation payments with a suggested minimum of ¬£8 or time swaps if you have ¬£ difficulties due to Lockdown.

I look forward to welcoming you to my Tapping sessions, they are such an oasis of shared special energy and calm that they feel like the highlight of my week.

Hawthorn – at the heart of it all

It’s September and the hawthorn berries are looking glorious. Plump and juicy. Time to get picking.

History and folklore

Hawthorn is ominous and magical, holy to Pagans and Christians. Scottish farmers traditionally harvest 13 weeks after the blossom scents the air. It’s gorgeous and heady.¬†‘Cast ne’er a clout til the May be out’ – refers to remaining dressed for winter until the mayflower (or hawthorn) blossoms. Rather wonderfully, if you have hawthorn in your perimeter hedging, it will ward off the bad faeries. And, who doesn’t need a bit of protection from them in their life!?

Identifying hawthorn

But what about the berries? There are a few types of hawthorn and one way to tell the difference is in the stones inside the fruit. Crataegus monogyna has a single seed, Crataegus leavigata has more and the cross between the two plants, Crataegus oxyacanthoides usually has more too. However, for once, this distinction is more important to botanists than herbalists as we can use them all. Hurrah!

The medicine

Some of the best medicine comes from mixing the flowers, leaves and berries together. In order to do that, you have to pick them at different times. So, in September, it is the time of the berries. You can allow them to dry by laying them on a sheet of paper in a very dry, warm place such as an airing cupboard or use a dehydrator.

The flowers have a distinct almondy taste to them. This indicates the presence of constituents which are known to be active on the heart. Harvest these with the new leaves in May. Herbalists generally like to make two hawthorn medicines (leaf and flower / berries) and sometimes blend them together.

Why use hawthorn?

Herbalists use hawthorn for heart conditions in order to encourage a greater flow of blood through the heart, to strengthen and slow the heart beat without raising blood pressure. It is said that sportsmen use it as it may enhance exercise duration. It has a very low incidence of side effects and has no known contraindications. Always preferable in a medicine.

Seeking help

There are many more ways to use hawthorn which are best done with a medical herbalist. Those conditions range through arteriosclerosis, atheroma, thrombosis, angina, tachycardia, atherosclerosis and intermittent claudication. If you suffer from any of these get in touch with a herbalist and see if you work well together.

Just for fun

I made a rather tasty Hawthorn vodka (as per Sloe Gin) which has the distinct notes of almonds which indicate the presence of constituents which work with your heart. However, this is purely an occasional drink, not a medicine – there’s way too much sugar which is renowned for damaging the cardiovascular system.

Notes: None of the information included here is intended as medical advice. Please seek help from a medical herbalist when using herbs for serious, life affecting conditions. Foraging is fun so don’t forget to leave plenty behind. Pick only what you will use and pick no more than 10%. Wildlife depend on wild foods to survive.

Box Moor Trust Discovery Walk

Wonderful weather and despite the dry months, plentiful medicines.

We started right outside the Trust centre with the only remaining green on the lawn – the trusty dandelion. In herbal medicine, we use all parts of the dandelion, the leaves are good bitters which are also diuretic, enabling the body to rid itself of excess water. The roots stimulate the production of bile which acts as a natural laxative. The medicine of the flowers is a recent discovery for me and when infused in oil, they make a great rub for sore muscles and arthritic joints.

The next stop was the elder, a folklore fantasy and medicine maker’s dream. Medicines can be made from every part. Flowers for toning the nasal mucous membranes, the berries as a powerful anti-viral to keep you well all winter and the leaves an ointment for bruises and sprains.

The dreaded thug, the bramble delivers a tannin-y tonic tea from the leaves and when taken strong and frequently, can assist with diarrhoea. The berries deliver a fruity punch when added to elder and rose hips for winter elixirs.

Broad leaved plantain growing along the centre of the track up the lane (it likes a grubby spot!) as an anti-histaminic allergy reducer and a poultice to draw out snakebite venom!

A couple of sprigs of St John’s Wort still with its bright yellow flowers, radiating the suns rays.

Hawthorn, the bread and cheese plant which used to feed travelling wayfarers and a stalwart of the herbal apothecary with medicines in leaves, flowers and berries.

I had a great audience from the Box Moor Trust and interested listeners. It was great to see plenty of new faces and greet some familiar ones. Thank you to all who came along. A thoroughly enjoyable meander up the hot and dusty lane.