Tagged: Herbalist

Tapping for a cold

Snotty, grotty, sneezy, wheezy… NOT AGAIN!

I’ve got a cold. A-no-ther one. It’s only about 6 weeks since the last one.

My system has taken a hit recently and left me with less in the tank and a lowered resilience. I am not sure whether it is a post-covid immune, peri-menopause or the general over-adrenalised way of living that my body is reacting to. Most likely, it’s a combination of all three. But, it doesn’t really matter. What I do know is that I need some re-building.

Re-building is what herbs, herbal medicine and medical herbalists are really good at. We have the tools, you see. That overview of you, your body, your emotional health, mental health and the way you fuel yourself and speak of yourself and more. And, subtle medicines with multiples of constituents, providing multiples of therapeutic actions. (Unlike pharmaceuticals which usually have a single intended action and then some unintended actions (side effects) which may be useful in another scenario)

Back to speaking about yourself… Recently, I have noticed that my reaction to finding myself in a room with someone snuffling, sneezing, coughing – demonstrating signs of a respiratory infection – triggers an “Ugh, that’s all I need” response in me. Why? Because I have noticed I am more susceptible currently, likely to ‘catch’ it and it’s genuinely NOT what I need A-GAIN right now.

Why is this a REALLY UNHELPFUL THOUGHT pattern?

Because, my body, the Universe – whichever higher power you recognise – doesn’t understand sarcasm. It hears that it is all I need. As though my body is actually welcoming it in. Think that’s fanciful? Semantics? Start to watch and listen to your thoughts. You may notice something similar. It might not be about your health but about things being ‘just my luck’ or ‘typical, I always get/do/forget… XYZ’ Start to notice patterns in thoughts and events which occur. It’s phenomenal how effectively we bring things to ourselves entirely unintentionally. Our thoughts are strong.

So, the next big question is… How do we shift our thoughts?

Catch the thought and switch it up. Instead of “that’s all I need”, thank your body for its efficiency. Acknowledge that, despite being exposed to a virus, it has defended you against countless viruses before. (Think how many we may be exposed to daily which DON’T create an illness) Take considered action to employ your body’s best reserves and resilience. Get good rest – have a bath and an early night. Can’t do that? At the very least don’t eat sugar or drink alcohol. Sugar almost literally feeds the virus – giving it pure shots of energy and alcohol impairs the healing deep sleep phases. Both of those things make your system more vulnerable. Eat loads of veggies, quality proteins and a little of the brown carbs.

And, the beauty of herbal medicine and food medicines is that you can take them prophylactically. Dose up on crushed raw garlic (if you tolerate it and don’t have reflux) with your meals – nature’s power house in warding off the lurgies. Taking Echinacea root – and plenty of it – can support your immune system’s improved resilience. And, consider teas such as elderberry, elderflower, yarrow, peppermint, catmint as well.

But what about that thought? I also choose to tap on it. And, whilst I am doing it, I listen to the undercurrents; the thoughts which arise from the depths and undermine the intention of the tapping. And, I tap on those too. You can do this as well. It might seem daunting but it’s a simple thing you can do which you can’t really get wrong. Honestly, you can’t!

So, I might start with statements like: ‘My body is strong and well resourced’ ‘My body can encounter viruses and fight them off’ aiming to support my body in being resilient. Whilst also tapping on the ‘truth’ that I currently feel. “That’s all I need” “I seem to catch everything going at the moment” “I don’t want to be sick” “I’m sick of feeling sick” “My immune system isn’t working at full capacity”.

To do this for yourself, capture all your thoughts, feelings and body sensations as you tune into one of the sentences above. Write them down if you want and grade them 0-10. Then tap on them all, grading each time you go round, until they feel neutral.

In a recent bath, I was tapping on the idea that ‘My body can efficiently eject this virus from my body’ and I noticed a strong resistance floating up… ‘but I want to rest’ – the idea of having a cold, being under the weather, brings with it PERMISSION to stop, to rest, to take care of myself fully. I am good at chucking the herbs about, tapping and BUSILY caring for myself but far less good at saying STOP. This is a sign to REST. A sign I need a BREAK.

This is where the beauty and creativity of tapping is so wonderful. This floating thought is key to the forward motion. So, the trick is to then tap on any resistance to that as well. Click here to follow my tapalong video.

Despite how it sounds, none of this is particularly time-consuming – a good tapping session can be as little as 10mins. But, the key to creating a good tapping session is being forensic about those little subterfuge-laced, countering thoughts. The slightly sneaky ones which might get past unnoticed unless you’re paying attention! Capture those and you become a Tapping Don. If that’s daunting, listen in to your body and watch for tensions, sensations and shifting pains. These are as informative as those words. ‘Listen’ to those sensations and tap on them and you send your tapping stellar. Your body is talking to you and when you really ‘hear’ it, you go to deeper levels of healing.

Tapalong with this video on the very subject: https://youtu.be/8oO8aXazRC8

If you would like support with tapping and improving your immune system, contact me for a chat to see if an appointment if right for you.

Pop along to CALM CLUB my online tapping group for women: Fortnightly Thursdays 8.30-9.30pm. Free first session. £10 per person thereafter.

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Lucy’s Heartbreak Tea – “To cherish and nourish”

Creative impulse

I created this tea for myself whilst waiting for the ingredients of my intended original recipe. It’s an accidental brilliance which came out of my own need for succour. At a time when old hurts have been re­surfacing and playing out vividly. At a time when healing those wounds is my primary imperative because I know that from now on, all else depends upon the healing of those wounds. In order to truly step forward into my full self and my full human capacity as healer, mother and wife.

A while back, doing some healing work, I had a vision of myself having constantly struggled against the restraints the impact of bearing wounds has had. Wounds which weren’t intentionally inflicted but nevertheless hurt me deeply. So deeply, I didn’t know how to feel the impact so I pushed it down. Because when you push it down, it doesn’t affect you any longer, right? I saw it as a thick band around my waist which drags at me, holds me back against the direction I want to go in. Holds me back because it is tethered to an enormous, round boulder. It’s round so it ‘can’ be rolled but not easily; it takes all my strength. Every centimetre is a life’s energy.

During the time when I created this tea, it felt so like that. Being restrained, not shackled and, ostensibly free. Free, but unable to roam. Held to the weight of the hurt held within me for many decades. Pain from old hurts. Pain from events with people who were supposed to love and care for me. And, they did. But they also hurt me.

It may sound strange to say but recently I’ve been struck very forcefully by the strong sense that I carry pain which isn’t mine, in addition to my own. I carry pain from others in my line. I know that I actively tried to carry my Mum’s very substantial pain. And that I was successful enough in taking it on, in empathising with it, that others have presumed me to have experienced the same. My understanding was so deep that I appeared to have experienced the same. But, I haven’t. And, even if I had, it would be time to put it all down. Time to move on from the shackles of pain.

It feels like it’s late to begin this, I am at midlife, on the cusp of peri menopause but maybe that’s exactly why the time is now. And, perhaps, I am afraid that if I don’t do it now, I never will. And, if I don’t, then who will? If the line of pain and hurting doesn’t stop with me, then I gift it through my learned traits, as well as my epigenetic tags, to my daughter. Who would knowingly pass on these things to their off­spring? Not any that I know.

So, then, in order to process my pains, felt in the wounds I received and the wounds I learned, I lean into my herbs. I seek out their comfort, their wisdom and their succour. And relish the beauty as it travels round my body. Knowingly gifting those things to myself. Feeling the embrace of the floral notes which dance on my tongue and weave into my soul like sistren and brethren.

I created this tea to feel like the warm embrace we all need when our hearts are sore. When we feel our hurts right up at the surface. When we ache all over from internal pain. It is not meant to replace the embrace of A.N. Other, rather to enfold you in love for and from yourself. To lavish yourself with the nourishing support needed when your heart feels like it’s in many, many pieces.

Contact me on Lucy.Blunden.Botanicals@gmail.com to order yours.

How does healing heartbreak taste?

On the first sip, I am struck by the warmth it brings to my chest region – I often drink teas cold. It has a full feeling in my mouth-round and expansive. This extends downwards into my chest and fills me with warmth, a teeny bit of hope and some inkling of love. The flavour is floral with a strong element of summery fruit – no specific fruits, just a fruitiness. This is a herb tea which has flowers to nourish, to protect and filter and to strengthen against lifes tricky bits – the bits which leave us feeling raw and undefended.

If your heart is shattered and in need of re-gathering, this is the tea for you. Contact me on Lucy.Blunden.Botanicals@gmail.com to order yours.

Knee pain and herbs

If you have read my previous blog on Knee Pain you will know that I used tapping to begin to address my mysterious knee pain!

You might be wondering why I didn’t raid my huge dispensary full of marvellous herbs ideal for such a situation…

Well, the honest response to that is that I simply didn’t know what was going on and where the injury was. Yes, in my knee but which part? Which kind of tissue was hurting?

So, I felt a bit stumped.

I had a trip to my osteopath to see if that would help. As a result, I now understand that there are postural things I have probably been doing for a long time which leave my knee under a constant stress-irritation. I habitually rotate externally from my hip and my foot pronates excessively, all of which leave my knee stuck in the middle.

It’s a wonder that it hasn’t hurt before.

Does that render the emotional things irrelevant? No. But, it certainly gives me a few more things to consider.

When I was tapping, I ‘felt’ my way into my knee, the surrounding areas and asked what was going on. I was aware of a constriction across the top of my thigh which I felt unable to let go of (stubbornness anyone?) and the pain itself was localised to a ring around the knee. Revising my knee anatomy, I saw that the tendons form a ring around the patella and ultimately they are attached to the thigh muscles. And, the thigh muscles are connected to the hip flexor which I know to be tight on me.

So, what to do now? Begin by bringing attention to the position of my foot and leg. Think about the hip rotation and foot pronation so that I can think them into a position which is more anatomically aligned. Not ‘trying’ to move anything but thinking into it, feeling it in different positions and generally having greater awareness.

Then to the herbs.

  • Pain relief? Topical mint and chilli.
  • Soft tissue repair? Topical comfrey
  • Anti-inflammatory? Topical lavender and arnica

I created a very strongly mint-scented cream. It is dark grey from the comfrey root tincture I made and contact with eyes must be avoided as chilli and mint in the eyes is not funny!!!!

I love creating creams. They are one of the many pleasures of my job. I am a creamy person! I love hand creams, face creams, lip balms and anything to smooth into my skin. I have dry skin so my skin laps it up! I was once told by a massage therapist that I was absorbing the same quantity of oil she’d’ve expected for a 6 foot hairy man! Not exactly flattering to my 5’4″ unhairy 20-year-old self but I know now what she meant. Dealing with that is a whole other blog post!

A bespoke cream in addition to internal herbs can make for a full spectrum of treatment. Things on our skin end up in our bloodstream and consequently, I take very seriously what I put on my skin and give to my patients to put on their skin.

If you are struggling with your health and feel you would like a complete treatment, get in touch. I would love to create the cream for you.

An unexpected lesson from Rosemary! Sleep part 10

I tend to think of herbs as slow medicines. As a gradual shift back into health and wellness. As a re-education. But, sometimes, they are just as powerful as pharmaceuticals. And, they can surprise me at how little can have such a positive impact on someone!

I gave a talk for a local WI this week. After a few days, I got an email. It went like this:

I was at the W I on Tuesday evening,and I had the best nights sleep I have had for months

WI member

WOW! What an amazing testimonial. I am so thrilled that herbs have had this effect for her (I don’t think it was the effect of my talk as I am far too bouncy for that!)

One of the actions of Rosemary is sedative but I had always assumed it was only mild because it has such a perky smell and is stimulant in some of its actions! A great lesson for me.

I gave each person in attendance a fingerful of tea in a cup. To my mind, it was enough to truly get a taste of it and that was about all.

It seems I was wrong.

And, I am delighted to have been wrong. It shows me that there are other ways to think about what I do and reminds me that there are other outcomes from those which I might expect. It’s good to be pushed out of our zone of comfort.

It also reminds me not to underestimate the power of the herbs. After all, our most potent anodynes come from plants, as do our most addictive substances.

I now welcome Rosemary with open arms to my sleep herb armoury. I have used it in many ways prior to now but never considered it for a sleep mix. This also has a poweful potential in symbiosis with the other actions of Rosemary. There are many situations in which I would now add this herb to a blend for someone. How very exciting.

Thank you for showing me your other side, little green one.

Hypertension

Millstone diagnosis or manageable condition?

The diagnosis of high blood pressure (primary hypertension) can be a difficult thing to receive. If you have received this diagnosis, you’re not alone. It’s pretty common; 1/3 of adult-folk in the UK have hypertension but may not even know. Hypertension brings with it so many comorbidities and due to side effects, pharmaceutical medication doesn’t always seem the right answer even if it reduces risk of the resultant complications.

The risks of untreated hypertension:

  • Heart disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Stroke
  • Dementia and more

So, what do you do?

As a herbalist, you won’t be suprised to hear that I think that the introduction of herbs into your daily routine is a good plan. There are many herbs which will help to reduce blood pressure and I won’t list them here are the sheer number would seem overwhelming and not lead you to a way of making choices about those herbs for yourself. And, if I only suggested herbs, it would be a bit like putting you on BP meds for the rest of your life. They may not have the same negative side effects but you would likely take them in an on-going manner.

What other interventions would also be required? As you might expect with personalised medicine, there is no one size fits all. This might sound like a bit of a downer if you were hoping for a quick win, but really, it’s brilliant as it gives so many more options of things to try.

The majority of factors, as with so many chronic conditions, can be attributed to lifestyle.

  1. Stress. We all know that lowering stress can be easier said than done. There are herbs to assist with that, foods which assist with that and, in my experience, EFT-tapping helps with that as well. All tools which you would receive guidance on in an appointment with me.
  2. A missing nutrient for many is magnesium and dosing with magnesium can reduce anxiety, body tension and lower blood pressure.
  3. Insulin resistance is a contributing factor as well and tackling that will improve many other areas of your health as well
  4. Do you snore? If you do, then sleep apnoea (another, perhaps surprising, factor which can influence blood pressure) is likely featuring in your life and could do with some attention.
  5. Inflammation is a root cause factor in many, many diseases and conditions. Reduce inflammation with dietary changes, herbs, improving sleep and lowering stress

But what can I do about all this?

Does reading this make you feel more stressed and anxious? Do you feel stuck, overwhelmed and unable to help yourself?

First things first. Take a deep breath and allow yourself a moment or two to settle. Then, try this tapping sequence to support your blood pressure health: Tapping for High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is known as the silent killer. It is a serious health condition which you can be empowered to manage through dietary, lifestyle and other factors such as herbal medicines. If you would like support in lowering your blood pressure, get in touch so that we can discuss an appointment for your health journey to begin.

Winter Wellness plan

A tapping and herbal well-being defense plan for you this Autumn-Winter.

My wonderful plan is designed to see you through 20 weeks of Autumn and Winter being as well as you can be! What’s included?

  • Tapping videos;
  • Weekly emails;
  • 3 sessions 1-2-1 with me;
  • A brilliant blend of herbs;
  • Emergency herbal tincture

Plus an EARLY BIRD gift if you sign up by September 18th!

Individual 1-2-1 sessions with me

3 sessions of 30m where we discuss your wellness needs, your progress and the bits you struggle with. These can be in-person in my Hertfordshire clinic or on Zoom.

Tailor-made herbal tea blend

Keeping yourself well with immune supporting herbs with a long-held tradition for wellness. Preparing your daily tea, drinking your daily tea and investing in your health has limitless value.

Tap-along videos

A series of weekly short tap-along videos for you to view and tap with at a time which suits you. Each one is designed to address an aspect of winter health and wellness by boosting the areas of your immune system. A great way to give to yourself the healthy help you need.

Weekly emails

Need support and help with new things? My weekly emails are designed to get you fired up, engaged and ready to be the best you throughout the calmer, darker days of Winter.

Emergency tincture blend

So, something snuck through, despite all your efforts? Keep this tailor-made blend to hand just in case you begin to feel those tell-tale signs of something ‘coming on’. Knock it on the head with strong blend of tinctures created and blended just for you.

Early bird special gift – pay by 18/9/21

Sign up by September 18th and receive a 25g pack of 3 super-special herbs specifically chosen for assisting in the prevention of colds and ‘flu. A wonderfully tasty tea blend used by herbalists all over the world. This great tea is yours if you sign up by September 18th.

The cost to you?

Just £350 per person for 20 weeks of high-quality medicines and great health support. The value of this plan is immense as you will be focussed on keeping yourself in the best of health throughout Autumn and Winter.

Pay here: www.paypal.me/herbalist/350

Want to know more? Click here

NOTES

  • Medicines are tailor-made and not suitable for sharing
  • Refunds are not made for unused medicines
  • You retain full responsibility for your own health
  • Not suitable for pregnant women, those with long-term chronic health conditions, those on immuno-suppressants
  • Medicines are collected from Hemel Hempstead or posted – posting incurs additional costs

Ugh, hayfever…

If you have hayfever, you’re probably right in the middle of feeling sniffly, snotty, itching eyes and generally rather groggy. It’s miserable.

And, anti-histamines can make you feel terrible too.

Well, help is at hand. During May & June I am your ‘Hayfever Hero’ and I am offering mini consultations for just £45! That includes your first 2 weeks of tea.

During that consulation, I will ask you about about your symptoms, how they affect you and about any medications you take. We will also discuss foods which you can reduce and foods to increase.

At the end of the consultation, I will write a prescription for a hayfever tea. The tea will include herbs which get really focussed on reducing your symptoms as much as possible.

So, whether you have runny eyes, itchy eyes, bunged up sinuses, can’t stop sneezing or have a river of snot, there are herbs to suit you. Herbs which have traditionally been used for symptoms like those for millenia.

Contact me for your Hayfever consult today!

Rowan berry & sage vinegar

rowan and sage infusing

Sharp, tart and powerful

Vinegar cuts through grease and mucous giving things a good clean out. Sage does the same at the back of your throat by clearing the mucous which the nasties causing your sore throat live and thrive in.

Using pastilles and other sore throat lozenges are usually full of sugar and whilst that feels soothing and lovely, it provides lots of juicy food for those bugs to thrive in.

So, using a vinegar to cut through the mucous, with the reputed anti microbial properties of sage is a double winner. Add into that the traditional use of rowan berries for sore throats and tonsillitis and we have a trio of triumph in your throat!

To make this joyful medicinal vinegar, alive with complex flavours, I cooked the berries and sage in vinegar before steeping it for a few weeks. Cooking the berries renders the toxic components harmless. After straining, I bottled ready for use.

Use in conjunction with the soothing sage and rowan syrup I have also made and keep your tonsils singing with joy.

As far as I know, this medicine is entirely unique to me. The joy of creativity and experiments. Join my journey of discovery.

Rowan berry and sage syrup

rowan and sage infusing

Sore throats, tonsillitis, syrup and gargling

Foraging for making has become a prfound new joy of mine. I had had some lurking doubts about the pillaging of nature and whether I had the right to do this. But, they are now gone and I am loving that connection, the creativity of making things and the new recipes to trial.

What’s on the go right now?

I’ve made rowan berry and sage syrups and vinegars.

Research showed me that raw berries are really not a good plan due to potentially toxic components. So, I stewed a few berries with some sage in water. Then I let it sit for a few weeks (the hot liquid sealed the jar keeping it good) before straining and re-heating, dissolving sugar into it, turning it into a syrup.

And, what does it taste like?

The flavour is frankly AWESOME! I haven’t ever tasted anything else like it. It’s sharp, it’s sweet and fruity but there’s something else which I am yet to put a word to.

The finished product is up for grabs in partnership with Rowanberry and sage vinegar.

Why the pairing of sage and rowanberry?

Well, the traditional medicine from rowan berries is for sore throats and tonsillitis. Sage also has a great reputation for healing throats because it has the power to cut through the mucousy substrate keeping all the gremlins alive causing your symptoms. So, it seemed like a match made in heaven.

Fancy a go?

Do you get recurrent sore throats and/or tonsillitis? If you do, you might like to give these beauties a go.

Contact me for more info

Nettle root-the medicine

Wild herbs as medicines

Nettle root has a reputation amongst herbalists for use as part of treatment for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. For most men, their prostate is very likely to enlarge as they age and, beyond the symptoms it causes, is not something to be worried about. As the saying goes, ‘most men die with prostate enlargement, but very few die of a (benign) prostate enlargement’.

However, the symptoms can be life changing, causing increased frequency, urgency and incomplete emptying, dribbling, not to mention the increased nocturia.

Reference to the use of plants for BPH symptoms dates back to Egyptian papyrus in the 15th Century.

A study reported by Mohammad Reza Safarinejad, MD, showed that nettle root extractions performed in a statistically significant way better than placebo in all areas which were monitored. Their IPSS (International Prostate Symptom Score) improved such that the mean scores dropped from 19.8 to 11.8 with nettle root and 19.2 to 17.7 with placebo! Flow rate improved by 77% in those taking nettle and by 31% in the placebo group. Residual bladder contents volume in the nettle group improved whereas the placebo group has no significant change. The prostate size decreased in the treatment group and remained the same in the placebo group. Importantly, testosterone levels remained unchanged.

The trial participants were monitored and placebo group was switched to nettle root after the trial period ended and continued to be monitored. The positive effects of nettle root seen during the trial period were maintained for the rest of the 18 months of monitoring and the placebo group also demonstrated similar improvements after switching to nettle root treatment.

I absolutely LOVE that something as ubiquitous as nettle root could be a significant and life altering treatment for so many people. It makes my heart sing to think that a medicine without negative side effects could safely and effectively help in this way. What a joy!

I have written about collecting and preparing nettle root here

If you are experiencing symptoms of prostate enlargement or have a diagnosis of BPH and would like help. Get in touch