Oct 18, 2023 | 0 comments

Calming herbs and plants: from lavender to hypericum

Oct 18, 2023 | Culture, Mother Earth's Garden | 0 comments

The search and discovery of magical herbs and plants continue. Properties, traditional uses, and use in popular medicine of what Nature gives us; an appointment with the most effective calming plants as protagonists.

Herbal medicine

Herbal medicine is the science that deals with the collection of spontaneous or cultivated plants, as well as with the preparation and trade of the respective extracts used in medicine, liqueur, perfumery, and confectionery industries.

As we have already said in previous articles, once upon a time women, through popular home remedies, cultivated spontaneous medicinal herbs and spices. They used both fresh and dried plants, extracting the substances with infusion procedures in wine, oils, and jams. More painstaking preparations were instead implemented by apothecaries. Their suppliers were herbalists who gathered medicinal plants, sometimes cultivated but mostly wild.

Oral herbal traditions are still recurring, especially among the elderly, even though they have been largely replaced by modern medicine.

However, nowadays we have managed to distinguish three different types of phytotherapeutic knowledge that have characterized the development of herbal art over the centuries:

  • The popular tradition of the West, based on the Greek and Roman experience;
  • The ancient Indian Ayurvedic tradition;
  • Traditional Chinese medicine.

This vast cultural heritage is applied in modern science, which has been able to discover and study its internal mechanisms, to be able to amplify the potential and beneficial effects of plants.

Calming herbs and plants

Man is a nervous creature. Our body is crossed by impulses and stimuli, which our body sometimes struggles to manage. Our life is hectic, and busy, and often pushes us to give our best. This is how situations of anxiety, stress, agitation, and insomnia are created.

Now we will discover some plants, which can help us find inner calm again.

Lavender

lavandaThis plant is linked to the cult of Venus, for this reason, it has always been used to carry out magic rituals that would help to have luck in love. Its perfume, according to ancient legends, was able to attract men, for this reason, it was used in love potions. Additionally, the purple color of lavender signified wisdom, mysticism, and introspection: a warning to devote yourself to nourishing your soul.

Traditionally, lavender was already used in Egyptian times to anoint and perfume the body, a custom handed down until the Middle Ages. Infusions, essential oils, extracts, and perfumes are prepared with it. It is excellent against anxiety, headache, migraine, neuralgia, and insomnia. Keeping a small bag under the pillow helps to reconcile sleep.

Melissa or Lemon balm

melissa officinaleThe name derives from the Greek and means friend of bees, because thanks to the scent given off by rubbing the leaves, it attracted swarms by offering the bees an excellent food to produce honey, considered as a divine symbol.
In many ancient civilizations, the appellation Melissa was used to indicate wise women full of virtues. Even the Priestesses of the mysteries of Eleusis and Ephesus were called Melisse, because in the initiation rites, they washed their hands and mouths with honey, as a wish for purification.

Its essential oil was used by the Arabs to strengthen the heart and brain. Its infusion has calming effects and stimulates the digestive organs in case of nervous disorders.

Argentina anserina or Silverweed

Argentina anserinaThe term Argentina comes from argentum (in Latin silver), due to the appearance of the leaves covered by a thin hair with silver reflections. The specific epithet anserina (or goosefoot) is about geese, and comes from ánser, ánseris (in Latin goose), due to the goose-foot shape of the leaves or because plants much appreciated by geese.

In the past, it was believed to ward off evil spirits and witches, and a few leaves were often placed in shoes to absorb sweat.

From an astrological point of view, it is said to be a plant subject to the influence of Uranium.

In Tibet, the root of these plants was grown and dried for later use, as was also the case with some Native American tribes.

In addition to being used for food, it is used as a medicine due to its pharmaceutical properties: astringent, antidiarrheal, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory. Its tincture is also useful for those suffering from emotional imbalances resulting from external pressures.

Arnica

arnicaIn some regions, this plant is also referred to as grass of falls, a characteristic that precisely indicates its properties: a physical fall, which involves the external use of an arnica tincture; or a psychic fall, which can be alleviated with a drop of arnica tincture in a glass of water.

Magic use arnica as protection against injuries, or as a filter for tiredness: it must be worn around the neck as a talisman. Related to the planet Sun, it is useful in purification spells. The ancient magicians of Imperial Rome used it to gain clairvoyance from the Egyptian Goddess Tueret. Today it is used to receive messages from one’s deceased or spirit guides. A purple bag is packaged with Arnica inside and placed around the neck for three nights: the third night brings revelation in the dream.

Its infusion is a very effective antidepressant.

St. John’s Wort or Hypericum

ipericoHypericum has been known and used since ancient Greek times. In the Middle Ages, it was hung on doors or windows to keep demons, nightmares, and ghosts away. During the night of St. John, it was customary in many European countries to dance all night long, wrapping their heads with this plant. After the party, the flowers were thrown on the roofs of the houses to protect them from lightning.

This plant can help keep anxiety and depression under control, while its oil is great for soothing burns and minor wounds.

Finding balance

There are many herbs and plants which, administered in the right way, help to find inner balance. I believe that their great potential lies somewhere between our desire to feel good, and their effectiveness.
It’s like magic, a sort of placebo effect: Nature helps us feel better, if we choose to feel better. It helps us restore physical and mental balance if we will listen to it.

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