Healing Herbs for the Soul

Healing Herbs for the Soul
How do we become increasingly mindful of of our bodies and minds? These herbs can help you with that.


      For many of us, the word “healing” has a variety of different connotations—helping alleviate anxiety, creating a greater sense of well-being on a day to day basis, aiding proper sleep, reducing daily stress, and much more. So, we want to ask you: what does the word “healing” mean to you? What about “mindfulness”?

            Here at ModGarden, we’ve been thinking quite a bit about healing, general well-being, and the particular word “mindfulness” lately. How do we become increasingly mindful of our bodies and our minds? The very basic definition of mindfulness often includes words such as “awareness” or “a state of being aware.” Mindfulness is commonly practiced as a form of stress relief or meditation with various benefits on all areas of the body. Achieving a more present mental state in our day-to-day lives certainly has its benefits, not simply on our emotional, mental, and spiritual state but also on our physical ones.

            Although you can certainly accomplish mindfulness and soul healing without the help of nature, we are big proponents of allowing some support from our herbal friends. The very basic process of growing your own herbs or vegetables can have a very healing impact on you, especially if you delve into the process of gardening and its therapeutic benefits. Allow yourself a few quiet moments every day to tend to your herbs. Focus on centring and grounding yourself for a few minutes. Take a deep breath. Plant some seeds. Watch them grow.

            Here are some of our favourite anti-anxiety herbs—they’re simple to grow and help to combat stress, anxiety, nervousness, and more.

 

Lavender

            Lavender is a fantastic herb that not only smells amazing but it is full of medicinal qualities. Lavender is also an effective, non-drug alternative to anxiety disorders. In a study published in Phytomedicine, lavender oil was shown to be just as effective as lorazepam/Ativan but without the negative side effects of lorazepam. Lavender helps greatly with restlessness, nervousness, and general anxiety and depression. It can also help aid with insomnia as well as for joint pain and other forms of inflammation. Plus, Lavender smells incredible and simply having it in your house will improve your mood!

 

Lemon balm

            Prescribed as a medicinal herb since ancient times, lemon balm is known for relieving anxiety, improving quality of sleep, and soothing overall agitation. Although many natural practitioners have realized the power of lemon balm in cases of anxiety, it is only in recent years that lemon balm has become increasingly studied by conventional medical communities. And, excitingly, these studies document that lemon balm can be quite effective in addressing conditions related to both stress and anxiety (1). Additionally, the positive benefits of lemon balm extend beyond just anxiety and stress related disorders. Lemon balm can also boost cognitive performance and increase our ability to learn and retain information.

 

Passionflower

            Passionflower was traditionally found and used in the Americas and Europe as a calming herb. It has been used with positive results to naturally treat anxiety disorders. Scientists believe that passionflower works by increasing levels of gamma aminobutyric acid to the brain (2). This natural chemical helps to calm the activity of the brain cells, resulting in a more relaxed feeling that combats general anxiety. Additionally, taking an herbal combination of passionflower and lemon balm may prove to be highly effective in helping with anxiety disorders.

 

Resources

  1. Gyllenhaal C, Merritt SL, Peterson SD, Block KI, Gochenour T. Efficacy and safety of herbal stimulants and sedatives in sleep disorders. Sleep Med Rev. 2000 Jun;4(3):229-51.
    Kennedy DO, Little W, Haskell CF, Scholey AB. Anxiolytic effects of a combination of Melissa officinalis and Valeriana officinalis during laboratory induced stress. Phytother Res. 2006 Feb;20(2):96-102.
  2. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/passionflower

May 15, 2017

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