Anxiety is another issue I have struggled with. There are a myriad of medical descriptions of what anxiety, ‘mediacally looks like’. I am not going to focus on that too much, the NHS has a good general information page on this if you would like to know about it further. Essentially what anxiety boils down to is a fear of fear itself. A vicious cycle which once you are in it, it’s very hard to break. Several years ago I was given a book on Anxiety and Panic by Dr. Claire Weaks. This literally transformed my life. Once I understood what was happening, I could begin to live with it and maybe one day control it. I am not afraid.
Since then I have also been storing up some herbal wisdom to help with anxiety and stress. These are my top tips:
1) The trusty Bach Rescue Remedy. As you drop it on your tongue breath in for 7….and out for 11. A neat rhyme and very soothing.
2) Valerian Root. Used for centuries as a cure for insomnia. A tea at the end of the day or after a stressful event is wondrous.
3)Kava. I first had this in Fiji several years ago. It’s hard to get hold of here in the UK and if you find it , it tends to be in ‘party packs’. If anyone knows of a wholefood store stocking it please let me know!
4) Passion Flower. In tea and tinctures. Traditionally used after seizures to calm the body. It is in most ‘calming teas’.
5)Hops, in a tea mixed with passion flower and valerian.
6) Lavender. Helps breathing, encourages rest and sleep and contains anti-bacterial properties. It is commonly used in aromatherapy for stress.
7) Catnip, stimulates the nervous system, balances the mind and encourages rest.
Finally, for any herbalists reading this I am sure many people would wonder why I have left Chamomile out. Chamomile is lovely and many people use it regularly, but I find it gives me a headache. I don’t know why- if anyone has any theories I’d love to know more about it!