Balancing Mind Body and Spirit with Herbal Medicine
As herbalists we often repeat cliche ideas. Many times, it is said, we have to address the mind body and spirit but simply saying empty words leaves a lot of unanswered questions for beginner herbalists especially. Today I want to expand upon what a mind body spirit approach looks like.
Let’s start with what it isn't.
It isn’t saying I'm stressed and then making yourself lavender tea. It isn't using a rollerball to relieve stress after a stressful day at work. now I'm not saying you can’t use herbs in this way and I’m not even saying that one shouldn’t but what I am saying is that this is not holistic. Being reactionary is not holistic. It is not receiving information or communication from the body and then responding to it.
Instead, being holistic is addressing the cause of the emotional unrest or mental imbalance. If your job is stressful lavender tea is not going to change the environmental factors, no matter how long it is steeped or whether an essence or tincture is made out of it. It’s about lifestyle changes which are not solely whether you exercise or whether you abstain from drinking or smoking. It’s all of the changes that you make for your livelihood, like changing your friend group or your job, it these things are not aligned with your purpose.
Now, where do herbs come into the equation?
It starts by realizing that every action has a reaction. what you input will influence your output. We have a lot of different methods at our disposal, using food, herbs, lifestyle changes, etc. to positively impact our lives.
We can use herbs for instance, to strengthen our body from the inside out, and so we can make our body has a high tolerance for stress when it occurs.
We can also proactively utilize herbs, maybe every week doing some type of wellness practice. Practice makes habit, when done overtime.
We can also practice self-care regularly, journaling, by writing down our thoughts or reflecting on where we are and where we want to go. It also gives us valuable insight and context about our situation. Checking in on ourselves and finding out what the heart of the issue is. for instance, I sometimes check myself by asking myself “what am I really feeling” or “is such and such really what’s causing this reaction or is it something else”. It is often something else and I wouldn’t realize it without that inflection.
Herbal medicine goes beyond quick fixes or temporary relief. It encourages us to embrace a lifestyle that fosters true balance. Instead of relying on external aids, it invites us to cultivate practices that nourish our mind, body, and spirit, focusing on what we can change.
It starts with being fully present in the moment and attuning ourselves to our body's needs.
It involves incorporating nourishing herbs into our daily routine. Taking the time for self-care rituals, like herbal baths or soothing herbal steams, allowing us to reconnect with nature's healing gifts.
Spending time in natural surroundings, and time to be alone so that we can speak to our own selves.
Nurturing our spirit involves engaging in activities that bring us joy and allow for self-expression. Creative endeavors like painting, playing a musical instrument, or writing can help us tap into our innermost being, providing a sense of fulfillment and contentment.
Finally, herbal medicine reminds us of the importance of nourishing our bodies with wholesome food. Incorporating nutrient-rich ingredients into our meals and savoring them with loved ones enhances not only our physical well-being but also strengthens our social connections.
Balancing the mind, body, and spirit with herbal medicine is about adopting a holistic approach to our well-being. It requires us to listen to our bodies, cultivate mindfulness, connect with nature, express our creativity, and nourish ourselves with wholesome foods. By embracing these practices, we can restore harmony and achieve a true sense of balance in our lives.
Herbal medicine: a path to wellness that harmonizes the mind, body, and spirit.