Given the recent events in Boston, I was reminded that I have wanted to start a community conversation about herbs in times of tragedy. In my own practice I work with lots of folks who are recovering from various levels of violence and trauma in their background, so I have certain herbs (including flower and gem essences) that I find myself reaching for often. In general, I reach for adaptogens (such as Tulsi Ocimum sanctum) and nervines (like Oats Avena sativa) for dealing with the impact of trauma. I think Bach’s Rescue Remedy is an excellent in-the-moment aid and I usually keep a small bottle on me. The remedies I use range depending on the circumstances as well as when I use them, but Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), Elder Berry and Flower (Sambucus nigra), Ghost Pipe (Monotropa uniflora), Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) have all been useful. For those who hearts are hurting right now, consider inviting Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) in as a tea, tincture, glycerite or powder.
For herbalists, street medics, birthworkers, social workers, and others who find themselves working on the edges, I always recommend knowing what plants are your allies – the ones who have your heart when things get really tough – and to develop a sacred relationship with them before the hard times come.
What other herbs have folks used? I look forward to learning about other folk’s herb allies and the way we support our communities when they are in pain. Join in the conversation here on the blog and over at Poppy Swap.
Be well, be tender, and reach out to those around you,