Herbs are so much part of our everyday lives we probably don’t realise how much we use them. Equally, we don’t realise how much they can help us so we wanted to give you more information on these valuable plants.
Herbal medicine is ancient wisdom that has been used throughout the world over centuries. Herbal preparations are made directly from the plant, and use different parts from leaves, flowers, seeds, rhizomes through to roots. Depending on the herb they can come in tincture, paste, tablets or teas.
Our everyday use of herbs includes
Like all medicine herbs do require specialist knowledge to ensure they are used correctly. We are providing you with an overview of the more commonly known herbs. Our blog will identify the traditional associations relating to each herb.
The MHRA is the government’s medical regulatory agency. Any herbal product must be recognised by this body before claims can be made about it.
What this means to you is that no one can tell you that this product is good for specific conditions, nor can they suggest to you how much you can take or even if you should take it.
St John’s Wort/Hypericum
This herb is referred to equally as St John’s Wort or Hypericum. It has been recorded to be in medical use for over 2000 years. Emperor Nero is noted to have used the plant for medical purposes.
It is an essential tool within my homeopathic first aid kit and one of the remedies I recommend for people to have in stock at home. During the summer holidays it is perfect for those inevitable accidents like trapped fingers or even the dreaded dental visits. Hypericum is supportive in easing nerve pain; particularly in the nerve rich areas like teeth, toes and fingers.
This beautiful herb grows into the most stunning bush and when in bloom offers you the biggest bouquet of bright yellow flowers. It always makes me smile and feel good. It is not a surprise then that traditional associations for the use of Hypericum are for lifting the mood, easing anxiety and counteracting SAD symptoms.
The plant has been described as the bringer of light and is associated with traditional ceremonies around the solstice. When you see the plant in full bloom you will understand this connection, as I have already said its sunshine yellow flowers always cheer me up.
Hypericum is a herb that attracts some concerns for the medical profession because it does interact with drugs given to treat depression. You can expect a very cautious approach from your GP if you talk about using the product.
For this reason, it may be that if you are suffering a mild or temporary depression you may want to try a natural approach before venturing into the world of medication. If this is the case, the Hypericum may be the herb for you.
Research has indicated that Hypericum has the capability to produce serotonin and dopamine. Both of these substances are responsible for elevating our mood.
When might I use Hypericum?
There are certain scenarios where Hypericum could offer you help:
- If you have a mild depression perhaps relating to a particular circumstance. We have chosen to write about Hypericum now because it is exam result season. If your results have not played out as you hoped, you may feel disappointment and even slip into a mild depression if your hopes have not been fulfilled. Hypericum could help lift you and find a positive way forward.
- Hormonal imbalance can lead to sadness and depression during specific parts of your cycle so this is another time when Hypericum could be of use. This applies to both P.M.T and menopause.
- Menopause is a time of big change for a woman; she is entering the next phase of her life and she may be mourning the passing of her fertility and inability to have more children. Hypericum could be the lift a woman needs to see the positives of the freedom of her new life, the wisdom she has gained and the exciting possibilities that are emerging for her.
- SAD is a subject we have written about and I have experienced. The lack of light can have a profound effect on people leaving them feeling miserable and withdrawn during the winter months. Hypericum is one solution of many.
How can I use Hypericum?
This is a versatile herb available in any number of forms
- You can drink the tea
- Take a tablet
- Use the tincture
- Use the skin oil which has positive associations with healing skin wounds and scarring.
As with any herb quality is essential to get a good result and we are happy to offer you the excellent range from A.Vogel through which you can get all of the products we have listed above.
How can I help myself?
We have written about mental health and stress a number of times so you can refresh yourself on our thoughts using these links: Heaths Together and Mental Health, Ten ways to deal with exam stress, Top 10 tips to deal with anxiety and change and Stress Awareness Day.
- Identify the source of your concern
- Have you got a plan to address the problem?
- Do you need to talk to someone or get some help?
- At times of distress a good diet is vital filling yourself up with junk and sugary foods is only going to exaggerate your mood swings
- Include B vitamins and Magnesium as part of your daily regime. This formula is my go to recommendation for stress and anxiety
- Eat more fish or take fish supplements they support the brain
- Get enough sleep – see our blogs on Organic Inulin and top tips for better sleep
- Get more exercise. Regular exercise encourages the production of our feel good hormones. It also gets us out and about and not brooding on the issue
- What do you do for fun? Even something as simple as blowing bubbles lightens my mood.
- Have you had a good laugh recently? Laughter really can be the best medicine. Find your favourite comedian and watch a DVD or a YouTube clip or two. Laughter like exercise promotes production of happy hormones
Hypericum is a very useful herb and this brief article only scratches the surface in terms of its beneficial properties.
Please do consult your GP particularly if you are already on medication and want to try Hypericum.
We hope you have enjoyed this blog and it has been useful to you. Please let us know your thoughts!