Herbs are versatile in purpose. You’re probably accustomed to incorporating them into your cooking for flavor or have used them as a remedy for an ailment. Here I’ve listed some of my favorite herbs and their practical and spiritual uses. Additionally, I’ve incorporated insight from Dr. Eleanor Lawrence, acupuncturist and specialist in Chinese herbal medicine.
Lavender is known for its calming effects and is often used in aroma therapy and to aid anxiety and sleeping. I love making lavender tea or a bath for relaxation. The calming effects can feel subtly intoxicating especially when taken into your body via warm water. I drink a lot of chamomile tea which also is calming and can help with sleep.
The purple color feels very cleansing for my crown chakra. The crown chakra is located at the top of your head. Balancing and clearing of this chakra provides optimal spiritual connection. The calmness from lavender eases my mind and body enough to be more open to my spiritual self and insight.
White sage is common in metaphysical stores and among New Age communities because of its clearing properties. I burn white sage with the intention of dispelling negative or heavy energy. You can get dried white sage wrapped to form a bundle for burning like incense. It’s great for clearing rooms and people. I always feel uplifted after doing a sage clearing because it releases whatever I’ve been carrying or what has been weighing me down.
Sweetgrass is a little more difficult to find. The strands are usually braided (see first image above; it’s the curve). Sweetgrass is beautiful, and it’s sacred to Native American traditions. After cleansing an area of negative energy with white sage, burning sweetgrass with intention invites positive energy.
Eucalyptus is best known for its soothing and cooling qualities, as an ingredient in cough drops, and as a favorite snack for koalas. Breathing in eucalyptus helps with nasal and chest congestion. Personally, I keep a branch of eucalyptus over my shower nozzle so the steam from my shower activates it.
Ginger is Chinese herbal medicine specialist Dr. Eleanor Lawrence’s favorite herb. She loves it because “it’s so simple and accessible but it can be so helpful! It’s warming so it’s great in the winter and great for if you’re coming down with a cold. It also is really good for nausea and can treat morning sickness or any other sensation of nausea.” Dr. Lawrence notes that in Chinese herbal medicine “we generally don’t prescribe only one herb and we used herbs in formulas.” Different combinations are used for certain desired outcomes and relief. She says, “you see ginger in many of them!”
Basil is my favorite herb to eat. My dad grows huge basil bushes in his garden, and I love picking leaves to put with just about anything! It livens pasta dishes, and gives greater dynamic to salads and cocktails. Aside from eating it, basil like other herbs has energetic qualities to it. It’s considered energetically masculine. Since I found this out I’ve been convinced that one of the reasons I have loved it so much is because it helps me balance energetically. Supposedly with intention it also helps attract love and wealth and is cleansing and protective. I’ll take that!
Rosemary is my other favorite herb to eat. I love it’s earthy flavor/aromatic depth. Rosemary’s energetic properties include enhancing concentration and memory. I have not personally noticed these benefits in myself from consumption.
Mugwort/Motherwort: These herbs dried look strikingly similar, but they are different in smell and in some purposes. I mentioned here how motherwort is a go-to for me when I’m moody. A little as tea has drowsy effects. Mugwort I use when I want to have clear dreams by breathing it in before sleep.
Dream pillows are a mixture of herbs to slip under your pillow or into your pillow case. Mix mugwort (for clear dreams, spirituality, and dream memory) and lavender (for deeper rest). Rosemary is apparently also good for preventing nightmares. Put the herbs in a plush packet which could be a mini “pillow” you sew, a small clean sock, a small drawstring bag, or a pocket on the pillowcase. You can get creative with the ways you store your herbs in your pillow. The idea is that you can vaguely smell them while you lay down to sleep.
And for the grand finale, a final word from Dr. Lawrence on her favorite fun fact about Chinese herbal medicine. “My favorite fun fact about Chinese herbal medicine is that it is way more capable than most people are aware of! Different formulas have been shown to reduce the size of fibroids (so that people don’t need to have surgery) and to moderate heart rate in cases of irregular heart beats!” Certainly there are vast possibilities to heal with herbs. The Earth nourishes us in amazing ways; see what works for you!
Go use some herbs to your benefit. If you like this page, please share it.