Saturday, June 18, 2016

Herbs for Healing Grief and Bringing Solace

It has been difficult to express in words what I feel about the shootings in Orlando.  When I attempt to come to terms with it, I feel stopped by a grief that is deep and quiet.  I don’t understand why this has happened or why this has to keep happening.  
I didn’t know the people who died or were injured, but somehow I feel like they are me, they are my family.  I feel an interconnectedness with the ones who were killed, who were injured and for the families in their grief.  I feel an interconnectedness with the gay community.  I am them.  We are we.  
I feel connected with everyone.  In my thoughts of years past, I have felt that there is no “they”.  But somehow now I see how this is true.  I mourn for you who have died, like you are my own, because you are.  
My question to myself has been, “What am I going to do about this?”  So far, lighting a candle so I can remember.  
I don’t feel angry, which may come later in working through the stages of grief.  But for now, I feel compassion for everyone involved in this.  “Why has this happened?” brings me to seeing that even though we can blame this person, this religion, this politician for what has happened,  we can’t really say “why” because it isn’t really known.  “Why?” is a way of trying to figure it out so we can move on.  It is okay to not move on.  To be with the tragedies that happened and to allow our feelings to be what they are.  
Each of us, as we seek to understand what has happened, can do something.  What is yours to do? This is a way to allow the feelings and not succumb to the victimization that can occur when we feel such sadness and hopelessness.  Some things that I have found to do are, talk about herbs for healing grief, do psycho pomp shamanic healing, continue prayers for peace, send herbs for healing grief to a center in Florida.  What is yours to do?  Perhaps it is to express yourself even more fully, to embrace life as a celebration, in remembrance of souls who has left us.  It is what you feel in your heart that you can do.  
As we allow and heal grief, one of the things that can be beneficial to our souls is to spend time in nature, to breathe and to be.  
The plants offer support and comfort for us.    
Plants for healing grief and uplifting our spirits:
The Trees:  The trees that grow near you, standing tall over you are guardians.  Standing with your back up against the trunk of a large tree, breathing as though you are breathing the very breath/oxygen of this tree into your lungs, breathing out offering your breath to the tree.  This can bring stability and even joy.
Rose-Rosa spp.: Rose and specifically wild rose support the cultivation of the space of healing.  It is heart  and soul medicine. You can utiltize it topically, as a tincture, infused in vinegar or as a tea.  
St. Joan’s Wort-Hypericum perforatum: This wonderful plant uplifts the spirit.  It is utilized by people who feel depressed, trodden down by life.  I find it to be very supportive for those who are grieving loved ones.  
Hawthorne-Crataegus monogynaI make a tincture of the leaf and flower.  This plant heals the heart, it knows what the heart requires.  It calms agitation.  
Oatstraw-Avena sativa: This is a nourishing herb.  Put one ounce of dry oatstraw in a quart size saucepan, fill with water.  Bring to a boil, turn this down and simmer it for up to an hour.  Strain and drink.  This supportive plant will nourish your nervous system.  
Lavender-Lavandula spp.: This is the happiness plant.  Even though this plant is said to help you sleep, it is not a sedative.  It is gently calming and center for us.  I like to infused lavender flowers in honey and then add to my tea.  
Stinging Nettle-Urtica dioica Nettle is the most nourishing of all plants.  When we are feeling a lot, nettle can help us by offering us a mineral rich infusion.  Nettle moves and strengthens our energy so that we may stand strong to do what is ours to do.  Nettle infusion is best.  One ounce of dry nettle steeped in one quart of boiling water overnight.  Strain and drink.  Nettle infused vinegar is also very supportive of our energetic system.  
Dandelion-Taraxacum officianale: Dandelion’s flowers incorporate the sun’s energy. You can harvest a couple of flowers, put them in a mug, pour boiling water over this, sweeten a little with honey and be uplifted.  Dandelion is said to be the most generous of all plants.  This is because it is always there, sharing its gifts.  Even when people try to irradicate it, it continues.  In healing the grief of someone trying so desperately to irradiate a certain kind of people, Dandelion can support our continuation, our strength and conviction and our willingness to keep believing that we can bring the change that is needed.  The leaves of dandelion are bitter and encourages healthy digestion, which in turn encourages healthy immune system and healthy energetic system.  We need this, don’t we?  And the root of the dandelion, offer us the deep rooted strengthening of our wholeness that supports us as we allow gratitude and compassion to grow in us…even when we want to give up.  Dandelion is related to the liver which is related to the emotion of anger.  This plant can specifically support you to move through intense anger, subtle anger, depression which is internalized anger and come through into a grounded sense of what is mine to do.  
Apple-Malus domestica: I have learned quite a bit from the Gravenstein apple in our meadow yard.  The most precious teaching has been to love myself.  Love every way that we are.  Love never ends and it may begin within you.  Apple sauce, apple butter, munching on an apple, apple pie, apple coffee cake… many choices.   
Motherwort-Leonurus cardiaca: This plant has supported many people to calm anxiety and to feel comforted.  It is healing for the heart, the nervous system, the womb.  I have found motherwort to be an embodiment of the Goddess.  Green in spring, passionate pink in summer and she becomes a thorny hag in the fall.  
Comfrey-Symphytum uplandicum: Comfrey is the comforting one.  It seems somehow appropriate that this plant has a reputation being detrimental when it is really not.  This offers us a mirror for ourselves.  Where do we see things that appear harmful, but they are indeed beneficial.  I make an infusion of the comfrey leaves, one ounce of dry herb, steep in one quart of boiling water overnight.  It will knit your bones, your wounds back together.  
There are many more plants that others will share as well.  
May you find comfort and peace in who you are and may nature bring you solace.  

May it be in Beauty.  


Unknown said...

Thank you for this very timely post. Would you mind if I shared it on my own blog about personal grief?

Julie Charette Nunn, Crow's Daughter said...

Thank you, Laurel...please share it on your own blog and also, leave a link to your blog here so that others can be comforted. Peace to you.

Unknown said...

Thank you, Julie. I shared your post with friends today who are studying the uses of comfrey and they both found it very helpful in their understanding.
For those that might be experiencing personal grief, I am documenting my own process which can be found here:
Thank you for all that you do. In love and light.