You can read more about Ayurveda here, and more take the Dosha Test here.

     Kapha is made of two elements - earth and water. Because of this, kapha is solid, stable, strong, dense, moist, heavy, cold, slow, and smooth. Kapha people are typically very kind, compassionate, and dreamy. One famous example of a typical Kapha person is Oprah.

     Kapha Imbalances can manifest as obesity, lethargy, slow metabolism and appetite, recurring colds and excess mucus, water retention, a desire to sit and do nothing, sweet or salt cravings, and foggy and clouded emotions, lethargy, trouble waking up, having difficulty letting go, and feeling possessive or greedy.

Herbs and diet to decrease Kapha: Cinnamon, cayenne, cardamom, black pepper, spicy foods, avoid moist foods like bananas, avoid sweet fruits, avoid nuts, small meal portions, fasting (when appropriate), little salt, little sugar, and little fat.

Crystals to decrease Kapha: Carnelian, petrified wood, and red jasper.

Lifestyle to decrease Kapha: Moderate to heavy exercise, waking early, remaining active throughout the day, regular eating times, saunas, stimulating activities, and staying warm and dry. 


Herbs and diet to increase Kapha: Eat plenty of healthy fats, drink plenty of water, fruits, heavy foods, liquorice root, ginseng, and astragalus root.

Crystals to increase Kapha: Hematite, magnetic lodestone, obsidian, and black onyx.

Lifestyle to increase Kapha: Grounding, taking deep breaths throughout the day, get plenty of rest,  and light exercise only.


Moss of the Woods Botanical Jewelry

Unique jewelry for the avid nature nerd! At Moss of the Woods, we strive to create wearable art that celebrates the beauty and complexity of the natural world. Resin pendants with preserved botanical specimens recalling vintage museums and herbariums.

All of my handmade resin pendants contain sustainably collected specimens from the local New England forests. Every piece has a story.



5 Herbs that Calm Anxiety WIthout Making you Sleepy

1. Passionflower

The University of Maryland Medical Center states that passionflower has shown in a few studies to work as well as some of the benzodiazepine medications that are usually prescribed for treating anxiety. 

A four-week double-blind study, for example, compared passionflower with oxazepam. Results showed oxazepam worked more quickly, but by the end of the study period, both treatments were shown to be equally effective. Bonus—side effects like daytime drowsiness were fewer with passionflower. 

A second study also showed that passionflower helped ease symptoms like anxiety, irritability, agitation, and depression in participants going through withdrawal from an opiate drug addiction. 

Dosage: Try one cup of passionflower tea three times daily, 45 drops of liquid extract daily, or about 90 mg/day.

2. Lavender

A 2010 multi-center, double blind randomized study of lavender oil compared to anti-anxiety medication lorazepam found that both were effective against generalized and persistent anxiety. Bonus — lavender had no sedative side effects. 

“Since lavender oil showed no sedative effects,” researchers stated, it could be an effective and “well-tolerated alternative to benzodiazepines” to treat generalized anxiety. An earlier 2000 study found similar results. 

Dosage: Try about 80 mg/day of the supplement, or use the oil as an aromatherapy solution.

3. Lemon balm

Though usually found in combination with other herbs, lemon balm also has anti-anxiety powers on its own. 

Research published in 2004, for instance, gave participants a single dose of lemon balm extract (300 mg or 600 mg) or a placebo, then measured their mood after one hour. The higher dose resulted in reduced stress and improved calmness and alertness. Even the lower dose helped participants do math problems more quickly. 

Dosage: Use in aromatherapy, try 300-500 mg of dried lemon balm three times daily, 60 drops daily, or 1/4 to 1 teaspoon of dried lemon balm herb in hot water for a tea four times daily.

4. Ashwagandha

A 2012 double blind, placebo-controlled study gave participants either placebo or a capsule containing 300 mg of high-concentration full-spectrum ashwagandha extract, twice a day. The study lasted for 60 days. Those taking the ashwagandha showed significant improvements. Even the levels of the stress hormone cortisol were substantially reduced in those taking the extract. And there were no serious side effects. 

In an earlier 2000 study, ashwagandha had anxiety-relieving effects similar to those of lorazepam. 

Dosage: Typical dosage is 300 mg standardized to at least one to five percent withanolides, once or twice a day.

5. L-theanine

This one isn’t really a herb — it’s a water-soluble amino acid,  but it’s gotten such good research behind it we had to include it here. It’s found mainly in green tea and black tea and is also available as a supplement. 

Studies have found that it acts directly on the brain, helping to reduce stress and anxiety—without causing drowsiness. 

Research from 2008, for example, found that those participants taking 50 mg of L-theanine a day had a greater increase in alpha (relaxed brain waves) activity than those who took a placebo. 

An earlier 1998 study found that 200 mg a day lead to increased alpha-brain waves and a relaxed, yet alert, state of mind. 

A later 2011 study found that it was also associated with reduced anxiety, and was well tolerated and safe for participants. 

Dosage: A typical cup of black tea contains only about 25 mg of l-theanine and green tea only about 8 mg. While a cup of tea may be calming, if you want more potent effects, try a supplement, about 200 mg a day.

Despite being commonly known, Chamomile is not just a benign little flower that tastes sweet in your cup, it packs a powerful medicinal punch. Chamomile should not be thought of in terms of what specific diseases it can be used for, because there are too many uses to list, nor is is helpful to only think of what herbs can ‘do’. After reading though my favorite herb books, I summarize the actions of chamomile as being:

  • Relaxing nervine for states of tension
  • Aromatic and bitter for regulating digestion
  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy
  • Anti-microbial
  • Safe, tasty and suitable for everyone, including babies, children, pregnant women and the elderly
  • Matthew Wood says that “The fresh preparations preserve the oils, so they are more relaxing, the dried preparations are bitter and promote secretions to the stomach, G.I. and liver.”

Here are some of the chemical constituents present in chamomile and their generalized actions (mostly from Wood, but also from Simon Mills, David Hoffmann and Chanchal Cabrerra)

  • Flavanoids – cooling and relaxing
  • Bitter sesquiterpene lactones – stimulate digestive juices
  • Volatile oils – antipyretic, anti-spasmodic, can reduce histamine-induced inflammation
  • Mucilage – soothing, nutritious and immuno-stimulating
  • Amino acids, fatty acids and many more

Recommended Reading: Plant Spirits & Herbalism Magick

A Compendium of Herbal Magic - Paul Beyerl

The Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews - Scott Cunningham

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs - Scott Cunningham

A Druid’s Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year - Ellen Evert Hopman

A Druid’s Herbal of Sacred Tree Medicine - Ellen Evert Hopman

Garden Witchery: Magick from the Ground Up - Ellen Dugan

Garden Witch’s Herbal: Green Magick, Herbalism & Spirituality - Ellen Dugan

The Green Wiccan Herbal: 52 Magical Herbs, Spells, Witchy Rituals - Silja

The Green Witch Herbal: Restoring Nature’s Magic in Home, Health, and Beauty Care - Barbara Griggs

Grimoire of the Thorn-Blooded Witch: Mastering the Five Arts of Old World Witchery - Raven Grimassi

Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook, The: A Grimoire of Philtres. Elixirs, Oils, Incense, and Formulas for Ritual Use - Karen Harrison

Herb Magic for Beginners - Ellen Dugan

Incense Magick: Create Inspiring Aromatic Experiences for Your Craft - Carl F. Neal

Kitchen Witchery: A Compendium of Oils, Unguents, Incense, Tinctures, and Comestibles - Marilyn F. Daniel

Magical Aromatherapy: The Power of Scent - Scott Cunningham

Magical Herbalism: The Secret Craft of the Wise - Scott Cunningham

The Magic of Flowers: A Guide to Their Metaphysical Uses & Properties - Tess Whitehurst

The Master Book of Herbalism - Paul Beyerl

Mixing Essential Oils for Magic: Aromatic Alchemy for Personal Blends - Sandra Kynes

Old World Witchcraft: Ancient Ways for Modern Days - Raven Grimassi

Papa Jim’s Herbal Magic Workbook - Papa Jim

Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Beyond the Doors of Perception into the Dreaming of Earth - Stephen Harrod Buhner

The Plant Spirit Familiar - Christopher Penczak

Plant Spirit Healing: A Guide to Working with Plant Consciousness - Pam Montgomery

Plant Spirit Medicine: A Journey into the Healing Wisdom of Plants - Eliot Cowan

Plant Spirit Shamanism: Traditional Techniques for Healing the Soul - Ross Haven

Sacred Plant Medicine: The Wisdom in Native American Herbalism - Stephen Harrod Buhner

The Secret Teachings of Plants: The Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature - Stephen Harrod Buhner

Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore - Ellen Evert Hopman

Walking the World in Wonder: A Children’s Herbal - Ellen Evert Hopman

The Weiser Concise Guide to Herbal Magick - Judith Hawkins-Tillirson

Wicca Herbs: Herbalism: A Complete Reference Guide to Frequently used Magickal Herbs, and Spices: Herbs for the Solo Wiccan Practitioner - Kristina Benson

Wylundt’s Book of Incense - Wylundt

Image Credit: Unknown

Click Here For More Recommended Reading Lists

"Beneath the surface of the land lies the bone memory of all living things that died and were absorbed into the earth. Memory is retained in the mineral composition, the plants absorb minerals through their roots. This makes them vessels through which Shadow can be tapped and used by the Witch. In the Rose and Thorn Path, plant spirits are evoked in order to communicate with Shadow. The collective memory of all Witches who came before us resides in Shadow and is a vast source upon which to draw from the ancestors. It’s through an established rapport with plant spirits that this becomes accessible to the Witch."

- Raven Grimassi
Grimoire of the Thorn-Blooded Witch: Mastering the Five Arts of Old World Witchery

Image Credit: Anthony Palumbo