st-john's-wort

Tea drinkers read this!!!

If you buy pre-made herbal tea blends (usually have names like Bedtime, Calm, etc) check the ingredients. I just saw a Nighttime blend that had St. Johns Wort in it, which can be dangerous when mixed with some medications. Talk to you doctor what herbs you should avoid. (Especially when you want to ingest st. Johns wort or mugwort) 

 A simple hint to remember is just because its in a food store, doesn’t mean its safe. 

Litha - 21th of June

 Also known as Midsummer. The longest day with the shortest night, the counterpart of Yule.
Celebration of protection, luck, health, transformation, community, career and relationships.

Element: Fire
Colours: Blue, green, gold, yellow and red.
Flowers, plants and trees: Oak, honeysuckle, lavender, elder, hemp, mugwort, rose, larkspur, vervain, mistletoe, wisteria,  St. John’s wort, violets, rue, fern, holly, pine tree, heather, yarrow, sunflower.
Food, drinks & herbs: Anise, camomile, honey, vegetables, lemons, oranges, carrots, fruit juices, sunflowerseeds, cheese, dairy products, sea food, beef.
Associations: Sun, fire, feathers, sea shells.
Crystals: Lapis lazuli, diamants, tiger’s eye, jade, emerald.
Animals: Horses, butterflies, caterpillars, seacreatures, wren, robin, cattle, bees, snakes.
Activities: Bonfires, drying herbs, spells for love, growth, luck, health and protection.

Happy Litha everyone !

Reminder

WITCHCRAFT IS NOT A SUBSTITUTION FOR MODERN MEDICINE

It pains me to an extreme that people on this site will ask others “hey what can I put in a tea for a divination?” or “What should I put in a tincture for this and that?”.  
1.) PLANTS AND HERBS ARE MEDICINE, STOP ACTING LIKE YOU KNOW HOW TO PRESCRIBE THEM LIKE A PROFESSIONAL
2.) You do not know any of these people on the internet, they could potentially give you something dangerous.  Like every single tea or tincture that says put mugwort or st johns wort in it, they do not know your medical history, they do not know how it will effect you, and I doubt most of these people will even know how those plants could effect you.
3.) How do you know that these people have any sort of medical knowledge or experience?
4.) Witchcraft is not and will never be a substitution for modern medicine.
And hey, if you are that interested in phytotherapy GO STUDY IT IN A PROFESSIONAL SETTING AND NOT ON SOME BLOGGING WEBSITE  

Medicine has come so far, go to your doctor not tumblr.

As Always
-Robin

ST John’s Wort Can be dangerous on these meds

IT WILL REACT DANGEROUSLY WITH THE FOLLOWING MEDICATIONS:
Alprazolam (Xanax) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Aminolevulinic acid interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Amitriptyline (Elavil) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Birth control pills (Contraceptive drugs) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Digoxin (Lanoxin) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Fenfluramine (Pondimin) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Imatinib (Gleevec) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Irinotecan (Camptosar) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Medications for depression (Antidepressant drugs) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Medications for HIV/AIDS (Nonnucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NNRTIs)) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Medications for HIV/AIDS (Protease Inhibitors) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Medications for pain (Narcotic drugs) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Medications moved by pumps in cells (P-Glycoprotein Substrates) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight (Photosensitizing drugs) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Meperidine (Demerol) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Nefazodone (Serzone) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Nortriptyline (Pamelor) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Paroxetine (Paxil) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Pentazocine (Talwin) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Phenobarbital (Luminal) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Phenprocoumon interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Phenytoin (Dilantin) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Reserpine interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Sedative medications (Barbiturates) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Sertraline (Zoloft) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Tacrolimus (Prograf, Protopic) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Tramadol (Ultram) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with ST. JOHN’S WORT
Alprazolam (Xanax) is commonly used for anxiety. The body breaks down alprazolam (Xanax) to get rid of it. St. John’s wort can increase how fast the body gets rid of alprazolam (Xanax). Taking St. John’s wort along with alprazolam (Xanax) might decrease the effectiveness of alprazolam (Xanax).Aminolevulinic acid can make your skin sensitive to the sunlight. St. John’s wort might also increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Taking St. John’s wort along with aminolevulinic acid might increase the chances of sunburn, blistering or rashes on areas of skin exposed to sunlight. Be sure to wear sunblock and protective clothing when spending time in the sun.The body breaks down amitriptyline (Elavil) to get rid of it. St. John’s wort can increase how quickly the body gets rid of some medications. St. John’s wort might decrease the effectiveness of amitriptyline (Elavil) by increasing how quickly the body breaks down amitriptyline (Elavil).Some birth control pills contain estrogen. The body breaks down the estrogen in birth control pills to get rid of it. St. John’s wort might increase the break down of estrogen. Taking St. John’s wort along with birth control pills might decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. If you take birth control pills along with St. John’s wort, use an additional form of birth control such as a condom.

Some birth control pills include ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel (Triphasil), ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone (Ortho-Novum 1/35, Ortho-Novum 7/7/7), and others.The body breaks down cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) to get rid of it. St. John’s wort might increase how quickly the body breaks down cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune). By increasing the breakdown of cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) St. John’s wort might decrease the effectiveness of cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune). Do not take St. John’s wort if you are taking cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune).Digoxin (Lanoxin) helps the heart beat more strongly. St. John’s wort might decrease how much digoxin (Lanoxin) the body absorbs. By decreasing how much digoxin (Lanoxin) the body absorbs St. John’s wort might decrease the effects of digoxin (Lanoxin).Fenfluramine (Pondimin) increases a chemical in the brain. This chemical is called serotonin. St. John’s wort also increases serotonin. Taking fenfluramine with St. John’s wort might cause there to be too much serotonin. This could cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, nausea, headache, and anxiety.The body breaks down imatinib to get rid of it. St. John’s wort might increase how quickly the body gets rid of imatinib (Gleevec). Taking St. John’s wort along with imatinib (Gleevec) might decrease the effectiveness of imatinib (Gleevec). Do not take St. John’s wort if you are taking imatinib (Gleevec).Irinotecan (Camptosar) is used to treat cancer. The body breaks down irinotecan (Camptosar) to get rid of it. St. John’s wort might increase how fast the body breaks down irinotecan (Camptosar) and decrease the effectiveness of irinotecan (Camptosar).Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. St. John’s wort might increase how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking St. John’s wort along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can decrease the effectiveness of some medications. Before taking St. John’s wort talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.

Some medications changed by the liver include lovastatin (Mevacor), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), fexofenadine (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.St. John’s wort increases a brain chemical called serotonin. Some medications for depression also increase the brain chemical serotonin. Taking St. John’s wort along with these medications for depression might increase serotonin too much and cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety. Do not take St. John’s wort if you are taking medications for depression.

Some of these medications for depression include fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), amitriptyline (Elavil), clomipramine (Anafranil), imipramine (Tofranil), and others.The body breaks down medications used for HIV/AIDS. St. John’s wort can increase how quickly the body breaks down these medications. Taking St. John’s wort might decrease how well some medications used for HIV/AIDS work.

Some of these medications used for HIV/AIDS include nevirapine (Viramune), delavirdine (Rescriptor), and efavirenz (Sustiva).The body breaks down medications used for HIV/AIDS to get rid of them. Taking St. John’s wort might increase how quickly the body breaks down these medications. This could decrease the effectiveness of some medications used for HIV/AIDS.

Some of these medications used for HIV/AIDS include amprenavir (Agenerase), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir), and saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase).The body breaks down some medications for pain to get rid of them. St. John’s Wort might decrease how fast the body gets rid of some medications for pain. By decreasing how fast the body gets rid of some medications for pain, St. John’s wort might increase the effects and side effects of some medications for pain.

Some medications for pain include meperidine (Demerol), hydrocodone, morphine, OxyContin, and many others.Some medications are moved by pumps in cells. St. John’s wort can make these pumps more active and decrease how much of some medications get absorbed by the body. This might decrease the effectiveness of some medications.

Some medications that are moved by these pumps include etoposide, paclitaxel, vinblastine, vincristine, vindesine, ketoconazole, itraconazole, amprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, saquinavir, cimetidine, ranitidine, diltiazem, verapamil, corticosteroids, erythromycin, cisapride (Propulsid), fexofenadine (Allegra), cyclosporine, loperamide (Imodium), quinidine, and others.Some medications can increase sensitivity to sunlight. St. John’s Wort might also increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Taking St. John’s wort along with medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight could increase the chances of sunburn, blistering or rashes on areas of skin exposed to sunlight. Be sure to wear sunblock and protective clothing when spending time in the sun.

Some drugs that cause photosensitivity include amitriptyline (Elavil), Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), norfloxacin (Noroxin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), ofloxacin (Floxin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), gatifloxacin (Tequin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Septra), tetracycline, methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen, 8-MOP, Oxsoralen), and Trioxsalen (Trisoralen).St. John’s wort increases a chemical in the brain called serotonin. Meperidine (Demerol) can also increase serotonin in the brain. Taking St. John’s wort along with meperidine (Demerol) might cause too much serotonin in the brain and serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety.Nefazodone can increase a chemical in the brain. This chemical is called serotonin. St. John’s wort can also increase serotonin. Taking St. John’s wort with nefazodone might cause there to be too much serotonin. This could lead to serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and restlessness.The body breaks down nortriptyline (Pamelor) to get rid of it. St. John’s wort can increase how quickly the body breaks down nortriptyline (Pamelor). This could decrease the effectiveness of nortriptyline (Pamelor).Paroxetine (Paxil) increases a chemical in the brain. This chemical is called serotonin. St. John’s wort also increases serotonin. Taking paroxetine (Paxil) and St. John’s wort together might cause there to be too much serotonin. This could lead to serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and weakness.St. John’s wort increases a brain chemical called serotonin. Pentazocine (Talwin) also increases serotonin. Taking St. John’s wort along with pentazocine (Talwin) might increase serotonin too much. This could cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety. Do not take St. John’s wort if you are taking pentazocine (Talwin).The body breaks down phenobarbital (Luminal) to get rid of it. St. John’s wort might increase how quickly the body breaks down phenobarbital. This could decrease how well phenobarbital works.The body breaks down phenprocoumon to get rid of it. St. John’s wort increases how quickly the body breaks down phenprocoumon. This decreases the effectiveness of phenprocoumon.The body breaks down phenytoin (Dilantin) to get rid of it. St. John’s wort might increase how quickly the body breaks down phenytoin. Taking St. John’s wort and taking phenytoin (Dilantin) might decrease the effectiveness of phenytoin (Dilantin) and increase the possibility of seizures.St. John’s wort can decrease the effects of reserpine.Medications that cause sleepiness and drowsiness are called sedatives. St. John’s wort might decrease the effectiveness of sedative medications. It is not clear why this interaction occurs.Sertraline (Zoloft) can increase a chemical in the brain. This chemical is called serotonin. St. John’s wort also increases serotonin. This can cause there to be too much serotonin in the brain. This could lead to serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and irritability.The body breaks down tacrolimus (Prograf, Protopic) to get rid of it. St. John’s wort can increase how quickly the body breaks down tacrolimus. This can cause tacrolimus to be less effective.Tramadol (Ultram) can affect a chemical in the brain called serotonin. St. John’s wort can also affect serotonin. Taking St. John’s wort along with tramadol (Ultram) might cause too much serotonin in the brain and side effects including confusion, shivering, stiff muscles, and other side effects.Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. The body breaks down warfarin (Coumadin) to get rid of it. St. John’s wort might increase the breakdown and decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Decreasing the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin) might increase the risk of clotting. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.


@thewitchylibrary thought you might like this 

🌞Litha🌞

Originally posted by ilsilenziodellasuatristezza

(June 21)

During this time the powers of nature reach their highest point. In the past, bonfires were leapt to encourage fertility, purification, health, and love. The fire represents the sun, feted on this time of the longest daylight hours.

Midsummer is a classic time for magic of all types. 

Litha Ritual by Scott Cunningham.

Before the rite, make up a small cloth pouch filled with herbs such as lavender, chamomile, St.Johns’s wort, vervain, or any or the Midsummer herbs (I’ll list them below). Mentally pour all your problems, troubles, pain, sorrows and illnesses, if any, into this petition as you construct it. Tie it shut with a red string. Place this on the altar (if you have an altar). For rites outside, light a fire- however small- and drop the pouch into this. Make sure you’re safely handling the fire. 

Arrange the altar and begin the rite. Chant:

I celebrate the noon of summer with mystic rites.

O great Goddess and God,

all nature vibrates with your energies

and the earth is bathed with warmth and life.

Now is the time of forgetting past cares and banes;

now is the time for purification.

O fiery sun, burn away the unuseful, the hurtful, 

the bane, in your omnipotent power.

Purify me! Purify me! Purify me!

Take up the herbal petition and light it with a red candle, when it is burning drop it into the cauldron or a heat-proof container and say:

I banish you by the powers of the Goddess and God!

I banish you by the powers of the sun, moon, and stars!

I banish you by the powers of earth, air, fire, and water!

Pause, seeing the hurts and pains burning into nothingness. Then say:

O gracious Goddess, O gracious God,

on this night of Midsummer magic

I pray that you charge my life with wonder and joy.

Help me in attuning with

the energies adrift on the enchanted night air.

I give thanks.

Reflect upon the purification you have undergone. Feel the powers of nature flowing through you, washing you clean with divine energy. 

Midsummer Lore

Midsummer is practically the classic time to perform magics of all kinds. Healings, love magic, and protection are especially suitable. Herbs can be dried over the ritual fire if you’re celebrating outdoors. Fresh fruits are standard fare for Midsummer. 

Herbs

Mugwort, vervain, chamomile, rose, lily, oak, lavender, ivy, yarrow, fern, elder, wild thyme, daisy, and carnation.

Crystals

Amber, Tiger’s eye, Jade, Emerald

Deities

Aine, Freya, Flora, Lugh, Greenman, Oak King, Bast, Brigid, Hathor.

Incense

Sage, cedar, frankincense, lemon, pine, rose, and lavender.

Colors

Gold, red, orange, yellow, and green.

Happy Litha!

3

Feather-set’s “A Better Me” Witch Bottle

This jar/bottle is filled with items and intents to turn the maker into the person they wish to become. It aids in following your talents, hobbies, and dreams and helps in changing yourself for the better. 

For this jar, just fill it with things that symbolize the you that you want to become, and when you need a reminder and a push to chase that ideal, give it a good shake. Make sure to use a shatter-proof jar such as a plastic bottle. 

My bottle has sea salt, black salt, chamomile, St. Johns Wort, hibiscus, anise star, rosemary sprigs, feathers, dandelion seed fluff, quartz crystals, cinnamon, sugar, cayenne pepper, and a nail. 

I hope this inspires you to make your own! I’d love to see what you make if you end up making one, so tag me in your post if you do! 

ST JOHN’S WORTS SIDE EFFECTS AND SAFETY

St. John’s wort is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth for up to 12 weeks. Some evidence suggests it can be used safely for over one year. It can cause some side effects such as trouble sleeping, vivid dreams, restlessness, anxiety, irritability, stomach upset, fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness, headache, skin rash, diarrhea, and tingling. Take St. John’s wort in the morning or lower the dose if it seems to be causing sleep problems.

St. John’s wort is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large doses. When taken by mouth in large doses, it might cause severe reactions to sun exposure. Wear sun block outside, especially if you are light-skinned.

St. John’s wort interacts with many drug. Let your healthcare provider know if you want to take St. John’s wort. Your healthcare provider will want to review your medications to see if there could be any problems.

There isn’t enough reliable information available to know if St. John’s wort is safe when it is applied to the skin. St. John’s wort might cause severe reactions to sun exposure.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

: St. John’s wort is

POSSIBLY UNSAFE

when taken by mouth during pregnancy. There is some evidence that it can cause birth defects in unborn rats. No one yet knows whether it has the same effect in unborn humans. Nursing infants of mothers who take St. John’s wort can experience colic, drowsiness, and listlessness. Until more is known, do not use St. John’s wort if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Children

: St. John’s work is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth for up to 8 weeks in children 6-17 years-old.

Alzheimer’s disease

: There is concern that St. John’s wort might contribute to dementia in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Anesthesia

: Use of anesthesia in people who have used St. John’s wort for 6 months may lead to serious heart complications during surgery. Stop using St. John’s wort at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

: There is some concern that St. John’s wort might worsen symptoms of ADHD, especially in people taking the medication methylphenidate for ADHD. Until more is known, don’t use St. John’s wort if you are taking methylphenidate.

Bipolar disorder

: People with bipolar disorder cycle between depression and mania, a state marked by excessive physical activity and impulsive behavior. St. John’s wort can bring on mania in these individuals and can also speed up the cycling between depression and mania.

Depression

: In people with major depression, St. John’s wort might bring on mania, a state marked by excessive physical activity and impulsive behavior.

Infertility

: There are some concerns that St. John’s wort might interfere with conceiving a child. If you are trying to conceive, don’t use St. John’s wort, especially if you have known fertility problems.

Schizophrenia

: St. John’s wort might bring on psychosis in some people with schizophrenia.

Surgery

: St. John’s wort might affect serotonin levels in the brain and as a result interfere with surgical procedures. Stop using St. John’s wort at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Herbs to Avoid while on Birth Control or Hormone Replacement

Disclaimer: I am not a professional herbalist or physician. Always consult with your private physician when considering herbal supplements.  If your doctor recommends you take any of these herbs, do not discontinue use.  If you are concerned, speak with your doctor about the possible side effects and use additional birth control measures. Once again, this is not professional advice.  I am simply sharing what I have learned in my own research.

I have seen a lot of excellent posts out there with people recommending natural herbal remedies for a whole host of maladies.  While I am a firm believer in holistic medicine, herbal supplements can have some serious side effects.  One that I think is incredibly important to learn is the interaction of some herbs with hormonal therapies such as birth control and hormone replacement. 

Here is a short and incomplete list of popular herbal supplements that can interact negatively with hormonal prescriptions (Feel free to add more):

  • St. John’s Wort recorded cases of unintended pregnancies when taken with birth control
  • Fenugreek blocks the absorption of medications, including birth control
  • Black Cohosh creates hormonal interaction with birth control and hormone replacement therapy
  • Blue Cohosh while I didn’t find anything specifically about interactions with birth control, it appears to cause uterine contractions and was used to induce labor, or abort early pregnancies.  Because of it’s effects on the reproductive system, it may be unwise to take concurrently with any hormonal prescription.
  • Fennel may decrease effectiveness of hormonal birth control and estrogen therapies
  • Hops may interact negatively with hormonal birth control 
  • Licorice taken medicinally, affects reproductive hormones, steer clear if on birth control or hormone replacement therapy
  • Soy while not an herb, can imitate estrogen, thus interfering with hormonal medications 
  • Red Clover may decrease effectiveness of birth control and hormone replacement therapy
7

A Greek Village in the Hills

Chlomos, Corfu, Greece

Chlomos is a small village perched 330m up in the hills in the east of Corfu. It’s a typical Greek village with tiny winding streets and buildings topped with distinctive clay tiles.

The village looked like it hadn’t changed much in the last 70 years, cats lay lazily at the bottom of steps, although quad bikes which replaced what would have once been donkeys.

A stoney cliff was covered in the beautiful yellow flowed Crisped St.Johns Wort Hypericum triquetrifolium (3), unlike other species when the flowers die they turn a deep blood red colour. The only other plant of note was the abundant Lime Trees Citrus limetta (6) which could be found in almost every courtyard and garden.

Beltane Eve Fairy Spell

Originally posted by nymph-angel-baby

Wanted to share this with you all since I plan on doing this this year; feel free to join and you can all share your experiences with me!

‘Tis the eve of Beltane and the fairies are out in force. Here is a fairy spell to work in your own garden or backyard. Gather together violets, St. Johns wort, and clover. The violets are a fairy favorite. The St. Johns wort will protect you from becoming fairy-led or tricked, and the clover is for prosperity and good luck. Gather these plants together, forming a little posy, and then tie it up with green ribbons. Blow the fairies a kiss and leave the posy as a gift. Now go and sit in the garden and try to meditate or to communicate with the fairies.

Fairies from far and wide,
I offer you a gift,
Tied up in green for luck,
And sealed with a kiss.
I can sense you
If I’m pure of heart,
Bless me with good luck
To boost my Witch’s art.

{ By: Ellen Dugan }

Self note about 5-htp  2

It has been 2-4 weeks since I started taking 5-htp. I feel in tune with everything. It’s unexplainable truly. I am now on 10 capsules a day, despite 2 being the maximum dose no scientist got very far by obeying the rules. From my last post one can see that 2 a day is magical, 10 a day makes you feel heavily buzzed, The hallucinations have goten worse now, day and night are all rolled into one. I hear voices and there’s this ringing, not unlike the kind heard when I smoked spice, or simpler, the sound you hear after inhaling N20. I see things in the corner of my eye, shifting shadows and swirling figures. Albeit this I refuse to stop taking them for the following reasons. My reflexes are insane, twitching only now and again as I feel the rush of my neurotransmitters shooting off at light speed. I can juggle knives like nothing, before I could only juggle two items, now 5 is no problem. I am so alert, so very alert. Those miniscule details one misses in everyday life I pick up on (Which has allowed me to follow the shining of money and other items around). I have combined 5-htp with St John’s Wort and MDMA now too; A recipe for serotonin syndrome but curiously I seem to have avoided the inevitable afliction and been so unbelievably happy (No wonder!). A certain side effect I am enjoying is the libido increase to very high levels. My girlfriend is enjoying my research with 5-htp very much now…

10

Natural Medicines: Treating Anxiety 

(In response to an anonymous request)

Anxiety, stress and nervousness are experienced by the majority of people in this age and time. A lot of times we deal with these issues or settle for always feeling this way, but that doesn’t have to be the case. You don’t need to get a prescription for over-the-counter medicine either, as the potency of those medicines can often cause addictive behaviours and can do more damage than they are doing good.

Though there is a plethora of natural plant remedies out there, one can also find calm by removing themselves from the over-stimulating environments, withdraw from society or a while, and take time to calm down.Yoga, tai chi, dancing, running groups, bird-watching groups, native plant societies, meditation groups, and spiritual/religious practices are all wonderful for healing.

However, if you are in a pinch for time, and you don’t have time for any of those activities, these plants can come of use. They can be taken in pill form, in teas, tinctures, and in bath teas (teas you pour into your bath for an aromatherapeutic experience).

  • St. John’s Wort
    It’s one of the ‘super plants’ and is a heal-all for many, many maladies. It’s used to prevent and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, especially when used frequently (the more you use it, the better shape you’ll be in).
    However, contact a physician or experienced herbalist before you use St. John’s Wort long-term. Avoid using this with 'life-sparing pharmaceuticals’ (eg. anti-rejection drugs, blood-thinners, and antiretroviral drugs). This herb is powerful and can lead to changes in blood-serum levels of these medications. Photosensitization is possible, but it will probably only occur in fair-skinned individuals who are using large and regular doses.
    Fun Fact: This herb’s yellow flowers turn blood red when squeezed.

  • Valerian
    This herb is probably the most widely recommended calming and sleep-promoting herb. Freshly harvested roots and rhizomes have stronger and more calming activity than the dried herb, so opt for fresh valerian root if you can find it.
    Some people report feeling an unexpected stimulating effect after taking valerian root extracts. This is much more likely to happen to you when you’re consuming older valerian than fresher valerian (such an effect is very rare to nearly null in fresh root). In only a few scenarios, people have developed headaches from taking too much valerian, but these are rare and idiosyncratic cases. 
    Dosage is specific to the individual. Start small, and work up from there if no effect is felt. What is excessive to one person may be just right for another. Don’t exceed recommended dose without professional advice.
    Fun Fact:   The name comes from the Latin valere, which means “to be in good health.”

  • Lavender
    This is widely used in inhalants and tea baths to create a sense of relaxation. 
    Lavender oil can occasionally cause allergic reactions with repeated use, and the internal use of lavender can cause a mild allergenic effect in sensitive people, but both occurrences are exceedingly rare. 
    There are no contraindications for using lavender teas or tinctures during pregnancy and lactation, but the oil should be used with caution during those times, as with any essential oils.
    Fun Fact: Lavender’s unique flavour is the surprise ingredient in herbes de Provence. It tastes great in desserts, too!

  • Lemon Verbena
    Lemon verbena is a very mild herb that is used for calming. It’s safe for kids as well, and works excellently in a bath tea. It’s also rich in antioxidants, and at one point lemon verbena was given to male runners to help speed their muscle recovery and protect their tissues against oxidative damage during repeated running sessions. 
    Lemon verbena is also traditionally used in teas, and the extract has been used to aid digestion, promote sleep, and of course, act as a mild sedative or calmative.
    Regular long-term use may cause indigestion or upset stomach in some people, but again, these are rare cases. When used externally, the essential oil form of this may cause photosensitivity in some individuals.
    Fun Fact: Victorian-era Europeans believed in the power of this herb’s perfume to induce passion in anyone who sniffed it.

  • Hops
    Hops, most commonly found in beer, promotes good sleep and calm (not surprisingly). As it’s not always suggested to drink alcohol whenever you’re nervous or stressed out, opt for nonalcoholic “hoppy” beers (eg. Clausthaler), as they contain high levels of this herb.
    Some herbalists feel it wise to avoid using hops if you are depressed, for fear that the sedative could accentuate this mood state.
    Handle hops carefully, as the pollen can cause a skin rash. It would be wise to avoid hops during pregnancy, as it has known mild estrogenic effects.
    Fun Fact: The flowers of this plant give beer and ale their bitter flavours and are widely used as an anti-inflammatory.

  • Rhodiola
    This is an excellent adaptogen and nerve and brain tonic. Rhodiola is a very popular herb in Scandinavia and Russia, and its popularity is increasing across the world. The root is considered to be the part of the plant that is the adaptogen (a substance that helps your body adapt to stress and restores its normal, healthy function). It’s also used to help counteract stress and fatigue, and promote physical vitality and good mental functioning.
    The root of the Rhodiola plant is similar to ginseng and has many like beneficial properties. It’s also used as an antidepressant, an antioxidant, antiviral, immune system stimulant, nervine, heart and lung tonic, etc.
    Clinical studies note that regular use of supplements containing rhodiola and has beneficial effects including improving memory, counteracting mental and physical fatigue, and improving mental and physical performance, especially after mental work or physical exercise. At least two studies show measurable reductions in anxiety and nervousness with rhodiola. 
    There are no known interactions with other herbs or drugs that have been recorded.
    Fun Fact: Russians and Swedes use this succulent herb of the far north to promote mental clarity.

  • Gotu Kola
    This plant is an excellent tonic herb for the nervous system, as well as for improving and preserving memory, mental function, and longevity. It also shows evidence of benefitting cardiovascular health, diabetes, and oral and gum health, and reducing inflammations and clearing your body of toxins (the latter of which can be especially beneficial to ease the symptoms of rheumatism and rheumatoid arthritis). The juice or leaves can also be used to stimulate your appetite when needed and promotes good digestion.
    For those of you out there that live with diabetes, gotu kola can be quite helpful to you. Studies have shown that gotu kola extract can benefit the circulation in diabetics and shorten the time it takes to heal diabetic ulcers. It also helps reduce risk of hypertension and abnormal clotting and plaque formation in the blood vessels.
    Gotu kola also support traditional uses of gotu kola and have shown that the extract helps reduce anxiety and improves memory and mood. It has been used as a common culinary green in Asia for centuries, and it is considered to have low toxicity. The herb has been shown to stimulate the production of collagen and to help improve the toe of veins near the surface of your skin.
    Fun Fact: This tropical weedy herb is an ingredient in popular health drinks that aid mental clarity.

  • Lemon Balm
    This is another mild herb used for calming, and like lemon verbena, it is safe for kids and can be used in baths. It’s not only settling to the nerves, but also to the stomach, and can be used for settling stomach aches as well. Herbalists recommend it for calming a nervous heart and counteracting tension and insomnia, as well as for relaxing spasms of the stomach and the intestines. 
    If consumed as tea after meals, lemon balm can also ease heartburn and relieve digestive upsets, such as a feeling of pressure or distension in the abdomen.
    Lemon balm has antiviral properties, and in the case of such viral conditions as herpes, you can drink the tea throughout the day and before bedtime. The phenolic fraction (a group of chemicals that have strong antioxidant properties), which can be extracted from the plant by gently simmering the whole herb for 40-60 minutes, is effective at relieving the pain and duration of herpes sores.
    The cooled tea infusion of the herb can be given to infants and young children by the spoonful to relieve colic and restlessness. There are no safety concerns known for lemon balm.
    Fun Fact: The “gladdening herb” is an ancient monastery herb used to calm and ease fevers and agitation.

  • Hawthorn
    Hawthorn is a great heart and digestive herb that has mild calming effects, especially when used regularly. The leaf and flower have traditionally been used in Europe to promote heart health. European doctors and herbalists alike frequently recommend hawthorn preparations for anyone with cardiovascular problems, especially in the beginning stages of disease. This includes hypertension, cholesterol imbalances, heartbeat irregularities, and even congestive heart failure, as hawthorn acts to strengthen the heart’s pumping action.
    Flavonoids and other powerful antioxidants in hawthorn can help protect your heart and promote cardiovascular health. It can be used regularly, even for years. Hawthorn is commonly known to reduce anxiety and nervousness, benefitting insomnia and calming a racing mind. For thousands of years, the large, glossy, red fruits of the Chinese hawthorn have been an important remedy in traditional chinese medicine for preventing and treating bloating, stomach distension, and difficulty in digesting fatty foods.
    Most worries about hawthorn’s safety are theoretical, but it can strengthen the effects of digitalis medications, although these are not commonly prescribed in modern medical practice. If you are taking beta-blockers or other drugs for high blood pressure, or if you have very low blood pressure, talk with your doctor or experience natural-care practitioner or herbalist before taking hawthorn.
    Fun Fact: It has white flowers that look like roses and is considered one of the most beautiful of all the shrubs that flower in the spring.

  • California Poppy
    This plant was used by American Indians to help soothe fussy babies. These poppies contain non-narcotic alkaloids that help promote calm and good sleep, as well as helping relax smooth muscle, especially in the uterus and bronchial airways, treating menstrual cramps and spasmodic coughs. 
    Poppy teas, tincture, and other preparations are recommended by herbalists for relieving anxiety, nervousness, stomach and uterine cramps, and bronchial constriction.
    California poppy promotes healthy sleep and is a mild pain reliever. Health professionals use it to help their patients slowly reduce prescription drug use and withdrawal from addictive substances, as well as to treat children with hyperactive tendencies.
    Safety concerns are all theoretical. The safety of California poppy during pregnancy has not been studied, but no harmful effects have been noted.
    Fun Fact: Called “cup of gold” by the Spanish, this herb is powerfully calming and safe for all ages.