Mental health today in Ireland is something that concerns all of us. We all suffer from depression, anxiety, insomnia and addiction at some level and at some time. Yes, its true, we do. Eckart Tolle suggests the biggest addiction of our time is addiction to thinking! Think about it 😉
The main discourse or approach to treating mental health is informed by the medical model. Your recommended to go to your GP (Doctor), who will most likely prescribe you anti-depressants, or anti-anxiety drugs. All of these drugs have limited outcomes and often leave people with nasty side effects.
Herbal medicine is another pathway, to treat depression, anxiety and addiction. However it has been overshadowed and dominated by the power of the medical model that abaondoned natural healing in favour of the scientific model. Today we know that science is limited. It has its place, but so does nature.
There are many herbs that can be used to treat the nervous system such as skull cap, valerian, St John’s wort, passion flower and lemon balm to mention a few. Many of these herbs have been studies and show to be beneficial. However due to the power and influence of the pharmaceutical industry, it does not want people to believe that nature can heal because it sees people as consumers.
Valerian is one of the most effective herbs that a herbalist can use to treat anxiety and stress. It was first used by Hippocrates the father of medicine. Valerian contains volatile oils valerine and valerenal. Valerian works by suppressing the central nervous system.
Its actions are sedative, hypnotic, anti-spasmodic and carminative. Valerian is especially effective to reduce stress, tension and anxiety. It helps to improve sleep and over all well being. Valerian has also been found to be effective for improving heart health and can be used to treat irregular heart beat, high blood pressure, and palpitations. Valerian combines well with hawthorn, another great heart herb.
Valerian is safe to use and non addictive.
Treating the nervous system valerian combines well with skull cap, oat straw, mother wort, and passion flower.
Contradictions and interactions: Do not use when pregnant, or if you are a lacating mother. Do not use if you suffer from liver disease or if your prescribed anti-anxiety medications. Always consult your herbalist when taking herbs or your doctor if changing your medications. This post is for information purposes only and herbs must be used under the supervision of a qualified herbalist.