A lesson in each flower.
We live in a country and era that calls for many remedies to repair imbalances of the nervous system. I see products of herbal, chemical, allopathic and floral substances plus therapy options (physical and mental) advertised in nearly every magazine. It is, like security, a booming industry in South Africa. People are suffering more from depression and anxiety than ever before. Panic attacks is a term unheard of 15 years ago, but nowadays it is something that many people have in common and it's humorously referred to in movies and books. Many studies have been done in the UK on gardening as a form of therapy. It is a fantastic type of escapism due to its creative and physical aspects. Providing ongoing challenges like pests or diseases that has nothing to do with your own problems, yet need you to do something about it. Therapeutic of course is the fact that apart from dealing with these challenges and sometimes difficulties, it is highly rewarding. You are never solely in control and soon realise how 'big' Mother Nature is. Also how kind and gentle when you notice the first apple blossoms after a harsh winter. Although she may slip the odd charming little weed in, you are at least in control of your plant selection and it can include herbs for the nervous system.
One of my favourite books on the topic, Herbs To Soothe Your Nerves (by Sarah Beckett), sums up the whole worth of natural remedies so perfectly when she quotes from an old herbal:
'A lesson in each flower,
A story in each tree and bower.
In every herb on which we tread
Are written words, which rightly read
Will lead us from earth's fragrant sod
To hope, and holiness to God.'
Suitable herbs can be incorporated into teas, tinctures and oils to use for better sleep and relaxation. Herbs that are good for the nervous system include Angelica, Balm, Bay, Borage, Chamomile, Cress, Dill, Garlic, Lavender, Marjoram, Oregano, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Salad Burnet and Thyme. (See the Medicinal Herbs page under Alternative Gardening LINK). Our father of Medicine, Hippocrates, was the first man to record the importance of herbs when treating and building up the nervous system gently - a great man he wasà and a rich one he would've been today!
All the best,
The Gardening Eden Team
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