In the wise way of the Native American people, the concept of wapi’ yechi, or bringing a person back to balance, is deeply rooted in the way of medicine. The herb woman (pejuta win) administered herbs and contacted animal or ancestral spirits to heal a sick person. It’s amazing that curing is equated with balance. The concept of restoring balance is inherent to herbalism, while modern allopathic medicine unfortunately has forgotten this wisdom.
We hear and talk about STRESS all the time, but really when you stop to think about what it actually means, it becomes a little less … stressful. Stress is whatever causes the body to be pulled away from balance. The nature of life is change and therefore no one can escape stress. When stress gets the best of us illness (imbalance) occurs. However, there are herbs that help us cope with stress and restore balance … wapi’ yechi.
Tonic herbs are masters of balance, like Libra. The secret to their gift is that they are dual-natured, like gemini; they contain opposite groups of constituents that each carry opposite signals to the body. The body then chooses based on “specific hunger” which action it needs, based on the situation at hand. For example … echinacea is a tonic herb that has the ability to BOTH lower white blood cell count or raise white blood cell count. If a person has LOW white blood cell count, their body would interpret the echinacea as a white blood cell ENHANCER, and vise versa!! (Specific hunger is the idea that the body is wise and knows what is best for it, such as a child with a fever craving a cucumber…knowingly or not the cucumber cools and reduces fever! This happens all the time, but the important thing is to listen to your own body. Cravings are a whole other story….) This is an amazing interaction between plant and body that reflects our oneness with all of nature…they have this unspoken understanding that transcends the need for specific drugs or “instructions” from us!
Our bodies and the plants are truly partners in healing and harmony.
It is somewhat hard for us to understand that many herbs can have two opposite effects on the body, depending on what is needed at the time. Perhaps that is because modern medicine focuses on solving one problem in the body at a time. Not surprisingly, this approach always causes many side effects, because this method only furthers the IMBALANCE in the body. A people’s medicine reveals much about the way of life and beliefs that govern daily living and perception of life. It seems that modern medicine ignores the concept of balance and makes it foreign to us. Using tonic herbal formulas daily is a proactive way to “fill in the gaps” of our current medical model.
Tonic herbs are always non-toxic, dual-natured, suitable for long-term use, and restore balance to body systems that are under stress. They don’t need any instructions, just take them and they will work WITH your body to fix what needs fixing. Here are some tonic herbs:
yerba mate …. these are just a few! as always feel free to message me with questions or help finding the right tonic herbs!
Trust the inherent wisdom of your body and the plants! Tonic herbs are like tune-ups for your body. Even if you don’t feel sick or imbalanced, or you aren’t sure which systems are off balance in your body, you can revive the age-old practice of taking tonic herbs everyday for optimal health.
Ruled by Mercury, the planet of intellectual stimulation, communication, memory, short trips, wisdom, and intuition, Virgo’s are quick thinkers and possess exquisite memories. Many are skilled artisans as they have an unmatched eye for details. Since Virgo rules the stomach and lower intestines, those born under this sign may tend to suffer from nervous stomachaches. In addition, they may suffer from headaches due to their extreme attention to detail and their gift of memory that often stress out Virgo’s. Fortunately, there are many herbs that can help Virgo’s calm their bellies and slow down their ever-working minds:
Fennel. Excellent herb for digestive troubles including constipation, indigestion, heartburn, and overactive appetite. Fennel was traditionally used to ease fasting. Being very gentle, it can be given to babies to help ease colic. Fennel is best taken as a tea made from the seeds.
Valerian. A supremely calming herb for the nervous system. It treats nervous exhaustion and emotional outbursts. It is a sedative herb, but it simultaneously perks you up and fights fatigue, its name is from the Latin “powerful.” Valerian root must be infused and not boiled, and taken in small doses (1 teaspoon dried root per cup of water.) 5% of people experience dizziness from this herb, so be mindful when using.
Southernwood. Also known as Artemisia, wormwood, and lad’s love, this herb is an aphrodisiac and believed to be a love potion in olden days. It is useful for Virgo’s who suffer from gastritis, bloating, loss of appetite, and intestinal worms (hence the name wormwood.) It is a lovely herb and a common one in country gardens for these uses.
Dill. This well known culinary herb has powerful medicinal traits that Virgo’s should tap into. It is a cooling, aromatic herb that cleanses the digestive tract, aids indigestion, and soothes stomach ulcers. Like fennel, it is gentle and helps balance the stomach and ease any pains or discomfort gently but powerfully.
Skullcap. Also an herb of fellow-mercury-ruled Gemini, this herb is ideal for quieting a busy mind. It strengthens the solar plexus, the body’s seat of fear, which helps Virgo overcome unchecked fears of inferiority or failure. It is a member of the mint family, and is helpful in treating restlessness, insomnia, stress, headaches, and general nervous debility. Combines well with lemon balm and chamomile as a nightly nerve soothing tea.
Based on the books Healing Herbs of the Zodiac by Ada Muir and Herbal Wisdom by Roni Jay.
The fifth house of the zodiac, Leo governs the heart and circulatory system. It is the house of children, education, and pleasure. It is no surprise that Leo is governed by the Sun, symbolizing the inherent optimism, faith, and leadership of the Lions. Anyone who has a Leo in their life knows that just as the sun is the center of the solar system, Leo’s are often the center of attention, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Leo’s may face health concerns with the heart/circulatory system, eyes, and common cramps or spasms. It follows that the healing herbs for Leo mainly strengthen these areas:
Eyebright – as its name implies, this herb can be used as a wash (make a tea and apply on eyelids) for bright clear eyes.
Mistletoe – best known for the tradition of kissing underneath it, this herb calms the pulse and lowers blood pressure. (It also has the added virtue of preventing snoring!!)
St. John’s Wort – besides its well known anti-depressant qualities, this versatile herb is also useful in treating asthma and skin burns. Current research shows it might be a cure for SAD (seasonal affective disorder), a tendency for Leo’s who thrive on warmth and sunshine.
Based on the book Healing Herbs of the Zodiac by Ada Muir
Astrology isn’t just for fortune tellers. Knowing a few things about the sun signs of the people around you and yourself can give you great insight into how you can optimize your communication and understanding of each other. The zodiac has suffered a bad reputation in our day due to bogus horoscopes and the expectation that astrology is a form of gratuitous fortune-telling. And though it might sound like nonsense to you, I guarantee if you take these basic ideas into consideration you will find yourself more at peace with those around you — and yourself.
Here is the first secret: The 12 zodiac signs are divided by the 4 elements- earth, air, fire, water. That means each element has 3 sun signs that are associated with it. Generally these groups of signs share common traits, particularly in their approaches to relationships, emotions, achieving goals, and understanding the world around them.
Earth signs are: virgo, taurus, capricorn. Generally, they are more physical, practical, sensual, materially-oriented. They are very present in their bodies, and enjoy sensual, worldly experiences. They might seem lazy or materialistic, but their rootedness makes them among the most loyal people around. Being comfortable and feeling secure is important to them.
Air signs: gemini, libra, aquarius. They are people of mental perceptions, thought, communication, abstract ideas. Anything too concerned with the mundane or physical will probably bore them, while lofty ideas and thoughtful discussion are the way to their hearts. They might seem elusive and flighty, but their ability to change with the wind makes them ever-interesting. Feeling free and being given a lot of space is vital to them.
Fire signs: leo, sagittarius, aries. You know one when you see one, they are hard to miss! Outgoing, action-oriented, impulsive, fiery. These signs are passionate, outspoken, and love to be heard and admired. They might seem pompous, but their confidence is what drives them and ultimately makes them so popular. They thrive on feedback and attention and feeling loved and appreciated.
Water signs: cancer, scorpio, pisces. These are the most sensitive, feeling, empathetic, and healing people. They are nurturing, maternal, and protective of loved ones. Their feelings run deep and are genuine. Water signs can be intuitive and their sensitivity to others might be interpreted as brooding or jealous, but their caring natures make them powerful peacemakers. For these signs, it is important that they feel unthreatened by any external forces, and that things are under control.
Now, of course these are very general descriptions and each of us is completely individual and dynamic and impossible to sum up in a few sentences. With the right amount of wisdom and tact we can each get a tiny but revealing glimpse into ourselves and others based on the zodiac. It’s fun and you learn a lot about yourself when you become aware of these concepts.I’d love to hear what you think!