Plant medicine and psycho-emotional health

Plant medicine can be such incredible support for psycho-emotional health. Plants can be integrated daily in all sorts of ways internally (as teas, tinctures etc.) and externally (in foot baths, steamers, oils etc.) for nourishment and support, and be called on as allies in times of need or struggle. This page gives clickable links in the sections below to plants for psycho-emotional health, preparations and dosage, ways to do a group herb study and some reading and online resources.

It can be life changing to forge a relationship with a plant, getting to know it, the effects you feel it has on you, and its medicinal uses – from its leaves, flowers, fruits, roots or bark. It can be a profound way also to connect to the whole plant realm, and to available support in and from the non-human world. Plant medicine affects us physically and emotionally, also spiritually as we engage more deeply with our relationship to the plants and to the earth, and politically: it’s the people’s medicine that we have all had and have knowledge of in our various heritages, to both honour and reclaim.

PLEASE NOTE: Some plant medicine is contraindicated, which means it shouldn’t be taken by folks with particular health issues or life experiences, i.e diabetes, or epilepsy, or pregnancy for example. Some herbs can also have interactions with drug medicine or compromise their efficacy – please always check with someone experienced if you have any questions or concerns.

NERVINES: Plants can be used to soothe, ground, relax, sedate, stimulate, uplift, clear and support the bodymindsoul. In the European herbal tradition many of these are called ‘nervines’. Here is a list of some nervines, mostly (but not exclusively) European plants, with some brief notes, as encouragement for everyone to get to know plants they feel drawn to, or that feel resonant, and foster their own relationship with them.

PREPARATION METHODS & DOSAGE: There are lots of different ways we can prepare and take herbs internally and externally. And there are different doses we can chose. Here is some basic information about preparation methods & dosage.

Plants, called entheogens, that alter consciousness can also be used for supporting psycho-emotional health, and for healing. Here are links to information about plant enthoegens and psychedelics.

HERB STUDY: It can be brilliant and deep learning to get to know the plants in groups. To chose a plant and explore it together to find what common and divergent feelings and responses there are amongst us all to the medicine. Here are some notes for doing a group herb study.

READING & ONLINE RESOURCES: Here are some reading and online resources, for general herbal information and learning, and some specific for psycho-emotional health.