Herbs are ancient tools that have been used for their energetic properties for years. They are often also used to cultivate stillness, which can be difficult to attain by oneself. Anyone who has tried meditation or meditation in yoga can understand that finding stillness is not easy.
Whilst the point of meditation is to quiet a busy mind and learn to observe thoughts so that the practice can be done at any time, it doesn’t hurt to have some sort of help. Especially when starting out a meditation practice, herbs can be helpful to set the tone of a meditation practice. After all, it doesn’t matter how you got to that stillness but that you got there in the first place.
Why people originally began using herbs
One of the oldest health systems, which originated in India, has for centuries believed in herbs. The health system is called Ayurveda, meaning life science. It is widely known as a mind, body, and spirit health system and not simply a physical health system. It’s also seen as a way of living life and using preventative care so that sickness doesn’t come, instead of treating sickness when it does come.
In Ayurveda, herbs and spices are vital for a healthy person. They are said to facilitate mental health and physical health, through the improvement of digestion. Ayurvedic history states that herbs and spices protected the body from a variety of diseases and those who took them remained healthy in mind, body, and spirit. In ancient India, people realised the potential of herbs and they were used as an easy way to get all the nutrients that people needed to stay healthy.
The different benefits of herbs
The benefits of herbs are also mentioned in medical journals. People with physical ailments are often advised by doctors to take certain herbs or to incorporate more herbs and spices into their everyday meals.
- They have been said to prevent multiple physical health issues like heart disease, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.
- Studies have shown that herbs have anti-inflammatory properties within them.
- They are natural antioxidants that can be easily added to any meal.
- They are delicious and add a healthy spark and flavour to any meal they are put in.
- They lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Why use herbs for meditation?
Along with having numerous physical health benefits, herbs have just as many mental health benefits. They’ve been used to calm the mind for as long as they’ve been used to aid physical health. Most herbs can significantly reduce stress and calm the mind, which is another thing that creates physical health in a person.
The calming sensation that herbs bring, pairs beautifully with mediation. It is the exact feeling that’s needed to find that place of stillness. Thoughts are always running wild, which is what makes meditation so difficult for people. With herbs, the thoughts can settle. They don’t settle completely, but a lot more than what it would’ve been without taking them.
Herbs to use in meditation
It’s important to note that herbs can assist with a meditation practice, but they won’t do everything. They are not going to put someone in a trance and do all the meditation work. They are facilitators in the process of meditation and shouldn’t be used unless the person feels completely safe and certain about them. Some herbs have different effects on different people and should be taken according to personal attributes.
Chamomile is a popular tea that people sometimes use to help them get to sleep. This is because they have calming properties, and most people struggle to sleep due to their excess stress. It aids in getting a person into a deeper restful state, the perfect state to begin a meditation or breathwork practice. It can also be used to help a person find stillness during yoga and to take a flow more slowly and precisely.
This herb isn’t heard of often and is a hidden gem. It’s known by yogis to be the most powerful herb in terms of spirituality. It’s said to balance out the left and the right side of the brain and it even looks similar to a brain. It’s often referred to in yoga as the herb that develops the crown chakra. The crown chakra is a vital part of a meditation practice because it brings on mental alertness. Being mentally alert is exactly what a person wants to be when meditating.
This is also an extremely popular herb used to calm nerves. It’s known for balancing the energy systems, which then brings on a state of relaxation. Having a balanced energy system is one of the easiest ways to get into a meditative state because everything in the energy field is already set in place. There is no need to fiddle around trying to find ease because holy basil already brings it.
Hibiscus is known for bringing positive energy, which naturally eases ongoing thoughts. It’s long been used to help relieve stress as it can easily calm the nervous system. Letting go of anxieties can often be very difficult. One of the biggest struggles people have whilst trying to meditate is letting go of all the things that they are currently worried about. Hibiscus is a powerful herb to assist with that. When anxieties are let go, it offers an easy way into meditation instead of a struggle.
Nettle is a herb that is found almost everywhere. People tend to dislike it or move away from it because it’s often known as stinging nettle and can create rashes on the body. These rashes only come from rubbing the herb against the skin and not from ingesting it. It has numerous health benefits when ingested because it has a variety of vitamins and minerals in it. Mentally, ingesting nettle brings a sense of awareness. Taking nettle assists in bringing a person to the present moment.