Few people in this country have ever experienced face to face disasters of such magnitude as we are facing with international corona virus. Even people who survived Vietnam are in their 70s. The troubles in our society that have hit us have been such things like hurricanes but they have been fairly localized and not generally so personal as a pandemic. It can be really scary and filled with unknowns and fearful consequences from something you can’t feel or see (a virus is pretty tiny).
So, if you have never experienced something how do you prepare for it?
We see a lot of advices on the news and social media, but much of it is based on supposition because the studies on the virus are incomplete and filled with holes. As a result people panic, go to the store and pile the carts with toilet paper (if you can find it) and every other imaginable thing, much of it unneeded and later wasted I think, but then it’s so new. I saw in Aldi’s last week carts lined up piled with toilet paper (before they ran out), and snacks. I just had to laugh. These people have NO CLUE. How in the world Cheetos is going to save you from a virus just made me smile. People turn to comfort food.
But I was a Girl Scout and learned the big lesson – Be Prepared. If you don’t know how to do that, that in itself that can be upsetting. So, let’s put that over there on the shelf and find ways to become causitive so you can act responsibly for your own survival and that of those you love.
We need to focus on the important things, most importantly knowledge of how to survive. Having this knowledge has made me very not scared, and happy to help by sharing knowledge and calmness. It isn’t hopeless or that horrible. We get our attention focused on just the things that will do us in, and not on what we can do about it. This is called ‘worry’ and it is dispelled when we have real solutions.
Knowledge is power and if you have the knowledge of something, and apply it, you can’t be the effect of it.
I have spent a lifetime learning all these things, what to do, how to do it. But right now many don’t have the time or resources to learn how to garden, or make your own medicine (although I have given you below the simple herbal medicines you can use to be knowledgeable and sites to look into if you wish to learn.) Just having a few things you can get and take will give you a start.
If someone’s anxiety is not just based on the current situation, and you have an underlying but hidden source for this condition, I’ve laid out almost everything you need to study and work out what can restore you to calmness and confidence physically, and a bit of spiritually too.
Not everyone has a background of learning the skills of survival in troubling times, or how to do many of the things that can be learned. As a result, people have come forward asking for help with anxiety issues. These kinds of stress can hit the nerves and make you feel like you are coming apart at the seams. But you don’t have to suffer, and you sure don’t want to fall into the habit of taking psych drugs because they don’t ultimately work, make you feel like you’re half dead and cut off, as well as long term toxic effects on the rest of your body. Luckily there are lots of great plant medicinal herbs that work to calm and focus your mind and herbs. And they rarely have any side effects or toxic effects on you. So you don’t have to come behind them and do massive detoxing later.
I did some research for someone and decided you might benefit from this information. Because you probably can find many of these plants in your area, or find a company that will ship you what you need. Herbal, plant, and supplement medicine is powerful and has worked well for me for decades so it isn’t just a bunch of weeds, it’s really good stuff.
How to take the herbs: I take herbs in several forms depending on what they are for. I use essential oils either in a carrier oil (to dilute the powerful essential oils) like olive oil, or put it in a diffuser to smell and get the oils into the body directly for their beneficial effects. Lavender essential oil a few drops at a time are great tapped into a little hard stuffed 2″ pillow I take to bed with me and place on my nighttime pillow so I can smell it. It’s terrifically soothing and helps me sleep. But it can be put into a diffuser
But teas such as Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Catnip, Hops, or Passion Flower alone or in combination are delicious and so soothing. And they can be drunk almost without limit with no side effects. With a little raw honey which is also soothing, and some lemon if you like, can calm the nerves and help with anxiety. Green tea contains L-Thionine which is in itself very soothing and anti-anxiety.
Making tinctures with many of them and taken a dropper full at a time in water, juice or tea is an easy DIY way to get the nerve-calming effects into the body. I do this with St. John’s wort, Valerian root, Lobelia, Reishi mushroom, Ashwagandha, Kava kave and Vitex which all work well. You can make these from commercially dried plant matter or grow them in your garden and make them directly yourself. Tinctures are easy to make with an herb and alcohol. Here are a couple of nice tutorials to help you learn this simple method of taking herbs: https://www.urbanmoonshine.com/blogs/blog/how-to-take-a-tincture-and-why?fbclid=IwAR1nn-pzEMAYx071rR0cKG6Nub49nMUQhCEhOak9Ze4GblS96cE8gU0yS_k
And more detailed explanation: https://oldwaysherbal.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/making-weight-to-volume-tinctures/
Some also can be powdered and put into capsules DIY. I just dry the herbs or mushrooms in my dehydrator (or low temperature in the oven), powder them in a little hand held coffee grinder, and have a little device from Mountain Rose Herb Co. which fills capsules 24 at a time. I get my capsules in bulk from I-Herb from the NOW company about $9/1000 empty capsules, very ecoomical. I like “0” size for most of my herbs and take one or two capsules of the herbs that indicate to me.
Turmeric with pepper makes a great anti-inflammatory herb which also helps with the physical side of anxiety which handles low level pain. This is one of my favorite encapsulated herbs.
Often people with anxiety have vitamin, mineral and protein deficiencies in the form of amino acids, as well as Omega 3 oils which are often needed to absorb the vitamins and minerals. If you can find a health practitioner who does kinesiology (muscle testing) this is a fine way to check quickly for what the body needs. I use it often.
Do a little research of your own by reading the sites I have provided below, and get familiar with the various kinds of herbs and supplements. Start with a few of the teas and see what works for you. You can get help from a local herbalist or naturopath if you want advice. A nutritionist can test you for deficiencies too. Most people are magnesium deficient in our current low nutrition food but this is easily remedied. Magnesium deficiency can in itself cause anxiety and depression.
Here is a list of good nerve calming (nervine) remedies:
Any of the nervine herbs: passion flower, catnip, mimosa, St John’s wort, chamomile tincture or tea, lobelia, hops, lavender, valerian root, reishi mushroom, turmeric with black pepper, ashwagandha, lemon balm, kava kava, vitex (chastberry), (tincture or double extract), and others at this site: https://www.starwest-botanicals.com/content/stress_relief.html
Helpful oils and supplements: CBD oil, magnesium, l-theonine (green tea), low levels of D3 and B12.
Here are many sites which cover these remedies. I hope you find them interesting.
https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/supplements-for-anxiety https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/supplements-for-anxiety https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/herbs-for-stress-recipe#1 https://avivaromm.com/7-herbs-anxiety/ https://avivaromm.com/7-herbs-anxiety/ https://www.thecut.com/2018/12/natural-remedies-for-anxiety.html https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325823#summary https://www.health.com/condition/anxiety/19-natural-remedies-for-anxiety?slide=2fb7509c-5f10-4fb4-86cf-6044f2f270c4#2fb7509c-5f10-4fb4-86cf-6044f2f270c4
These herbs, vitamins, and minerals are all soothing to the nerves, help with anxiety, sleep, etc. I’d first start with tea like chamomile, catnip, lemon balm, hops and see how you do. Lemon balm with any kind of flavorful mint is a lovely delicious tea just for a start. Get some magnesium supplement like Kalm Assure (powder form, tastes like orange Tang, make sure you stir it lots when putting in water but good for nerves and sleep). Take D3 and B12. I get the B12 sublingual (under the tongue) at Costco – I take 2 and take it with a B complex for the B2 which helps it be absorbed.
Other ways to fight anxiety: regular exercise and fresh air. Moving the body in itself is soothing and comforting. Drink enough filtered or otherwise good water. I am a distributor for one of the best under the sink filter systems that leave in the good minerals but even take out radiation and all the bad stuff – contact me personally on the site for more information. I stay away from bottled water because most of it is expensive, has PCBs (from the plastic) in them, and the bottles are an environmental disaster. Even a Zero Water pitcher is better than tap water.
Take calming detoxing baths on a regular basis for their healing power. I take a very hot bath with 1 cup Epsom salt (a great magnesium source), 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide (gets oxygen into the body, also very beneficial), 1/4 cup baking soda (alkanizes the body and helps with muscle tension etc.), and some nice bubble bath and maybe a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil (a lovely nervine herb). and soak in it for at least 40 minutes letting it cool naturally as it draws the poisons and toxins out of your body that can in themselves cause anxiety.
One reason for anxiety may be hormonal imbalances. We live in an era when hormonal disruptors are in our food (soy is a big one but any GMO foods are loaded with glyphosate, RoundUp, which is very hormonally disruptive), the packaging (outgassing from plastics is just one) for everything, and many kinds of contaminants and pollutants all around us, and this hits bodies differently. Some people are very subject to their bad effects. These can throw our entire systems out of wack, and this in tern can cause symptoms of anxiety, depression, and worry. Not just women suffer from this. It’s a human problem.
To balance hormones: I like MACA powder (hormone balancing food), Vitex (especially for women), Angelica (an herb best taken in capsule form, hormone balancer, aka ‘Dong Quai” in Chinese medicine), Evening Primrose (capsule form), are all good to help put things in harmony. There are others but these are my favorites. A combination of hormonal imbalance, deficiencies, toxicity, and lack of proper nutrition can be a double whammy on the nerves so be good to yourself and take care of yourself.
The spiritual side of life is very important. Take some time with a friend and find reasons to laugh. Get a change of environment – walk in the woods or with nature, get your hands in some dirt in your garden (scientifically proven to help with anxiety and depression), go to someplace you have never been and look around, preferably some place really beautiful. I love botanical garden walks for this reason, or a trail hike in a park. We have a great state park nearby called Fort Yargo that has a big lake and a trail all around it. Lovely. But look around and see what is in your area.
Get off your couch, take a container of home filtered water, some money, put on a hat, and go. All the national parks are still open so maybe you can find some place that is quiet, beautiful, and listen to the birdies.
Hope this helps
Diann Dirks, Herbalist, 50 year organic gardener, consultant
If you are interested in furthering your survival skills to improve your happiness and ease in life, here are some ways to do it: I have armed myself with field guides for edible wild plant and foraging skills, a big garden for food and herbs, a lot of knowledge about plants and how to grow good organic foods, and know how to make my own medicine. Skills are important about survival. The internet is loaded with great Youtube videos of every imaginable skill. Lots are in there about gardening, exercise, crafts, and places to go. I enjoy some of the channels – one of my favorite is “My Self-Reliance” that features an adorable dog named Cali. It brings me peace every time I watch.