Losing a loved one is devastating. It is important to find ways of managing your emotions during this difficult time. That’s where herbs come in handy.
Herbal remedies have been used for centuries to help ease physical and emotional discomfort; they can also offer relief from the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Here are some herbs for grief that have been used across different cultures and parts of the world.
Hawthorne for the general purpose of grief, as well as depression and anxiety, can be taken in the form of tea.
Lavender has been used historically in herbal medicine for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia; herbs expert Yaegaki recommends a dose of 20-40 drops (1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon) from 2-4 times per day, inhaled or ingested via infusion or tincture form.
Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus Senticosus) is an ancient herb that has been used by Chinese healers for centuries to treat emotional distress brought on by grief.
Kava kava has been used traditionally to alleviate anxiety, stress, and symptoms related to depression. It's ideal for short term use only, as long term use can cause liver damage.
Chamomile is a favorite herb among herbal practitioners. It’s most commonly recommended for use as an essential oil, or added to bathwater (as the flowers are infused), but it can also be taken as an infusion of 2-4 teaspoons steeped for 10 minutes in boiling water.
Rose is a flowering plant known for it's beauty, but it is also used in herbal medicine. Rose can be taken as an infusion for grief, but it’s also recommended as an essential oil – use it in a diffuser or with a carrier oil to be put on your skin.
Motherwort is a perennial plant that's traditionally used to treat mood issues. It's been found to have benefits for people who are experiencing grief and anxiety, and can be taken as a tea or tincture supplement. Learn how to make a tincture here.
Yarrow is great for helping you calm down, cope with the loss of your loved one, and accept things as they are. Yarrow will help you not worry about things that only distract you from grieving).
How to Use Herbs for Grief
Herbal remedies can be administered in a number of ways. Teas and tinctures are two practical choices when it comes to using herbs for grief.
Tea vs Tincture
A tea is made by pouring boiling water over a teabag containing the tea, or in a cup with loose tea leaves. You can steep it for as long as you like until it reaches your desired strength.
A tincture is an alcohol-based solution that extracts the active compounds in herbs and flowers into a liquid tincture. The first step is to fill a jar with herbs, then cover them with an alcohol-based solvent (vodka, rum, etc.). Put the jar in a dark glass, and let it sit for six weeks or so in order to extract the beneficial properties of the herb.
The herbs listed above have been traditionally used by healers in different parts of the world for various physical and emotional ailments when someone suffers from grief. However, herbs also have some contraindications. For example, do not use Siberian ginseng if you take MAO inhibitors, such as Prozac , Paxil , etc., or if you have high blood pressure .