We looked in part one at the adrenal glands and herbs and formulas that support their healthy function and we mentioned that nutrition and good sleep patterns also are essential.
Here I want to talk about how nourishing our muscles and joints with herbs can help us move better, more easily and then we can generate energy for all we want to do as well as create better mood with movement of all kinds.
Then we can talk about Digestion and how we can get more nutrition and energy from our food. And lastly, our Respiratory System. How can we breathe well and get all the oxygen as well as Prana or Qi the vital energy of life from the ocean of it around us into our bodies. It also is a food we need for optimal health.
Herbs can support muscle and joint health will facilitate our ability to move even as we age.
My favorites are Gotu Kola for mental clarity and connective tissue support. Also, Solomons Seal Root over time can strengthen tendons and ligaments which support and surround the joints. Keep muscles flexible and supple requires healthy fascia (a huge topic you can research and benefit from) and sometimes herbs that relax the chronic tension that holds muscles too tight.
We brace with our minds and with our musculature, that jutted jaw, contracted butt muscles, tense, calves and ropy rocky lifted shoulders. Herbs like Valerian or Kava Kava can offer a softening, relaxing effect and concurrently they can support mental ease and relaxation, relieve the grip that can make us anxious.
Because nerves run throughout as well as fascia, St. Johnswort can add to our ability to be mobile but also brightens our mood (Do not use if taking SSRIs). There are supplements as well that support this area glucosamine and Omega 3 fatty acids in food and capsules. More to be said on that another time.
Herbs that support digestion are key.
The gut is where 70% of our immune system is located. It's also where our food is assimilated AND where the largest reserves of serotonin are (not in the brain) to support our mood, our defenses and the assimilation of the energy we get from food.
To support digestion so we can absorb nutrients for energy from the healthy food we eat, our body needs to secrete various enzymes and other juices to aid this. If we are stressed and tense they may over or under secrete and then all the lovely organic food we grow or buy wont get to our cells.
Take a few slow deep breaths before eating, don’t eat and drive (sounds crazy right?) etc. and if you can don’t scroll! Conscious eating is so helpful to digestion. For support try Digestive Bitters 20 minutes before a meal and see if that helps to activate the squirting machine that is our digestive tube so we can absorb nutrients. We have another formula called Digestive Fire. This formula can help build the fire or strength of the digestive system, and help all its organs work together more harmoniously. I use this as a general tonic.
Herbs can support Respiratory health in the lungs and sinus.
This is important because how we breath is how we get life0giving oxygen to our cells. If you cannot breathe because you nose is swollen, sinuses are clogged or inflamed, or your lungs are often filled with mucous and or irritated, or you can’t breath well at night and have apnea or just shallow or mouth breathing, your vitality will be diminished.
Umckalaobo can help sinuses drain better and Goldenseal can tone the lining of the nose and sinus in a nasal wash and even taken internally in small doses. Lung Tonic can be an all around support especially if you use your lungs a lot or live in city with more pollution or cars.
The best medicine is the Breath. Breathing well especially through your nose which is perfectly designed for that job (the mouth is not), can do a lot for our energy and well being. Read James Nestor’s book of the same name, Breath. It's astounding.
If you don’t feel like you have the energy you need or want, don’t just live with it. Do some research, pay attention to what you feel and what you react to, try things. You deserve to be full of energy and life to fulfill your dreams.
My name is Bonnie Bloom and I am a clinical herbalist. Plants give us clothing, shelter, food and medicine. They are an intrinsic part of our earth ecology, diverse and essential. They breathe our carbon dioxide and generously give us oxygen. Where would we be without them.