Herbs for Overworked Brains

There are some people who never have brain burnouts; calm people who fall in the categories of low intelligence and the very intelligent. If you’re one of the lucky ones this article is not for you.

This is for those who tend to use their brains in manic ways to the point where they feel burned out, their heads literally over heated.

Brain stress and burnout isn’t caused just by overthinking. The brain can get wound up and overworked hormonally, through the effect of drugs that stimulate the glands in the brain. The brain can get over-heated dealing with the sudden demands of the body in dealing with hormonal changes like puberty, pregnancy, even changes in the temperature around us.

Spring fever, the onset of summer, the brain freeze of winter coming on quicker than usual – all these can over-work the brain.

Brain stress is also caused by compromised blood circulation such as caused a heavy meal or a sluggish liver.

Let’s get straight to it.

 

My Top 7 Herbs for Overworked Brains

 

White Willow Bark – Salix Alba

The original source of Aspirin, and a pain reliever, I have used it to relieve all kinds of pain. No matter what sort of brain burn-out you’re experiencing, White Willow Bark, through its gentle effect of calming erratic blood circulation, will help.

5 -10 drops in a cup of water is usually enough. Try to get some sleep or do things that don’t require brain work, and then take another dose when the pain starts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. John’s Wort – Hypericum

Also a pain reliever, St.John’s Wort is what I call a ‘cheerer’ of the system. There is this state of consciousness a body (and brain) fall into because of fatigue that never really goes away. A sort of listlessness that hangs on from day to day that shows up in a dull ache in the nervous system that can flare up every now and then.

The nerves have got their share of housekeeping and self repair to do, but in this state of affairs most of that gets put aside simply because of the general lack of hope.

St. John’s Wort acts like an old friend come around to cheer everyone up and take the mind off those same old depressing thoughts that lead nowhere in the end.

5-10 drops in a cup of water is enough. Or tea.

Borage – Borago Officinalis

They call it the ‘courage’ herb. It’s for when you feel overloaded and overwhelmed and the main cause of the stress is the stress itself.

Those for example who are stressed out because they’re too stressed out to find a solution to a problem. They know they have to stop being stressed out, but they’re too stressed out to find a solution to being stressed out so they can find a solution to the problem.

Short circuiting if you will – everything feels like it comes back to square one. The person goes around in thought loops, saying the same things every few hours, coming to the same conclusions, and then back on the merry-go-round in the same pattern over and over.

It takes a sort of spark or energy to get out of the loop, and that is a matter of the heart, rather than a matter of the head.

You see a thinking process that does not have the heart and feeling and passion involved, is bound to short circuit. We’re just not made to be robots. We cannot solve problems like robots do.

We need the spark of emotion or nothing will make sense eventually. Our thought processes need to be grounded and connected to our feelings, what we really care about.

This is where Borage can help. Borage is a smug little school boy that knows just who everyone is secretly in love with, but not even telling themselves. With a smug naughty little grin he’ll point out that secret person to you.

The blood will rush to your head at the thought of that person (or whatever it is that you feel strongly about – the real reason for this whole mental effort in the first place) and suddenly everything feels a whole lot better.

Don’t use Borage too often. Keep it for those moments when you really need it. Once or twice a day is as much as you could need it.

Plaintain – Plantago Officinalis

Sometimes Brain Stress is because of nerves wound up and taut in the digestive system. Plantain has this conditioning, smoothing effect all through.

If you find your flow of thought erratic, jumping about instead of moving from point A to point B and so on, Plantain will help smooth things out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foxglove or Digitalis

Usually taken to regularize heart beat rhythm, Digitalis also helps normalize nervous frequency and brain circulation.

Of special help for those with panic disorders, those with PTSD, those with severe anxiety, Digitalis can help get the person back to a point where those moments of severe stress, when it feels like the world is ending, and the hands are shaking and the perspiration flows, are greatly lessened.

When you feel your heart rate increasing wildly (and not because the one you love has entered the room – that’s good heart rate increase) – that’s Digitalis time.

 

Pennywort or Gotu Kola – Centella Asiatica

Gotu Kola
Gotu Kola

There are few herbs in the world that will give instant strength to a tired overheated brain. Strength to face the situation, strength to deal with the demand of brain hormones to manage a change in the body, strength.. basic strength.

Pennywort or Gotu Kola is this tender little plant that hugs the earth and covers the ground. This tenderness is reminiscent of our brains and nerves. For all the looks of it, our physically slender nerves and soft mushy brains do a huge amount of work and truly are strong to do all they do.

Pennywort is for that state of consciousness where we’ve gotten disconnected from ‘why are we doing this’. Much like Borage which connects us to our emotions, but perhaps on an even more primal level, Pennywort brings our energy reserves to focus on the most basic of our life tasks, instantly releasing energy the brain was holding on to for ‘the big problem’, keeping everything else stalled.

Pennywort’s like the Mom coming to the child’s house and saying, “Sure you have a problem, but you’ll feel better about it all once your trash has been taken out, and your carpet cleaned and your bed linen changed.” And in fact it’s true.

Pennywort or Gotu Kola is robust liver strength and support for all the clean-up processes of the body. You have to try it to understand how supporting the clean-up processes can result in a vibrant relaxed healthy brain.

Gotu Kola taken regularly is solid brain rehabilitation and you could benefit from it especially as the weather gets warmer.

 

Sarsaparilla

Sarsaparilla is part of the traditional arsenal against the heat of the summer. A tincture of the roots has such an array of benefits, it would be foolish for me to consider listing them here.

Sarsaparilla helps relaxes the lungs which results in such a decrease in the tension that blood stuck up in pockets here and there holding heat and getting warmer by the minute, finally move out and release the heat (and tension). The brain relaxes as well as the whole nervous system. This often has something of a pain killer effect for those with tension caused pain in the organs and deep muscle tissue.

Prepare to be surprised by Sarsaparilla. All kinds of good things can result from the body relaxing.

Herbs to Strengthen the Heart, Build Emotional Resilience

When you strengthen the heart, you strengthen every part of you and find relief from problems that were not responding before.

To strengthen a weak or tired heart, on every level, herbs can help. They’re living beings like us. They open our sub-conscious tunnels and caves and cupboards, awaken deep things in us and help us see and hear what we need to to find our way.

When the physical heart is weak or unstable, it is a clarion call from our consciousness to repair ourselves from deep deep within.

Borage for disappointment with no silver linings
Cactus for nervous instability, recovery from shock
Damiana for uterine, sexual and reproductive system blocks
Violet for lymphatic sluggishness
Milk Thistle for congestion in the body such as after a large meal
Dandelion for tightness around the diaphragm, solar plexus
Mistletoe for when you’re too cold or too hot
Rose Petals and Rosehips to release blocked up energy

Borage for disappointment with no silver linings

Imagine a flower wilting in harsh dry weather. Do you feel like that emotionally and physically? Do you feel overwhelmed by all you have to do and like you would like to give up the fight? Borage is the plant that will pull the focus of your consciousness down to simpler things, to the center of your body where the complications that confuse our heads don’t matter that much, and where what we need to do in the moment is clear. This clarity is relaxing and strengthening for the heart.

Physically the heart rate normalizes and the production of stress hormones in the blood begins to reduce.

When you have Borage, after about thirty minutes, flush your system with water, to get the stress hormones out.

 

Cactus for nervous instability, recovery from shock

Do you feel like you’re standing on the roof of a shaking building? Or like you’re being pulled and jerked about in different directions? Like one part of you is in one place and another in quite the opposite direction? Like your heart is being torn wanting opposite things at the same time and with equal desperation?

Desperation is the keyword here. We feel emotional desperation when we are torn in different directions and cannot seem to find harmony.

A physical heart in the throes of such feeling has an unstable heart rate, flutterings, fibrillation and does not pass the blood through the chambers smoothly. Overall, the heart is weaker as a result and the entire body suffers the effects of this instability.

Cactus helps us find emotional and physical energetic balance. As a result, the heart is able to gather its energy up rather than have it splayed and splashed in different directions. This heals the physical heart,calms the nervous system and therefore the entire body.

It relieves the troubled emotions by consolidating them so we can face what it is that is really troubling us instead of being distracted by a million little things that would resolve on their own if we would just look at what really is the matter.

Damiana for uterine, sexual and reproductive system blocks

Do you feel like you cannot feel the sweetness of life anymore? Like you cannot even feel your own self anymore?

When a person rejects their own sexual being sub-consciously, the reproductive organs go static, something like playing statue in front while struggling to keep functioning at the back because it’s necessary to keep living.

Now, our sexual being is our primal being. And believe it or not, our heart is the center of our sexual energy.

When the organs of the reproductive system go energy static or tense, the heart feels it immediately and reacts by going into a sort of freeze, waiting for the situation to resolve. Blood circulation slows, hormonal release reduces to a trickle, slowly, life itself comes to a freeze.

An obvious symptom of this condition is not feeling turned on sexually or otherwise as much as usual, as much as you need to feel fully alive.

If you feel frozen, numb, static, stuck, Damiana will help relax the organs of the reproductive system which hold and express our primal being, and this in return releases the heart’s static, allowing it to beat fully and get blood moving around the system.

Several acute cases of circulation inefficiency have been relieved by Damiana where the usual circulation support herbs failed to make much of a difference.

On a physical level, if the heart does not beat FULLY, seems like it stops or is constricted and the chest in general feels constricted, Damiana is the herb.

Violet for lymphatic sluggishness

Do you feel like there are blank spaces in you that noting gets through? Like you keep hitting a wall and all the momentum you had is suddenly gone and you don’t know why?

When we have ‘numb’ zones in our consciousness, it manifests in areas of our body’s lymphatic system becoming sluggish. Our lymphatic system is simply the places between our bodies, the drainage areas. Sluggishness here makes the whole body feel weighed down, slow, heavy, inflexible, numb.

On an emotional level we feel like we have too much baggage and not enough strength to really let go or what we know deep down, we have to let go of, to be free and light enough to move on.

Heaviness, is the key word here. Too heavy? Get Violet to help.

The physical heart feels strengthened by the Violet’s ability to make the consciousness rest. This sort of rest means, the relaxation of all that which is holding in what should be let go of. Tiny little nerve endings relax. The whole body on a deep deep level feels able to let go.

Everything feels a lot easier. Movement itself becomes easier.

When you take Violet, you will feel like moving more than usual. It doesn’t have to be about exercise. You have things to do, and you will feel like doing them. You might even feel frenetic. Just do whatever you feel like doing from your heart.

Fenugreek seed tea, Quis Qualis Indica and other herbs for lymphatic cleansing will help clear out what’s now ready to be cleared out.

Milk Thistle for congestion in the body such as after a large meal

Do you feel morose and morbid? And pessimistic and dark? And cynical and pissed off about everything? Milk Thistle will comfort you.

When a person’s most simplest desires, like the simple primal desire of a baby for his or her mother’s milk, has been denied and this pattern plays out again and again in life, the person often becomes the perpetrator of this disappointment, denying themselves their primal and little desires, finding logic and rationality to deny themselves pleasure.

This makes the body confused in its management of fat, oils and other substances which nourish us. The body begins to throw out what we need, keep what we don’t need and then when the mess has gone beyond the scope of a one day clean up job, the garbage just tends to start piling up all over wherever.

Milk Thistle’s message on an emotional and on a physical level is “I can be happy and satisfied again, like I was at my mother’s breast.”

Physically, instead of rejecting nutrition or not knowing what to do with it, the body begins to work with it. That which was stored up out of confusion is now slowly thrown out.

No, it is not a quick process, but it works.

The heart that physically was strained, pushing and pushing and then lapsing into fatigue, the condition called ‘cardio myopathy’ is relieved by the change brought about by Milk Thistle – or Silybum Mariana or Carduus Mariana.

Emotionally we stop being a struggler, straining for love, and begin instead to allow ourselves to experience the simple pleasures of life. This changes everything.

Dandelion for tightness around the diaphragm, solar plexus

Do you feel like the world’s problems are your problems? Do you feel the weight of responsibility beyond your capacity to carry? Do you feel alone in carrying your burden?

Dandelion is the herb to help.

When you feel burdened, it’s most often because you feel like you have lost some form of support or strength you counted on, without which you feel lost and bereft.

Loss is the keyword here. A deep sense of loss, perhaps from long ago, maybe even from early childhood, makes the consciousness and the body feel like a loser. The perception that we don’t have the support we need to make it through life pervades, making the body under function.

Little puppies separated from their mothers, the young student in a new city, the newly weds who find themselves no longer as much part of their old family or community, anyone who feels isolated from support, could use Dandelion’s help.

Dandelion looks up to the sky, and believes in God. “Someone made me. The force which made me, will sustain me.”

It’s that simple.

The physical heart which was struggling to function, it’s beat becoming more and more feeble, then making a bid for normalcy before sinking again, now begins to beat calmly and without the struggle.

Mistletoe for when you’re too cold or too hot

Do you feel uncomfortable, like the sheets are too warm close to you, but too cold on the other side? Like the grass is greener on the other side, but you know if you go over there, you’ll only want to come back here?

This weird feeling of wanting something, a LOT, but not enough to making you actually go towards it, is helped by Mistletoe.

A consciousness that is in a state of self denial because of having a split opinion or because of desiring what seems like two opposite things, and therefore being unable to move in either direction, is usually in that situation because of unresolved emotional pain.

Unresolved pain messes with our perception on many levels making us unable to look at what we really want in life. To compensate for this lack of emotional perception, we develop a personality and a life based on logic, on the advice of others, on books that tell us what to do, when to do it, how to do it.

A most simple form of healing is to let go of all the learning in the head, and do what we feel like doing.

Releasing rigid mental control and assessment of our life energy, of our lives, allows the body and the consciousness to find its own balance and resolve old emotional pain.

Mistletoe lives like that… simply. “I’m here, you’re here, hello.

The physical heart, which is also the center of the hormonal system, stops going into frenzies and panic followed by the general debility and slump that comes after being so worked up. Adrenal exhaustion lessens and the body slowly becomes stable and functional again.

Rose Petals and Rosehips to release blocked up energy

Suppressed anger, repressed rage, but unable to come out to the surface. “How can I ever be angry enough?” is the feeling here, “I might as well seethe or simmer or just forget about it for now. What can I do about it anyway?”

We are taught in so many ways through life, that the ‘use’ of an emotion is to make some action happen. If you fall in love, you must kiss, you must have sex. If you like drawing, you must become an artist. If you like dancing, you must go to dance lessons. If you like cooking, you should open a restaurant.

It’s good to use our talents, but this attitude when taken too far, makes a person begin to feel impotent and incapacitated over time. Like the limbs are tied up.

Good things become a pain.. who wants to hear the whole ‘you draw so well, you should develop this talent’ rhetoric all over again even if it’s only in your own head?

The Rose is about feeling what we’re feeling without stopping it because we cannot see where it’s going. It’s about freedom to feel, without judgment. This is the basis of courage and bravery.

The warrior is not the one who yells on the battlefield and charges at the energy. He is the one who allows his feelings, his love, his anger, his desire, to shape his life and his destiny. Before the battle, he knows he has won, because his feelings have brought him to this moment, because he walked the path his every day feelings led him on, and just how he wakes and sleeps moved by those feelings, so he will know how to fight the battle.

The heart is FED by feelings. A physical heart that is weak and insufficient, tired and hopeless, jaded, and which turns away from sunshine and hope, benefits from the fearless Rose – whether the petals or the fruit.

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There is another aspect to strengthening the heart, resolving identity crises. Hawthorn, Oleander, Nettle are some of the herbs which help, but there is so much to say there, so we will talk about how they work another time.