At Noon on a Cactus Plantation in Capri, 1885
– Peder Mork Monsted
This week I was asked a question:
My answer can be applied to all atrophy in the body.
Have I actually seen this work? Yes I have.
There was a woman who had atrophy in various parts of the body after a severe stroke. I have personally seen the power of herbs combined with exercises that increase blood circulation to the area. I have also seen atrophy caused by malnutrition in the developing years, reversed. I have also seen atrophy caused by sitting at a desk job for 40 years, reversed.
I have also seen again and again that while doing so results in some benefits, it is ultimately the overall health and vitality levels of the body that decide what happens. A healthy body will heal and recover its atrophied parts on its own.
It’s part of life – that some parts of us atrophy for a while, and then we need that part again and the body gets it working again.
So in order of importance here are the three things one can do to recover an atrophied part of the body.
I couldn’t complete this article without at least one picture, so here’s one of this beautiful wild pink grass called Melinis Repens, with a little Pampas grass in the middle.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
One of the first signs of the process commonly called ‘premature aging’, is simply a decrease in nerve force.
Nerve force, very simply is the energy with which electrical signals go from one nerve cell to another.
When we find ourselves reacting to something slowly and with tiredness it means our nerve force is less.
If we are not able to react to sensory stimulation and enjoy things, our nerve force is less.
It is literally the speed at which the communication between the parts of the body is happening.
When our nerve force is low, the nervous signals feel like they’re going at the speed of postal mail versus email.
While there are many causes of it, from lack of enough sleep to fatigue caused by repetitive stress, to emotional shock caused by loss or grief, the human body is capable of adapting to a situation and maintaining nerve force.
A lot of the time food, drink, even herbs and other holistic treatments are used to artificially increase nerve force through adrenaline shocking the body, stressing the kidneys and surging the nervous system. The body reacts with chronic fatigue as it resists what it considers artificial stimulation as not something in the body’s memory of what’s natural.
For example, one such substance is MSG or mono-sodium glutamate, which is used in nearly all processed foods for its ability to increase nerve force giving a sort of quick but short-lived energy surge making the person eating become suddenly able to taste better. It increases nerve force so the report from the sense organs goes quickly to the brain and the brain says, “Yes, it’s yummy.” If you’ve ever craved eating something processed or that’s not cooked at home, chances are you’re craving MSG. But its list of harmful effects are legendary.
There are other additives to increase nerve force that are used in the processed food industry.
They all backfire sooner or later as the body learns to resist even them. Chronic allergies, histamine intolerance and auto-immune disorders are just some of the ways the body resists the intrusion.
The way to increase nerve force without pissing off the body and triggering off resistance, is to be nice and work with the body and the psyche, in ways considered friendly rather than forcing.
When we come in contact with, or even think of something our system recognizes naturally, instinctively, hormonally, our system responds with an increase of nerve force. This is what makes a child, even as an adult respond to the presence of their biological ancestors, parents and relatives with increased nerve force, making them heal faster, feel better. Even pictures of them, talking about them can help.
In the old days, a common prescription for someone with lessened nerve force was a trip to the sea or the mountains or some place where the person could come in touch with raw nature again. This is what makes nature in general healing; because our system recognizes what’s in nature and reacts with nerve force – quite literally push to live.
It used to be a practice in the days when people died of actual old age at home with their families, for their favorite foods from their childhood to be prepared for them when they got weak towards the end, because that would increase nerve force almost immediately.
If you are low on nerve force, no matter what the cause, bring into your life things comfortably familiar, something you loved and enjoyed in your childhood, something that reminds you of times when you were well. Change your diet to food traditional to your family.
Recently a woman who hemorrhaged every month had a sudden breakthrough when she added butter back into her diet. She’d given butter up for olive oil some years before. After she brought butter back into her diet because she realized she didn’t feel satisfaction from food until it had butter in it, as was traditional to he famil. That month she had her first normal period in twenty years.
We cannot over-think our food or lifestyle. Overall making our choices in life following our emotional and physical instincts (which are the same thing usually) leaves us better-off. There’s no point reaching a good point in life without the nerve force to actually enjoy the experience and build on it.
In the short term, there are things we can eat and drink to help increase nerve force without pushing or forcing the body. I keep my herbal treatments light because I’ve found that there’s absolutely no point causing a fantastic ‘good’ reaction only for the body to slump back in the days after. Even in the short term, never take too much of anything. You do not want to overwhelm the body unless you’re in a severe emergency.
They also work to rehabilitate the system, but a sure way to rehabilitation is to take herbs along with adding foods into your diet that remove blocks and areas of coagulated stuff in the body.
I’ll mention five of my favorite foods to do this: Parsley, Rolled Oats, Bananas, Onions and Natural Yeast Bread
Parsley because it’s just emergency nerve energy food. It could keep a dead man alive a little longer.
Oats and Bananas because they’re immediately nourishing nerve nourishing food.
Onions because onions help recover from even severe nerve energy loss.
Have you ever felt such a lack of nerve force that you cannot even cry? Too tired to sleep? Onions will help you cry – not just by stinging your eyes but by helping unclog the body, helping blood move around easier.
You have to try it. Have some onion soup if not anything else. Or just add onions to everything you cook for a week or two and then reduce it.
Natural Yeast is a YUGE energizer of nerve force in the body.
I simply leave a little bit of flour and water covered with a cheese cloth for a day or two on the kitchen counter and it catches yeast right out of the air. You then knead that in with your dough, let it sit for a few hours and make bread out of it. It sounds like a lot of work, but after you’ve done it a few days it becomes very easy and is so worth the effort.
A lot of the time, the lack of nerve force is because the spirit of the person is not willing to keep sending energy outwards any more. The logic and why and wherefore of it do not matter. If there’s a lack of nerve force, it’s time to stop attention and energy from flowing out and either simply rest, or turn inwards.
The most successful people are those who are in touch with their spirit right through the noise of life, and know how to interact with the world in keeping with how their spirit wants their energy to be used.
If daily life energy use is NOT something our spirit supports, then we’re losing right there, whether it looks like it or not in the moment. We cannot sustain an effort in our lives that does not have our spirit supporting it.
When our spirit supports us, our body supports us and what we do then leads to success for us one way or another.
So if nerve force is weak, it’s time to go inward, energetically rest, and find out what we really want to do.