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Many herbs can be used for emotional support during and after stressful events and emergencies. Essentially, herbs for these types of situation all come from the same class of herbs called nervines. Lavender, linden, rose, skullcap, motherwort, valerian, passionflower, and lemon balm are all examples. Four of my favorites are rose, hawthorn, angelica, and albizia.
The aromatic petals of red or pink roses are the part used in this case. They can be used in a tea or an extract. Rose has an uplifting influence, and the ability to support a sense of being soothed and nurtured.
Hawthorn leaves, flowers, and berries can all be used. It is beneficial because of the grounding, heart-centered support that it provides, and its ability to support a sense of calm and courage. It can really help make things feel less insurmountable in the face of adversity.
Angelica has an expanding emotional influence, which is especially helpful when shock or trauma has resulted in emotional contraction or “going inwards”. It has many traditional uses in soothing anxiety and pains (such as headaches and stomach aches) which are related to anxiety.
I always keep a combination of albizia bark and flowers on hand for it’s ability to calm and lift mood. Known as “The Tree of Happiness” or “Happiness Bark” in Traditional Chinese Medicine, this herb has been valued for centuries for it’s ability to help support emotional equilibrium. Albizia is also very beneficial for emotional upheaval associated with grief. The bark and the flowers are both emotionally supportive, but traditionally the bark is viewed as being more grounding and the flowers are more uplifting.
My Favorite Emotional Support Blend
One of my favorite extracts to keep on hand for life’s sudden shocks and setbacks is a combination (or compound, as herbalists are found of calling them) of Rose+Hawthorn+Angelica. I favor a ratio of 2 parts rose, 1 part hawthorn, and 1 part angelica, but this can be changed to equal parts, or to only 1/2 part angelica (some people may find the angelica makes them feel too spacey). I use this like any standard extract, 30-60 drops at a time, either mixed in a little water or added to a glass of warm milk.