Wednesday, June 16, 2010

herbal energetics and actions

i am starting to get a deeper understanding into herbal medicine and herbal energetics. each herb has a different taste (bitter, sweet, salty, sour, spicy) temperature (hot, cold) and humidity (drying, moisturizing). once i determine the energetics - i can then look up to see what the action is. a few herbal actions are: demulcents (act as a protective barrier on inflamed or irritated tissue) sedatives (sedates and strengthens the nervous system) alteratives (promote detoxification, stimulate digestive organs) immune enhancers (help the body fight infection)... these a just a few herbal actions. so by knowing what the energetics and actions are... and by knowing what the physical dis-ease is - you can then match the plant to the person. 

it is also important to know what a persons consitution is. one of my plants to journal on was valerian (Valeriana officinalis) and i learned a hard lesson. valerian is known to be a sedative. i prepared my valerian as a decoction and sipped it before i went to bed - knowing it would make me sleepy and relaxed. i got into bed around 11:00pm.... then it was 1:00... then 3:00. i could not fall asleep - i was figgity and aggitated. the next morning i did some research and found out that since valerian is a warming herb - it works well for people with a 'cold' constitution to promote sleep - but it can have the exact opposite effect on someone with a 'warm' constitution - it can keep them up all night ! it can actually aggravate the system in an already over heated individual. so... i guess i have a 'warm' constitution. i am going to be reading more on energetics, actions and constitutions - and how important these three aspects are.

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