Incorporating herbs into your daily life doesn’t have to be complicated, you don’t have to be an expert and it doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s not about being perfect and using herbs for absolutely everything but about exploring and being curious.
There are lots of options! Infusions are of course an easy way to incorporate herbs in your daily routines and to support your body’s needs. But more than anything, however you decide to explore using herbs, there’s one thing you’ll need to do and that’s listening to your body.
Tuning in to the body
That’s where it all starts; getting the information we need to know how to best support our system in that moment, in the phase of life we’re in. Going inward, tuning in and ascertaining what we need, what’s missing, what we’d like more of is the most essential skill to cultivate in order to live a healthy life.
It’s all about how you feel and how you want to feel; it’s our job to listen because when we do tune in our body has so much to say! It doesn’t necessarily come easy – listening to our body means stopping for a minute and that can be hard. It’s simple, but not necessarily easy.
5 ways to use herbs
Practicing tuning in is something to build into your daily life, as it’s the foundation for knowing what herbs to use and what means will be best to receive their benefits. Once we can do that and have a sense of what we need, we’re ready to start exploring how to meet those needs with herbs.
- Herbal teas are obviously my #1 low-key way of starting out with herbs because it’s just so easy. It’s also fun because it’s so easy to tweak the infusion to meet your particular needs on that day. The infusion option is not only wonderful because of the herbs but paired with the intention of taking twenty minutes out of your day to just be with yourself it becomes a powerful self-care practice that can have a huge impact on your life.
- Essential oils are another amazing way to get the benefits of herbs. Something to bear in mind is that they are very concentrated, so they need to be used with care. You can do your own research and speak to your pharmacist if in doubt. Most of them can’t be used during pregnancy for example.
- Flower essences are another wonderful way of working with herbs and are great for emotional support (Bach Flower essences are the most common in Europe). The best way to use them is to speak with a Flower Essence specialist to get a prescription, or to ask your pharmacist.
- Cosmetics are another (perhaps surprising) way of incorporating herbs into your life – creams, shampoos, face masks etc. more and more shops are offering natural products (and some include CBD).
- Food is probably the most obvious way of learning about herbs and about the flavours and properties of plants. There’s lots of information available and it’s really easy to start adding some herbs to your dishes, whether cooked or raw.
A few things to keep in mind
As a general rule, it’s important to remember that although herbs are natural it doesn’t mean there aren’t interactions with medications or dosages to be mindful of. Making sure you know what you’re taking is very important, so if you have any medical issues or take medication, please talk to your pharmacist before taking any herbs.
Another is that organic and vegan doesn’t mean that it’s 100% natural unfortunately, but again it’s not about being a perfectionist and going from regular chemical products to completely natural – any improvement is wonderful.
And as always, what works for one person may not work for someone else. Be playful and curious and listen to your gut – if it’s telling you to go with a certain herb even though you find you don’t like the smell or taste, give it a go!