This category of herbs covers all those that are taken in minute doses. A “Spirit Dose” of a plant is the process of taking a tincture in tiny doses- usually 1-4 drops. A flower essence contains no true herb in it but instead is the floral “imprint” of an herb that is carried in water and is preserved with brandy. Both of these ways of healing involve helping the client to connect to the spiritual/energetic messages of the plant. In this way, the plant acts as a key in the lock for helping people to shift through psychic and emotional blockages. I generally work with tinctures as they also carry the taste of an herb that can have some medicinal effects, even at subtle levels, and also helps an individual connect to the plant better. You may decide to work with a set of plants such as the Bach Flower Remedies or FES (Flower Essence Society) that are commonly known.
I prefer to work with the plants that grow around me in their native habitat. Here are some of the plants I work with and their energetic imprints. I categorize them according to one of the four elements. This can help narrow down what type of plant you may want as an ally.
For joy, life force, play, strengthening the heart, warming and opening the spirit
Nettles (Urtica dioica)- For martialing the vital forces, strengthening the will and building strength and courage
Douglas Fir- For standing tall, proud and strong, to lift the heart and find courage.
Mimosa For being playful, silly, whimsical, for improved sleep, to ward off sadness
Reishi For those who have experienced trauma, and have an unsettled spirit with symptoms of confusion, disconnection
Hawthorn to warm the spirit, relax and soothe a troubled mind, to relax the heart and manage grief and protect against malevolent forces.
Saint John’s Wort For those who have lost vitality and joy in life, who feel distant, disconnected, anxious and sad. SJW warms the spirit as the sun warms the body.
Rose For those who have lost a sense of their good heart. If they are feeling grief, loss, deep sadness and disconnection, rose helps bring them back.
For strengthening the nervous system, reducing anxiety, improving intention, clarity, opens and establishing boundaries
Elder For bridging the gap between this world and the next, death and dying work, grief work, for protection and for those with grief- especially held in the lungs.
California Poppy For those who feel in deep emotional pain that is not easily lifted- there is a need for warm supportive holding here.
Lavender For those who’s spirits are anxious, unsettled and sad. Lavender lifts, opens, disperses, brings smiles and a gentle playful heart
Rosemary For those who feel cloudy, confused, dull and tired, with challenges with attention, depression and memory loss issues.
Lemon Balm For those who are wound up, overly hot, cant sleep well, feel overwhelmed and anxious.
Motherwort For those with a sad heart, poor attachment as a child or trauma history, need “mothering”, soothing.
Yarrow Yarrow holds us in, helps us to not disperse our energy to places where it is not honored (do not cast pearls before swine). Yarrow protects by storing our energy, helps us become focused, singular, direct and clear with our words, intentions and boundaries.Good for those who have had their boundaries violated.
For grounding, releasing toxic held frozen states, connecting and stabilizing
Burdock For those who appear overburdened, stuck and tight with signs of frustration and anger that could easily explode due to feeling obstructed. Burdock settles the spirit, circulates and disperses stuck dark and unhappy feelings.
Dandelion Helps us find our joy, release unneeded held emotional states, giving away power. Dandelion also teaches us tenacity, strength and blooming where one is planted.
Oregon Grape This is for the person who needs to be more of a warrior, stand up for themselves and loved ones, fight off unneeded people, and release held felt tension.
Red Belted Conk This is for those who appear weak, disconnected, mired in illness and depression. Red Belted Conk brings back the will and life force, helps strengthen a person at their core.
Western Red Cedar Supremely grounding with sweet loving energy. Cedar helps relax, soothe and helps us to give in a good way with clear boundaries.
For exploring deeper held emotional spaces where we might be frozen in poor behaviors, actions, thinking patterns
Black Cottonwood For those who are holding deep grief and sadness. Cottonwood helps people to release, open, cry and flow with life again after being frozen by grief and trauma. Very soothing and gentle.
Devil’s Club This is a traditional plant for protection, good fortune and working between the worlds. DC works with core wounds and helps people move through deep places of struggle where they are hiding, feel blocked and will not go to challenging places. DC moves the energy, helps a person to make better choices, walk a better road and also helps us to stand tall and strong in our true authentic selves. Careful with this one- it can cause big shifts in people’s lives.
Mugwort Traditionally and cross culturally mugwort helps move the energy, release stagnation and protect us from unwanted forces and people. Mugwort will help us release and discharge and this plant should be used in a careful way with much respect.
Seaweed Seaweeds dissolve and release stored hard deeply held emotional states, often connected to physical manifestations such as growths and autoimmune illnesses.
Working with the plants
These herbs can be offered as singles or in formulas specific to an individual. Some of these herbs blend quite magically together. Here are some ideas:
To bring greater joy, pleasure in life, feelings of happiness: Mimosa, SJW, Douglas Fir
For grief and loss: Rose, Hawthorn and Lemon balm
For trauma, shakiness, and sadness and confusion held in the heart: Reishi, Hawthorn, Motherwort
For courage and strength: Douglas Fir, Nettles and Devil’s club
To dispel circular ruminative thinking: Lavender, rosemary and lemon balm
For a loss of boundaries, trauma work, holding to oneself strong and true: Yarrow, Devil’s Club, Oregon Grape
For working with ancestors, deep grief work: Elder, Mugwort, Black cottonwood
For moving through addiction, poor habits, lack of authenticity: Devil’s Club, Yarrow, Cedar
For weakness, depletion, chronic illness: Nettles, Red Belted Conk, Dandelion
For peace, calmness, grounding: Cedar, Rose, Black cottonwood
For cooling inflammation, feeling “wired”, overwhelmed: Seaweed, Lemon balm, Burdock
For moving through big blocks: Burdock, Devil’s Club, Mugwort
For dispelling negative influences, protection: Devil’s Club, Mugwort, Hawthorn
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