Plant Medicine with Lorissa AgroRay, RN
How plant medicine is a great ally for prevention, treatment & recovery of many health issues
The wisdom of plants cannot be replicated in a lab—not synthesized, nor recreated by isolating various chemical components. The innate value of medicinal plants is found in their abilities to serve many purposes for many people. Amphoteric is a chemistry term which refers to compounds that can react as an acid or a base. In herbalism amphoteric applies to plants that can serve a multitude of purposes depending on the user’s needs. Herbal actions can simultaneously be stimulating or sedating, energizing or relaxing. Therein lies the beauty of plant medicine- when used appropriately it is wise, holistic and safe.
Let’s dive into some ways that you and your family can use plant medicine as an ally….
Working as a nurse I have seen firsthand the real lack of good, easy, safe western medicine interventions for treating gastrointestinal issues. Though PPIs (i.e., Nexium) are one of the best-selling drugs on the market they are rife with side effects, especially when used for an extended period. A favorite herbal blend that can soothe irritated gut tissues and support healthy bowel functions includes marshmallow, slippery elm, meadowsweet, chamomile, fennel, rose hips, peppermint and ginger. This blend can be steeped and taken as a daily tea. The mucopolysaccharides found in marshmallows put a chill on inflamed bowels -even better when steeped with cold water in order to keep these mucilaginous compounds intact! Of course, adding in your favorite CBD to your gut regimen is a great compliment thanks to its natural anti-inflammatory actions.
COLD & FLU SUPPORT
Plant medicine shines when it comes to prevention, treatment and recovery of viral illnesses like COVID or the flu. Elderberry is a great immune system supporter as it is packed with antioxidants that squelch free radicals and support our body’s inflammatory responses. Elderberry’s antiviral magic is multi-faceted and includes suppressing the entry of a virus into the cell & preventing viral transmission. During the acute phases of a viral illness, we’re focused on helping the body to produce a natural fever (yay for sweating it out!), supporting an appropriate immune response, helping to expectorate phlegm, and managing the replication of the intruder (aka antimicrobials). Let’s not forget the recovery phase of a viral illness—it’s OH SO IMPORTANT! In order to completely heal we will need to clean up the remnants of the illness using liver detoxing herbs, lymph cleansers, adrenal nourishers and brain/vascular supporters. A favorite post viral illness tincture blend: cleavers, gotu kola, eleuthero, dandelion root, burdock root, turmeric.
With diagnoses of anxiety and depression at an all-time high, many are seeking medical support in order to achieve their mental health goals. We are not suggesting that you stop any prescribed medications, but rather offering plants as complimentary allies when it comes to mental health. Herbs work in a variety of ways to support mood and are generally not addictive. Typically, medicinal blends for depression or anxiety include herbs that buttress the nervous system, the adrenals, the brain and that may even work on neurotransmitters that boost happy hormones. A fantastic calming blend: milky oats, skullcap, passionflower, motherwort & hawthorn – plus a dash of CBD!
While plants do contain hormones, we don’t necessarily achieve their effects by simple consumption; they will bind very weaking to human hormone neurotransmitters and therefore are not to be used as hormone replacements. But here comes the fun part: plant medicine can work on our HPA (hypothalamus pituitary adrenal) axis which will turn up or down to regulate certain hormones! Vitex is a superstar plant in this arena. Vitex stimulates release of LH (luteinizing hormone) from the pituitary gland which in turn acts on the corpus luteum to increase progesterone production. Women can be deficient in progesterone during various times in their lives but even more so during perimenopause and menopause. Using vitex daily for several months has been shown to help women regulate and normalize their cycles.
Balanced hormones equals happy + healthy women!
Disclaimer *** This is not intended to be medical advice. Seek care from your medical doctor before adjusting or changing medications or when starting on herbal remedies.
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Written by: Lorissa AgroRay, RN
Lorissa’s journey into the world of the Healing Arts began as a critical care Registered Nurse at a local hospital. While she can appreciate the values of traditional bedside care, she quickly realized that her healing gifts would best be utilized in a more holistic atmosphere. She has since layered her nursing training with Healing Touch, Holistic Nutrition & Herbalism certifications resulting in a unique fusion of healthcare modalities.
Lorissa works as a bridge between medical paradigms which allows her a modern-witchy perspective that unites & heals on so many levels. Her style of patient care centers on the human in front of her, rather than merely diagnoses. She assists individuals on their healing journey by reflecting & activating their own innate healing wisdom. These days you can find Lorissa working as a bilingual urgent care nurse, tending to her blossoming urban garden, and cuddling the most adorable rescued senior chihuahuas.
My mantra: “If you never start, you never get there.”
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