Sometimes all it takes is a good health scare to get you out of the rut you’ve been in and into a better way of doing things. That is what is currently happening to me. After years being off of the Paleo lifestyle and using my own misguided version of intuitive eating techniques to manage…whatever I thought I was managing, I have found myself in the hospital and diagnosed with diabetes and congestive heart failure. Today will be my sixth day in the hospital as the cardiac team works to try to figure out the cause of my congestive heart failure. Everyone who has talked to me about this has commented on how young I am to be going through this. I have to agree with them, and I have to figure out how to climb out of this hole that seems to be a creation of my own doing, no matter how I look at it.
When I stopped living the Paleo lifestyle, I was concerned that I had turned it into an eating disorder. Looking back after all this time, I still stand by my decision to loosen up. But maybe that is what I should have done – loosen up intead of completely shutting it down. That probably wouldn’t have worked. There was an unhealthy mindset going on at that time and I needed to break out of it. Loosening up would not have broken that mindset, no matter how much I think now it could have helped.
If there is one herb I would recommend anyone work with during these trying times, it is Linden. I am only disappointed that I had not started working with it sooner.
I have mentioned my road through burnout before on this blog. I have worked with several herbs to help me through the journey: Chamomile, passionflower, lemon balm, and valerian, just to name a few. Linden has been such a helper in releasing tension, helping to lower stress levels, and helping to modulate my blood pressure, which has been elevated due to stress and other factors. I’m not sure I can really explain how much linden has helped me as I continue to work on recovery. It truly is a powerful helper when it comes to the nervous system.
One of the things that I love about the flavor of linden tea is that it is uniquely floral. I believe I have a linden tree close by my house, because I smell that same scent in the air a lot. Smelling that scent makes me feel like I am building a better relationship with linden than I would just by drinking the tea alone. It is like it is reminding me that it is here to help me whenever I need it, one part of nature here to support another part. I haven’t found the tree yet, because I think it is beyond a fence on the property that I live on, but when I smell the scent in the air, I do feel closer to the plant itself and the medicine it has brought me through its tea.
Parts Used: Flowers and bracts, leaf, twigs, inner bark, charcoal (from the wood)
Native To: T. americana is native to North America, while T. cordata, T. platyphyllus, T. europa, and others are native to Europe
Botanical Description: Linden is a large deciduous tree up to 100 feet tall or more. Its canopy is often roughly in a pyramid shape, and its trunk with grey bark and flat ridges. From late spring to early summer, linden bears a profusion of fragrant white or yellowish-green flowers in clustered cymes with leaf-like bracts. Its leaves are alternate, and more or less heart-shaped with pale undersides.
Linden is helpful for high blood pressure, palpitations, arrhythmia, angina, tightness, and dryness in the chest, and those with histories of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular surgery. Linden has a blood pressure modulating effect, evening out both high and low blood pressure.
Gentle and cooling nervine action indicated for anxiety, nervous tension, insomnia, and agitation. Linden is particularly suited to mitigate the effects of drying, stimulating medications like Adderall and Ritalin, and is well tolerated in children.
Soothing to nerve pain wherever it appears in the body. Intestinal pain from indigestion or food allergies, systemic pain from fibromyalgia or MS, tension headaches, tense menstrual cramps, nerve damage due to injury, and nerve damage due to viruses, including herpes, all can be calmed down by linden.
Particularly indicated in stress-induced conditions
According to Matthew Wood, indicated for fevers that are not relieved by profuse sweat, fevers associated with chills or shivering, as well as painful fevers associated with heat, irritation, and spasm.
According to Matthew Wood, soothing to children, especially when hot and stimulated. Yarrow, Elder, and Linden good for children who are hot and over-active (hyper-active) – could totally cure hyperactivity and attention deficit, according to Wood.
Long infusion has been helpful for increased states of nervousness and anxiety. Can help relax tense, stressed nerves, and thus help move stuck digestion, bringing relaxation to the entire body.
Helps to “let go” of things that the body and mind are carrying that they do not need by allowing both to relax.
One teaspoon linden flowers steeped in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes taken 3 times a day
Or steep 2 tablespoons in one liter of water for 12 hours for more demulcent effect. Take one cup three times a day.
1-2 mL of tincture three times a day
Cautions: Linden leaves and flowers are very safe for children, elders, and pregnant individuals. The bark should not be given to people on blood thinners. The bark is not used as much in modern herbalism.
So its been a while since I have written any posts on this blog. Let me catch you up.
I think the last time I wrote anything, I was in the middle of a break between jobs. The pandemic had not hit yet. Things were not totally insane yet. But for me they were. That break between jobs was completely necessary as I was going through major job burnout. It is common in the early childhood education field for teachers to experience burnout. I had never had it happen to me before, and let me tell you: Burnout is no fun.
So I was taking a break and sitting in front of the pool a lot. During that break I sat down with a friend who introduced me to essential oils and all of the amazing things that they can do. And during that discussion, one thought kept going through my head: “If the oils from plants can do all of these things, then what can the whole plant do?”
This is how my journey toward studying herbalism started, about 4 years ago. I’ve had a few twists and turns along the path, but my fascination with these plants has not waivered. I have used plants to help heal my nervous system from burnout. I have used plants to keep me from getting sick with colds. And even though I have been studying for 4 years, I have finally found a program that is making me feel like I am learning what I need to learn in order to become a clinical herbalist, which is what I have been dreaming about for 4 years.
Before today this blog was about weight loss. I had taken several weight loss journeys on this blog, and if you happen to go through the blog archives, you will see this journey laid out. There are even recipes on this blog that I posted when I went Paleo. I am not going to remove these from the blog. I think it is important to remember where we came from. But where my focus used to be on weight loss, now my focus is on health and wellness. I have accepted myself in a larger body and am working to be the healthiest version of myself that I can be in this body. The weight loss see-saw that I have been on most of my life is no longer sustainable since I am at a weight that has been hard for me to wrap my head around. I have looked into Intuitive Eating, which I have talked about some on this blog, and I am also reading the book Health At Every Size by Linda Bacon. It turns out that you can be healthy, even if you are in a larger body.
By the way, those links go to books on Amazon, but I do not have an Amazon affiliate account so I get no kickbacks from posting these links.
I will talk more about this journey and how it is affecting my health and wellness on this blog. I am also going to be doing posts about different aspects of herbalism that I learn about. So far this has been a very interesting journey, and I can’t wait to share it.